Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My guest blog post on America Adopts

I was contacted to do a guest blog for America Adopts and here is the result.


Looking On The Bright Side As We Wait For An Open Adoption Match

Tucker and Parker can't Wait to have a new friend to play with!
This guest post is by Nicole, a hopeful adoptive mother and blogger.
The adoption journey for us so far has been an interesting one. We knew that if we wanted to have a family we’d adopt because I didn’t want to do IVF.
Well, that is much easier said than done.
At the time we were first investigating adoption options, we kept hitting road blocks. Like the agency was closed or they only did closed adoptions. We wanted at the very least a semi-open adoption.
Years went by and then one day a friend and co-worker of my husband, Don, mentioned an agency that they’d found and were going through to adopt. Don sent me the link and I contacted them for more information.
We did a phone call to ask our questions and get them answered and signed up for the weekend workshop which was in March the following year.
As I was taking it all in and talking with others at the workshop — one couple had adopted before and were a great resource – Don was getting more and more excited about the prospects of what an open adoption could mean for us.
He was seriously like a kid in the candy store by the time we met our adoption coordinator for the first time. I, on the other hand left crying.
So many emotions; elation, anxiousness, excitement, nervousness, I couldn’t believe we’d signed the papers and were on our way.
We left that day with two additional books to read on open adoption. By the next morning I had already finished “The Kid,” one of the books, before our workshop had even started.
Our agency is in another state so as soon as we got home I began gathering the information we’d need to do our home study. Don was set to go to Ghana a few weeks after our workshops so I had everything together when he returned.

I think most prospective adopting couples stress about the home study but it really was the easiest part.

Answer everything as thoroughly as you can and don’t stress the white glove test, it doesn’t happen.
Also, the key here is keeping your humor.
Adoption is stressful and being able to laugh at yourself will be key in staying on task.
The other thing we didn’t do but should have was start our letter to a prospective mom right out of the workshop.
It held us up by five months. It is just a design/edit/design/print process that really takes time. This aspect of the process taught me that the wait was going to be hard. I would be right!
We are still waiting for our child to find us.
In fact I’ve never been one to write about myself, our life, or put us out there on social media. We’d always been quite private.

One of the many things adoption teaches you is let go, get out there and learn marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and how to blog.

I just started our blog but already it’s helped me put things in perspective. I want to remember that not every day was an easy one and that we are all humans who need to laugh and cry.
I try to put a fun spin on things either with words or in pictures.
It can be hard like the day we met a couple who were considering us, loved them and they us but in the end we got the call to say they went with the other couple.
So difficult to hear and experience but it strengthened my resolve it can happen at literally anytime.Someday, I can look back at it with our child and say this is the story of our family and you were so worth it!
Other things I do besides update our social sites is to try and keep busy with travel, friends, family, and home projects. We recently went to meet up with a bunch of friends in Atlanta for a convention get together.
This summer we worked on projects in the yard between battling the bugs eating our food in the garden (the bugs pretty much won this year!) to finishing a patio we’d been working on.
We also have been seeing friends or family every weekend for game days. It helps to “get out of your head” even for a few hours or a few days. As our journey continues I try to look on the bright side and wait for the adrenaline rush from a contact who could be the one.
Nicole and her husband, Don, and  live with their “boys” Tucker, Parker (above), Oscar and Chance (cats) and are waiting to complete their family through open adoption. They’ve been married for 18 years and counting, are animal lovers and can’t wait to share their lives with a child. To find out more about them check out their blog.
Are you waiting to adopt?
If you’re looking for ways to increase your visibility and connect with others in the community, including prospective birthparents, share your story with us.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Empathy, Autism, Friendship and Parenting

I've been reading a lot of parenting articles and one recently mentioned parents not teaching kindness and empathy in children.  As a sensitive and empathetic person I find it disturbing to say the least. I do believe the parents are the keys to unlock our kids potential, among many other factors and kindness towards ourselves and others is absolutely necessary. I realize right and wrong trump it most times but seriously isn't hard to touch base on even in the right/wrong lesson.
A story of when I was in 6th grade; A girl about half way through the school year moved to the super small town I lived in.  She Always wore bowling shoes and people made fun of her and her simple nature.  I took offense and I was myself chastised for being kind to her and empathic. I realize now she was autistic but back then we didn't have a word for it (even if we did I was in 6th grade and didn't know it).  She had a great family, she was kind, fun, and I hope her life turned out amazing. I spent time with them for about a year before I moved away. She was so real I still smile thinking of her, her bowling shoes, her black bob and our friendship and to those fellow students who laughed you really missed out!
Wanting to have a family ourselves I keep in mind the people I knew and read the articles I can so I can be as informed and reflective as possible. I hope to be the parent that teaches right, wrong, empathy, kindness, and silliness. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Don's experiment and the dog who ate a shoe!

Today was a good day of running errands, stopping in to see my favorite waitress I haven't seen all summer and cleaning.  Then Don calls and wants to make Sriracha from scratch.  Well OK I get everything we have at home out for him while he grabs the peppers and sugar from the store before heading home from work. Everything looks good and as it ferments over the next 7 days it's like a little experiment.

 Our mix   

Like I've said before Don likes Hot, spicy food, sauces, etc.  He puts rooster sauce on darn near everything.  I'm sure it'll be good but we will find out in 7 days once he cooks it, strains it and tries it.

The more interesting thing is the dog who ate a shoe.  *SIGH* So back in July for some totally strange reason Tucker ate the side of my shoe.  Now my dogs aren't usually like that.  They tend to stick to their toys or bones.  Every now and again they get into something they shouldn't but this was beyond me.  I had just taken it off.  Well I bought a new pair of shoes. Fast forward to tonight and BAM! I hear a clink, clink of a dog tag and Parker isn't on his spot (he has a pillow on the couch) so I go find him in the bedroom eating the inner sole of my new shoe. GRRRR! Thankfully I caught him before he ate the shoe but good grief.  Why are my 8 year old dogs suddenly into eating my shoes? Of course I'll never know but it isn't how I wanted to end what was otherwise a pleasant day. So looks like I'm shopping at the outlet mall for shoes tomorrow because I don't know if inserts will work in half eaten Toms. 
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Open Adoption

I thought I was going to write about something completely different but it came to mind that many people don't fully understand what Open adoption is or how an agency can help you navigate it. So let me begin with we are with Independent Adoption Center  http://www.adoptionhelp.org/ and they are one of the first agencies that started the thinking on Open Adoption.  I am fully behind the open adoption for many reasons and the first and foremost is the benefit to the child and birth family.  We got super excited to learn that our child is supposed to have access to his birth mom/dad/family and they'd know from the start that they were chosen and not abandoned.  They'd never wonder why didn't they want me? Why can't I find my family medical history? Why!? That spoke volumes to us.  I can't express how excited we are to find that someone to match with and make a family, not just our family but the extended birth family.  I want our child(ren) to know that they came to us through love and sacrifice and the birth parents/family love them and want to know them as aunts, uncles, birth mom, birth dad, whatever. I can't wait to match and have said baby and get to arrange our meetings with the birth family.  I can imagine all kinds of gatherings and hope that one day they come true.
Now a lot of folks think that because you have an open adoption that you aren't the "true parents" and that isn't the case.  We are the parents, we do the 2am feedings, the doctor appts. the coach for whatever the child is into, we do the playing, feeding, discipline, etc. There is no doubt who the parents are and in open adoption it's a much more stable environment for the child.
As for the agency, if you're even considering an adoption plan please contact them, there is no obligation and they have a lot of information that can help you make a plan, even if you choose to parent they can help you find resources to get you started.
Open Adoption may not be for everyone but it is how we want to grow our family and parent. We can't wait to make our match and make a family through open adoption.
I helped with the birth of our friends daughter (about 10 mins old in this pic) and it's a treasured memory I hope to share with our birth mom someday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Family and pumpkins

My Uncle is coming up from California to visit soon and I really want to share some pumpkin recipes while they are in town.  So I went and got some pumpkins to cook and plan to make some homemade pumpkin bread, some Curry Pumpkin soup and a handmade pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.  My grandparents house is where we all meet up together and play games, eat, and enjoy each others company.  We always look forward to it.

I'll also be bringing my mom and grandparents some of the homemade apple butter I made. My love of canning comes from my grandma so I like to show what a good job she did teaching me as I grew up and all the canning books, recipes, and jars have gone to good use.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

As Fall tries to approach

It's been unseasonably warm for this time of year but Fall is just around the corner. The leaves have been falling for a couple weeks now but you'd never know it from looking at the trees. That means an almost winter leaf clean-up.
It's also time to dig up the Iris, divide them and get them replanted.
One of the many types of Iris in the yard

I also need to start pulling out the vegetable garden.  I'm hoping our eggplant and tomatoes make it another couple weeks but that'll depend on the weather forecasts. The pumpkins are still growing and I can't wait for them to ripen so I can make fresh pumpkin bread and curried pumpkin soup. Two of our fall favorites. The dogs also eat pumpkin with their dinner every night so they benefit from our garden too. I can't wait to share my love of gardening with our child.  It'll be so much fun to watch them plant their first garden with me.
One of the heirloom sugar pie pumpkins 

 A few of our ripe heirloom tomatoes and a wee eggplant emerging.

Making Apple Butter

I had 5 1/2 pounds of apples that I needed to use and so Slow Cooker Apple Butter to the rescue. Not only is it yummy but so simple to make. Peel and core your apples, add sugar, spice, and a bit of water to the crock pot and turn on high for 1 hour, low for 9 hours and remove the lid, puree with a stick blender and cook an additional hour with the lid off.  Sure it's a long process but it doesn't scorch, I don't have to constantly stir it and if I'd thought about it I'd have started it at night so it'd be ready when I woke in the morning and could finish it lid off and into the canning jars.  Next time I make it I will have to do that but as a night owl canning at 10 pm isn't a big deal to me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Improptu dinner date

Don was able to get off work early and so we decided to head out to Thai food for dinner.  We order and Don's usual response is what is the hottest dish I can order.  Yep, Don has a heat meter.  Of course we have the yummy crab and cream cheese won tons but as soon as our food arrives Don tastes his dish and says meh, not too hot.  I tell him the heat builds but our heat sensors are very different.  I'm right the heat builds but is still not as hot as he thinks he was ordering. 
Don puts hot sauce on everything from Teriyaki, Mexican, Greek, Italian, and Thai.  oh and leftovers and boiled eggs are definitely getting the hot sauce treatment.  I like a good spice but a burn me spice isn't enjoyable to me and he loves it. I always tease him and he now realizes he can't be my heat meter as everything is much, much hotter to me than him.  So to my Scorpion, Ghost pepper lover, I love you!, Thanks for the dinner date.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A day with Friends who are like our extended Family

Today is another game day with friends.  When I say game people may think watching baseball or football but I mean actual board games.  We play with the family and a few other friends who drive up. This week I won't be playing but instead hanging out with my friend's wife and daughter(s).  They are playing a war game this week and I have no interest in war games (think super Risk).

I prefer games like Apple to Apples, Scrabble, or Talisman style games.  Our friend's daughters were both home and her two grand daughter's were there with us while dad played the game with the others (he's in the blue cap in the above picture).  We played a few board games, and played with the little girls and they loved playing catch the butterfly, run through the sprinkler and dress up. The dog even showed off her Batgirl costume for Halloween.
Playing with the butterfly net

playing dress up

I am Batgirl!
I ended the night at home with my baby in my lap eating his Antler while his brother, Parker, pouted because he wanted the one Tucker had instead of his own, which he was happily chewing on until Tucker started in on his.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Welcome to a mini-meltdown and how it ends in laughter

Welcome to my mini-meltdown, don't worry it ends well.

So people always ask How's the adoption going?
Well there is no clear way to answer that question.  Honestly it's a hurry up and give your life over to waiting, advertising, bugging your friends and family to share your pages on social media and asking them to ask their friends/family to share us as well and constantly updating things with even the most mundane of daily life. Yep, Cleaned the house again today and watered the garden.
My phone is constantly in my hand or my pocket, I'm never ever without it after we missed a few calls 6 months ago.  Every time it dings I pick it up to see if we have a text or email.  I feel rude when with other people, even Don but I have to do it.  Believe me I wish I didn't but it is a part of the adoption plan. By The Way caller from Thailand stop calling at 4 am we aren't who you're looking for.

Why post so often? It helps a potential Birth mom have a glimpse into your life, even the everyday boring stuff.
Well it must be hard to wait. Duh!
How do you occupy your time? See the above first statement.
Then there is the adage that the wait is the hardest part and just keep living life because the right baby will find you.  OK, sure it'll eventually happen but not without all the pressure to do more, more, more because if you don't and someone else is you'll lose out.  Yep, certainly living life to the fullest when all you are thinking about is how to do more.
Seriously, the right mom WILL find us but it doesn't feel that way some days. This is when I need to step away, Breathe deep, and remember the following:
As always it's the friends who have no idea the day you're having who find that gem on You Tube and share it that brings back the laughter and reality that it's just a meltdown, let it happen and move on. Tomorrow is another day and the reality is expectant mom could find us tonight, tomorrow or in 6 months.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How pets, especially dogs, can prep you for parenthood.

A Tongue and Cheek look at the similarities :)
  • Dogs and kids put everything they can into their mouths and need to be taught what is ok and what isn't
  • Dogs have taught us how to seriously baby(dog) proof
  • Dogs like some kids end up in the emergency room for illnesses
  • Sleep is a luxury with young children/infants and puppies
  • Cleaning is constant with dogs and kids
  • Daily or almost daily outings to the park for walking/playing
  • Dogs and kids love playing and learning
  • Dogs and kids love music
  • Dogs and kids both need to socialize
  • Dogs need teething bones to chew while teething and kids need teething chews you freeze for them
  • Both dogs and kids need to be potty trained
  • Dogs have foods they can never have while kids shouldn't have honey or nuts until after 3 years of age
  • Dogs will also be noise sensitive if not exposed to noises growing up as will kids.  Bring on the noise :)
  • Dogs and kids can have explosive accidents at the worst time (guests visiting) but it all cleans up the same
  • Dogs and kids leap without mind for consequences (at least the kids learn but our dogs really don't)
  • Dogs and kids will drag out every toy they have and leave it all over the house
  • Dogs and kids always want what you have versus what they have
  • Dogs and kids always need you "Right Now" as soon as you're on the phone or in a conversation with someone
  • Sleeping with dogs or toddlers is at best a three ring circus as they snuggle really close almost pushing you out of bed or you contort your body in attempts to sleep you can barely move in the morning
  • Dogs and kids need routines
At the end of the day though dogs and kids are 200% worth it!  Our dogs and cats are family; our kids.  We can't wait to be parents and share our love of animals with our child(ren). 

Things we enjoy

Some facts:
We both love to travel and have gone so many fun places. We routinely travel to California as we both have family and friends there so drive down at least once a year. Looking at our pictures on Facebook, iHeart, or Adoptimist you'll see a lot of travel pictures from The Grand Canyon, St Croix, New York, Atlanta, Hawaii, Paris, London, Ghana and Texas.  We can't wait to share trips with our little one so they can see the differences and beauty around the US and the world.
Don in his classroom in Ghana
the Grand Canyon
We both enjoy reading and Don loves History, Biography, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.  I like Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction and Anne Rice. I'm currently reading a book I picked up from the author at Dragon Con. It's a mystery set in a historical setting with a fantasy element to it.  I just started it but so far it's pretty good at getting you straight into the story.
We love going to the Theater and when we're in New York we try to make at least one show while we're there.  I love seeing Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Chicago, Avenue Q, Wicked and so many others.  Funny thing is I've seen Wicked in Chicago, Alabama and New York but every time it comes to Seattle we miss it.
When it comes to movies and music we're eclectic.  From Nine Inch Nails to Dream Theater to BB King and Johnny Cash we listen to most everything. Movies are just as varied.  I'd say we watch a lot of comedies, Sci-fi/fantasy, musicals, life stories and animation.  We also like Golden age of Hollywood movies but will watch any movie at least once.
Some favorites movies and TV Shows:
  • Never cry Wolf
  • Gladiator
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Star Trek the search for Spock
  • Last Samurai
  • King Kong (1933)
  • I'm Not There
  • Blade Runner
  • Grand Canyon
  • Life of Pi
  • Glengarry GlenRoss
  • Up in the Air
  • Sideways
  • The Right Stuff
  • Across The Universe
  • Arrested Development
  • Star Trek the original series
  • Wall-E
  • Firefly
  • Babylon 5
  • Doctor Who
  • MASH
  • Deadwood
  • Mad Men

  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Alice in Wonderland (either Tim Burton or Disney version)
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Rock of Ages
  • Pitch Perfect
  • Dark Shadows
  • For Love of the Game
  • Across The Universe
  • A League of Their Own
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Wreck it Ralph
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Toy Story
  • White Christmas
  • Elf
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Castle
  • Poirot
  • Firefly
  • Star Trek
  • Babylon 5
  • Sherlock
  • Looney Tunes
  • Scooby Doo
  • Doctor Who
  • Torchwood
  • Downton Abbey
  • MASH
  • Friends
  • Dancing with the Stars

Our way to Adoption

When we first started talking about adoption, a friend of ours gave us a few books to read.  She is a birth mom and wanted to be sure she gave us the kind of all encompassing views and how to get started.  One of the books was 'Adopting a Child' which talks about all the different ways to adopt and gave agency resources in the back.  The others were 'The essential adoption handbook' and the 'Things every adopted kid wants to know'.  I honestly found it rather daunting a task looking for an adoption agency on line back then since most listed for our state in the book were no longer handling adoptions.  Then a friend of ours and his wife found IAC and told us about them.  We called for more info and chose to sign up for the weekend workshops. Really informative and they gave us two more books to read, one we choose and the other was on 'Open Adoption'.  We chose 'The Kid', which was great since it is a very candid view of a gay couple adopting from a homeless mom who drinks, etc. It really helped put some fears to rest and had us doing a lot of research into the effects of drugs and alcohol and general health of the mom and how we'd proceed.  Both books were a great look at open adoption and how to be prepared to talk about it with your family and friends as well as your child as early as possible and to make it a normal conversation. The open adoption plan is what made us jump in with both feet.  We want our child to know their birth parents and for them to become extended family if they want that close a relationship. I am really familiar with closed adoption, both my mom and dad were adopted as infants by their dads.  Neither of them to this day have any contact with their biological fathers and neither want any.  I think that sums up that a family is built on love, support and caring by those who raise you rather than your genetic make up.  Sure genetics play a role but it's how you are raised in becoming who you are that matters. We have friends who were also adopted and they agree wholeheartedly. I'm so glad we chose to go this route and can't wait to share our journey with an expectant mom and build a family through open adoption.
The five books we've read so far.

Seahawks vs Packers

So yesterday was the official start to the NFL season and we got to go.  Don's work has season tickets that get handed out to the employees and we were lucky to get opening day.  I love going to the games live rather than watch at home.  The reason I don't like football on TV is all the commercials, at least at the game during breaks it gives an opportunity to walk around and talk with others who also came that I may not see very often.  It's always great to see the kids getting so excited as they watch and learn the game. We can't wait for our little one to be able to share in our fun at the games.
We also enjoy going to baseball games and  always look to see if the local team is playing whenever we travel during baseball season.  One day we will have visited every baseball park.  We hope to also share our love of baseball with our child.  It's funny before Don and I dated I didn't like baseball.  His love and enthusiasm was infectious and as I learned the nuances I thoroughly enjoy the game now.  Some of my favorite movies are baseball or football related too but that's another post.
Have a great weekend

Watching reruns

Watching 'friends' tonight, the triplets episode where phoebe gives birth to her brother and sister in laws triplets and it really touches on the heart of open adoption.  Phoebe,  wants to keep one of the triplets and the heartbreak of giving birth with the knowledge she isn't going to be their mother. Which is how I believe most birth moms considering adoption feel.  The amount of emotion involved is complicated and heartfelt on both sides of the adoption. My favorite line is "I know I can't keep you but I'm going to be the best aunt ever!" I think it really encompasses Surrogates and Open Adoption situations.  I Love that selfless and loving act in the storyline and again in the Monica and Chandler Open Adoption story in season 10.

Dragon Con 2014

Dragon Con in Atlanta was a blast the last 5 days. So many costumes, people, vendors, and panels.  We didn't make as many panels as we wanted to but we wouldn't change the time with friends for panels for anything.  We did make at least 1 panel a day though, along with shopping, hanging out with friends, and finally on Saturday we all gathered at one of the bars to people watch and take pictures of the costumes. 

We love going to Dragon Con but it's the people we see each year that makes it awesome and worth going to Atlanta in August and Labor Day weekend, no less.
This year I actually bought a piece of art work, although not what I thought I was going in to buy.  It's a Dragon print on metal and framed.  I also bought a couple books from relatively new authors, hoping I enjoy their work so I can continue to support their efforts.
Loved seeing the kids costumes that the parents matched and the ones who didn't.  The kids seemed to have  ton of fun getting all the attention for their choice of costume.
I didn't dress up but Don made an effort and then our hotel mate and friend had 4 different cosplay costumes. All were great but I still think my favorite was warrior snow white.
Until next year....

Going to cook salmon for my grandparents

The fishing trip went well and Don came home with three good size salmon.  We got them all filleted and frozen.
Next week I'll be cooking some up to take down for my grandparents.   They used to fish and love it but at their age they can't do that anymore.  We love visiting them and what better excuse than to cook them dinner.  For Grandpa's 91st birthday a few months ago I took them Eggplant Parmesan for dinner and they loved it.
We can't wait to cook with our little one and visit grandma and pa and they can't wait to have another great-grandchild to cuddle.


Don and a couple friends are going Salmon fishing tomorrow.  I don't personally care for salmon so he doesn't get to eat it very often at home.  I do have a lot of marinades that go great with it though so plan to gather ingredients and have those made for when he gets home so we can fillet the fish and get them bagged with marinade and put into the freezer.  I usually eat crab cakes or shrimp when he has salmon. If the fish are big enough and he catches his max of 4 then we may also make some smoked salmon and some salmon jerky but that's a wait and see.
Wishing them all luck tomorrow!

They all caught 3 good size Salmon

Our first heartbreak

We had a potential birth couple that we met on Friday.  We loved them and they us.  They were to meet the other couple they were looking at as well that evening. They'd take the weekend to choose the right couple.  It wasn't us as I got the call this morning.  Heartbreak and tears as I realized the reason was simply one we couldn't have changed.  We don't have a child to be the sibling to theirs. My heart aches but we move on and know our baby is still out there somewhere.
In our months of waiting we've not had any contacts until last Thursday and then as soon as we found we weren't chosen 30 minutes later another person is looking at us and a couple others.  That must be a step in the right direction.  In this case I'm not as hopeful as I was with the other.  Do I want it to be right, yes absolutely.  I can only say that I think the potential mom is feeling her way through it at this point and has plenty of time to change her mind and so I will not get my hopes up.
Here's to continuing to wait for the right baby (and baby's family).

August 10th

Don re-stained the wood on the deck then we moved on to doing the gate at the end of the stairs.  Good grief, pre-assembled gate my rear end.  We thought the gate would be the easy part and it turned into an hour and a half nightmare. We finally finished it and it looks good but after 8 hours outside in the direct sun it was a long day. Next up is staining more posts and cedar 2x4's to finish the garden box rails, then we can put in the flower box and utility box cover then we will finally be done with this almost 7 year project.  Thankfully this summer has cooperated weather wise and we hope it continues for another month.  After this side project we'll be focusing on refinishing the basement.  We did half of it already but the bigger half needs to be redone as well as the floor in the whole thing (new flooring Yeah!).  We're also going to repaint the basement bathroom which we put on the back burner about 2 months ago, to focus on the outdoor stuff.

August 9th

Don was staining the wood today on the upper patio and the posts and balusters for the steps so tomorrow we can put up the gate and rail supports on the stairs. I dug up the garlic and cut a bunch of pickling cucumbers so I'll be making at least one jar of pickles next week. I'm debating cutting some of the tomatoes and bringing them in to ripen thanks to the bugs.  Organic gardening is painful at times; I've lost at least 8 ripe tomatoes as well as some about to start ripening green ones. I've also lost some eggplants to bugs. :( Such is life when you don't want chemicals in or around your food.

August 6th

So, Don is in workshops this week and out at dinner; so I was running through the beta and dang it all just shy of level 100 they brought the servers down and are doing another character wipe.  So, I'm upstairs watching Doctor Who a Christmas Carol. I Love Kathryn Jenkins voice.  I was first introduced to her on Dancing with the Stars and WOW She is amazing! When we make it back to London I really need to find her in concert.
I can't wait to see the new Doctor later this month.  We finally got the full reboot series on DVD and watched all 7 seasons plus the specials.
Oh and Dragon Con is coming up in a couple weeks and I'm so excited! I'm not dressing up but I love the cosplayers, the games, panels, and Patrick Stewart is going to be there this year. My Captain and my Scrooge!  We're also going to FINALLY meet Lara and Shannon.  Lara and I have been texting and more for 2 years and before that hanging out in WoW. We are not only meeting but sharing a room.  She also has some awesome Cosplay for the event. I can't wait to see them in person.

Busy July

Our friend Kevin and his son Jack flew in Sunday afternoon to spend the week with us.  It's been busy so far with role playing games, BBQs and dinner's out with Don's sister and her hubby.  Tomorrow, We will start redoing the front deck.  He stripped it today and tomorrow is the deck "paint stain and sealer" day.
7/4/14 Fantastic day with Kevin, Jack, sister and brother in law on the lake, driving around in the boat, had fun swimming and hanging out.  We were going to go back on the lake for the fireworks show but changed our minds and walked over to the bridge by the house to watch.  Had a fun filled fantastic day!

So the deck is done and our friend and his son have flown home after a fun filled week. It is kinda lonely, having Jack here made us more aware of what we're hoping for.
On another note another adopting couple who has been waiting a few years has had their son today, well the birth mom had him but they are all bonding and picking names, etc.  How exciting, I can't wait for our own time to come with our birth mom.  I just wish we'd have someone contact us or at least increase our exposure to potential birth moms. It's hard every month to see the stats and see we are only going out x number of times. Speaking of stats they should be coming out in the next week and after we made our changes last month I hope we do see an increase in letters going out.

Well so much for the hope on the letters going out.  We actually went out 3x instead of our usual 4x.  However, a lot of the moms seemed to have requested only one letter or wanted families within a certain region not our own so nothing we changed would have been a factor for them. Of the potential moms who might have gotten our letters I do hope we click for one of them to at least give us a look on Facebook, Iheart, etc. Maybe send us a text or email.   While we never see anything but a number and what criteria that number is looking at to help us better gauge where we fit in the grand scheme, we can sometimes extrapolate where our letters may have gone.  Of course if a mom requests one or two letters we can't say one way or another if we might be on their radar, we can only hope.
So, I've been beta testing a new expansion for WoW and I've run through it 4x now and it's been fun.  Playing games and taking trips or spending time with family and friends help keep us busy and not think about the adoption wait. I have been really enjoying being one of the first beta testers, most times I get a beta invite I'm in later waves and the bugs to report have all been reported and confirmed which makes the invite kinda boring and more a first look, so I tend to not play as much.
I'm currently watching an episode of Babylon 5 and I can't wait for them to redo the graphics and special effects and re-release it on Blu-ray.  I know the first season can be hard to get through but it gets so dang good after that and I love the arcs that come back into the story a year, two, or three years later and it's a long time coming. Is it a geek/nerd night, oh ya! We've also been working our way through Torchwood while waiting for Doctor Who season 8 to start in late August. I'm also getting excited for Dragon Con next month.
so doing some research for a trip we may take and I was surprised how much more affordable an "apartment" rental can be compared to a hotel without a kitchenette in the off-season and think it may be worth paying for that rather than waste points on a free over-priced hotel room with food offerings I will not eat. Yes, I'm a picky eater and our last trip out of the country had me quite unsatisfied in the restaurant, bistro dept.. The bakery however, I could have eaten at all day long with the morning pastries, bread, sandwiches, fruit and yogurt. With a kitchen rental we could prepare food we both like, save money, and have quality time together. Now I'm not sure we're going on said trip but if we do it'll be a lot of fun memories.
So this last weekend we finally finished filling the upper patio, finishing it with "blue" rock, and redoing the pathways on the side project.  It feels amazing to get that much done and what's left to finish it completely doesn't feel so monumental. Hopefully we'll have it 100% done in the next month as it's a project started years ago.

Watching "The Wasp and the Unicorn" a Doctor Who episode from season 4.  I love this episode not just for the tenth doctor but it has Agatha Christie and tons of references to her books.  Some of the first novels I read completely as a 7 year old child were Agatha Christie Poirot mysteries. I still enjoy them and the David Suchet portrayal of Hercule.
Back from our annual trip to Hawaii and I'm getting more involved with the Adoption community.  I've been reading adoption blogs, editorials, and forums and the stories are quite similar in that we all want the same end result of being parents.  We get so preoccupied with getting through the classes, groups, interviews and home studies as well as trying to summarize who we are in a birth mother letter that the wait doesn't seem important until it begins.  We've only been waiting a few months now but it gets harder to see the actual stats each month when you haven't had any messages or phone calls.
We both can't wait to be parents, as all people are who are looking to adopt feel the same but it can be the most nerve racking experience with so many misconceptions that have to be managed and explained to friends and family during the process.  I wish I could express the mixed emotions we are both going through; anxious, excited, nervous.  I want to prepare a nursery but just in case I don't/can't.  I do have a few items already, I couldn't help myself, so whether we are gifted with a girl or boy they at least have clothing to go home in, a diaper bag, and a crib so anxiously bought by my mom and grandparents for us.  My mom can't be detoured once she decides to make or buy you something, she's such a giving person.