We are having issues sleeping. By "we" I mean bobo. By "issues" I mean he won't. We are hopeful that it might just be a phase he's going through, but who knows. If he'd just hurry up and really pick up language, he could tell us what is going on. He is consistently waking up several times a night for what appears to us to be no good reason. I've had family and others tell me that you just need to let him cry it out and that he needs to learn to put himself to sleep, and while I understand that logically, when he is cracking glass with his screams, it is harder to put into practice. Last night, Lisa and I were discussing this and she mentioned that she thinks we should try the Ferber Method. When she said this, my immediate thought was, "wow, Lisa's family has a method for putting kids to sleep!" (Lisa's maiden name is Faerber.) It was only later after she had employed the "family" method the first time that my eyes were opened to the true meaning and origins of the Ferber Method. We had a good laugh at my expense, which is not an uncommon occurrence in the Packer home. So how do you get your kids to realize that good grief, take advantage of all of the sleep time now, because it is just downhill from here?!

Oh, and he has to get glasses.



It's not that I'm against fighting cancer, or other good causes springing from the Movember movement, it's just that I'm against mustachioed people. Sorry mom, but that means Tom Selleck as well (on the bright side mom, I'm 309% positive that dad still has/wears at least 13.5 pairs of shorts like Tom from his Magnum PI days). To alleviate any fears less you think that my bias and judgement is not universal, it's not anything specifically against men, I'm against women cultivating their upper-lip hair as well. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can move on to more important goings on, like what we have been doing since you last tuned in.

Our moms came and blessed us with their company a few weeks ago. The good thing about having the little fat in our lives is that our family wants to see us more often and so makes the reverse trek out east to do so. Fun was had, food was eaten, fall things were done (no one fell down, we did things associated with fall) and the bobo was thoroughly loved by both grandmothers. I won't write too much else about it because you were there mom. You got to experience it firsthand.

Halloween was passed without a zombie apocalypse, so we considered it a total success. That and we made candied apples and contributed to the state sponsored subsidizing of dentists everywhere by handing out enough candy to ensure that all the neighborhood kids consumed the FDA's yearly suggested sugar intake in one night. Good Times. Also our son was voted cutest kid on the planet by our pollsters (both grandmothers - sorry to our other nieces and nephews, at least you know where you stand). Sorry to all of the other contestants, but this is what first place looks like.

upclose Halloween 2011



Don't worry. Even though I haven't been updating this blog on a regular basis, life is still going on. We didn't just hit the pause button after the festivities surrounding the Fourth of July in my last post. We did lots the rest of the summer. If you really want to read about what we did, check out Lisa's blog, I am not feeling in the mood to rehash it. The biggest things that happened; football started and we got a dog. She's a puppy. Mostly good. Smack dab in the 'I'm going to chew on everything, including you' phase. Is learning not to use the house as a toilet. Her name is Piper. She's a mini schnauzer. Thanks to Piper, the little fat has really gotten the word No! down. He's also added Down! Sit! No Bite! and Ouch! to his repertoire. Those are the new dog words. The other words are cooler. Go Cowboys!! and Yeehaw!! are his best. Yep, he's being raised up good and proper. Other than that, life has been fairly hectic. We are trying to put our house in order before our recertification as foster parents and the arrival of our mothers for a visit the end of October. The bathroom is still not done. We're coming up on a year. I think Lisa would gladly fire the contractor at this point, but it's not like I can leave. I'd still be hanging around. Avanti.

Honestly, who wants to be bothered by pants.


Happenings in our most exciting life...

This past holiday weekend was most definitely a good one. The skies were blue, the sun was shining, and life was grand. Good food was eaten. Fun was had. On Saturday, we tried to go to a big fireworks show in Penfield in spite of the fact that his royal fatness usually goes to bed at 8pm. Alas, fate conspired against us. At the strike of 9pm, a group of girls attracted his attention, mostly because they had a bunch of balls that they were kicking around and bobo wanted in on the action. While running through the grass towards the gaggle of girls, he face planted in the grass and shortly devolved into full on meltdown mode. We managed to see a few fireworks on our way out.

On the 4th, we went over to our good friends the Cubiottis to partake of their goodness and swimming pool. It was divine. We swam. We soaked up sunshine. We ate. We swam some more. The fatticus loved it. Since my loyal fan base knows how much I think of food, I do have to mention the exquisite morsels that were shoved into my mouth on and off throughout the day. We made a tres leche cake, covered in homemade whipped cream, and strawberries and blueberries to replicate the flag. There was also fresh salsa, hamburgers, sausages, macaroni salad, potato salad and drinks galore. Awesome.

The only downside to all of this, was that I had to go back to work today. Happy times.



I've determined that CPS (child protective services) exists to drive me up the wall. Ridiculous just wouldn't even begin to do it justice. If I were a journalist, I might be inclined to say, "Here's the scoop." We were called last Thursday to take a two year old girl for three weeks while her regular foster parents went on vacation. Fine. We had already decided that we would reopen our home to a second child, especially a baby child. Even though two does not equal baby, we thought that this would be a good test to see how we handle two crazies at once. She was supposed to come Monday (since I used 'supposed to' you are probably able to guess that she didn't) but didn't. We were called right before close and just before she was supposed to come and told that she was having an overnight visit with her birth mom. They would contact us on Tuesday (today) to set up drop off and give us more info, oh and by the way, there is court tomorrow (today) and she (baby girl) might be discharged from the system and returned to her birth mom. So they called us today and said that she was being discharged. That is great for her, and I know, you're probably thinking, "Yeah!!! The system served it's purpose..." and it did. That isn't my gripe. They had to know this when they first contacted us on Thursday. This just didn't come up. Let us know. Keep us in the loop. I know that we are only the lowly foster parents, but come on.

OK. Enough whining. At least for my part. There is enough of that going on in our house. Bobo has been a whining machine for the last week or so. His molars are coming in and every so often he just needs to flop on the ground and whine. I know. He has good reason to whine. But man. He also has lost his sense of balance. Today he managed to knock a chair over, fall over and hit the ground before the chair and make sure that said chair smacked him in the face as it landed. That's my boy. Talented.


...and turns

She was pregnant, but now is not. Who needs Soap Operas? Life is crazy enough. Speaking of crazy, here's our crazy boy, showing how hip he can be. He gets that from me.


As the World Turns...

...These are the Days of our Lives. At least, that's how I think it goes. The latest in soap opera news is that on Thursday we were told by CPS that fatling's birth mom is three months pregnant. Then on Friday, when we tried to get more information, we were told that birth mom denied being pregnant. Honestly, I'd give the odds at about 50/50 as to who's right. Sad as it is, I'm not sure that birth mom knows much, nor is able to tell fact from fiction, or fiction from fiction, or even fact from fact. We could go on, but tune in later this week for what is sure to be another exciting chapter in this great saga we call life.


Dear Prudie

I am somewhat ashamed to admit to the fact that I might just could be ever so slightly addicted to the advice columnist Dear Prudence on Slate. She conducts a live chat on Mondays, and writes her regular column for Thursdays. No worries though, as with most things, Lisa makes fun of me for this obsession of mine. I won't try and explain away my fascination with any sort of analysis, I just think it's entertaining. No excuses. That is all.


Like Father. . .Like Son?

The little man and I were in the greatest grocery store on the planet the other day and this lady commented on the general adorableness of my son. I really wanted to just say "I know", but was able to attempt a modicum of humility and say thank you instead. After a brief pause she continued by saying that when I had my curly hair, she was sure that my son was just the spitting image of me. At this point, humility went out the window and I answered that he sure was. I then had to go home and tell Lisa who burst my brief bubble by confirming that no, Bobo and I look absolutely nothing alike. At all. Not that there was really any doubt.



The little fat was taking a bath last night and stumbled upon a startlingly new and exciting discovery. He's a boy, with boy parts. As he made the discovery, he looked up at Lisa with this amazed look on his face as if to say, "Holy Cow . . . did you know that this was down here! This is amazing!!! I have a new toy!!! Has this thing always been there?! Do I get to keep it?!"

Lisa's response was slightly less than enthusiastic. "Great, what a boy."


Chocolate, kind of

Who knew, Forrest was right. It is like a box of chocolates.

Every once in a while I get the urge to follow random blogs and read the doings of other people's lives. While it is interesting to see what is going on in the lives of friends and complete strangers as well as seeing how these individuals present themselves to the world, I tend to come away feeling that either a) my life just doesn't quite measure up in a number of areas, from the happiness quotient to cool things that I have managed to accumulate to how unique everything is in my life, or b) a lot of these people are full of male cow excrement(that has to be a record for long sentences). I in no way want to rain on anyone's parade, and will be the first to admit that life is great, but it is most definitely not all happiness and sunshine and rainbows. No, life is not a Care Bear's movie, where you are able to counteract anything that is not virtuous, or is ugly, or of ill report, or not praiseworthy with happiness incarnated shot from their chests (yes I am able to admit having watched on more than one occasion a Care Bear's movie, although I can't remember any specific titles and I think that the above mentioned phenomenon is called the "Care Bear Stare!" but I could be mistaken). I'm not necessarily trying to make any point with this. I realize that if I honestly look at my own blog posts, I will probably see myself trying to put maybe not my best, but at least a better foot forward for the world to see. Alright, I lied. There is a point. The artificiality that social media, whether it is a personal or family blog or Facebook or even Twitter, affords us is not real life. Real life is great, but it is also terribly hard at times. No one's life is perfect. Sorry if I have burst your bubble and you thought that your life was definitely different from everyone else's life. I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't celebrate life's great moments nor even share those moments with everyone on your friends list. Nor am I saying that you need to be a Debbie downer (not really sure who Debbie is) and complain publicly about how life has thrown you nothing but curve balls and you have never developed the necessary hand-eye coordination to hit said curve balls. OK, so maybe there really isn't a point after all, just an observation on my part. Life is just life.

That being said, it has been an "interesting" (I'll say interesting instead of the more honest, boy am I ever glad that's over) last few days. Lisa had surgery last Friday for fertility reasons, and while everything went well, it was definitely more complicated than the doctor expected. That in and of itself wasn't such a big deal, we were able to utilize daycare and friends to watch the fatman while we spent time in the hospital. Even afterward, Lisa has been much tougher than I and is doing just fine in recovery. I'm going to lay the blame squarely on the guilty culprit. Little fat. He decided that Saturday would be a good time to manifest a stomach bug and try and get rid of it through explosive bowel movements (with emphasis on the explosive part). This happened off and on all day Saturday and throughout the night, but most frequently when he was supposed to be sleeping. So he didn't sleep. Instead he was busy perfecting his new found powers to launch his personal waste to such far away places as the top of his head or the floor next to his swing (I'm not sure how he managed either feat, and if not for the grossness factor assaulting multiple senses, I would have taken a picture for proof as well as future blackmail purposes). Talk about impressive. In a weird and more than somewhat sick kind of way. I now know that the shower was in all likelihood invented because there are certain instances in a child's life when even the cumulative cleaning power of all wipes combined would not be enough to vanquish the evil that will henceforth be known as an explosive diarrhea bomb. Ugh.

Long story short. Our little cheerful guy was slightly less than cheerful throughout the weekend. He didn't sleep well. That meant I didn't sleep well. I think that Lisa slept well, but that was helped along by our good friend Senor Percocet. I realize that both Lisa and I have been unduly spoiled by Bobo while he has been with us. We hear that it is normal for babies and even young toddlers to not sleep well. Usually that is the stuff of myth for us. Fatticus generally takes a bath and goes to bed around 8pm. In the morning, he tends to rouse himself sometime between the eighth and ninth hour. That is how life is supposed to be. But when it is not so, such as this last weekend, and having to do things mostly on my own, it throws off the balance of our life. No fun. We are close to being back to normal, except for the tick that I have developed in my left eye (in case you see me, no I am not winking at you). Bobo has returned (mostly) to his normal routine and is feeling better, meaning that all is once again right in the universe. Lisa is doing great and will soon be back to normal which is fabulous because I'm just not tough enough to be a mom.

Good thing this kid is so cute. Plus he calls me dada and gives me hugs. I think we'll keep him around.


Weekend Splendidicity

This last weekend was good. I think that about sums it up.

Leaves were raked. Sticks were picked up. The outside was played in. And it was all done in the glorious sunshine. One little tidbit of info for those of you blessed with more hair on the top of your head than someone say, like me, put on a hat in the sun. Just take my word for it. Be good.


Sweet Pea Designs

My wife is cooler than your wife. Lisa has started down the path to being my full-time sugar mama!! She just recently started an Etsy shop to mostly give outlet to her creativity. It probably comes as no surprise that I am not much of an outlet. Go figure. Anyhow, go and check out her shop here or just click on the title post. As a completely biased individual reporting on what she's done, she's pretty awesome. She is also looking at opening up a booth at a local Co-Op/Antique/Craft store nearby. I'm sure all of you that know me are still asking yourself why this amazingly talented and beautiful woman married me. I wonder that too and just do my best to make sure that she doesn't ask that question. Happy trails all.


hello world

It has been a little while since I have posted anything. I know that my reading public has been anxiously waiting for the latest news in my life. Sorry Kimball. My life seems to still be consumed by the same things. Between foster care, work, and church, there isn't much time for anything else. I think that I tend to say that a lot.

Foster care has been living up to its craziness these last few months. After Christmas, birth mom was doing well in her rehab program and was doing well with her visits (definition of good = bobo doesn't die during the visit) and so court determined that birth mom should get two overnight visits during the month. That lasted for a couple of months, because none of the overnight visits (actually any of the visits) went very well. Bobo would tend to come home and take three days to recover. Because of those struggles, the court decided to stop overnight visits (a full on miracle) and finally recognized that even though birth mom has stayed sober in rehab since last June, she still struggles to do little things, like feed her son and put him to sleep. At the beginning of March, birth mom moved to a new rehab which gave her a little more freedom. After a couple of weeks there, she relapsed the last weekend in March and left rehab. This all came as quite a shock because as far as her sobriety, she had been doing so well for about 9 months. Since she took off from rehab, everything has changed. The visits were scaled back drastically and were moved to the county visitation center. The biggest change though is that we haven't seen birth mom since the fallout of her relapse and leaving rehab. She hasn't come to any of the visits. While this is definitely a positive for us and bobo staying with us, it bodes all sorts of not good for birth mom. It seemed even before this that the county was saying that birth mom was running out of time since bobo has now been with us for going on 14 months and birth mom has not made any improvements in giving the little fatling even the most basic of care. So to sum it up, things are moving well for us, but we are conflicted because we don't want birth mom to be where she is.

Our lives do include more than just living the dream called foster care. We were able to take a much needed break from reality and travel out of the perpetual cold called "Rochester" to the sunny delight of Gilbert, Arizona to see family and relax during the middle of February. I won't try and recreate the magic that happened there. Lisa captures it well here and here. All that I will add is that fun was had and good food was eaten, but I'm fairly certain that if you know me, then the good food part probably doesn't come as too much of a surprise.

February was a rather big month for us. Besides the trip to Arizona-land, we also celebrated our 7th anniversary. This was our 6th anniversary celebrated here in Rochacha. Crazy. I remember meeting couples that have lived here for 25-30 years and they'd talk about how they moved to Rochester for school 30 years ago and ended up staying. Little did I think that we'd still be here at this point in time. Don't get me wrong, we really like Rochester and have made good friends here, we are just far from family. Scottie just needs to hurry it up and figure out how to beam us wherever we want, when we want.

The last big to do in our shortest month has to do with our beloved little fatticus. On the tenth, we danced around like fools (that was mostly just Lisa, I would never do anything like that) and celebrated the fact that ciccia nostra had been with us for a year. Lisa wrote about it here.

Life continues to move forward in spite of all of our efforts. Lisa and I both love the stage that bobo is at right now. He is getting into everything, has started walking (and thus falling and testing the strength of his cranium and other facial features) and has grown quite the head of hair. It is funny and interesting to me how much of a personality bobo has developed. He thinks it is the funniest thing in the world to play peekaboo as well as to have you chase him. He will run/walk/fall/crawl from you, stop and look back to make sure that you see him run/walk/fall/crawling away and that you are planning on chasing after him. He then will take off again, looking back to make sure that you are following. I know this is riveting information for all of you. In other news, the cow jumped over the moon, just read that and wanted to share. My reading material has changed of late as well as my music selection. I tend to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" or some other hip hop tune for the entertainment value that it gives to Lisa.

Now that I'm caught up, I can hurry up and wait another couple of months before I put fingers to keyboard to record our most precious moments and memories for future posterity, friends, and the occasional random Internet stranger/blog stalker. Happy times.


Things I learned last year

This last year has been a good one, up and down and lots of different things going on. Here are some of the top lessons that I have learned in the last year, in no particular order.

- When the baby is screaming in the middle of the night because he has bad diaper rash, make sure that your wife doesn't put the sunscreen in the same drawer as the butt paste. Just an FYI in case you didn't know, sunscreen on a bad diaper rash doesn't help, it actually makes things worse.

- Be careful tossing a baby up into the air right after him downing a bottle. It could all come back up, on you.

- Even if you are more calm than your wife while the kid is screaming, it does absolutely no good to point that out to her. Not sure why.

- It's pretty magical to hear the words da-da while getting a bear hug and the side of your face licked.

- You have about 3.2 seconds from the time the diaper comes off to get him into the bath before the pee starts flowing.

- It's a good thing kids are made of rubber.

- Babies in the hospital don't make for happy parents, even for something not too serious.

- The feeling of helplessness that has come quite frequently this last year is rather humbling, which I think is the point. That doesn't make it easier.

- We have lots of great friends and family all over the world, and it's perfectly fine that they are more interested in the little fat than in us.

- I think the slogan "Be prepared" was originally coined by mothers talking about the fact that one can never have too many wet wipes.

I've actually learned quite a bit more than that this last year. It has been a good one full of lots of love and laughs. I'm grateful for all of the great blessings that I enjoy, more than I rightly deserve. Happy 2011 all, may your days be full of this.