During our Kid's Small Groups Rob takes Hope and Titus out somewhere, and last night he took them to Target. His goal was to let Hope choose something that she could sleep with, since the other kids have lots of special toys, but she only came with 2 baby dolls (which she plays with sometimes, but isn't very attached to).
She chose a bigger stuffed Littlest Petshop Yorkie dog and quickly named her Noodle. She's been toting it around all morning, I haven't seen her let it out of her hands yet. She seriously looks so happy to have this dog, it's super-cute! She even popped into the room I'm in a few minutes ago and looked up at me with a great big smile and just said, "I love you" and then popped back out. I have the feeling I have a little girl on cloud-nine today thanks to my really thoughtful husband.
In other great news, I get to hire a Nanny! Because of the unique features of our case that cause us to spend far more time, energy and effort caring for these kids than is common for the typical foster-children, we are now receiving some additional funds that will allow us to hire a part-time Nanny. You have NO idea how stoked I am! I will have her 5 hours a day, 4 days a week, at least until Summer. She will provide some general child-care and help me out with household tasks and chores.
For the last 7 weeks I have been virtually unable to leave my home with all 4 kids because of some issues that cause safety concerns, for one or potentially all of the kiddos depending on where we're at or what we're doing when mayhem erupts. With the help of a Nanny we will actually be able to do things like go to the store, to run errands, or go to the library or the park.
I have also been unable to spend much in the way of one-on-one time with any of the kids (who all desperately need it based on the sheer reality of meshing two families into one). Because giving one child any lengthy period of individual attention leaves three under-supervised kids climbing off the walls, causing all sorts of mischief... or leaves them constantly interrupting, defeating the purpose of one-on-one time anyway.
So truly, I have spent the last 7 weeks just surviving. I work sun-up to sun-down simply making sure that kids are clean, clothes are clean, everyone is fed and things are in generally good-order. Oh, and I still have a part-time job. I am more grateful than anyone could ever imagine to be able to hire a Nanny. Perhaps the gray hairs will slow down just a little?