A week of firsts!
This has been a week of firsts for the boys and our family of 5. We’ve been taking full advantage of our time off from work to have fun with all 3 kids… while there is of course sensitivity for Macy’s adjustment, I am reminded that having her Mommy & Daddy home with her every day for over a month is something special too! We are blessed to have this time to find a good balance, figure each other out and work out the problem areas 🙂
First Trip to the Beach
Going to the beach has become a special time because it means spending time with Popo & Ray! We decided to take a day that didn’t have too much going on and head over the hill for the boys first time to the beach. They have had many of their “firsts” with their former foster family (who are amazing by the way), but the first trip to the beach was something we were able to have!!
I was skeptical about how it would go because “I” has a funny issue with some textures. For example, give him a ripe banana and he’ll hold it up with a grossed out look on his face and say “Ehhhh”. We look at him with a happy face and say “Yummy, Eat it!” and he usually does. Same thing with Cream of Wheat (which I now mix with yogurt) and Grass! When the boys moved in with us they would not run on the grass without shoes on and if they fell on the grass they became paralyzed with fear/disgust if having to touch it with their hands. I’m happy to say they’ve almost completely overcome that but you can understand where I’d be skeptical about the BEACH with all the SAND!
We walked down, Matt pushed the double bob on the sand and we let them out (shoes off) and neither one freaked out! Once we knew the sand was OK, it was time to check out the water! “I” was naturally hesitant but after a few minutes he literally dove in and had a blast. There are some great photos where you can see all the sand in his hair and face but I can’t show those 🙂 “A” on the other hand was totally freaked out by the water and wanted to be held most of the time. In the end he did enjoy splashing around and ended up with his pants off too!
While “A” licked the sand off his hands, “I” explored the whole beach and didn’t realize how far he walked until he turned around. I let him explore because I knew he couldn’t really run off 🙂 It was a perfect trip that ended with showers to get all the sand off. I’ll definitely bring bathing suits next time since we know they’ll like it! Macy was also a big help and enjoyed showing her brothers how much fun going to Popo & Ray’s house is!
This trip made me remember Macy’s first beach experiences on the very same beach in Aptos! In a weird coincidence, her first trip the beach was the day the boys were born, September 26th, 2010. Two years later it was their turn for their first time! You can see the blog I posted about Macy’s first trip HERE. She was almost 2 years old.
First Road Trip
Friday was spent getting us ready to embark on our first family road trip with 3 kids! We borrowed Matt’s parent’s Van so we could ensure no fights because “so and so touched me”! At 8pm on Friday night we took off for Pasadena… a place I called home for a few years… to visit our BFFs Nic & Babu (seen below). Macy had the portable DVD player and watched the Lorax on and off the whole way. The twins were awake for the first hour and I thought I might lose it 🙂 but then they passed out! Right before heading up the grapevine we stopped for gas and the bathroom. Everyone woke up and never went back to sleep. We pulled up at 1:30am, quickly set up the pack and plays in one room and made Macy a bed on the floor in the other. Then we all passed out and then slept in til 8 the next morning.
The Peters housed our whole family of 5 in their great Pasadena home! We explored Pasadena, played in their front yard, had girl time, guys went to a bar to watch the fight one night and we had a movie night one night and watched “what to expect when you’re expecting”… it does paint a pretty hilarious view of pregnancy and parenthood! We were afraid we’d scare them away from having kids but we focused on the fact that having 1 baby is way different that jumping into having OUR 3 KIDS destroy your house!
This was our second visit with them in a month! It was such a fun/easy trip that I can see us doing it again! We love you Peters!
First Trip to Disneyland
On the last day of our visit to see Babu & Nic, all 7 of us piled into the Mini Van and drove down to Anaheim. Nic had worked some magic and gotten us a bunch of free tickets to Disneyland so the trip cost less than ONE TICKET! I honestly cannot imagine paying $600-$700 for one day of Disney for the 7 of us.
We parked, shuttled over and met the man who got us in free 🙂 The first hour was kinda wild- we had to get the front of the line passes from City Hall, we had lost one of the tickets and needed to get a replacement, “I” had vomited all over the shirt he was wearing so he spent the day topless, and Macy and I waited forever for a ride that lasted 30 seconds but was worth it because she got to drive the spaceship! Ohh and I had already determined that me and Disneyland weren’t really made for each other due to my lack of patience and the long lines (even on a Monday at the end of September).
Macy’s main objective (and mine) was to hunt for princesses. She really wasn’t into the other Disney characters like Pluto, Donald Duck, Minnie & Mickey, etc. She was obsessed with the princesses. Immediately upon walking in Nic & Macy met Sleeping Beauty. Then we found a line we could wait in to meet 3 of the princesses… this is where we met Snow White, Sleeping Beauty (For the 2nd time) and Jasmine. Snow White blew me away with her affection towards Macy! I literally looked at Nicole in awe for the sweet way she talked with her, danced with her and introduced her to Sleeping Beauty. It is likely a moment that I won’t forget because Macy looked so happy!
At first we couldn’t find Cinderella and after we left Disneyland and spent time at California Adventure we went back into Disneyland to try to find more princesses 🙂 We were approaching the castle and Matt told me to go around the side because earlier we found the Fairy God Mother & Peter Pan over there. I was shocked when we turned the corner and there was Cinderella! There were only 2-3 other people waiting to take photos with her!
The boys slept for the middle chunk of the day! I’ll say that again… both boys fell asleep in the stroller in noisy Disneyland for at least 1.5-2 hours. We were able to explore some things with Macy only and that was PERFECT! I couldn’t have asked for more from the boys! They enjoyed a few rides too- the dumbo ride, a train in Bugs Life and a ride in Carsland. Remember how “I” threw up on himself, well we went to get on a ride and the cast member told us he needed to put on a shirt. The only shirt we had was Macy’s HOT PINK “I love to dance” shirt since she put on a princess dress earlier in the day. “I” was mistaken for a girl and we had a few good laughs, and photos!
At the end of the day as we drove away I asked Macy what her favorite part was.. she told me that taking her photo with Minnie Mouse was her favorite because at first she was scared but then she wasn’t anymore. She said “I am proud of myself for not being scared”. I was very proud of her and we made some wonderful memories! That being said, if asked when I will go back, my answer will be in approx 4-5 years when the kids are at least 6 years old and can enjoy ALL that Disneyland has to offer.
After Disneyland we packed up our stuff and started on our way back to San Jose. It was another late night but again, thankfully all kids slept the whole drive and went right to sleep in their own beds when we got home! We had to be up bright and early for their 2 year old check up 🙂
First Birthday with Us
On Wednesday the boys turned 2! It was not a very exciting birthday because they won’t know the difference at this point. We plan to celebrate with family and their former foster parents in the near future and this will include a “go all out” cake for each one… For now we’ll use our SoCal/Disney Adventure as a great way to celebrate them but again, they won’t remember 🙂
First Visit with Birth Mom
The hardest first of the week was their first visit with their birth mom since they terminated her services. It’s been a month since she had seen them. She was visiting them twice per week for 90 minute visits but now the court has ordered once per month visits for 1 hour. I think I mentioned that this is what we want but it’s still hard for this mom’s heart to fathom slowly losing your children…. Damn Empathy 🙂
I’ve had a few phone conversations with her, mostly very tearful. She text messages me every few days asking how the boys are doing so while this was the first meeting, this wasn’t my first contact. Matt and I were able to farm Macy off with our new pastor’s wife and kids for an afternoon of playing while we attended the visit. Birth Mom, Birth Grandma & 5 year old Birth Uncle were in attendance as well as a social worker to supervise. At first Birth Mom would not make any eye contact with me, I handed her a bag with a bunch of photos I took of the boys (i wish i could share them here) and she said thank you. She looked at them, cried and then started to interact with the boys. They weren’t scared of her but they definitively preferred us. Again, while I felt good to know they weren’t calling her mama and taking time to warm up to her, I didn’t like that she was feeling like they didn’t remember her. I gave her the bags of snacks so she could lure them. By the end she had them sitting on her lap and “I” was giving her kisses. She kept asking for them to call her “mama” but they never did (which was just fine with me). She asked us a few questions that she didn’t like our answers to, but I honestly think that no matter how we answered, she wouldn’t have like what she heard.
All in all I hope she saw that we love them. We are going to provide a great life for them and we are not going to pretend like she doesn’t exist. We have a few more months of court ordered visits until her parental rights are terminated then it will be up to us.
It’s been quite a week! I only have one more week off bonding 😦
As always, ask questions, I”ll answer what I can!
Love the 5 Mallons