Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Are you kidding me, dude? Give a mama a break here. But for sure something is outta whack when he didn't touch lunch and refused drinking milk. He has no fever, a runny nose but seems to be playing just fine. Until lunch time. He's just whiny, snotty and a bit grumpy. He seems pretty fine if I hold him and snuggle him. Sure signs something is not right. These days he could care less if I hold him- he wants to be on the move.
Turner and O were playing in the kitchen at this Leap Frog music toy when all of a sudden he lost his balance, toppled over and hit his head pretty good on the tile kitchen floor (I would have suspected foul play from one older sister had I not been an eye-witness). I swooped him up, gave him a ton of kisses and hoped the ear popping screams would end soon (not nearly as loud as the screams that came from yesterday's bloody nose, but that's for a different entry.) As I was trying to console him, Olivia came running from the kitchen and said, "Shouldn't we pray for him, mom?"
Duh, prayer, I hadn't thought of that one! I immediately teared up. My soon to be 3 year old was pointing me back to Jesus. And I'll tell you, after this week, somebody sure needs to regardless of their age! Let's just say I've been operating on auto pilot and it hasn't been working out so great.
How sweet to have your daughter want to ask Jesus to help her little brother! She said, "I'll hold your hand." So I prayed for Turner and for myself and thanked God for such an amazingly sweet gift in the middle of a "poopy" day!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Ah, yeah, these are actually the best of the bunch. Let's just say these two were not the most cooperative when it came to holding birthday banners and smiling.
Tinkerbell wanted to say she loves you and that it's your birthday, you should wear a crown (just not hers!)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Some how we were able to manage a smile, even though I could no longer feel my toes, despite wearing my beloved Ugg boots. (That one was for you, Erin!)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It's dang cold here and although I'm not a fan of playing outside in the sweltering heat, it beats being couped up all winter. So, I've been trying to come up with some indoor activities. I think I just remembered how I came to find myself at Weight Watchers in the first place.
Olivia and I baked our first batch of cookies together. It was actually a ton of fun. She did great at putting the butter in the bowl, pouring flour in and watching the Kitchen Aide mix it all up. The whole while, she only licked her hands 1/2 dozen times and sneezed "near" the ingredients once. (Mental note, if you're ever offered dessert at my house and you come to find O has helped out, you may want to think twice.)
Her favorite part? Take a wild stab at it. Although it was fun having a baking buddy (my favorite thing to do at the holidays) I realized I'm not the only one who wants to lick the spoon. Motherhood- a daily choice to die to yourself (and steal a lick or two while your assistant isn't looking.)
What does Turner do while the girls do "woman's work?" What does any boy do? He banges pots and pans REALLY loud and breaks stuff. I figure as long as he's not actually in the oven, we're good to go.
One of these days he may even get to sample some fruits of the labor (then I figure any and all chances of me getting a lick off that spoon are gone.)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Poor Turner first had to endure a short jaunt to Victoria's Secret (excuse me! I'm not that indiscreet as to share ALL my nitty gritty.) If you must know, I got a gift card for a free pair of underwear and $10 off any bra in the store... but I digress... Turner behaved just like a man would in there. Unlike his usually content and ridiculously adorable self, he protested the whole time. But wait T-bone, there's more! Next we pull on up to the "Christmas Cottage" at the mall where the Rockettes were signing autographs. O was mesmerized, yet instantly mute.
To their credit, the Rockettes (I hate to keep referring them as the Rockettes- there were only 2 of them, but I'm at a loss for something more creative) were super sweet with her. It would have made an awesome picture and I'm sure someday she would have thought it was pretty cool. But I didn't even have my phone w/ me to snap a shot with that. What a loser mom moment. So she just stared for a couple of minutes, they signed an autograph for her and off we went.
Oh yeah, and T wasn't screaming any more. But let's just say he was more interested in the guy emptying the garbage can (true story) than he was the dancing girls. I know I know, give him a few years and he'll trade in garbage for girls, but I'M in no rush.
Totally unrelated- we got a letter back from the Senator yesterday. No luck on help with expediting our form. BUT they did send us a copy of an email from CIS basically saying that if we documented the fact that China would not supply us with the required letter, that was good enough. (You know I'll be keeping that in a fireproof lock box "just in case.") I feel a peace about that and also feel real good about pursuing extra avenues.
Finally, here is a plea for some work on your part. I'd love to find out who is reading this thing... or if anyone is (Buehler, Buehler). Through out my week I'll catch an occasional random "I read your blog" or "I heard you've got a blog" but I'd love to get a roll call of sorts. Just for fun and just to satisfy my curiosity. Of course, don't feel obligated... just know I'd be encouraged to think someone other than my mom and Jenny read this thing :) Have I just blown all blog etiquette by requesting comments? How needy is THAT? Oh well, I can live with it.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm not sure if it's the very creepy smile on the guys' faces (particularly Matt's- the guy in the middle) or them all cozy on a light blue plaid couch, but for sure the hair on my arms rose just a wee bit as I was deleting pictures on my camera and thought this one to be blog worthy. (FYI, this picture was taken at dinner before our walk on the Underground Railroad the other week.) See previous post for the more profound part of the evening. Now that I'm blogging, you better know if there is an interesting picture to be taken- I'm gonna take it. Watch your backs, people, watch your backs!
Discouraging for sure. I'm fine to wait and I truly believe in God's timing. However, my fear is that after these 90 days, they'll discover that the now infamous (at least on this blog) China letter is not included, therefore, kicking it back to us, holding things up and delaying us perhaps another 90 days. Big bummer, because China expects us to have our dossier completed within 3 months of our referral (and the clock is ticking on that bad boy.)
So after hearing some other adoption stories and at the advice of a friend who "heard" (thanks Traci!) this may work: I contacted our Senator's office last Wednesday to see if there is any way his office can help expediate the process. Something that felt like a bit of a stretch for me. I am a total rule follower. I am also fearful of pestering or being a real pain in the arse! But then it occurred to me, if Steve and I are not fighting for Quinn, there is nobody else on this planet who will. That felt like motherly instincts kicking in for sure. If Turner or Olivia needed anything, you better believe Steve and I would turn our lives upside down to get it done.
I put a call into the office, they had us fill out a information release form and Steve faxed it in. Ellen, in Voinovich's office is hopefully contacting CIS to at least find out if we have all the info correct on our application. Pray that God will move a mountain this week. While it feels "unfair" for us to pursue cutting in line, it also feels unfair to just sit here while Quinn sits in an orphanage while he has a family waiting here for him. Looks like we're in for more of this wild adventure!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've managed to spend my whole monthly budget already! And it's only the 11th of the month. Ack.
Well, I've been known to exaggerate, and perhaps spending my WHOLE monthly budget by now is a wee bit of an exaggeration. But after yesterday's trip to CVS to "make me some money" I may be ready to throw in the towel. My coupon mentor set me up to have some major success this week. She even gave me some of her own coupons, told me exactly what to buy and when to buy it and told me there was a profit to be made (there was a 2 day sale going on and as long as I made it to CVS by Monday, I was good to go.)
I don't know about where you live, but here in Ohio, yesterday was the coldest day of the year so far. I may have even seen a small flurry in the air. Because we were already out and about I thought I may as well give this making money thing by buying stuff a try. My quest led me (and my 2 kiddos) to THREE different CVS locations. Does that qualify me for obsessed? I'm actually a little ashamed to put that in writing. Oh well.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The hike started off with a bit of direction from the metro park ranger, informing us that we were to "get into character" as a group of slaves making our way from the South up to Canada. They also informed us the reason there was an age restriction (no one under the age of 13 was permitted on the hike) was because for the next 2 hours we were going to be treated as if we were truly slaves on the run, including bounty hunters who would be after us. Along the way would be "conductors" who wanted to help us and teach us about our journey.
I really took this to heart. I was convinced part of the hike would be bounty hunters jumping out of the woods and perhaps choose some of our group to go with them. That element made it so real to me. Every snap of a twig or movement of leaves left my heart pounding. At one point during the hike, our group had stopped to hear from one of the "conductors" and I looked around and couldn't find Steve. I was sure he had been nabbed. Finally, I found him behind another in our group. It was so dark that night, we could barely see anything without the help of the 2 lanterns in the group.
At the end of the hike, I was overwhelmed by what the slaves really truly had to go through to gain their freedom. We had a mini glimpse into their journey, but shame on me- I had my Uggs, my Old Navy hat and scarf and all my other warm clothes and I was still complaining. For the past few days my mind has wandered back to Saturday night's experience. I can't shake what price those men, women and children had to pay for freedom that should have rightfully been theirs. Such a timely event too, on the heels of this historic election. Although I said I was not going to reveal who I voted for, lets just say there are some issues that I am quite opposed to with our President-elect. But this hike really helped me to see past those to at least appreciate the incredible milestone electing our first black President really is. I'm sure those men and women whose steps I walked in on Saturday night would have NEVER in a million years dreamt they would see a man of their skin color leading this country. And for that I can celebrate.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Old Navy is having a SWEET sale today (and maybe tomorrow, I'm not really sure.) Polar fleece hats and scarves are $1. ONE DOLLAR. Crazy. There is a limit of 6 per customer. The sale also includes 50% off all outerwear. I got myself a winter coat for $45 and a winter coat for Turner for $21. There were also polar fleece kids/baby hat & mitten sets for $2.
I walked out of the store w/ 2 winter coats, 2 polar fleece hats, 1 scarf, 2 kids hat/mitten sets, 2 pairs of winter jammies and 3 pairs of sandels for the kids for next summer all for $113. Not too shabby. So get your buns over there and save yourself some money. Tons of other deals going on (great for Christmas gifts) but my kids were melting down and we had to get outta there. Let me know if you make it and what you score.
Friday, November 7, 2008
I got a call from our adoption agency this afternoon. To be honest, when I saw the caller ID I got a bit nervous. I'm such a pessimist, my first thought was something had happened to Quinn or bad news blah blah blah. Well, they were calling to let us know that we have received our Pre-Approval. (That's PA in adoption speak.) To be honest, I have not even looked ahead to see what the next steps are. So I just laughed and said, "Are you kidding?" Melissa on the other line laughed too. She said, "I know, I was looking at your file and to be honest, I can't believe you guys got this already."
I went on the agency website to find out what the next steps are and found out that it usually takes 3-7 weeks to get the PA after your letter of intent is sent (we sent that last Friday.) Our dossier is still 2 months away from being finished. (I did ask if that would be a problem for us, now that we have our PA) She said we can always file for an extension.
Okay, so I looked ahead and the website said that once our dossier is locked in (hopefully by January) it may take 2-4 months to get our Travel Approval. That is the *BIGGIE*. That is the one that makes this whole thing official and from there you apply for a travel visa, make arrangements etc. So there is really, truly a chance Quinn will be home late spring, early summer. Wow. I feel like we've been doing adoption on steroids. Seriously, I can barely keep up with all of this. I just can't wait to kiss those chubby little cheeks!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
CVS-ing. Shopping doesn't count as a new hobby, you say? Okay, you got me there- but saving money while doing so- that's where I've got you on a technicality.
My friend, Jenny, is tutoring me through the new territory of couponing. (And taking a picture of your bargains and posting it on your blog is what "we couponers" do apparently.) It's a bit Stepford wives-ish, but I'll play along :) I can't really take credit for coming up with this pretty good stash- I got a little help.
You see, yesterday I thought I'd strut my stuff in Kroger where they were having this 10/10 deal and you got a $5 register coupon for the next time you shop. No sweat, got on line and got me some help from some bloggers who know. (They do it all for 'ya. Even an IDIOT should be able to steal from THE MAN.) I was pretty confident and pretty excited to tell Steve about how much we saved and even the couple of "FREE" items I was able to nab w/ my couponing expertise. Well.... let's just say it didn't go so well and I spent some money on some stuff we didn't need, got the wrong sized boxes of a couple (5) items that were suppose to count for my 10... thus NOT qualifying me for my $5 coupon NOR getting me the special sales price on the other items. I cried all the way home and called my mom who needed to talk me off the ledge. With my tail between my legs, I took a bag full of unwanted items back to Kroger today to get my money back and will try again next time.
But here it the GOOD news. Everything in the picture I got for $20 out of pocket and I also got $8.50 in ECB (which is my new lingo for money that I can use next time at CVS.) So I guess that means I'm hooked into CVS and will keep going so that I can keep getting more free money. Steve sees it a *little* bit differently, but I'm thinking once I get this thing down and actually start saving us money- he'll come around. Jenny swears by it and is a patient and helpful tutor. Check out her blog if you are interested in joining the cult (I mean bandwagon.) The link to her blog is to the left and is called Mommin' It Up.
And can't you just picture him sitting in his first day of first grade as the teacher reads out the names- Koproski? She scans the room for some polak kid and he raises his hand? For some reason, that really tickles my funny bone. (Unless he comes home crying about it, then it won't be so funny. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it!)
People have asked about our time frame. Great question! Currently we are waiting for our I-797C form. I actually emailed them and asked if there was any way to expedite our form. A real nice lady emailed me back and politely told me no. Oh, well, doesn't hurt to ask. So we may have about 2 more months of waiting for that. Once that is returned, we can send in our dossier. From there it may be about another 5 months wait. So generally, we are looking at traveling to China to bring Quinn home late spring, early summer. Weird timing since Steve is planning on going over for 10 days this summer to lead a trip for college students. Everyone is asking if we can double up and make it a 2 for 1 trip. Probably not. We really aren't even considering that craziness. We are gluttons for punishment, but even we have our limits.
We are praying that miraculously we'll get the I-797C form sooner than expected. In general, we trust in the perfect timing. But emotionally, it is hard to imagine our little boy day in and day out not a part of our family. Adoption is a really amazing and really weird thing. It is almost hard to put into words, but I'm trying!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Grosser than gross= finding those little black presents in your baby's room.
What's grosser than ALL of that? Catching F-I-V-E of those friends in a trap right under your 9 month old son's crib. ACK. Makes my skin crawl. I've been unable to sleep for several weeks with terrible images in my mind (use your imagination, I certainly have.) Naturally, Turner seems unphased by the whole thing.
The other day (after #3 was caught) Steve declared, "I think we got 'em all. I'm pretty sure that the word on the street is that 'their is on to us.' " Yeah, so much for the word on the street. So join me as I say an extra prayer each night for no bad dreams AND for no more mice.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Oh yeah, and about that voting thing... well I did my patriotic privilege and cast my ballot. And just in case you and I don't see eye to eye on politics, I'm keeping my vote to myself (at least on this blog!) but there is something to be said for firmly believing in a Sovereign God- regardless of who comes out ahead tonight. (But you may venture a guess. I don't think it would be a shocker to anyone who knows me.) I have to say, after living in a communist country for three year, I really do appreciate our right to vote. It is a major blessing and one that I do not take lightly. And I really enjoyed getting to take the kids with me. All O cared about were the Princess fruit snacks she got to eat while I voted, but irregardless, I hope they see the example Steve and I try and put before them (someday!)
And in case you are wondering what is so interesting off in the distance that has captured BOTH of their attention... here it is. A bull dozer moving some dirt. I tried for about 3 minutes to get their attention. A mommy just can't compete with heavy machinery.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
What do we get in return? Sunset at 4:30 in the afternoon! In fact, I'm looking at my clock right now (3:40) and I'm looking at the shadows in the house across the street and Im thinking there is now way I can muster up excitement for this "fall back." I'm 36 years old and have been doing this for sometime so it comes as no suprise. It takes me about a week to stop complaining, get with the program and then start looking forward to the middle of January when there starts to be some hope around the corner of the days lengthening. At least this year at our house we don't have the double whammy of short days AND a new born. There is something to be said for timing things up to have a baby in the spring or summer!