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October 20, 2021

THEY'RE HERE, unscripted, & a few of the funniest moments

Relieved that these faces that I made
on their photo aren't creepy.
Their hair had
grown in since their
 not-allowed-visit haircuts.
Their first night, I made their favorite dinner, pizza casserole. My mom brought over a bundt cake, from Nothing Bundt Cakes, to welcome them. The next day a dear friend brought over another bundt cake. I've never been more sad to have celiac disease. We took them on a bike ride after dinner to wear them out a little, shot some hoops, and got them ready for bed. Coach had repaired the bunkbed, so all was good. 
I just found this pic of
what the top bunk
looked like when it was
broken. We'd pushed
the mattress part back
 into place sort of. 



Just before that bike ride (Coach and I walked - it was  just around the block), I told them I was busy working on Tank's grad video for his upcoming Aug 7th party and when I was done I'd show it to them. I knew they'd enjoy it. 

Larry:  ARE WE GOING TO BE HERE FOR TANK'S GRAD PARTY.

Me:  YES.

Harry:  ARE WE GOING TO LIVE WITH YOU FOREVER?

Me:  THAT'S THE PLAN.

Harry (responded in a blink, no hesitation):  WHAT IF THE PLAN CHANGES?

Me:  WELL, WE'LL JUST HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE THAT IT DOESN'T CHANGE.

Hello, unscripted. We knew there was a 6 month trial period, but the boys probably didn't know that. How could they? Too much stress. I had no idea if I'd said the right thing ON THE SPOT. As we walked Coach and I spoke to each other with our eyebrows and eyeballs and all other facial-twisty parts. I was unaware so much could be said with our facial expressions.

It translated to:  HOLY CRAP? DID I SAY THAT RIGHT? YEAH, GOOD JOB. DID YOU SEE HOW FAST HE ASKED THAT QUESTION? SHEESH, THIS IS HEAVY. 

The next day the boys met with the tutor in the morning. Hello, hit the ground running. Have I mentioned that they were over 2 years behind in school? At 8 and 10 years of age last year, they'd been in 1st and 2nd grade in Indiana. Oh, also I realize that I left out that the time we had them here for the unapproved visit in May, I asked the school to let them tour the school. The school was like SORRY NO VISITORS DURING COVID. 

I laced up me boxin' gloves.

I was not asking them to walk around for hours and not wear a mask. These weren't mainstream kids moving into the neighborhood who wondered what color their gym was. These kids suffered from anxiety and it was our hope that our wonderful district would show them around briefly so that they'd have a visual and be less freaked out. I ended up calling the superintendent and the school agreed to let the boys have a brief tour just before I drove them back to Debbie. 

Note:  I had an understanding with the former superintendent. He and I were on the same page. I'd spoken to him when the school stuck Tank in a lunch with no peers because he was in special ed for math, etc. I was not thrilled to have to work my magic on a new guy, but old habits die hard and I got him to see the light.

I digress, back to their first day:  I brought the boys to the pool in the afternoon. They were in heaven. The next day, back to the pool and we went to Kohls and bought socks. Turns out I can't handle crap socks and crap shoes that are several sizes to small. We were at the mall by the 3rd day buying new shoes. I stopped in my tracks when I realized the boys weren't behind me anymore. Turns out, they didn't know how to approach the escalator. Goodness. 

Hmm, if only I had
a colored pencil.
Day to day:  Harry was putting up a fight about eating fruit. Larry would occasionally refuse to go to bed. We dealt with their stuff, but things seemed to be moving along just fine. I joked with my friends:  THE LENGTHS I WILL GO TO IN ORDER TO SPEND TIME CHILLING AT THE POOL AGAIN - only now, I had to be sure not to nap. These guys were not great swimmers.

Remember my school supply post? It might make more sense now - I was shopping for these boys too, and the shelves were empty. I was thrilled to find so much stuff in our basement.

A few funny stories I've been DYING to tell you:

1.  At the week long, not-spa stay at the hotel, I asked the front desk why my room wasn't getting cleaned. They were like:  OH, WELL YOU HAVE TO ASK NOWADAYS TO HAVE IT CLEANED. 

Me:  OH, OK, WELL WE'RE HERE ALL WEEK, SO PLEASE ADD US TO THE NEED-TO-BE-CLEANED ROOMS.(I was very nice, although that's not coming across here). 

We left the room. When I got back there was a note from the cleaning staff. It read:  WE CHANGED PILLOWCASES AND WE CLEANED THE SINK AREA (or something to that effect) AND WE PUT YOUR GRANDSONS' TOOTHBRUSHES IN PLASTIC ICE BAGS SO THEY WOUDLN'T GET CLEANING CHEMICALS ON THEM.

GRANDSONS? 

I texted a photo of the note to Coach along with: So that's what we look like, or at least that's what I look like, a GRANDMA. What have we done?


2.
About a week after the boys arrived, Tank came downstairs in the morning and was like: 
Back in Feb we rearranged
 Lad and Ed's room.
 UM, WE HAD A BIT OF A SITUATION LAST NIGHT. I GOT UP TO PEE AROUND 2 AM AND I FORGOT WHAT ROOM I WAS SLEEPING IN. I ENDED UP GETTING IN HARRY'S BED. AND I FELL ASLEEP THERE UNTIL I HEARD HIM ARGUING WITH LARRY. I GUESS SINCE I FELL ASLEEP PRACTICALLY ON TOP OF HIM, HE WENT UP
We bought a mattress for the extra bed.

THE LADDER TRYING TO GET INTO THE TOP BUNK BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SLEEP WITH LARRY. I WOKE UP WHEN I HEARD THEM ARGUING AND WENT BACK TO MY NEW ROOM. OOPS.

I was like WTF? I let Tank know I was not buying it:  UM, I DON'T THINK FOR A MINUTE THAT YOU GOT UP TO PEE. I THINK YOU GOT PICKED UP TO GO TO A GRAD PARTY LAST NIGHT AND THEN WHEN YOU GOT DROPPED OFF AROUND 2 AM YOU FELL ASLEEP IN YOUR OLD BUNK BECAUSE YOU WERE DRINKING ADULT BEVERAGES AT SAID GRAD PARTY. 
I bought the extra bed frame at a garage sale
 FOREVER AGO. It freakishly matched
 the other two boy beds in that room with
lockers that were gifted to us by two
 different families a long time ago. They
 weren't even from the same manufacturers, but
 they looked incredibly similar. I stuck
 the frame in the basement in case we ever
 felt one boy needed his own room-
then we'd have 3 beds to match in the
 ginormous room. Adoption was no where
 near my radar. I was just totally aware
the boys would want matching furniture.
OK, I liked matching furniture, Silly. 

Tank (with a shrug):  UM, WELL. I HAVE TO PRACTICE FOR COLLEGE.

Me:  NO YOU DON'T NEED TO PRACTICE DRINKING FOR COLLEGE. PRACTICE DOING YOUR OWN LAUNDRY MAYBE. 

Fortunately the boys found the 'TANK FORGOT WHAT BED HE SLEEPS IN BECAUSE THIS USED TO BE HIS BED' story funny. DCS was not alerted that a brother tried to sleep with one of them. Sheesh. Can you imagine? 

The next night when I put them to bed, Tank wandered in and pretended he was tired and was going to get into the bottom bunk. His performance received high marks from Harry and Larry. Life with Mr. Funny guy. 

That's all I got for this week. Busy baking and cooking for our tailgate at Ed's college. And dealing with a new kid getting dropped off at the daycare, because while all of THIS was happening, nothing will just stand still. As much as I begged it to. More next week. Enjoy your weekend. 


20 comments:

Nicole MacPherson said...

"Practice doing your laundry" - lololol!

Is the 6 month trial over now? I'm not sure of the timeline anymore. I hope all is going well and that the boys are settling into school!

Suzanne said...

This all sounds so lovely. Except for Tank "practicing" for college!

Like Nicole, I am wondering what the timeline is. Are you in the middle of the trial or at the end? Hoping all is continuing to go well with your boys (!!!!) and the rest of the family.

Kari Wagner Hoban said...


So, do the kids currently live with you? Is the six-month trial period already over? Hmm, I'm thinking a podcast for this story would be a great idea. :)

I'm laughing at the grandparents' remark since I think it could happen to us as well! LOL

Ernie said...

Nicole - Coach and I do not enjoy that time before kids go off to college, because they start to blur the rules and think they're already in college. Well. That leaves a lot to be desired.

They moved in July 21st, so we are not at the 6 month spot yet.

Ernie said...

Kari - I'm not up for a podcast . . . technologically speaking and otherwise. I'll leave that to the experts like you. ;)

The boys moved in July 21st. School started Aug 26th and by then I was ready for school to start more than any other year in my years as a mother. Thus the goofy video I made of my happy dance. So six months has yet to pass.

Jenny in WV said...

I really like how you have the bedroom with the three beds set up. It gives a little bit of privacy and personal space for each occupant.

I'm glad the boys got to enjoy some summer fun with you before school started.

The cake looks delicious!

ccr in MA said...

I'm so excited that they're with you at last, after all the ups and downs! Hoping for smooth sailing.

Beth Cotell said...

I hope things are going well for the boys and your family now that you guys are 3 months in! I can only imagine the amount of adjusting the entire family has had to do. Praying for you ALL!

Ernie said...

Jenny - I think the room looks great too. Still plenty of room to walk around . . . if they don't dump their stuff everywhere. Reg uses the room the most so he selected the corner that is tucked away and he really likes it.

Yes the summer months were the easiest. Those cakes are SO good. They do have a GF version but we ended up with 2 non GF. My waistline was better for it.

Ernie said...

Ccr- yes. We were relieved that it did not end up carrying over into the start of school. Smooth sailing is a bit lofty with these two. Unfortunately.

Ernie said...

Beth- Yes it has been an adjustment to say the least. Very grateful for your prayers.

Anonymous said...

The Tank smooshing story was funny!
I like the way the room is set up, that is a huge bedroom, even with all of the furniture it doesn’t look crowded.
And to repeat what the others said, congratulations and prayers for the boys adjusting into your life and family.
-AM

Pat Birnie said...

This is just the best - I love the ‘grandsons’ comment - I bet that hurt her tip! And Tank practicing for college haha; my boys started practicing quite young. I was also happy at how your parents came to celebrate with a cake - I love that they are supportive...as they haven’t always been.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh buzzed Tank!
Never been on an escalator? *sigh*
You do not look like a grandma, but that being said, I have friends who were Grandmas in their early 40's!!
Yay for bundt cakes, but don't they also have them GF??

Ernie said...

Pat - The grandsons thing was pretty entertaining. I was like HEY, I'M HAULING WEIGHTS UP TO MY ROOM TO WORKOUT WITH EVERY DAY . . . WHAT GRANDMA DOES THAT? The underage drinking thing is not my favorite. We were blown away by the grad parties when the host parents allowed the high school grads to drink openly. That makes me nervous.

It was nice that my mom dropped off a cake. My folks are supportive of this effort. They have a tendency to gloss over some of my 'stuff' while they hold up some siblings for their achievements or focuses. They clearly cater to specific siblings. I think favoritism is gross, but that's their parenting style. At my age, I'm glad not to be so tied to their approval (but of course it's hard to not crave that) and their input in all things. I think that's the upside of all of this.

Ernie said...

Suz - hey, it's almost wedding bells time over there . . . woot, woot.

They DO make GF versions but that wasn't on either gift giver's radar. It was also bathing suit season, so my waist line was relieved. ;)

The escalator thing was so surprising to me. I don't think they'd ever been properly measured for a pair of shoes either, enter my hang out Von Maur. I think Debbie grabbed shoes from the lost and found at the school where she worked or from donations, according to the boys. Harry's shoes were two sizes too small. He slid them off and on - they were big, bulky high tops, not what kids would normally wear to just run around and play. He never tied them. We got him new shoes and insisted that he untie them and tie them each time he took them on and off. He adjusted to that.

I do not think I look like a grandma, but I do realize that becoming a grandma at an early age is a possibility, thanks Lad for not choosing THAT.

I was up late once this summer in my study, typing away . . . a buzzed Tank arrived home and was SURPRISED to see me awake. Let's just say that was an interesting conversation.

Kara said...

This looks like you are all adjusting. It's awesome!

The bunk and locker set up looks a bit like my husband's dorm room set up, 20+ years ago- but he was in a quad, so both beds were actually bunk beds. Good practice for college living.

Ernie said...

Kara- Ah yes, the honeymoon phase.

The beds with the lockers are so awesome. Three beds in one room. It's very Brady . . . you might be too young to appreciate that comment. It is a cool set up.

Ally Bean said...

I didn't know you were in the process of adopting these boys, so congratulations. I love knowing that they received a two bundt cake welcome! I also love the idea of telling a kid to practice doing his laundry. That's as much of a life skill as anything.

Ernie said...

Ally - It's a long story and you're arriving here in the middle of it. We plan to adopt them, but there is so much more yet to tell. Tank did go to college never having learned to do his laundry. Instead I received a phone call begging for help.