09 October 2007

The Scariest Day of My Life

Last Friday was the scariest day of my life, bar none. I've been debating even posting this. Ezra is Houdini. We have done so many things to keep him contained and safe, and I have a really hard time figuring out how to keep him in, because he can figure these things out, it's just a matter of time. We locked the doors. He figured those out. We got a baby gate. He broke it. (And it was a baby gate that was screwed in and anchored into the walls.) We put the spinny knobs on the doors. He figured those out. We put a chain at the top of the door (and I'm ordering an alarm), and he could probably figure that out, but he can't reach it. Not even standing on a chair. The sliding glass door stops are a joke. He figured out how to unlock the door to that long ago.

Well, Friday morning, he also figured out how to get the big ol' triple knotted tie off of the security bar too. I kept it on, even though I was told it was a fire hazard. (Truth be told, I have some big cabinet speakers right beside the glass door, and I would hurl one through it, should a fire come about, and I can't get to the front door.) This morning, I woke up and Ezra was gone. (I've looked for door alarms locally, but I'm having to order one online.) He got out AGAIN. And he was at the front office with a police officer. And they took him down to the Collin County Childrens' Advocacy Center, which is run by CPS.

We got there, and they took the two little ones into a playroom, and put us in a small waiting room with no windows. We were there for hours, and nobody would tell us ANYTHING. Then people who were visiting their kids were telling us all these horrible stories. One lady said that her ex made false claims about her new fiancée touching their daughter inappropriately. She said that they have not investigated it properly, and that the day the ex said it happened, she was WITH the ex. And that they took ALL of her children, and they've been there since August. One lady was telling us how she grew up in CPS (Child Protective Services), and that she was molested and it was covered up, and some other horror stories. Anyway, I do know there are two sides to every story, but I was still horrified at what could happen. I will take a bullet for my kids in a heartbeat, but I would die at the thought of them being with someone else, and not knowing how they are. I cried more today than I ever have in my life. Finally, the case worker came to see us, and she questioned me. She was very nice, and even explained why it took her so long to get to us. I answered a bunch of questions, and she said that it was obvious that we had been taking preventative measures, and that she sees no reason why they can't come home with us immediately. She said this sort of thing happens often, but the problem is when it happens repeatedly, and the parent does nothing to prevent it from happening again. And after talking to her, I really felt like everything was handled properly, and in my case, the system worked. I think that we should've been questioned... I was simply afraid of my babies being taken away. Interestingly enough, we got the case worker that one of the ladies had warned us about. I don't know why, because she was more than helpful. Of course, I can understand that you would be quite bitter if your kids are taken away. And I don't know what their full and true stories are.

From the second I was aware he was gone (which was the second I woke up), I prayed. I prayed nearly non-stop. I prayed that my children would remain safe and happy... That my children would come home with me... That whoever was in charge of deciding where my kids went would have a compassionate heart. We called one of our pastors, and he prayed on the phone with Hank. We called a friend in Sunday School to pray for us. We called Hank's parents. I do believe in the power of prayer.

It was also hard seeing Hank feel helpless. He is our fearless leader. When I break down, I can always depend on him to be my rock. And he even tried this time. He was trying to be strong and stoic for my sake, but I worried when I saw him shaking. Then he broke down and cried. I have never seen him cry like that. He's a warm, loving, and sensitive man, but he doesn't cry often. The only other time I've seen him shed a tear is when his grandma died.

We both had the same feeling though. He said that the devil has been trying to attack him for a long time (he's been through a lot of rough situations in his life), but even if something happens to his kids, he will not lose faith, because our God is a great God. I feel the same way. And He has blessed us. He blessed us BIG TIME by giving our children back to us. I say our children... Really, I feel their His children on loan to us during our time on earth. Anyway...

I haven't found a security bar for the sliding door yet (another one that we can put at the top of the door), but I'm grabbing Allison's tension bar shower rod, and putting it at the top of the door. I must never underestimate Ezra. I know that I have to stay two steps ahead of him at all times, because just when I feel like everything's safe, he figures out a way to get out of it.

And that kid is gonna be the death of me. I love him to pieces, but I'm surprised that Hank and I both didn't keel over from a heart attack today. I still feel really drained. I still also feel really blessed. Something this terrible has made me appreciate the blessings that my kids really are.

So, I'm sure that some of you may think ill of me, and that maybe I haven't done enough, but I did everything I knew how to do. And maybe that wasn't enough, but I know that I'm a good mom. Not the best, I have some terrible flaws, but nobody (with the exception of God and Hank) will ever love my kids like I do.

And it also made me realize that I love our church. I love our congregation. I truly, truly do. Pastor Borkenhagen prayed with Hank on the phone during the whole CPS ordeal. (BTW, just seconds after he got off of the phone with the Pastor was when the case worker said that we would be going home WITH them, right then), Suzanne from our Sunday School class had her whole family praying for us, and she even went up to the CPS place with goodies for us, but we'd just left.

Then, Hank dropped Allison off for camp, and Pastor Kollman (head pastor) pulled Hank into his office. He told Hank that he would do anything in his power to help us. That he would pray, and if we needed a character reference, that he would gladly give them one. We shouldn't, as the ordeal is nearly over with. The only thing that will happen now, is that the case worker (Bethany) is going to call, then come by to check out our new locks.

Then when we went to church, the word had spread. Not in a bad, gossipy way, but people came to us out of true concern. I think we took up half of the Sunday School hour talking about the incident and getting words of support from the people in our class.

We had seriously thought of packing up and moving in with Hank's parents to get out of the city at all. Go to the deep country where we thought Ezra might be safer. But after Pastor Borkenhagen's call to Hank, he said he felt a peace, and felt that God wanted us to stay. I do love our church. I still think it's funny that we didn't want to go to *that* church, because of it's size. I guess we know better than to judge a book by it's cover.

I think our Girlfriends' Spa day will be very needed. It's a little spa day that our church is holding for all the women. It's $10 for the whole day (9am-4:30pm), but someone bought my way already. Heh. That's cool.

BTW - While I am still on my guard at all times, and I now get up with Hank early in the morning (to ensure I get up before Ezra), we installed some new door stops for the glass door. All the child safety stops looked like a joke, but all it really took was talking to one of the guys at Lowe's who helped us out. They are metal thingies (sorry for being so technical) that attach to the railing (we have put ours on the TOP railing, of course), and the door cannot open. I'm still looking at getting a double sided deadbolt for the door, even though we do have the chain at the very top of the door. And I'm still getting the door chimes. I've learned that I consistently underestimate Ezra, and that needs to stop... I need to be ahead of my game at all times. And even though I am being very proactive (as I felt I always was, but I suppose I wasn't), I'm still having nightmares of him getting out. I do love that boy.

04 October 2007

Anna LOVES Caterpillars

Day At The Playground...

So, we went to the park the other day... I saw more caterpillars than I'd ever seen, and Anna was in Heaven.

A few random photos of them playing and hunting around...

I like this little mushroom... Dunno why, but I think they're cool looking.
"HEY! What are you doing over here?"
Anna had to show me the turtles on the back side of the slide... VERY interesting.
This is what I get when I say, "Say Cheese, Anna!" LOL!
Ezra is ready for the rockstar life already. He knows how to shoo away the paparazzi.
Doesn't he look so pensive?
GAH! Ezra made sure to carry along his little sticks of cheese, and then immediately dumps them when we get to the playground. Goofy boy.

03 October 2007

Okay, this post has nothing to do with the kids, but I'm totally addicted to Jigzone.com. Anna digs watching me do them, and I've no clue why... LOL! BTW - I hate jigsaw puzzles, so I never imagined I'd even like this site, much less have to drag myself away some days.

Here is a really cool one I just did.

Click to Mix and Solve

I did the "70 piece bulbs" version.

02 October 2007

Cheetos Is From Heaven...

The other day, I got Anna and Ezra a couple small bags of Cheetos. Nice, messy, junk food that toddlers LOVE. LOL! (And no, I don't give this to them often... This might be their 3rd or 4th time EVER having them.)

Anna proceeds to tell me, "Mama, Cheetos is yummy food 'dat falls from Heaven." Oh dear. ROFL!