Thursday, February 20, 2014

life with 3 kids is not like life with 5 kids

Last night Lane Michael and I were sitting the front seat, car relatively quiet (as it usually is these days) heading to Awana and Lane Michael mentioned the girls being gone. I asked what he thinks of life without the sisters. He was thoughtful for a moment, a tear threatened to form and fall, but it didn't. After a long pause he said 'life certainly is different'. Ethan piped in 'quieter'. I asked if they thought maybe life was easier (because lets be honest, it is easier without 3 year old twins), and Lane Michael answered "easier doesn't mean better mom". and he's right. easier doesn't mean better. quietter doesn't mean better. it just means things are different. In the evenings, there are 3 kids to send to the shower (instead of sending 2 to the shower, showering 2 and 1 playing in the bath to get some peace and quiet from the 2), there are 5 plates to fill at dinner not 7, 1 plate to cut instead of 3, 1 load of laundry each day instead of 2. I can now get my Bible study done, clean the kitchen without "help" and maybe even use the restroom alone. But that also means the sisters aren't chattering all through dinner, "helping" me clean up after, loading the washer "for" me, sitting on the tub talking to me while I try to (discreetly) use the potty, following me through the house playing with every toy I try to put away. There are no doll babies, no pink blankies, no pony-tails to fix, no sweet girl snuggles (makes me truly appreciate my boy snuggles), no one interupting Ryan as he tries to pray (every single night). quieter, easier, calmer is not better. it's just different.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Respite Care

We had a respite placement this's 2 of the 3 babies we were supposed to have a few weeks back (they never showed becuase their foster momma got sick), anyway we had Little Dude and Princess from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning. So much fun! I forget how much work toddlers are! Little Dude is mobile and is a go-go-go-er...the only time he sat still was meal time and bedtime! I love it because he's capable of going and eating normal foods! These babies are true miracle babies! What I did learn from this experience though is 1. we got VERY lucky with our girls (healthy, twins, no trauma and minimal neglect) 2. it's easier to send home 2 (there is a level of protection and they go together so not everything is changing) 3. 4 is our limit...5 pushes us out of our comfort zone...we will stop at 4.

This foster momma is doing an amazing job! As active as Little Dude is, he listened so well, did as he was told, ate veggies and fruit like it was going out of style and laid down awake and went to sleep without any fuss. Princess isn't terribly mobile so we didn't have to tell her to do anything but she too ate and slept like a champ! Their momma is certainly doing something right!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

We are Project People

We have projects...lots of projects up in the air. all. the. time. Right now Todd has several DIYs going on...he has the Mustang (currently untouched at the Wapak house), he has the basement (currently going untouched ath te Wapak house), we have piglets coming this spring (which means lots of prep work between now and then) and I....I go along for the ride...until I find something to be passionate about. Right now that passion has been sewing...I'm not good at it but I enjoy it. I sewed (successfullly I might add) new stockings for all the kids this year...I sewed 5 coordinating stockings, the same size as Todd and I's stockings (Mr. & Mrs. Claus)...and was extremely happy with the results! And now? Now I want to tackle quilts/comforters for the boys...something simple and masculine...something handmade! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beginning the Wild World of Puppy Love

My Big Boys are entering the very scary, very broad world of opposite sex attraction. We've done minimal talks about what that means and it's leaving me feel a little ill-prepared for the subject. However, being big animal planet, Discovery and history channel watchers, combined with the ownership of chickens has helped pave the way if you will, teaching them some nitty gritty details of (as Ethan likes to say) mating. I've set up a few ground rules for myself when talking to my boys about their love interests.

Rule 1: Puppy love is still love to a puppy.

Rule 2: As Christians, we have very strict standards that we adhere to...even those experiencing puppy love.

Rule 3: If I'm uncomfortable having the conversation, imagine how uncomfortable they are.

Rule 4: Love is fun.

Rule 5: Be honest.

We have, what I consider to be, pretty standarad rules, but maybe they're only standard for us...for parents like us....for our friends boys have each found someone recently who has caught their eye. Very different girls, different families, interests and different stages of the game....they're so young, this is all cute, entertaining in the 4th grade...but then I see news reports about 6th graders getting pregnant, and it terrifies me. I guess all I can do is set ground rules, be open honest and ready to answer some tough questions.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Eleven Years

Eleven years ago, this was my life. I was still in the Army, my husband was gearing up for a deployment to Iraq and this is what he was leaving behind. So much uncertainty. So much to lose. And more pain and joy than we could have imagined. In eleven years we have moved from Texas to Ohio (while Todd was deployed), back to Texas (when Todd came home) and back to Ohio (when we bought the farm on Burnfield), we've welcomed Todd home and readjusted to having him in our family, Ethan's first set of tubes, we struggled through the first 3 months after Todd's accident when he fell out of the tree, Lane's being diagnosed with diabetes, selling the horses, losing Braden, moving to town, having my thyroid removed, losing my Dad, Ethan's 2nd set of tubes, Ethan diagnosed with ADD, welcoming Ryan into the family, becoming foster parents welcoming Little Miss and Girlfriend into our family, moving out of town, getting chickens, the death of our foster girls mother, losing our girls after a year and a half. Football, baseball, new crushes, learning to cook, responsibility, giggles, fights and make ups. and today, this is what our life looks like: so much joy, no pain. just pure, unending love and joy in these boys. Eleven years to get us here but I wouldn't give up a moment of it. These boys are my world, my sun rises and sets with them.  

Ethan, my amazing, forgiving, energetic boy. In class he's "the Man" and in football he's "little monster" in life he's an amazing kid who is strong and sensitive, he got the best traits from his dad and his worst of his mom's. I see so much of us in him. Funny, captivating, popular, sweet.
Lane Michael, my hero, my chef, loving and passionate. Truly and old soul, Taco in football, Ainsley's boyfriend, strong and sweet, always ready with a hug and a smile, my grudge holder and truly my Schwieterman man. Lane Michael is a true mix of my brother and my husband...very very different people. He's loyal to fault, when he falls, he falls hard, is kind, generous, naive, and appreciates the beauty in life. Wants nothing more than to grow up, go to culinary school, become a chef, marry and have a family. Truly wants the American dream.
These boys, best friends, amazing brothers, polar opposites and more than I could have ever imagined.