Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas!!

I just wanted to post quickly and wish everyone a very merry CHRISTmas! You know I will have hundreds of pictures to post soon.

I also wanted to let you know that we received notice from USCIS that we have an appointment for our fingerprinting in three weeks! What a great Christmas present :) Hopefully next years though will be a sweet little girl at home with her family!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

an update in photos

Christmas is next weekend!! What happened to the last month? We've been busy in this house getting ready for CHRISTmas, and we're almost there. Work has been busy for me with year-end stuff, but it's under control (at least I feel like that at this moment, next week may be a different story).

good ol' Ohio weather - at least the snow is beautiful (but then I'm not out shoveling it)

USCIS got our application! We received our Form I-797, so hopefully our fingerprint appointment will be soon :) (by the way - it's awesome now because you can get emails and text messages as your application is being processed. Welcome to the 21st century, government)

How cute is Katie? If you can't read her shirt it says "Sorry Santa, I ate the cookies"

Katie had surgery today to remove a growth on the edge of her eyelid. She did great and she's here sleeping in her lampshade (or Elizabethan collar as the receipt states). I'll post pictures of that sweet little girl later. She's sleeping now, so I won't wake her to take pictures of her that she doesn't want taken.

Yes, Katie has a lot of shirts

Christmas cards went out this week

Wesley got to see Santa! Up until this day, Wes wanted a train from Santa, but when he saw the big guy, Wes decided that a guitar was all he wanted. Damon and I let him know that Santa's elves may have already made him a train... 

a little family picture (notice the serious grip on my jaw)

Wes and Mommy in front of one of our four trees 

I would really like to post more, but my brain is tired. Maybe later this weekend...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the I-800A is in the mail

You read that right...our form is in the mail asking US Citizenship and Immigration and the Department of Homeland Security to allow us to bring two children into the United States to become citizens!! I've been waiting to say that for months...literally. When we adopted Wesley, we had to fill out the I-600A. The I-800A (for Hague countries like Moldova) is a MUCH more detailed form than the I600A. We're talking more detailed like 15 pages more detail, but I am happy to do it :)

We can now begin assembling the dossier (the official paperwork we mail to Moldova). Being the detail-oriented person that I am, I think I can get this bad boy together in a week tops. The first dossier we did back in 2007 took a few months, but once you've done it once, you get the system down pat. The trouble is that I will have to wait on the I-800A fingerprinting and approval, so I am not going to rush too much. I plan on getting everything together after Christmas, unless of course I can't wait to get started and begin to feel like I am doing something instead of just waiting - again. (I just keep repeating "patience is a virtue, find it if you can" know the rest)

I am going to attempt to explain something that I know a few readers out there in blog-land I have never met this daughter of mine (she may not even be born yet), but she is just as much my child as Wesley is. I don't tuck her into bed at night or comfort her when she cries, but one day I pray that I will. I pray for her safety, her comfort, her health, her future, but mainly that she has a peace that she isn't going to spend her life without a family. Her mommy and daddy are working very hard to bring her home and we know it will happen in God's time, but it doesn't mean I'm not anxious for it to happen sooner rather than later. I had these same thoughts when we were adopting from Ukraine a few years ago, and I know some of you know exactly what I'm feeling.

here's a favorite Christmas tree ornament (can you tell why?)

I will address the eating issues from our home in the next post; I'm too tired to do it tonight. I worked all day, then I had a nice dinner with my old co-workers. (And by "old" I mean past co-workers not their age, even though they are older than me :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and an outdoor photo shoot

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving - we did. We had both sides of the family over to our house. I don't know if they all love it, but it's great for us because we don't have to eat two full meals, Wes behaves a bit better at our home, and it forces me to "really" clean (and you know how I like a clean house).

Good news from our house, drum roll please. After 14 months of being "daytime potty trained," we have now moved into conquering the nighttime realm (I'm talking about Wesley here)...I hope I don't have to eat my words, but so far, so good. We aren't going to go sleeping over at someone's house without protection, but he's "safe" in his bed. I have to say that daytime training really happened for us in a weekend (with a boy, no less!), but nighttime has been a long time coming. For so long we had to put Wes in a diaper because he would soak through pull-ups. We were able to move into pull-ups, then wearing underwear to bed until Damon and I went to sleep, then pull-ups for the remainder of the night. The last few months, Wes has wanted to wear underwear all night, and we've been holding back. Who really wants to change a soaking wet bed at 1 in the morning, then again at 4 when you have to be at work at 8? No thanks. I figured he wasn't going to head to college wearing pull-ups, so I didn't stress about it (at least not too much).

I've spent time lately thinking of how blessed I am. I've been getting frustrated with the adoption process, so I have to focus on what I do have, not what I don't. And lets be honest, it is SO EASY to focus on what other people have that you don't, how easy things appear to be for other people, and just how bad things are for you. I mean, having a little pity party for yourself can happen before you even realize what you're doing!!

I went out last week with a few girlfriends and we had a photo shoot with our boys (five boys from 2-4.5 years old). Here are a few favorites of Wesley:

I like this picture, but I need to "fix" the sky with Photoshop (it's all blown out)

look at that sweet smile :)

the bored look

this picture is classic Wes to me...climbing, dirty, and with a stick in his hand

here are all the boys running away from us
(I think they were tired of the picture-taking)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Damon!

I would like to start off by saying happy birthday to my wonderful husband Damon! I won't tell you how old he is, but he is a few years older than me :) 

Saying that though, anyone who knows us knows that in many ways I am the older one. Just Friday night when we were walking through a parking lot to meet my parents for Damon's bday dinner, I was carrying Wes like a baby (not an easy feat, mind you). We were kidding around, and me not being all that graceful, I stepped in a huge hole and lost my footing. Of course we both went down, but somehow I managed to keep Wes from even hitting the ground. That means that I took the whole brunt of the fall, and I am still physically paying for it . I landed on my knees (quite bruised,making it tough to walk), my left elbow hit fairly hard (I had Wesley's head in that arm and no one wants to fall on their kid whilst dropping him on pavement head first - imagine explaining that to the police), then my right forearm hit (also bruised). Somehow in the whole ruckus, I hurt my right foot (bruised and swollen) and my right hand is bruised. The good news though is that Wesley wasn't hurt at all. Of course he cried, but it was definitely not because he got hurt. The bad news is that I have apparently entered the phase of my life where I fall and get hurt. At least its just bruising and not broken bones...yet!

A relaxing Sunday afternoon...I was watching the Bengals struggle against the Colts, but at least they picked up the pace (too bad they lost...again). Thankfully Carson Palmer has begun throwing the ball to his teammates instead of his opponents. At one point he was 2/4 with two interceptions (this means that two throws were caught by Bengals and two by the Colts). YIKES! Now I do like Peyton Manning, but I would have liked him to lose today.

So you can see I've been working on a Christmas background. It's not exactly what I want, but I'll keep it up until I make one I like better. I've also been working on making our Christmas cards for this year. The banner above is a simplied one that I made, but again...not exactly what I'm looking for. Why is it that when you make something by hand it is difficult to be pleased with it? I could spend hours remaking and redoing things I make by hand, but I won't.

I bought this super-cute necklace on from "your charmed life." I love it! Once we accept our referral, I will order charms for Wesley and his sister. I would have gotten Wes one now, but I decided to wait until I was able to order them for all my kids :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

it's been three weeks?

I cannot believe it has been three weeks since I last posted. And I was doing so well...guess its time to get back on the blogging bandwagon. I write blog posts in my head all the time, but then I don't ever have the chance right then to post, then I forget (or get lazy).

Our home study is done!! I asked them to make a few grammatical changes, but it is good to go otherwise. We have seriously been waiting six months to say it's done. Now the dossier collection begins. I typed up all the documents for that already, so I don't think it will take long to get things together. Waiting for our fingerprint appointment and approval from US Citizenship and Immigration will take the most time, but I'm praying they are working overtime this Christmas season :) Who am I kidding? Its government...they'll probably be closed most of the month of December.

We had a good Halloween. Wesley dressed up as Cat in the Hat and he LOVED trick-or-treating. (Funny in my opinion because the kid doesn't like candy)
Cat in the Hat's fish in the bowl where Wes collected candy (I made it myself and my mom painting the water)

a family picture (I would like to point out that Duke, our wild dog, is lying on the floor and Damon isn't even holding him). Why are Damon and I the only ones who look happy? Maybe because we are the only ones not wearing costumes...

the family outside (notice Duke in the window though)

Wesley with his Grandma and Grandpa
(aka Doda and Pawpaw)

the dogs checking out the trick-or-treaters

I am sure I have more to say, but I am heading to bed. Damon and I got to spend the day together just hanging out while Wesley was at school, so we did a bit of Christmas shopping, ate lunch and just enjoyed each other's company. We haven't just hung out like that in a long time, so it was nice.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

happy birthday, Grandma

Happy birthday, Grandma!

I hope you have a good day - make Dad take you out to dinner. He loves when the wait staff sings too :) HA HA

Here's a little video Wesley made for you. I thought he knew the happy birthday song, apparently not. It's still pretty cute if I say so myself.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ohio Renaisance Festival (oh yeah - we went)

Sit back - this is a long one! Before I get to the Renaissance Festival, let me finish my Bengals post...
Marines were honored before the game and some took an oath of some sort at halftime (I'm not being disrespectful, I just couldn't understand what was said over the noise of the stadium)

I would not have wanted to be the guy getting taken down by three guys at least his size!

Now the fans...
 His gloves were quite helpful in not dropping the water and soda. (You can't see his doo-rag well, but he actually had a buccanneer with a line through it. sweet)

I loved this guy with a child sized helmet on his head. I don't believe he ever took it off, but maybe he couldn't get it off his head...

Who wouldn't want a "Who Dey Hotel"? Probably everyone now that I think about it.

This is just a shot of the stands - talk about a lot of people there to see the Bengals lose.

So now onto the Ohio Renaissance Festival...a coworker gave us free tickets, otherwise we would not have paid $40 just to get into the "festival." Personally I thought Wesley would like to see the costumes, and he did even though he thought they were dressed up for Halloween. (side note: Wes asked me at least three times what I was going to be for Halloween. My answer: Cat in the Hat's mom) Damon was less than excited to go, but I thought it would be fun to people watch more than anything. I went to the festival YEARS ago so I generally knew what to expect, but Damon had NO idea. he he he (that's my evil laugh)

Many people visiting the festival dress up in period costume, so it isn't just the workers who are dressed to the nines. We did not dress up, but I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you. Not only do people go all out to dress the part for the festival, they talk like it is the 1500s as well! To me though most of it sounded like they were trying to talk like pirates, but maybe that's just my untrained ears :) Our family stuck with the good ol' southern Ohio twang.

Here's a sample of what we ran across couldn't make this stuff up!

belly dancers - not sure what the fox tails are all about

I have always wanted to carry a parasol, but I've never had one that went with my outfit. Come to think of it, I've never actually had one at all. bummer

the parade of workers (some ladies were a bit racey in my opinion)

How would you like to have people throw rotting veggies at you? No thanks.

love the ears and the wings

it's a family affair

I am unsure whether this is a costume or just her everyday outfit.

more fairy wings

Here are pictures of us hamming it up:

Wesley hanging with a viking

on the much anticipated horse ride

these cute little pumpkins were at a farm on our way home

I almost didn't see this van in the parking lot! *smirk*

Next update will be about the first professional pictures of our family that we had taken this week...stay tuned!

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