Can’t Wait for Carseats

I might be totally strange, but I cannot wait to have a carseat in the back of my car.

When I purchased my Luna nearly 4 years ago, I intentionally purchased a car large enough for rear facing car seats and lots of cargo space for when my kids grow up and have lots of sporting equipment to haul around. Apparently I was expecting hockey/football playing boys or whatever sports girls typically play that involves large equipment.. I traded in a car I still very much miss, but just plain wasn’t large enough for the gaggle of babies I pictured in the backseat.

Well, not gaggle. Just 2 or 3.

Little did I know that I could have kept my beautiful sparkly red Moxie as there will never be rear facing carseats in my car.

During our process of furniture shopping for the Fletchling (a name Steve really doesn’t like!) I have also been looking at booster seats thinking we’d pre-purchase them so we’d be prepared. We haven’t bought anything except for furniture at this point.


Image Source: TheCarSeatLady on Facebook

And then, I saw the above graphic on a friend’s Facebook page and learned something. The maturity component is a new one to me. I always thought age and weight was the only thing determining when to go from 5 point harness to booster seat. Since we don’t know what age child we’ll be adopting, we certainly don’t know his/her height, weight or maturity level. We will definitely be waiting until we meet and are matched to purchase car seats for our cars.

In very fun news… I am participating in a blog crawl for National Adoption Month. Check out all the possible entry avenues below. There is a wealth of information on the entire adoption process from all angles.. and not just foster care adoption like we’re doing

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Orientation! #LongestPostEver

Finally! (Geez Becca, why’d you leave us hanging for over a week for this post?!)

We had our Adoption Orientation on Saturday morning, June 30th and it was pretty much awesome. I may have been doing research for months (years) and knew a lot of information going into this, but I still learned more.

One thing I learned was that while we are certainly welcome to adopt from out of Florida, we won’t get the FL benefits if we do so. We will follow those state’s benefits and adoption requirements. Not all state’s offer health care, 4 years of public college/university and a subsidy like Florida does – so that needs to be taken into consideration. We definitely plan on making sure our kids take advantage of the college part!

We also need to decide about the Lola and Phoenix. He is a crochety old cat and doesn’t take BS from anyone. Yes, after 8+ years, he still claws me on occasion. I really need to have the vet do a full eval on him bc while I don’t want to accept it, I don’t think he has much longer with us. He’s got so many health issues and is so overweight even with putting him on a diet. So, there’s that to consider.

But anyhow, what we learned/ had reiterated…

  • Children available for adoption have had their parental rights terminated (TPR). They will never be taken away from us bc some random family member came back. Once there is no possible chance at reunification and rights are terminated, they’re available to be legally our children.
  • Judges in South Florida really don’t like waiting the full 6 months once we have a child in our home and tend to push the adoptions through within 30-60 days. This was a major Holy Moly! moment for us. We could be legally mommy and daddy by the New Year.
  • After we complete our classes, we’re turned over to the adoption specialists. They will then complete our Home Study, run more background checks, and ask many more questions to ensure we get the ideal placement.
  • The PRIDE classes are not “parenting” classes, but rather how we will play a role in the kids lives.
  • Most children end up in Foster Care due to abuse, abandonment and neglect
  • If we want to travel outside of FL before the adoption is finalized, we need a court order. To go to Disney, Gainesville, or anywhere else within FL, we just need to notify the team.
  • They would prefer to have one parent stay home with the kids initially, but I will likely use my vacation time for that to get them settled before sending them off to a (likely) new school.
  • If we adopt younger than 5, we do get a day care subsidy for one year for specific preschools – Gold Seal Approved.

Minimum standards for Foster Homes (which we will follow to ensure approval for adoption):

  • Minimum 40 sq.ft. per child and have adequate storage/ closet space.. In a perfect world, we’d have a 3-bedroom place with a room for each child.
  • Max 5 kids per household including biological. No problem here as Lola and Phoenix don’t count. 🙂
  • Kids of opposite sex over age 3 cannot room together. We’re leaning towards 2 boys at this point, so OK there.
  • Minimum $200 residual income after all bills are paid. We’re getting finances in order so this should be A-OK too.
  • 2 years of employment verification checks will be performed. Yep, no problems there.
  • Health history and physicals need to be performed for mental, emotional, physical and any other treatments. Ehh, we should be OK.. My therapy is pretty minimal and I have no problems with Dr. S. telling them all about my sessions.
  • Pets are also checked as I mentioned above. A-OK as I’ve already told the vet to expect the forms.
  • Many children have no prior religious beliefs and we must respect their beliefs if they do have religious beliefs. We need to decide on a religion as he’s Methodist and I’m Jewish and neither of us are particularly religious.
  • We are responsible for transporting them to every appointment, recital, etc in a safe vehicle complete with car seats, seat belts, valid insurance and driver’s license. No problems whatsoever as we never planned on making anyone else drive our kids around.
  • Foster parents need to complete a basic water safety course. We plan on doing that, being CPR certified, and more.
  • All medications, chemicals, cleaning products, alcohol, guns/ammo, and anything else that can harm a child must be locked away. We’ve already begun planning where the meds and chemicals will be housed. Most likely in the outside laundry room or a lockbox atop the closet.
  • Kids must have access to a vehicle and phone at all times. We never plan on leaving them alone, so OK. When they’re at school, they’ll have the phone there.
  • An evacuation plan must be posted in several places and perform fire drills frequently, working and tested fire extinguisher, 2 ways to escape each bedroom, smoke detectors, working battery flashlights in every room, and a first aid kit in the house. OK except for the evacuation plan and the flashlights, we have everything already.
  • There is a list of forbidden and acceptable discipline methods provided that we must obey. OK, we haven’t established discipline yet so having guidelines is great.
  • Criminal and abuse checks ((FBI, FDLE, local and abuse registry) are to be performed prior to PRIDE classes. Done and approved.

We will be an integral part of the team of nurses, social workers, case workers, and others. Even once the adoption is finalized, we can utilize the team.

We have decided that fostering will be too difficult for us to handle. And came to that conclusion separately prior to discussing it after the Orientation. Having a child or children in our home for days, weeks, months or even years then having them taken away would be too hard for us both to bear.

Our initial background screenings went off without a hitch. We had to be checked in both FL and NC since we haven’t lived here for 5 years. Once we passed these, we will have our initial Home Visit – on Friday! – and classes begin on Tuesday.

They have said this is an extremely intrusive journey and they will find everything out about us. And yet, we are still raring to go to become parents.


So where have I been? We have so much work to do on our current home to get it ready for our babies. We have been decluttering and cleaning and making our little home kid-friendly. It’s making me realize big time how not kid-friendly it is. We only have 2 bedrooms, a family room, a kitchen and a decent sized back yard. I’d much prefer to have at least a 3-bedroom with a larger family room, updated everything including a dishwasher. But for right now, we shall deal with this little place. *le sigh*

Also, I’ve been off work (though you’d never know it) since Thursday, had an interview for an amazing job, working at my part-time job, and in general trying to get the house ready for le babies.


/end #LongestPostEver


30 Days: Day 13 Your mode of transportation

…See the whole list here…

Luna: no UF or ECU stickers yet, she was still new

My current mode of transport is a 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring crossover wagon. Her name is Luna and she’s silver and has huge amounts of storage space. The left side of the car has the University of Florida alumni stickers and the right has the East Carolina University alumni stickers. Luna is an equal opportunity fan of my education and the Gators and Pirates. =)

I honestly never thought I’d own a Hyundai again. Two cars ago, I had a Hyundai. She was great until about 55k miles then things just started going wrong. Actually, long before that the back window leaked and my entire trunk was covered in water and mildew. Yeah, it was gross. So gross that I took out the carpeted layer and threw it out. I was really fortunate to turn the Sonata in for a huge trade-in value to purchase my super sporty red sparkly Mazda 3 Sonata that I named Moxie Crimefighter.

Moxie was an awesome, fun to drive 5-speed sports car. I loved her, adored her, drove everywhere in her. But she just wasn’t big enough to put anyone in the back seat let alone future rear-facing baby seats. I knew it was only a matter of time that I had to let her go. With my impending graduation, I knew most car companies offered incentives for graduates.

So I did my research. I googled all sorts of mini SUVs and compared storage space to find the biggest. One night we went to Borders and I sat for hours scouring Car & Driver, Consumer Reports and a bunch of other car magazines. Even though it had only hit the market in 2009, the Hyundai Elantra Touring had ridiculously high marks. It consistently scored at the top of all the categories AND had the most storage space. Like I said, I was shocked that I was heavily considering another Hyundai.

On January 23rd, I went in for a test drive and spent the next several hours negotiating a considerably lower than sticker price. Want to read more?


The Luna Story

There seems to be some confusion and wondering amongst my friends as to why I got a new car. I’ve been getting gchat and email questions about it. I love y’all for being concerned, but it’s cool.. I know what I’m doing.

For starters, I’m not stupid enough to buy something I can’t afford. Y’all know that. Y’all also know that money had been exceptionally tight for the 4 months Steve was unemployed and I was paying as many of our bills as I could handle and still pay for my own. Now, on the paltry salary I’m making, that was way worse than paycheck to paycheck since our rent was 90% of 1 of my 2 paychecks each month. And it’s not like he wasn’t going out every single day and trying to find something, the hiring processes were just taking forever. Since he’s been employed, and actually likes his job, money has been much better for the last few months. However, it’s not my business to post about that stuff, so y’all really didn’t know anything that was actually happening. I know, some of you are on my FB and saw the tiny tidbit’s of info I was posting there. But I don’t post like 80% of my life on FB because there are too many people on there that I just don’t care to share everything with.

My payments on Luna are about $20 more than my Moxie payments and still under $300. I managed to talk them down well over $150 off their original “suggested” monthly payment. I was at the dealer for about 7 hours by myself haggling and very sick the whole time. After a while, they were actually impressed with how I was holding my ground and not just rolling over and taking what they offered. I’ve learned how the game works with my previous 2 cars and knew what I wanted to pay and just wasn’t accepting it. I did almost leave a few times – my dad and Steve were proud of that. LOL. When I brought the 2nd set of Moxie keys in over a week later, they knew who I was without even asking my name and asked about the car, etc.

I did a ton of research on cars in the weeks leading up to buying her. Again, I’m not a nitwit. I had a plan, I knew what I wanted, then during my research I switched what I wanted. I was shocked, quite frankly, that the Hyundai Elantra Touring had such high ratings and amazing reviews over and over again. Plus, hello my price range! I was shocked as I had a Hyundai prior to Moxie and was so over it by the time she was 5 years old. Notice a trend there? I keep my cars for 5 years then trade them in. 🙂

So here are some of the better things I love about Luna, in no particular order…

  • Bluetooth
  • Sunroof
  • Crossover SUV/ wagon
  • 4 times the amount of storage space
  • Huge back seat to hold 2-3 baby seats
  • XM radio (just found that today!)
  • Brand spanking new 2010 model car
  • Phenomenal warranty
  • Roadside assistance
  • Automatic – ok, not so crazy about that, but important for when we have kids *I* think


  • $8200 for Moxie – let that sink in for a bit 😀
  • Graduate student discount
  • Purchase/ financing price is $3,000+ off the sticker price and on the low end of the “price paid” in all the reviews I’ve read
  • Virtually the same size gas tank and mileage as Moxie – at current prices, $25 to fill it
  • Full coverage insurance was $15 more/month on a brand spanking new 2010 car
  • Moxie needed roughly $1500 of work as she was 5 years old, needed new brakes, a new battery and replaced motor mounts

Dress Dilemma

I am having a bit of a dilemma right now. Y’all all know that I want a new dress. This weekend is the Brides Against Breast Cancer dress sale here in Raleigh. They have hundreds of dresses vastly discounted AND each purchase is for a good cause.

My dilemma… do I continue to hold onto the existing dress? Or do I go to the dress sale and try on and possibly buy another dress? Or do I just donate the dress to them as a tax write off for my 2010 taxes? OK, well, the choices aren’t exactly all stand alone. Liiike, I could go to the dress sale and look, but not buy. Or I could buy and donate. Or I could just say screw it and do nothing.

By the way, my weight loss plan? Yeah, it’s non-existant at this point. Due to the massive amounts of snow we just had, I sprained my ankle. I also fell on my butt in a different incident 2 days after the ankle sprain. Yeah, I know, I’m amazing like that. I was shut up in the house for 3 days because I refused to venture out in the ice and snow in my car. Not just any car, but my 10 days old car.

Oh yeah, I got a new car! She’s super cute and I love her. I’ve named her Luna and she’s a Hyundai Elantra Touring Wagon. Yes, Hyundai. I was shocked as well, but she’s got some of the highest ratings I’ve seen in a long time and I’m planning for the future. As in, the future with babies and children and all the stuff that involves raising them. Luna has a massive storage area and plenty of room for 2 or 3 car seats.