Tuesday, September 30, 2008

feels like Christmas

Today John the mailman was the bearer of some very good mail. (PS that's NOT John the mailman, that's Steve in case you don't know him.) We got a piece of paper telling us that we will soon be receiving another very good piece of mail indicating the date and time of our appointment to go and get the biometric fingerprints. This is a very big deal in the adoption world.
Ho hum you say? Perhaps you do not realize this is the paper we were fearing would not come b/c we could not come up with the elusive "letter from China" saying we are not child abusers. I suppose there is still a chance that they will come back to us and say we need to get on an airplane and go visit the PSB ourselves, but I'm taking this as very good news. We are one step closer to Baby Gum.
A different step closer happened today as well. Steve faxed our agency some paper work (including the checklist of special needs we are willing to accept) that will put us in line for a child. As I explained in an earlier post, things work differently and speedier in the world of special needs children. Too fast? Well, I'm not sure there is a too fast to rescue our child out of the orphanage at worst, foster care at best. But it does seem to be going faster than we originally thought (several years) that's for sure! Of course there are still months and months to go, and honestly, that's fine by us. But it is so nice to see some progress on our way to Baby Gum.

The terrible 36's?

How in the WORLD could those two little faces make anyone a screaming lunatic?? Well... just get in the car with them for anything longer that 3 minutes to find out. This morning was not one of my better moments. In fact, it really was, truly regrettable! We were driving home from the Y and O. had 17 requests in less than 2 minutes. Most were really ridiculous:

"I want gum"- O, you have a piece in your mouth. "I want to listen to MY song"- O, do you remember the deal? We listened to your songs on the way to the Y, now it's mommy's turn.
"I want Princess Snacks." O, you have gum in your mouth, plus we are on our way home to eat lunch, no snacks. and on and on and on...

But the final straw was the Pochahanis request.

"I want to watch Pochahanis!" O, we don't have Pochahanis. I mean, we don't even own it! There is no way for you to watch it. (obviously we don't own it, I can't even spell it.)
Screaming, very loud, shrill screaming. Like someone had pouredboiling water all over her or something. I tried to reason, again. (stupid!!) More screaming, and somehow she managed to get louder and shriller. I didn't know she had it in her.

So I got really mature and turned up the radio as loud as it would go. Guess what. She reached deep within her being and by golly she found it- the LOUDEST, SHRILLEST scream I've ever heard. Dare I say, it suprised even Olivia herself, because now she was red-faced and coughing. I had all I could take. I turned off my radio and yelled at the top of my lungs "SHUT UP!!!!"

oops! The look on her face broke my heart. (My yell did get the response I wanted for about 2 seconds.) Dead silence. And then the sadest cry I've seen yet. The look of disbelief that 1.) Mommy said shut up and 2.) Mommy was really, truly mad. crocodile tears ran like mad.

I screwed up.

So I apologized, asked for forgiveness and explained how sorry I was and that I was wrong.
Here is the kicker, Turner slept through ALL OF IT! That kid is really something else. Don't get me wrong, when he's mad, his screams could raise the dead. But if he's out, he's out!

If only there could be re-do's in life. Proof that the 2 year old is not the only one who can go from 0-60 in 5 seconds. Hmm.. guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Then, right before naps, we were having a great mother/daughter moment. She was on my lap and she looked up at me and said, "Mom, I like your face." Now there's a picture of grace for you. In theory, she should not like my face ever again. But she forgave and moved on. Shoot, I got a lot to learn from that little stink bomb!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I love cake

To know me is to know my love for cake! If I could only pick one food to live on for the rest of my life it would be cake (specifically wedding cake- there is something so yummy about wedding cake, but I digress.) I know it's ridiculous, but now that I am trying to be a responsible eater, there are days/events that I plan my whole day of eating around the fact that there will be cake served.

I was at a WW meeting last week and discovered glories of all glories :


Oh, yes! Two of my favorite things, combined. Should you be inclined, here is the recipe (if you are into organics, this cake is NOT for you.)

1 boxed cake mix (I used Pillsbury chocolate cake mix- they have reduced sugar cake mix now that would probably bring down the calories/points even further.)

1 can of Diet Coke (or any other kind of no calorie pop.)

Mix the cake mix and can of Diet Coke together. That's it!!! Pop it in the oven and bake according to the directions on the box.

Frost it with the Lite Cool Whip (or store brand, whatever.) I sprinkled about a 1/4c. of the mini Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips just to make it "cute."

It was awesome. (And this is from a cake conesuer.) It was moist and tasty. And if you are counting points on the WW system, all you count is for the dry ingredients on the cake box. (so my piece was 2 points.) I don't think I'll ever make a cake the "normal" way again! LOVE IT.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Steve.

** fyi: the above picture was taken a year ago when I was pregnant w/Turner. We need a more recent picture of the two of us!**

In honor of my husband's 38th birthday, here are 38 great things about Steve Koproski

1. His bright blue eyes
2. He doesn't yell at me when I misjudge the distance and hit the garage door w/ the car
3. He loves to make up songs, providing me w/ a running soundtrack for my life
4. He supported me in weight watchers by counting points with me (for a while.)
5. He takes the kids to the park when he gets home from work.
6. He brings me flowers.
7. He is a great leader.
8. He asks great questions
9. He listens to me
10 He only tries to fix my problems occasionally
11. He loves his family more than football
12. He loves the world
13. He doesn't mind going to chick flicks
14. He loves my parents like his own
15. He is very organized
16. He'll eat anything I cook for him, as long as there is enough of it.
17. He cleans the bathroom
18 He mows the lawn
19 He hasn't killed our dog
20 He frees me up to get out and do stuff
21 He doesn't challenge me for driving 25 minutes to go to aerobics w/ the gas prices the way they are.
22. He does our budget.
23. He takes care of our investments
24. He loves to read
25. He's working on his seminary degree
26. He leads our house church
27. He is a friend to all
28. He prays for his family
29. He goes to the American Idol concert with me (and at least pretends to enjoy it.)
30. He is an amazing encourager
31. He has a beautiful smile
32. He spurs me on to love Jesus more.
33. He puts up with my crazy emotions, and claims he "enjoys" me.
34. He is in touch with his emotions
35. He is an optimist- especially when it comes to house projects.
36. He's getting handier each year.
37. He has a heart of gold
38. He is an amazing husband, father and man of God.

I love you, Steve. I am proud to be your wife. Again I say, how did I get so lucky???

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My own episode of what not to wear.

We were at my parents' this week. There were lots of fun things about being home with the kids, but one of my personal highlights was a kid-free trip to Target. I love Target. Some days when life is just boring or the kids are driving me crazy, I climb in the car and head to where the red dots call my name.

I am in the market for a new pair of jeans. My alone shopping trips are few and far between these days so I take any opportunity I can to try on clothes. I have come to a very important conclusion and one that may not be a huge surprise to anyone else...

Women who have birthed two children (rather recently) should NOT buy low rise jeans. Although I am in a decent size these days, there are some things a 36 year old mother of two should not wear. Low rise anything is at the top of that list. It was a bummer too. The jeans were cute and fit nicely but unless I was guaranteed to be wearing a sweater or some other forgiving top, these jeans would not be such a good idea- if you know what I mean.

I did walk away with a cute pair of flats and a Real Simple magazine. (I'm such a sucker for the promise of quick and easy organization-- if only someone would come and implement it for me.) If anyone knows of some great jeans at a price that won't require the sale of our first born, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

update on Baby Gum

There really is no news to tell but I thought it would be worth posting an update on where we are in the process.

A week ago Friday we officially completed our Home Study- meaning it's done, typed up, signed and notarized. We have 3 copies in our hands and one has been sent off to CIS (some kind of branch of homeland security having to do with immigration) along with our I-800A form. Once this form and our home study are read and we are approved to be adoptive parents, we will be told to go and get fingerprinted one last time. Once the CIS receive our fingerprints verifying that we are not criminals we will be sent our final form needed to complete our dossier.

Once we receive this form we send it and all the other 11 documents that have been gathered and notarized (and that notarization has also had to be verified) we send them to the State of Ohio for the State seal... once they have the State seal we send them to the Chinese consulate in NYC where we get a seal. After all documents are sealed from everyone and their brother (if you have a seal to include, let us know- we'll send 'em your way too!) our "dossier" is complete.

The dossier includes the documents gathered sealed and sent, along with a letter explaining why we want to adopt a baby, a bunch of pictures and a copy of the home study to the Chinese government. Once this is received we are ready to go. Because we are adopting from the Waiting Child program (aka special needs children) things are a tad bit different, and faster, than if we were waiting for a "healthy" child.

The potential hic-up in this could be that letter from China that we were waiting for. It never came. I tried everything. No luck. So we had a paragraph written in our home study saying we tried everything with no luck. We are praying praying praying that the powers that be will see that they are asking for the impossible and approve us anyhow.

As we wait for our I-800A to be approved, we can move forward with some other forms specifically for special needs children. We will indicate from a very very specific checklist what kind of special needs we are willing to take. Things range from very minor (birthmarks and fatty tumors) to very serious conditions such as quadriplegics (sorry for my spelling) and spina bifida etc. FYI, we are requesting very minor and medically correctable issues. Once we fill these forms out we are technically on the waiting list and could be matched with a child per our specifications soon-ish! But we can't go get the child until the dossier is in. We are also beginning to apply for grants and other kinds of fincial aids. Most of these are contingent on the completion of the home study.

Complicated, isn't it?

So time frame?? Some is on us, most is on the process, all of it is on God! But on the very very earliest we could be placed w/ a child by the summer. Most likely it will be next fall. And most children on the Waiting Child list are a bit older. We've asked for the youngest child possible, but we realize that will probably mean that by the time they come home they'll be between 1 & 2 years old. (So there is a good chance Baby Gum and Turner will be twins :)

So there you have it, a very complicated situation for a very exciting event. I'm not sure which is worse, the paper chase or strech marks!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I made it

After going to Weight Watchers meetings for almost exactly 7 months (I looked at my records today and found that I started on Feb. 15th) I am officially a lifetime member. This means that I made my goal weight and maintained it for 6 weeks. Now, as long as I stay within 2 lbs of my goal weight I can go to meetings for free (rather than paying the $12 meeting fees.) That's pretty exciting for me.

As you can see from the "before" pictures here, I really needed something. With Olivia and Turner, I gained 60 lbs each time. HOLY COW-- literally.

After having Olivia, I dropped most of the weight but still hung on to about 10 lbs (so I was behind already when having Turner.)

I remember when I delievered Turner and they told me he was 9lbs. I was really suprised. (Olivia had only been 6lbs and some change.) I thought, great, that's nearly 10 lbs gone like that. Then one of the nurses laughed and said, "This is where you hope you now deliver a 40 lb. placenta.) Gross, but true! Too bad for me, I didn't. The picture to the left was at O's 2nd birthday party (the same week I started WW.)

This is me 7 months later. I have to say, I feel really good. I have never had such an easy weight loss experience. I am committing to continue the meetings (for at least a year) but probably for the rest of my life. I need the accountability. I need to be around others who find the pull of food to be like a gigantic magnet.

Seriously, I was at a meeting a month or two ago and the facilitator asked us to share a victory we had that week. One lady raised her hand and shared about how she had been at a NAASCAR event that week and they had a "roast beef sundae bar". The whole room groaned (as if identifying in her pain) and then eyes lit up at the thought of such an amazingly wonderful thought-- roast beef sundae bar. why didn't we think of that??? The lady shared how she was able to pass by the "sundae bar" and ate a grilled chicken breast instead.

Now if you read that and had some kind of repulsive thought about a roast beef sundae bar, than clearly you don't need to be at a WW meeting. If your mouth started to water and you wondered, "How in the world/why in the world did she eat grilled chicken instead?" then you can relate to why I love sitting in a meeting and find support from these people.

But what I'm really thankful for is the way my mind has been re-trained to think about food. I think that I have a much healthier perspective on food. Not just physical healthy, but psychologically healthy. Rather than seeing food as a reward or a treat, buying a new pair of pants in the smallest size I've ever worn in my adult life is the treat. Delayed gratification... we humans don't like that very much.

I'm really convinced that God has given me the vehicle of Weight Watchers to release my inner thin person He created me to be. If you are struggling with some extra lbs. I'd really encourage you to check out a meeting. (They are doing a special promotion now through Oct. where the normal $25 registration fee is waived.)

So with this weight loss, I'm going to go ahead and let some Chinese woman pack on that 60lbs when my next child is born!!! Stay tuned for more on the adoption progress in a later post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I really am thankful that Olivia is now potty trained. (She no longer wears pull-ups, ever. So if you're in the market for size 3T Huggies princess pull-ups, I'm your connection!) She hasn't even had an accident going on 7 weeks. And I'm trying to keep that streak going. It's really hard getting all 3 of us out the door to go somewhere AND remember to do the final potty check. Maybe I'M the one still potty training.

We were out the door to do a Kroger run this morning and I did remember to do the final potty check and she went. So off we went to Trader Joe's & Kroger (by-monthly tandum run.) Boo.. Ike shut us down. A large part of the greater Dayton area is still w/o power! So we had to go across town to a different Kroger. I should have known something was up when, as we were pulling into our parking spot, O asked, "Does this Kroger have a big potty or a little potty?" Hmmm.... potty on the brain can only mean one thing.

I had hit the produce aisle and then the coffee section when I heard the emergency cry of all emergency cries-- as she was holding herself in the front and in the back, "mommy, daddy, I have to sit on the potty, mommy,daddy." (which by the way is the way O lets us know she has to go EVERY SINGLE TIME she needs to potty. It stems from when we first were training her how to let us know she had to go--- the girl is such a literalist!)

So, if you can imagine me pushing my 1/2 full cart w/ baby Turner happy as a little lark, running from one side of Kroger to the other (b/c naturally we were on the wrong side!) and O. was half running half stumbling while holding her front and back trying not to go before hitting the restroom (which by the way, is not so glamorous at Kroger.)

From the "things I said I'd never do as a parent" files; I left my aforementioned 1/2 full cart of food outside of the hefty double doors that hides the nasty bathrooms, Turner under one arm, dragging O by the other arm, get to the biggest stall w/ the smallest potty, carefully balance Turner between my knees as Im crouched down where he can NOT touch anything nasty, while trying to pull down the big girl panties/jeans combo, hoist her up on the john before the poopies come out, gagging the whole time. WHEW! Made it!

Unfortunately, the sinks were unusually high and there was NO way I could manage to pick her up, soap her up and rinse her off while at the same time hold Turner. So we skipped the hand washing, which as I have mentioned before, was enough to send my anal as they come 2 year old into bonkersville. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I've seen her do WAY grosser stuff than that. Buck up little camper.

Finally, 30 min. later we made it to the checkouts which were a zoo, because, remember, many of the other groceries in town are on lockdown. Holy cow were the lines long. Howeer, some really nice mom of 2 (who was kidless, and obviously enjoying it) had mercy on me and let me have "cuts" in front of her when a new line opened up and she scored the coveted 1st spot. Thank you gracious mommy,whose name I don't know but greatly envy as you were at the store, ALONE! May I return the favor some lucky day when I get to hit Kroger kid-free.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

move over Elmo, Les Mis is in the house!

Olivia loves to watch people sing (and dance!). We've gone through a few phases around here including several youtube clips of swan lake and Paul Potts the Opera singer who won Britian's Got Talent last season. Girl could sit glued for hours. To the point of nausea for the adults in the room. So yesterday I came up with a briliant plan, hook her onto something I enjoy. Then it becomes a win/win.

So I introduced her to Les Mis. (My all-time favorite Broadway musical, seen it live too many times to even remember.) Well, girlfriend LOVES it. (Except the Inn Keeper and his Wife- but who can blame her!.)

This morning we were having a moment snuggling on a chair watching different songs from the 10th Anniversary Live Performance on the internet. She was even humming along - her own special tune, of course. Then she saw the conductor and had a bunch of questions about him.

O: "Who's that guy, mama?"
Proud Mama: "The conductor"
O: "What's he standin on, mama?"
Proud Mama: "The conductor's stand." (disclaimer- I'm not really sure what it's called, but that sounded good enough to explain to a 2 year old.)
O: "Why's he got a stick, mama?"
Proud Mama: "He tells the people playing the instruments when to play faster or slower or when to stop."
O: "I wanna use that stick someday."

*** Here is where the tear in my eye formed and I soaked in the moment. Who knows what she will be or what she will become? I really, honestly don't have a design on her life (yet) but am excited about her future.***

Proud Mama: "Maybe you will, O! What do you think you want to be when you grow up?"
O: (After actually taking about 10 seconds to think about it. I caught my breath to see what she would answer.)

And there is was, the answer I should have anticipated. At least she left her dreams of becoming Hannah Montana aside for today!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Ok, so one of my all-time least favorite jobs around the house is washing the slip cover for the sofa. We are really lucky to have some generous family who, when we were getting married, gave us 2 of their very nice, yet rather outdated plaid couches. To which we say, thank you Mike and Debbie! 1994 was a good year, wasn't it?!

In order to bring our sofas more up to date, when we got married I ordered some great slip covers from the Sure Fit catalogue (great catalogue by the way!!! Cute stuff and very affordable.) But clearly this was before dog and before kids. From the "Was I crazy files", an off-white slip cover. Needless to say, life around the Koproskis has changed and therefore forces me to launder my slip covers a bit more often. AND THAT JUST STINKS! Putting a slip cover back on a sofa is enough to drive me bonkers. Front? Back? How to get the arms just right? How will that little green piping ever be straight again? There are ALWAYS bubbles running along the back of it. By the end I'm sputtering and talking to myself and wondering when we'll ever turn into grown ups where all of our furniture is able to be cover free???!!!! Ack.

Well, this bi-annual event is over (unless someone poops, barfs, or spills something on it before 6 months is up.) It turned out okay, and in record time, I think. Perhaps it's time to run out to the Pottery Barn Outlet and see if there is anything on super sale. And who knows, before we can afford something different, maybe Camel and Forrest Green plaid will come back in style!!

just another sunday afternoon

Steve and I have been trying to do some odd jobs around the house (odd meaning things we haven't cleaned or painted in the 5 years we've lived in our home.) So we pushed through some nasties on Sunday morning and decided to reward ourselves with a family outing.

Xenia has an annual Old-fashioned days (I'm not too sure what is old-fashioned about deep fried Pop Tarts and Ohio State Buckeyes lawn ornaments, but we went with it.) It was a lovely, yet windy day, to be outside.

O really enjoyed feeding the ducks (something Steve pointed out we could have done 5 minutes from our house rather than 25 min.--- party pooper.) We ate a little bit of fair food, include some homemade strawberry ice cream for O. Anything pink is a big win. We decided to head back home when we heard of two people being rushed to the hospital after the vendors' tents were ripped out of the ground by the high winds and sliced their heads open. Yummy! Strawberry ice cream, anyone??

So by the time we got back home, there were already branches down and leaves blowing like crazy.

We lost power around 3pm and didn't get it back on until 1:15 am. I was a bit nervous because we have a rather anal 2 1/2 year old whose bed-time routine includes nightlights and a fan. Yikers! Try explaining power outages and hurricane force winds to someone who is completely irrational when all 7 of her stuffed animals arn't in the exact same place in the bed every night.

Thankfully, Steve was able to get some ice from the nearby gas station before they sold out and we were able to salvage everything from the fridge and freezer. (Including my 8 bags of "mothers milk") which equals freedom in my life for the next 4 months. Nursing moms, can I get an AMEN?!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

family fun

Some of our most fun family times happen in the kitchen. We have a kitchen radio and daddy likes to crank up the music and all of us dance. What's really fun is that Turner is starting to get into the action too. I LOVE this age. He turned 8m on Monday.

Last night was extra fun because cousin Nick joined us for the evening and for dinner.

Hopefully, having Turner and O "help" with the dishes doesn't infringe on any child labor laws :) With the number of dishes O has broken while trying to "help" I think we've made up for any kind of advantage we try and take of her help. We're thinking of hiring out... anyone have a 3 year old they want to send over?

For sale...

One adorable 5 year old Springer Spaniel named Baxter. Just kidding (kind of) about the for sale part. But I must say, if we found a loving home for him, I think we may consider it.

Baxter has, well, a lot of energy. You see when Steve and I first got married I insisted on getting a dog. I grew up with dogs, a springer actually. And during my years in NYC and then of course over seas it was impossible for me to have a dog. But now that we were "settling down", why not. Shoot, now I can think of 100 reasons why not.

WEll, we did just enough dog research to be dangerous. I have always wanted a basset hound or an english bull dog (or any other kind of lazy, ugly dog.) Steve really wanted a dog that he could run with and throw balls to at the park. Neither of us wanted a big dog. So, a Springer seemed like a good choice for us.

We found a great breeder not too far from Dayton. We knew we didn't want a puppy mill dog and Baxter came with quite a pedigree. Both of his parents were champion hunting dogs. Oooo.. red flag there but we didn't care, this dog was gonna have good hips! Needless to say, we live in Downtown Dayton (read: NOT a big yard) and we don't hunt.

No joke, Baxter's one party trick is to hunt bugs. If you've ever been over, you've probably seen it. But all you need to say is, "Baxter, get a bug" and he will run like an idiot for 1/2 hours straight in circles, trying to catch an imaginary bug. It's a bit embarassing, really. But since we are not above getting a cheap laugh, we have been known to run ragged yelling, "Get a bug."

Baxter has a bit too much energy for our less and less active lifestyle. He is actually like having a 3rd toddler around. At any moment during the day I've got Turner screeching, Olivia throwing a tantrum and Baxter barking. Wow, and now we're adopting. We are gluttons for punishment. So depending on the moment, I'm willing to ship Baxter to the lowest bidder!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

one of those days

I locked my keys in the car, the dog barfed all over the rug that just spent 3 weeks getting cleaned, both kids were WAY late for their naps (Turner missed a meal because of it), dog food spilled ALL OVER the laundry room floor and I put too much Rosemary in tonight's dinner. All in all, the day could have been worse.

A bright spot in my day-- on the way to the office (moments BEFORE I locked the keys in the car) I was listening to a certain talk radio program (that was really funny this morning, by the way.) I forget how much Olivia takes in these days. Like a sponge-- and a parrot.

The subject this morning, Obama's comment during a speech recently where he made a comment about you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Well, from the back seat I hear, "Why put lipstick on a pig, mama? That's silly!!!" Hilarious! Once again a reminder to watch what I say.

Well, I'm off to watch Super Nanny. (Gotta get some tips somehow.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

fantasy land

So I am officially a suburban stay at home mom in the midwest. Because when the kids got up from naps and I was tired of being at home, we loaded up the Jeep and went to Barnes and Noble to play with the Thomas the Tank Engine toy track that they have (we were too late for story hour!)

In my fantasyland (read: before we actually loaded up the car, changed the poopy diaper and headed off the two year old temper tantrum on the way to the car because I wasn't letting Olivia take another a toy with us) Turner would tool around the floor, play with the train set and O and I would snuggle up in a chair and I would read to her any book she fancied from the millions of her choosing.

Well, Turner did not disappoint. He indeed loved the train set. He likes anything these days he can get into his mouth and drool all over. He was as happy as a clam (but then again, when isn't he?) He might be the happiest baby ever born.

But let's just say that fantasy turned into reality AS SOON AS we hit the kiddie part of B&N. "Look Mommy! PRINCESSES." Yes, my daughter has hawk eyes when it comes to anything pink and of the Disney genre. Dang you, Cinderella! All I wanted was a fond memory to tuck away for when she is 13 and wants nothing to do with me. Not only was she intrigued with all books Disney, she was engrossed in anything Hanna Montana. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Girlfriend, you are 2! We are NOT doing that.

All I wanted to do was read a Dr. Suesse or a Richard Scarry book. Didn't happen. Maybe another day. Shoot, I didn't even get myself a Starbuck's latte. Better luck next time
At least Baby Turner left a happy man :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Big Fat Deal

I can't believe it! I have in my hands the rough draft of our homestudy. (4 months ago, I would have said Ho Hum to that one.) But in the life of an adopting parent, that's big stuff my friend! The reason that it's a rough draft is because there are several things we'll need to go over with our social worker before she signs it, gets it notarized and we fork over $1,000-- changes that need to be made, typos that are found, etc. For that kind of money, things better be RIGHT!

So that brings me to the reason I drag you into this homestudy discussion. Within the pages of the homestudy are many many personal things (it's quite crazy, really. A bit like stumbling across my journal, or this blog for that matter.) But I digress... my question here is, do I make a big deal out of the fact that she has my weight 21 pounds MORE than it actually is? I guess she has not been on the blog lately to read that Weight Watchers has been going really well and that I am, in fact, only a mere 2 meetings away from becoming a LIFETIME member (read, don't gotta pay anymore!)

I mean, if it's just for vanity's sake or my own peace of mind, probably not... but I need to sign the paper saying everything within the content of the homestudy is true. So, in fact, it's not vanity, but, rather, integrity that is at stake here people! If I am going to be able to sleep well at night, knowing that I have been above reproach and am sharing all things true throughout this process, the only logical thing I can do is have her lower my weight by 21 lbs. Ah, yes, sleep well tonight, dear reader, all is right with the world.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

hooter hiders

I'm learning a lot about the Blog World. There is an entire underground world here and I'm learning it can be a gold mine. My fear, it can also be a colossal time suck. A new friend of mine, Jenny, was telling me tonight about how she will blog about different brand name things on her blog and from time to time these companies will contact her and give her free stuff in the hopes of another product endorsement. Well, shoot, I can name drop like the best of 'em and if it gets me a free bottle of nail polish-- sobeit!

So, don't be suprised if you don't start seeing some of my favorite stuff on here from time to time (who knows who will do a google search and find out how much I LOVE Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches (which by the way you can buy in bulk at Sam's Club and they equal out to be $.50 a piece.) And just maybe they'll send me a year's supply or something :)

Or how the one baby item I couldn't have survived without this time around? That would be my Hooter Hiders. Yes, you read right, my Hooter Hiders. LOVE. IT. Makes nursing in public or in crowded places a no brainer. With Olivia, I would go to the car, sit in coat closets, leave dinners etc. etc. With Turner, I have no fear of him pulling it off (the HH, as we call it in our house) goes around my neck like a necklace, is light weight and stylish. So he is undistracted, doesn't get all hot and sweaty and I'm not arrested for indecent exposure if he pulls it off- because he can't. It saved my life both times on the airplance first to NYC and then to China.
There you have it. Product endorsement #1. Keep your eye out for more, and I'll let you know when it starts paying off :)

the latest on adoption

So our computer officially died this week and we've ordered a new one. Hopefully we will get it by the end of the week. So I've been at the mercy of my husband each day when he brings the work computer home... thus the quiet blog week.

The latest scoop on the adoption front may be good news, or may not...we'll see how it goes. If you remember, we've been working on obtaining that elusive letter on somekind of official Chinese letterhead stating that we are not child abusers (or stating that they have no such registry.) Well after several weeks of my good friend, Lisa, running around the 3rd largest city in the world with many many different documentation that was fed-exed half way around the world to her door step- she basicially ran into many dead ends. As of the last report she had been turned away from 3 different police offices with a firm no to her request for the "letter".

As Lisa was breaking her neck 12 time zones away, I was exhausting all possibilities here. I called the Chinese consulate in NYC. I actually did get to talk to a woman there and as I explained to her what it was that I needed she did the old "uh hu, uh hu, uh hu" on the other end. When I finished she said, "wait a moment" then I heard a muffled chinese conversation in the background and then she re-addressed me with a "please repeat your problem." I said it even slower and less complicated. She suggested I try a different number. I asked what office she was having me call- the passport and visa office in NYC. Ummm... Im no expert but I was pretty sure I've played this game before. But b/c her english wasn't going to improve and my Chinese was certainly not going to get my meaning across, I called this new number. Ahh... just as I suspected... a recorded menu with no live person to talk to in ANY kind of language.

Next stop, my congressman. My mom lives and breathes politics and when I told her about what was going on she all but forced me to call Congressman Mike Turner. "That's what he was elected to do-- help you." So naturally, I talked to Kim in his office (I believe "Mike" as I like to call him) had bigger fish to fry that day. Kim suggested I contact the Chinese Embassy in DC (she suggest emailing to circumvent the language barrier.) Oh, yeah, but unfortunately due to the Olympics, a lot of information had been removed from the website. So the only email address available had the word visa in it. (again, not being an expert but pretty experienced w/ travel and dealing with China, I knew that did not bode well for my getting a child abuse letter.) I tried calling the Embassy phone number- another automated maze. What happened to the day when you could actually talk to someone? At this point, I don't even care WHAT language they speak. I'm desperate here people!

So can someone give us an A for effort???

Our social worker did. She is going to thoroughly explain in the text of our Home Study all of the avenues we have tried to pursue. So it looks like we are going to have our completed Home Study this week, allowing us to send in our I-800A form (the form that goes to HomeLand security) that, when and if, we are approved will allow us to send our Dossier (packet of forms/documents and application for adoption) to the Chinese government. ALL OF THAT means----- we're on our way baby!!! Pray Pray Pray that Homeland security will not be ridiculous and that they will see that we have made every attempt possible to produce that letter. What a crazy-maker!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

from the "Oh, Crap" files

So, today just wasn't my day. Seems like the day after a holiday often goes like that! I was coming home from my spinning class at the Y this morning and while pulling in the garage, I noticed I hadn't quite gauged it right. So I backed up and tried again.

Should have tried for a third time, since my 2nd try was a failed attempt to miss the garage door. Yep, nailed it pretty good this time. (Since you are pretty sharp if you're spending time reading my blog, you did in fact notice "this time", meaning that this is not the first time I have hit the garage.)

Unfortunately, this is the "best" one I've done. I took off some of the molding on the frame of the door, bent the little "camera thing" that detects if there is anything in the way so the door will actually shut and put a nice little scrape in the car.

I did, however, manage to NOT cuss out loud with the 2 kids in the car. But immediately on impact they both started screaming and crying (I'm not exactly sure why, I was only going 1 mile an hour, they certainly didn't get whip lash or anything.) Luckily, it was only 103 degrees in the garage while I investigated the damage, made the dreaded phone call to Steve and tried to figure out how you close the door w/ out the magic button. (I figured it out by the way!) Here's to a better Wednesday.

labor day

So they say you shouldn't wear white after labor day, right? Well then we're battin' 1,000. Just take a look at those shoes that O wore today(see below for more shoe details.)

We lounged around in the a.m. did some house cleaning/yardwork and when the kids got up from naps, our holiday began!

We decided to go to Dayton's new trendy shopping area, The Greene. You know the kind- every town has one-cute shops, yummy restaurants, offices and living spaces available. It's this decades' version of the strip mall (circa 1980). Our trendy spot has a fountain in the middle where kids gather and they hand out complimentary towels. I would have pics posted from there but O isn't too big on actually splashing in the fountain. She prefers to be near the fountain, which doesn't make for very exciting pics.
Not to mention, while she played, I shopped. Gymborre was having a nice sale and I had a good coupon. I bought the above shoes, and because she is her mother's daughter, she INSISTED on wearing them today. Lovely. 91 degrees and my daughter is sporting thick leather shoes.

After shopping and playing we thought we would end the day with the traditional all American cookout, oops, I mean dinner at Cheesecake Factory.

Which by the way, is SO NOT kid friendly. The waiter started off by saying, "Um, just so you know, we don't really have a kids menu. Most people just order something off the appetizer menu for the little ones." (yeah right, every app. is $8.00 or more.)

It was the first time that it really felt like the 4 of us were out to a real meal. The kids sat in their seats, across from us and they laughed and played together. Turner even nawed on a hunk of bread for awhile. (We did leave a very nice tip for Tim the waiter since there was about 1/2 loaf of bread and I kid you not, 5 spoons, under our table.) That'll teach you to not have a kids menu, Cheesecake Factory! Happy Labor day.