joyful girl

we owe each other the world. the world owes us nothing.

November 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 3:41 am

I am on a daily quest to get a picture of our son with his eyes open.

I’m also on a quest to get some kind of solid routine in place for our days. Today I got this book in the mail, which I’m hoping will provide some inspiration for being more intentional about our days as a family. We’ve been in so much transition the past four weeks, and I think we could use a little more predictability. I know that I could personally use a bit more patience. I feel like every other day I’m calm and patient, and as a result our day goes smoothly and mostly happily. On the other days, I’m impatient and snippy, and you can probably imagine what that does to the peace around here.

Any ideas, other mamas of little ones? What does your routine look like?


In which my brain moves in slow motion November 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 1:47 am

The best part of blogging every day is that people are reading it! People are leaving comments! I plan to respond to some of those comments more specifically, but today I’m taking the idea of a sabbath day of rest quite seriously. (and, yes, I am aware that the sabbath is actually the seventh day of the week, not the first) We’re all sleepy today, in spite of that extra hour.

It feels like a good day for bullet points:

•Tomorrow morning is our neighborhood play group. For my current life stage, this group is my equivalent of “Girls’ Night Out.” These women are wonderful, they are all raising great kids, and I’m so thankful that we can be ourselves together and be genuine with each other. That can be hard to find, and we really did find each other kind of randomly.

•I made pumpkin pie tonight.

•I really, really want to recycle and felt some wool sweaters.

•I’ve been watching Nip/Tuck on Netflix, and am intrigued.

That’s about all I have for tonight. Sweet dreams, all!


November 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 1:40 am

One of Alex’s favorite books of late is the original Curious George. George is one of my own favorite children’s characters, and the book is very cute. But, wow. Children’s literature has changed since 1941. I have a hard time imagining a children’s book being published today in which the main character is: captured in Africa and forced onto a ship, smokes a pipe to relax, gets thrown into jail, and is finally taken to live in a zoo as his happy ending – and not one of these events is portrayed as frightening or something to be avoided.

I guess we aren’t in 1941 anymore.


It’s hard to write every day! November 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 1:52 am

I was so excited to finally get a new camera with my birthday money tonight! According to all of the Amazon user reviews, my new camera takes great indoor photos, so I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to be a little more diligent about documenting daily life in the Fox household. Sadly, there are no new camera photos tonight, as the battery is charging. I did manage to take a couple of shots on my old camera today, though. Here is Elliott lounging at COSI this morning on a play date with Alex’s best friend. I love COSI. We have a membership that I haven’t used consistently for a few months, but I’m planning to make it a part of our weekly routine for the winter. It’s fun, it’s only a ten minute drive, and it has lots of open space for Alex to get out her energy. She was going nonstop there today, and had so much fun climbing and running and practicing her imaginative play in their kitchen and doctor’s office play areas. Elliott slept in the ergo most of the morning, but I managed to catch him with his eyes open after lunch. At almost four weeks old, he is such a chill kid. He does have a little fussy/gassy time in the evenings but it really is only a few minutes, and I’m working on clearing dairy from my diet. The past couple of nights, he’s only awakened twice a night, which is a nice switch from every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Alex is doing well, too. Here she is this evening “making dinner,” which she declared was hummus. (I love hearing her say “It’s hummus time!”) She is acting very much her age these days, but seems to be adjusting pretty well to being a sister. She loves to hug and kiss Elliott – usually right before she yanks his pacifier out of his mouth. The first thing she says in the morning is “Where’s Elliott?” (Then she usually says, “I want to watch Caillou!” Sigh.)

Now, both of them are sleeping, which is probably a sign that I should head to bed, too. Sleep well, dear ones!


115,000 November 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 2:28 am

Before I became a mother, I was a social worker. I was, in fact, one of the most stereotypical scary social workers – a caseworker for child protective services. In my experiences in two major Ohio cities, I got to work with some pretty amazing families, and even more incredible kids – kids who were living, breathing testimony to the resilience of human beings.

Some of my families were simply in stressful situations, and needed some extra support to regain safety and stability in their homes. Some of my parents needed accountability and the resources to address numerous addictions in their lives.

Most of the kids I worked with were able to stay in their homes, or with relatives, or were successfully reunified with a parent after some time in foster care. Some, though, were left without a capable parent to return to, or had been abandoned or so severely abused that no court would consider reunifying them with their family of origin. For one reason or another, these kids were left looking for a permanent home. These are the kids who come to my mind when I am reminded that November is national adoption month.

I don’t know if our family will ever adopt. I do know that if we decide to have more children, it will be through fostering or adoption. I also know that I feel passionately about the importance of children having a family to call their own. I don’t believe that every family should adopt, but I also wish that it wasn’t so often viewed as a “last resort” option for having children.

There are so many types of adoption, and I think that they are all equally valid. But I have to admit that my heart probably lies most closely with the 115,000 children who are currently in foster care waiting for a family. My heart is with them because they are the kids I know, the survivors who do not trust easily, who will push your boundaries until they are assured that you are around for the long haul, the ones who need a safe place to heal, and a parent who can say “Yes, you belong with us now.”


Happy Birthday to Me! November 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 6:50 pm

Today I turn 35. I love birthdays, and I like that Facebook lets everyone know that it’s my birthday. (Secretly, I really like attention.) It’s turning out to be a good day with fun little surprises like a latte from a friend, a good playdate this morning, both kids napping at once and some fun birthday money to spend on whatever I want!

Mostly, though, I’m feeling really thankful for where my life is now. Truly, I feel like I have all of the important things I’ve ever hoped to have – a husband I love (and who works so very hard to care for our family), two children who I get to take care of all day long, the education and resources I need to continue my dream career when those children no longer need me to care for them at home all day long, a loving extended family and some very high quality friends who let me be who I am. I don’t say this to paint a picture of some perfect, everything-in-place life, but when I really take the time to assess it, my life is lovely in spite of its numerous aches and imperfections, and I have done nothing to deserve such loveliness. So today, I am grateful.


NaBloPoMo, Day 2 November 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 6:42 pm

Yesterday was a rough day for parenting a toddler in our house. I was prepared to share all of my failings and ask for advice, but it’s a new day now, and I’m feeling more confident in my parenting choices again, and (kind of) more rested and ready to be patient and actively engaged in teaching and practicing get off my butt parenting with my lovely and funny 2 year old who is establishing her independence and getting used to sharing her world with a little boy who grunts a lot and tolerates her kisses, but otherwise doesn’t offer her much in return.

I do want to ask for a little advice, though – does anyone have brilliant ideas for large muscle activities that can easily be done inside one’s house? Alex is really into climbing lately and needs some exercise to keep her busy, but I’ve had a hard time getting her to the playground and while I’m not opposed to playing in the backyard when it’s cold, I know it’s only going to get colder this winter, and I won’t always want to bundle up Elliott and go outside with her…and I’m also not comfortable letting her go out by herself when it’s too cold to leave the back door open so that I can keep an eye on her.

Elliott is three weeks old now. He is a snuggly, grunty bundle of boy. I think I need to stop eating dairy to prevent colic, but when he isn’t gassy he’s a pretty content kid. He still sleeps a lot more than I remember Alex sleeping, but is awake a little more every day. (including almost three hours from 11:30-2:30 last night) I would post lots of cute pictures, but my camera doesn’t take great indoor photos, and he is also in that not-so-cute baby acne stage.

That is all. Happy election day!