Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Good Holiday Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mister and I had so much fun. For the first time this year, Mister and I had Christmas at home. By ourselves. Usually we alternate holidays and years with our families, so if we spend Thanksgiving with my family, we'll spend Christmas with his family and then the following year we'll do the opposite - Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. It works, sort of. That way we spread out the holidays with different sides of the family and end up having time with everybody.

However, what I've always wanted is to have Christmas at home, in my house. Of course, I've always sort of fantasized that we'd have kids in this scenario, but whatever. One thing at a time I guess. This year, Mister found out that he will be doing some traveling to work over New Year's. He'll be working in PA, about 30 minutes from where his parents live. So once he knew we'd have to be there for New Year's, he didn't want to spend 8 or 9 days at his parent's house. His parents are great; we all get along, but let's face it - 9 days is a long time to spend together. So we'll go down later this week and stay for the long weekend.

This Christmas was exactly what I wanted. We were together, it was quiet and fun at home. Connecticut got slammed with a blizzard on Sunday, so we were snowed in for a while. But we cooked, we ate, we watched movies, played games, drank wine, shoveled the snow, ate some more, drank some more wine. I'm telling you, it was exactly what I wanted from a holiday. (Mister did, by the way, get me the necklace I wanted in this post. It's not this exact one, mine is smaller, but it's similar. I'm so excited. I keep touching it and thinking about the baby who will someday join our family.)

This Christmas was so strange for me. I've turned an emotional corner on holidays, and I can't quite understand why. Christmas in 2006-2008 were so hard for me. I was so sad for the babies that we didn't have, for the family that I really wanted. I just felt like our family had a big hole in it, so between my mom not being with us anymore and no babies either, there are just people missing. My mom's not coming back though, so it's a different kind of hole in our family from the babies who have not yet arrived. But this year, I just wasn't as sad. In other years, I haven't wanted to decorate, to send cards, to travel, to bake cookies, any of those things that people do. This year, I felt like a cloud was lifted off me. I wanted to do all of those things. (Except traveling, which we didn't do... yet. And because we already had our Christmas together, I won't mind traveling a bit.)

We had not ever celebrated a holiday together with just the 2 of us before. If we had had a baby early in our marriage, we probably would have wanted to stay home together for holidays before this. Since we haven't had any babies, we had never talked about just staying home. It was like it didn't exist as an option. I really never considered it. I loved it though. I wonder if we can figure out a way to do it again next year!

2010 was really a great year for us - we moved to our new house, which we love, Mister finished grad school, we finally finished our home study and are now on a path to become parents. In one year, that's really a lot to accomplish. Because those are all really happy things, I was able to feel fairly content this year. For the first time, I've been able to look back and some really wonderful things that happened to us this year and feel proud and happy for all that we've been able to do, and not only feel sad for the people who are not here with us.

So I'm in a good and peaceful place after the holidays. A good place in our marriage, with our families, with the adoption, with everything. I hope that everyone feels this calm, peaceful and happy in 2011.

And of course, I also hope that we're matched quickly and that I'll spend most of 2011 being someone's mom. That's my Christmas/New Year's/Every Single Day until we're matched Wish.

This is one of my favorite ornaments. And you know, you're supposed to wish on a star, so I'm making my Christmas/New Year's/Every Single Day until we're matched Wish on a star!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Waiting Game

Well friends, the day has finally arrived. Our last bit of paperwork has been submitted and we are officially waiting. I suppose not officially, since I just mailed the stuff today. We filled in all the checklists and budgets and releases and whatever else, stuck it in the mail today and sent it off. I guess we'll be officially waiting on Thursday when the agency receives the paperwork. I'm celebrating today though. I figure that since it's now out of our hands and on its way, I'm counting us as waiting from today.

So I introduce you to the Lilypie ticker. It's going to help me keep track of how long we wait. I imagine it'll be long, but there's always the hope that it'll be short.

For a fun quote on the subject of waiting, we turn to the wisdom of Homer Simpson.

"Well, John Q. Driveway has our number. Now we play the waiting game."
(Long pause)
"Awww, the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry, Hungry Hippos!"

I suppose in our particular case, it's not John Q. Driveway who has our number. So for us, I could say, "Well, John Q. Adoption-Agency has our number. Now we play the waiting game!"

Anyone want to play the waiting game with me? Of course, I'm with Homer - I'd much rather play Hungry, Hungry Hippos too.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I'm just going to take a moment to point out something that bugs the crap out of me.

I *HATE* this commercial.

"It's 2 AM.... Christmas morning... our first Christmas as a family."

After feeling angry that Kay Jewelers obviously thinks that Mister and I are not a family, I feel sad for these 2 jackasses that their lives had no meaning until apparently 2 months ago when they made a baby.

Now, in order to present the most balanced approach, I will say that it's possible that they were not a family last Christmas. My parents were married in January and my brother was born in December of the same year. So Christmas 1973 really was my parents' first Christmas as a family. And they had a new baby. So while it's possible that these people were married in early January and got pregnant immediately thereafter, I really don't think that's the Kay implication on that one.

So yuck on that commercial. Because Mister and I are a family. A small family, but a family nonetheless. Whether we ever have a baby or not, Mister is my family.

Because I don't want to leave on a sour note, I will sign off with my absolute favorite Christmas commercial in the history of Christmas commercials.

I love that little red kiss with the solo at the end. And then he's so worn out he has to wipe his brow. As if a Hershey Kiss has a brow! It's so cute.

What commercials do you love (or hate) lately?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Busy busy!

Does decorating for Christmas turn anyone else into a cleaning machine?

This weekend was crazy. It was the kind of weekend that made me glad for Monday so I could finally get some quiet! On Friday night, Mister and I went out for sushi (yum, sushi) and scheduled our whole weekend plans.

We woke up early on Saturday, planning to clean the house, buy our Christmas tree, decorate the house, decorate the tree and run various other errands. I started with cleaning because I couldn't stand the thought of bringing a tree into a messy house.

The worst part of cleaning and decorating for me is that it becomes a never-ending spiral. We decided to put the tree in the living room, which required moving some of the furniture. No one on here knows me in real life, so I can admit this in relative anonymity. I hadn't moved the furniture for a few months. There was a lot of gross stuff behind those couches! Of course, I can't vacuum behind and underneath one piece of furniture and not the others, so we moved pretty much everything out of the living room so I could clean it. Phew. That was long. Then I realized that I couldn't clean the living room without cleaning the kitchen and dining room either. So my quick cleaning before I move the tree in actually became a long cleaning and it took several more hours than I thought. Then we went out, did some errands, and bought a Christmas tree. By then it was after dark! We hung up some of the outside lights, had some hot chocolate and called it a night.

Yesterday we did some more cleaning and organizing, more errands, grocery shopping, decorated the tree and I baked some brownies.

I have to say, since I stopped working, I rarely have weekends with that much activity. Our weekends used to be that busy, but lately I spread out our errands across the days.

Today, Mister went to work and he's going out with a friend after work tonight. I hope he doesn't wake me up when he comes in, but he will be home very late. It's about 25 degrees and he and his friend have gone to the Jets game up in MA. I have to say, I'm not jealous of him at all. I don't like football and I can't stand being cold. I'm glad his friend invited him so that he gets to go out and do these kinds of things. I have no interest at all, but I hate to see him wanting to do things that I won't do. So I'm glad he has a chance to go with a friend. But man, I am not jealous of that experience!

Tomorrow night is the local adoption meeting, Wednesday I'm interviewing a pediatrician for our baby (hee hee, our baby! I love it) for whenever we're matched, so hopefully on Thursday I'll be able to submit our final bit of paperwork to the agency and we'll be really waiting.

Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do about the drug test. If I ever get around to doing it, they'll probably think I took so long while I waited for all the illegal drugs to leave my system. Ah, the irony. Really, my issue with it is the abuse of power. I just bristle at the thought of quietly submitting to an abuse of power. And the fact that the process to become a substitute teacher in this town is more stringent than to become an adoptive parent, that just seems so strange. If CT required drug tests for everything, fine, whatever. It's still an abuse of power, but if it's state-wide, then I wouldn't be able to avoid it. However, none of the other towns around here requires a drug test, so if I want, maybe I'll just sub in one of the non-power-abusing towns. We shall see.

And now for something completely random... We have those candles in our windows for Christmas, so the shades are only down about 2/3 of the way. As I've been sitting here typing this, I'm looking out the window. My neighbors across the street have come home since I've been watching. This house has a mom and a teenage daughter. Both of them are home. It's completely dark outside now, but the house across the street has no lights on. Maybe it's an early bed night at their house too...

And how bad is it that Mister goes out for a night and my most exciting plan is that it's an early bed night?

Friday, December 3, 2010

A little excessive?

First, let me start this post by saying that I don't mean to start any fights or rifts or anything. I think I'm probably the most apolitical person around. I wish there were a political ideology that I felt truly represented me and what I want from my life. There's not, so I try to stay out of the fray as much as possible. Every once in a while, though, something happens and it pushes my buttons.

Second, I will finish the "starting this off" by telling you that it got to be way longer than what I had intended. I apologize for my poor editing. Concise writing is always better and more compelling, and I definitely am lacking the concise today.

Recently, I told you about how I received an offer to become a substitute teacher. I was excited for the opportunity, and frankly, while Mister and I aren't starving, the money wouldn't hurt. So as soon as the HR department sent me the paperwork, I started reading through it and getting ready to fill it out. Since then, though, I've been really conflicted about if I want to fill out the paperwork and apply for this job at all.

This town, in order to qualify someone to become a substitute teacher (an at-will, per diem, $10/hour job, mind you) the applicant must take a drug test. Honestly, I'm insulted and offended. It sounds silly, but I just think it's too much. And I really do not want to take a drug test.

This school district is one of the best in Connecticut. They certainly have their pick of anyone to hire. I sincerely doubt that drug addicts are applying for jobs here. This is an unnecessary and excessive show of force. "If you really want a job, just take the drug test..."

It bothers me that simply by objecting to the drug test, I arouse suspicion about myself. Which is crap. They also require fingerprints and police clearances. So basically, if I had had a problem with substance use at any point in my life, it would probably by now be a matter of public record. Instead, my public record is a blank sheet of paper.

My public record consists of very little contact with law enforcement. In my driving life, I've been involved in 2 accidents, neither of which was my fault. I've never even been pulled over for speeding!

In Connecticut, in order to pass our home study, we had to submit police clearances for every town and state we've lived in for the last 5 years. That was pretty easy, we've only lived in 2 towns in 2 states in the last 8 years. Then we had to do FBI background checks. I never had to pee in a cup though. What's up with that? In order to be a substitute teacher and earn $10/hour, I have to pee in a cup at the skeevy hospital? But to have a baby, the state has no such requirement. In fact, I've worked in 7 school districts in my life, and none has required a drug test.

Here I am, 34 years old, with a teaching certificate and a master's degree, with a completed and approved home study to adopt a baby, and I have to take a drug test to become a substitute teacher. I've never been convicted of a crime, in fact, I've never been arrested. In my life, I've never touched an illegal substance. I wouldn't even know how/where to find one if I wanted to. I barely touch legal substances. (Pespi withdrawal going poorly, btw. Hence the mood to get annoyed by miniscule things, I suppose.) I pay my bills, I pay taxes (as married renters with no kids, let me tell you, we pay a $#!@ lot of taxes.) I have always done the right thing and made the responsible decisions in my life. When will I reap those rewards for always being responsible and doing the right things? Not this year, apparently. Because if I want a job, I will need to take a drug test at their hospital of choice, which happens to be a hospital I'd never enter of my own volition.

I don't know. I just think it's too much to ask. But really, what's my option?

I could suck it up, take the drug test and start cashing (tiny, $10/hr) paychecks.
I could suck it up, take the drug test, and let the district know that I'm offended and insulted by even the suggestion that I take illegal substances. Which I really am.
I could say nothing and not return any paperwork and not work.
I could not return the paperwork and not work and tell them that I won't be taking a drug test unless they have a reasonable suspicion to ask me to take a drug test. Which of course means they won't hire me because even my saying that makes me look like an addict.

I feel like it's important to tell them that I'm thinking of this and that I have a problem with drug testing without any reasonable suspicion. But saying that I have a problem with their policy sets me apart as a trouble-maker and possibly a user of illegal drugs. Which I'm not. Not a trouble-maker and not a user.

It upsets me that in my whole life, I've never done a suspicious thing. I've never committed a crime. I've never taken an illegal drug. Yet because I'm applying for a job I'm suspect. I'm lumped in with criminals and addicts because I'm applying for a job. And not a job to operate heavy machinery, or be trusted with state secrets. A substitute teacher job.

So I'm tempted to write them a letter and tell them that I'm happy to be a substitute, and I'm happy to take a drug test if they can give me any reason at all, (excessive absences, tardiness, physical symptoms of drug use, whatever) that I should be suspected of drug use. Unless and until they can do that, I'm not taking a drug test.

But then I think it would be nice to teach again, even if they will only pay me $10/hr. And I'd happily cash those $10/hr checks. And I'm an easy-going person who just wants to go through life and not make trouble or get up in people's faces about things.

But on the other hand, it just seems so excessive. They could probably determine what they need to know from public record. And then no one would have to examine my bodily fluids.

I just never knew I felt so strongly about this, and I really don't know what I want to do. I've been thinking about it for almost a month now and it's not any clearer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It's been a crazy few weeks around here. Mister took a class over Thanksgiving, so he went away. It was a pretty cool opportunity - to take a week-long "study abroad" class. However, it meant he was away from me on Thanksgiving, which was kind of sad.

So I piled my stuff in the car, took the dog and we drove north to MA to spend the week with my family. It was good, my dad and my brothers were all there.

But weird, because my dad invited my mom's family. It's so strange to me that my dad is getting close with my mom's family at this point in our lives. My mom was never close to her family, so they were this side of the family that I never saw that much growing up. Consequently, I'm not really close to them, and actually I'm kind of suspicious of them. My mom was always pretty honest with me about her relationship with her siblings and it was not a good relationship. Sure, people change and all of that. So it's possible that my aunts and uncles have all grown up and changed and become normal. Sure, it's possible. But I'm not holding out any hope or anything like that. Anyway, Thanksgiving was fine. Everyone was social and appropriate and it wasn't too bad.

Mister came home on Sunday from his trip, and then he had to go back to work on Monday. Now this week I've been sick, so I think I've mostly slept this week. It's been kind of boring. I might be ready to shed the sick and laying around boredom for some excitement.

And in adoption news, we're *STILL* not officially waiting yet. "Wha!??!" you say? Yeah, me too. Our social worker found some more paperwork for us to do before we can be officially submitted. Sigh. We have to find a pediatrician, and while I'm tempted to just write down a name, it's probably better to take the few days and do the research.

But in good news, I wrote an e-mail to someone that I've seen on an adoption forum. Her signature says that she is from the town next to me, and that she works for a local agency. So I asked her for any recommendations on a pediatrician who is experienced working with adoptive families. She wrote back to say that she has many friends who live in my town who have adopted and that she'll call them for me and see who they use for doctors. Then she said she's a facilitator at a local adoption group and that they're having a meeting next week and that I ought to come! So I think I will. And then I can ask people what doctors they use! Or even just meet other people who are adopting and local. That's pretty awesome.

Now Mister and I are meeting for lunch. We have a favorite restaurant that's opening a new location nearby, and we've been waiting a long long time to go to the new place. It's finally open, so we decided to meet up for lunch. This is what I love about having my days free! I can go on a Thursday afternoon and meet my husband for lunch. Ah, sweet unemployment...

Monday, November 15, 2010


Last week, I was on an adoption related forum, and a bunch of the posters were talking about adoption Christmas ornaments. I have to say, I've seen many, and I've never seen any that were my taste at all. (If you're reading this and thinking, "I love adoption ornaments and I have 35 of them on my tree!" I'm sorry and I don't mean to insult you or your tree. I'm sure your tree is lovely, but adoption ornaments have just never been my thing.)

Anyway, on this forum, one lady posted a picture of an ornament that she got while she was waiting to adopt her daughter. It said, "We will hold you in our hearts until we can hold you in our arms." For whatever reason, that struck me as one of the most lovely sentiments I'd ever read. And it was phrased nicely. It just hit all the right notes for me.

I told Mister about it, and he rolled his eyes. He doesn't get this whole "waiting" thing. His perspective on having an ornament to acknowledge "waiting" is that it's mournful, and hanging a reminder on the Christmas tree of what we don't have. So the idea of holding someone in our hearts while we wait only serves to make us sad about who's not here instead of celebrating and enjoying the people who are here with us now.

I kind of get it. Kind of. I didn't really have a response to him about it either. But here's why it's different for me. Being sad about who's not here (which I totally am) doesn't fall into the "adoption waiting" department. When I'm sad and mad about who's not here, when I get annoyed at the fact that EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE of my friends has kid(s) and that they get to send picture Christmas cards and buy Baby's First Christmas 2010 ornaments and write jackass messages on Facebook about how many diapers they've changed or when was the last time they slept (last Tuesday) or whatever, I don't blame adoption for that. Oh no, those complaints go straight to the source - infertility.

In my mind, infertility = bad, terrible, angry, sad, all those feelings that make me mournful for who's not in our house for this Christmas, last Christmas, any Christmas. I can be angry with our infertility. I am furious with our infertility. It has robbed us for the last 6 Christmases of the holidays we dreamed of. That's the infertility department. That's where all the hateful feelings go.

But adoption = hope. We Wait in Joyful Hope, remember. I am angry, furious, even hate infertility. But infertility is not the same as adoption. Sure, we're adopting because of infertility, but I come to adoption with an absolutely pure and hopeful heart. When I think of adoption, I don't think of that feeling of having been robbed for the 6 Christmases in the past. I think of the future, and all the Christmases we will have together. Someday.

You know how people can read the same thing and get a different meaning? "We will hold you in our hearts until we can hold you in our arms" doesn't emphasize empty arms to me. It emphasizes hope for the time when I will hold our baby in my arms. It's not empty arms, it's full heart. To me, that ornament says, "Hang on, Baby. We're coming. Someday we'll all be together."

On the other hand, I don't need an ornament to tell me that I have a heart that's full of hope for the future. "Hang on, Baby. We're coming. Someday we'll all be together." Well, that's what I say to myself every day, every breath. Every fiber of my being is waiting. This baby does not leave my thoughts. Hanging an ornament wouldn't change that.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't have gotten a "waiting family" adoption ornament anyway. As I said, it wasn't really ever my style. But I absolutely will be holding this baby in my heart until I'm holding him/her in my arms, no matter what I hang on my Christmas tree. And some Christmas, my arms will be as full as my heart.

Weird Weekend

Ok, we'll sum it up in 2 sentences.

Saturday, I went to a baby shower for a friend, where another friend told me that she is also pregnant. After the shower, I drove home where I checked Facebook, logged on and saw a pregnancy announcement from yet another friend.

Wha?!? A baby shower for a hugely pregnant friend, where another friend told me about her pregnancy only to go on Facebook and see someone else announce a pregnancy on the same exact day!?!

It's funny. Mister and I have been married a long time. 7 years now. When we were married for 2 years and none of our other friends had kids yet, it seemed like everyone was telling us to have a baby. That was also when we were TTC, so it seemed particularly painful to not be able to be pregnant and it felt like everyone noticed. Now, everyone has babies and kids and no one asks us anymore. I guess people just figure that if we were going to have kids, we'd have done it already.

When our very first friend got pregnant after only trying for a month, when we had been married for 2 years, I cried. I cried that year when any friends got pregnant, any teachers at my school, basically anyone that I knew (even remotely knew) got pregnant, I cried.

Honestly, I'm kinda over it now. Everyone else is (or already has been) pregnant. Whatever. It'll be my turn. Not to be pregnant, of course, but certainly to have a baby. I'm really not worried about it anymore in relation to "but everyone else already has a baby...." As I'm fond of saying to Mister, "If this was a race, we lost." We totally lost that race in 2005 when my first good friend told me she was pregnant. So it never was a race anyway, but if it was, we definitely lost. So whatever. I don't really cry or get upset at pregnancy announcements anymore. Apparently it is what happens to women in their late 20s, early 30s and mid 30s.

But sheesh, 2 announcements on the same day as a baby shower?! Now that's a bit much.

Actually, I've decided to do this as 2 separate parts because the other part is getting super long. Probably most people won't care what my other half of the weird weekend was, so I'll split it out, and if you care, you can keep reading. If you don't care, don't feel compelled to continue!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Updates All Around

1) Book club was weird. I was the only one who came. Well, me and the guy who set the whole thing up. So we chatted and hung out, talking about the book, life, other books, movies, TV, whatever. It was awkward, as it always is to meet somebody new. It felt kind of like a first date. Which seriously, I've been married for over 7 years. Before we got married, we dated for 6 years. Folks, I haven't been on a date with a new person since 1997. So I went on a book club date last night. It was weird. But I guess I'd go back next month, so that's good.

2) Our profile books were delivered to the agency yesterday. Now we're just waiting for our social worker to send the final copy of the home study, and that's completely out of our control, so we've done what we can do.

3) Out of the blue this morning, I got an e-mail from the personnel director in the town where I interviewed for the kindergarten job last summer. When I spoke with the principal in August, she recommended that I sign up to substitute, which I did, but no one ever called. But today, she did. She's going to send out the paperwork to me today, so maybe within the next few weeks, I'll be working again.

So that's what's new around here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Social Stuff

Thanks for all the support on my Christmas wish! I just hope it comes true.

I have a quick adoption update and 2 social quandaries to discuss.

Adoption Update - I got an e-mail today from someone at the agency who said that our fingerprints have been received at the agency and that's one more thing we're no longer waiting for. Also, the profile books are scheduled to be delivered to the agency tomorrow. Now they're waiting for the final copy of our home study and a big old check from us. I guess I'll send the check tomorrow. And then, holy moly, I think we're officially waiting. Who knows how long we'll be waiting, but waiting is better than being almost ready to be waiting, no?

Weird Social Situation #1 - This is not a quandary as much as it is just weird, but here it is. I signed up to go to a book club that meets tomorrow night. I'm scared to death. I read the book, and I liked it, but I'm nervous to talk about it. But you know, we moved down here almost 4 years ago, and I have no friends here. I worked with a bunch of great people at my school 2 years ago, but I don't really see them or talk to them that much anymore. They're all busy working in the pressure cooker that is elementary school. I was great friends with them when I worked there, because we were all there 10-12 hours a day and they were really cool people. But now, they're at work 10-12 hours a day, and I'm home. So I figure it can't hurt to do something new that may expand my social circle. But I'm scared to death. But you know that saying? "Do one thing every day that scares you." Well, I know what mine is for tomorrow! Gulp. Mister keeps telling me that the worst thing that could happen is that I go and it's terrible. Then I won't go back next month. And who cares? It's just about trying something new and maybe meeting some new people. So that's my first weird social situation of the night.

Weird Social Situation #2 - This week on Facebook, I reconnected with someone that I haven't seen in probably 9 years. We used to work together, and I left that job 9 years ago, and I really don't think I've seen her since. As with probably any 9 year segment of anybody's life, a lot can happen in 9 years. 9 years ago, I was engaged, I was in grad school, I had a job, we lived in Massachusetts, we hadn't gone through any IF stuff, we definitely weren't home study ready for adoption (woo hoo! I just have to keep throwing that out there because it's so exciting...) So of course, she wrote on my wall tonight, "How are you? What are you up to now?"

I feel like I could go several ways with this. I'm generally a positive, happy person. I'm not a complainer. And most importantly, *NO ONE* in our lives (except for 2 very close friends and one brother) knows about our adoption plans. We are not "out" at all about our IF and adoption stuff. Obviously, we tell people that we don't have kids, but we tend to shut down the conversation there. I'm just not a sharer (funny to think of the cognitive dissonance that allows my non-sharing personality to write a blog.)

But in the last 9 years, I've gone through a lot of crap. A lot of great stuff, too, but it feels like the great stuff is less significant stuff. Except being married. That remains the most incredible thing I've ever done, and Mister remains the most incredible person I know.

So since I last talked to this lady, I finished grad school, got married, got the greatest dog, went through IF crap, moved to Connecticut, got a great job, lost a great job, still have no kids, took some awesome trips, and a bunch of other stuff.

But it's weird because I don't even really know how honest or open I want to be with her anyway. I haven't seen her in 9 years. And I liked her, I liked working with her; she was a lot of fun. But I haven't seen her or talked to her in 9 years. So beyond the "Oh, we're great, live in CT now, keeping busy" filler, maybe it won't even go further. If I ran into her in the mall somehow, that's probably all I'd give her. But because it's Facebook and it's the same space I share with some deep friendships and family, I'm tempted to be open and honest and tell her that it's been 9 years with ups and downs. I don't know. Facebook is weird, man.

How honest would you be with her if you were me?

Monday, November 8, 2010


Thanks for bearing with my blah feeling last week. I was able to push through it by making some Oreo cheesecake cupcakes. They were awesome. Well, the recipe made 30 cheesecake cupcakes, so they continue to be awesome. I've eaten about 3, Mister's had maybe another 3, and he took a dozen and a half to work with him. I think we have 6 or 7 left...

As I said in this post, I am a little obsessed with Christmas. I love it. I love Christmas music, I love cooking and baking for Christmas, I love decorating. I just love Christmas. I pretty much always have.

A few years ago, we decided in my family not to exchange gifts with each other anymore. My brothers are all really bad at buying gifts, and it clearly was highly stressful for them. We never liked the things that we bought for each other, so we just decided not to buy gifts for each other. When we told Mister's family that we were not buying gifts in my family, they decided that it sounded like a good idea too, and in both families, we stopped doing a gift exchange.

That may have happened in 2007, I don't remember. So for a few years, we had these weird Christmases without gifts. Last year, we were with my family for Christmas, and we all went on a trip together. That was fun.

This year, we're spending Christmas with Mister's family. I told Mister that I want gifts again. I don't care if his parents get us anything, or his sister. Or if we get them anything. But we've at least decided that we should buy something for each other.

Mister asked me what I want, and I told him that I want one of those 3 stone past, present, future necklaces. Not necessarily that one that I linked to, but one like it. But when I wear it, the stones won't represent the past, present and future. Each stone will stand for a person in our family. One stone for me, one for Mister, and one for baby. I wonder if I'll get one.

If I do, then I can wear it and it will be a visible symbol of our waiting. Not that anyone would look at a 3 stone diamond necklace and assume that each stone stands for a member of my family. Not that I would tell anyone. Also, not that I forget for a second of any day that I'm waiting for that 3rd person to join our family.

Then the other thing I thought of that would be cool is if I get one of those necklaces and wear it while we wait for baby, someday I could give the necklace to baby when he or she is an adult. Obviously, this scenario works better if baby is a girl. But maybe a guy would like a piece of jewelry. Especially if the story behind the piece of jewelry is, "I wore it when we were waiting for you. I wore it as a reminder to myself that you were always in my heart. And I wore it knowing that I would give it to you someday."

Does anyone else have any good holiday wishes this year?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I'm feeling very blah this week. If that's even a word. I need a new project, because I don't really feel like doing much of anything.

It feels so weird, because I worked so hard on our profile books for so very long, and now I kind of don't know what to do with myself since I've finished.

But here's a quick list of what's happening.

1) I ordered the profile books to send to our agency. If, in a few months, we decide to switch to a larger agency, we may have to redo and reorder our profile books. I figure that goes into the "cross that bridge when I get to it" category.

2) Our home study is finished. Our social worker finished writing it and sent me a draft copy. I know that I'm not alone in this, as I've read on other blogs and adoption message boards and whatnot. Our home study was full of mistakes. Not so many factual things that she got wrong, but more spelling and punctuation and grammar stuff. That aggravated me. It's just sloppy, and someone with a master's degree should have been held to higher standards in school and in work all along. I shouldn't have to explain to a social worker in her late 20s with a master's degree, that when writing about my brothers, she should call them brothers and not brother's. So I fixed it for her. The whole thing. Because my other option was to allow her to submit a home study with spelling errors. And that seemed stupider than making the errors in the first place. So I fixed them.

3) Otherwise, it's been a quiet week. I got a new food processor for my birthday, and I haven't used it yet. I've been too much in a funk to bake. But today is rainy, so I just may start cooking something. I got a bunch of new cupcake pans, which is good because my other one was so old. I think I got it in 1999 or something. I saw them at Target for 50% off! They're awesome because they come with plastic covers that snap on to the pan. So now I can make cupcakes, put them back into the pan after I frost them, and Mister can put the lid on and take the whole thing to work.

Nothing really exciting. Kind of a blah week, see what I mean? It's a good thing this is not an ICLW week because I would so not be into it! Anyway, sorry that I've fallen behind on my reading and commenting. I'm back now, I think.

Monday, October 25, 2010


1) I got an e-mail today from Shutterfly saying that our first copy of our profile book is in the mail and on its way to us. The agency wants about 15 copies of our book, so I ordered 1 copy from Shutterfly to just see what it's like in real life. If I like it when it comes, I will order 15 copies and ship them straight to the agency. I'll keep a copy for myself as a keepsake.

2) We decided that we'll at least apply to our agency's domestic program and order all the copies of the profiles that they'll need. We're allowed to apply to other programs at other agencies if we want. And if other agencies require that we redo our profile in a different way, we'll deal with that and redo the profile in a different way.

3) Remember this? The bad? Fingerprints from the FBI are taking 10-12 weeks to come back? That's Thanksgiving! Today, I checked my credit card statement online and it has been charged. "FBI Record Request" is on there! Now I know it's only been 6 weeks. And just because they charged the credit card does not mean that they've actually done the background check or mailed the results. It just means that they've charged my credit card. But that is progress, and my goodness I will take every step of progress available.

4) We are very, very close to being listed as "waiting." When I spoke with my social worker on Thursday, she said she was almost finished writing our home study. We can be activated when the agency gets our profile books, fingerprint clearances and a(nother) check. As soon as the home study is written. Ooh, it's so close I can feel it.

5) Our profile should be available and out in the universe in early November.

6) Thursday is my birthday. I have a whole post on that coming up tomorrow. Happy birthday to me!


This weekend, (and today too) the weather was so beautiful in that way that only New England fall days can be. Well, I say that not really having lived anywhere else, except Pennsylvania for 4 years in college. I have to say that I wasn't really attuned to nature in college, so it's possible that fall in Pennsylvania is the same, but I wasn't looking.

I always feel a sense of urgency on days like these. The sun is shining, it's 65 degrees, and I ABSOLUTELY must get outside. I'm not an outside person at all, generally, so it's on these kind of days in the fall that I know something's different.

The root of this urgent need to be outside is the sense of wrapping up; it's the end. Summer is over, it's dark at 6:30 now instead of 8:30. Today I drove with my car window down, just because I still can. On days like this, I walk around feeling like I have to experience the rest of fall RIGHT NOW because it'll be gone soon. So I got up early and I went for a walk on the beach. Because I still can. Because it wasn't cold, it wasn't raining. The leaves are changing color and falling, but some are still green.

Soon the leaves will be gone, the trees will be gray, it will be cold and windy. Soon there will be freezing rain and snow. Not today though. Today I'm wearing short sleeves and playing outside because soon short sleeves and outside will not be available.

Carpe diem. Sunny and 65 will be a thing of the past soon enough, so I'm planning to enjoy it today.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Big Compliment, Big Decision

Let me start this off by saying that making decisions is tough for me. Mister is not dissimilar in that personality trait, so often, even the simplest decisions make themselves for us. Even picking a restaurant becomes this big, complicated ordeal.

Mister: Are you hungry?
Me: Yes. Let's go out.
Mister: OK. What do you want?
Me: Oh, I don't know. I could have anything - pizza, pasta, sandwich, burger, Mexican. Whatever.
Mister: Well, what do you feel like?
Me: Any of those. How about you?
Mister: Oh, well, any of those are fine.

Then we go on to weigh the specific merits of each pizza place. When we had it last, what kind it was, etc. Then we do the same for each pasta, sandwich, burger, Mexican place. Then usually at this point someone throws in an option that wasn't on the list.

Me: Oh... we could go to the diner too. I haven't had pancakes in a while....
Mister: True. Do you want pancakes? We could go to the diner....

At which point we will add that choice and revisit all the merits of each restaurant we can think of. And each type of food.

Me: Hey, you know it's now 10:00. We should just have cereal I guess.
Mister: Yeah.

This is an exaggeration, but only a little bit. Under the hyperbole is this nugget of truth - decisions are really, really hard for us. The bigger the decision, the harder it is for us to decide.

I wrote a while ago about this decision - basically, our agency said that they're small, their program is small and the vast majority of their domestic placements come from other agencies. They said they'll take us into their program, and they're happy to do so, but people waiting at our agency are waiting a lot longer than at some of the big agencies in the South. So they'd completely understand if we left them for a bigger, faster agency. But if we stay with our agency, we might wait for about 3 years for a match. Apparently New England is not a hotbed of domestic adoptions. Not surprising, I suppose.

Last year, when we chose our agency, we didn't think we'd be doing a domestic adoption. So we didn't pick this agency on the merits of their domestic program. But here we are.

This is where the big compliment comes in. Earlier this week, we submitted a final draft of our profile book to the program manager of the domestic program and to our social worker. Both of them said that the tone of the writing was so warm and perfect from the first page on. The pictures and the layout are both very nice and that we created a great profile. Most importantly, they both thought that because of our great, warm, nicely laid out profile, we would likely be chosen very quickly.

(OMG!!!!!!!!!111111!!!!! Did she really just say that?!?!?!? Our profile is so good that we might be chosen more quickly than the other people who are waiting 3 years?!?!?!?)

So this forces us into a decision. Wait 0-3 years at our agency with an excellent profile or switch agencies and possibly have to redo the profile that took me months to write?

Well, friends, we're out on a limb. We're staying with our small agency and betting on the high quality profile to not make us wait 3 years.

The best news about that decision is that it's not mutually exclusive of another decision. If, in 6 months, our profile has seen no action, we'll start talking with some of the other agencies and figure something out from there. So really, we win. We get to stay with the agency we've been working with, and we don't really have to make any sort of a decision until we feel like it. Now that's my kind of decision!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome back, ICLW!

I remembered to do ICLW this month, for which I'm quite glad, since I completely forgot in September and was a terrible blogger and commenter, so I hope that more people will come and read and stay for a while!

Here are some interesting things about me that will help you get to know me better.

1) Mister and I are planning to complete a domestic adoption. We are in the waiting phase, otherwise known as the "it's completely out of our control and there's nothing more we can do" phase. We're waiting for our social worker to finish writing our home study, we're waiting for our fingerprint clearances to be returned by the FBI (8-12 weeks, how 'bout that for efficient governance...sigh.) and we're waiting to be ready to wait to be matched.

2) I majored in music in college. I wasn't (and still am not) particularly talented, but I loved playing the piano in high school, so I picked my major in college because I thought it would be fun. I am, as you might say, the complete opposite of driven. I studied music because I loved it. I knew so many people in college who studied economics or science so that they'd get jobs. It's 12 years later, I have no job, and they probably do. But whatever. I had so much fun doing what I loved for those 4 years.

3) I got this new cookbook last week, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. I'm thinking about doing a Julie & Julia style project and baking each one of the 175 cupcakes in the book. I don't know if I'd do it as a blog or not though. I'm sure someone else already has, so it's not like I'm the first person to think of such things. Or even if anyone would be interested in looking at pictures of my cupcakes.

4) I'm slightly obsessed with Christmas music. I have 31 hours of Christmas music on my computer right now. It's October. I'll add more throughout the season. And that says nothing of all the CDs that I have. I have no idea how much Christmas music I actually have. I try not to listen to it before November though. I figure that while early November isn't really when most people turn on their Christmas music, putting it on in October would make me an object of public scorn and ridicule. So I wait until November. Usually.

5) I hate cold. Hate it, hate it, hate it. To the point that I wish that people could hibernate. If I were a bear, I'd be getting ready to go to sleep now and I'd wake up in March or so. It sounds excellent to me. I hate cold, I like to sleep. Clearly, I should have been a bear.

What is something interesting about you?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Extended Family

I am the only girl in my family and I have 3 brothers. My mom was the oldest of 4 kids in her family, and they never really got along. My dad was one of 5 kids, and he always seemed to get along well with his brothers and sister. The cousins I grew up with are the cousins on my dad's side. As kids, we would get together several times a year. We were kind of in the middle of all the cousins - one group lived about an hour north of us and another group lived about an hour south.

As we were growing up, it was really important to my mom that my brothers and I would get along and love each other and enjoy being together. She wanted us to enjoy each other's companionship as kids, but also that it would carry over and that we'd enjoy each other as adults as well. Quite honestly, we really do. I love my brothers. I love my brother's wife. Happy, happy. I love my immediate family. (Are my brothers always my immediate family, or is immediate family only the people who live in your house? I never really knew the official designation on that one.)

So I have a bunch of cousins, all about my age. They're all late 20s-early 30s. I don't really know how to categorize how I feel about my cousins; it's kind of weird. When we were kids, we enjoyed playing together 3-4 times a year. Anyway, my cousins are fine. This is where it's kind of weird to describe the relationship I have with my cousins. They're fine. I don't dislike them, but I'm kind of neutral on them. Now, as adults, we've all sort of moved away to whatever different places we live. Maybe we see them once a year. So yeah, they're fine, I'm happy to see them when I see them, but we're not like the BFF cousins that some people are.

At any rate, of these cousins, only one is married. They were married 5 years ago. (See where this is going yet???) I can't really remember when I saw them last. Maybe 2 years ago. Anyway.

So I just got this e-mail from my dad. Forwarded from my cousin who sent a mass e-mail pregnancy announcement that his wife is pregnant. But he didn't have the e-mail addresses for the cousins, so could all the aunts and uncles please pass along the news. So my dad e-mailed all 4 of us. No comment, no note, just passed it along. (Now that I think about that, I wonder what my dad is thinking. The whole ripple effect of IF...)

I have 2 observations on this pregnancy announcement.

1) When people I dearly love get pregnant, I think it's the greatest news I've ever heard. When my closest friends have told me (even by e-mail) that they're pregnant, I am truly, genuinely thrilled for them. When people I'm kind of neutral on are pregnant, I'm not really sure how to react. It's happy news; I hope everything goes well for them. But that's pretty much as much brain space as I would like to give this. "Wow. Great, good for you! That's happy news and I hope everything goes well." And that's the extent of the brain space on this. But there's the gut-punch and the heart space. I'm pretty much a selfish jerk, but I WANT MY TURN!!!

2) My older brother is a much better, kinder person than I am. (Or a better faker.) He and his wife are also adopting. (This falls into the category of being truly, genuinely thrilled for other people. I already love my little niecephew (like that word I just made up?!)) so much. So they're walking this IF/adoption road. They get it. Which just makes our adoption that much more extraordinary. Upon receiving this e-mail from my dad, my brother replied back to all of us and said, "What awesome news for A&J! So exciting!"

That was not what I was thinking. Not the e-mail I would have sent, which is why I have not yet replied. My brother is a better person, or a better faker. Either way.

Am I a terrible person for not wanting to reply to this e-mail to congratulate my cousin on their functioning body parts? Am I a terrible person for not wanting to e-mail all my brothers right now to say that I'm thrilled that my cousins' bodies work? I mean, it is good. I'm glad for them that their bodies work. And, of course, I have no evidence of how well their bodies work. I've not asked them, nor will I. I have no idea what it took for them to achieve this pregnancy, so it's possible that they don't particularly feel like their bodies do work.

Meh. Who knows. I guess I'll send my cousin an e-mail congratulating them on their news. It is good news.

Someday I'll have good news too. I hate that that's my takeaway from everyone else's good news.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Let's Talk About Music Today

I love music. I almost always have something playing in the background at home. I don't ever drive without music on, so I'm pretty much always listening to something.

Today I will share with you some of my favorite music.

1) Brett Dennen. I have loved Brett Dennen's music for a few years now, and I have to thank the iTunes Genius for recommending him to me. Aside from enjoying his music, I have since discovered that Brett and I have the same birthday (10 days from today, yo!) Also, it cracks me up that he performs barefoot. I'd do everything barefoot if I could, or at least in flip flops. I wonder if it's an October 28 thing.

Here is a video of Brett Dennen singing one of my favorite songs, Blessed.

It's a long video - 9 minutes. It's a great song, one of my favorite songs ever. He says, "Blessed is this life, and I'm going to celebrate being alive."

Also awesome is the fact that the only time I've seen Brett Dennen live was at Red Rocks this summer. This video was from another time at Red Rocks though, so it's not the concert that I went to. But same idea. Red Rocks was incredible, as an aside. If you ever have the chance, you ought to go.

2) Priscilla Ahn. I just love her. I first heard her music on Pandora and subsequently bought her entire album. She's based in LA, so I have not ever had a chance to hear her live. She just has the sweetest, loveliest voice. This is a video of one of my favorite songs of hers, Find My Way Back Home. She plays the ukulele. How awesome is that?

So the type of music that I tend to like is the indie/folky singer/songwriter type. Which is why even 8 months later it continues to surprise me that this was one of the funniest things I've ever seen on TV. I recorded it on Tivo and rewound and rewatched this scene over and over. It still cracks me up.

This gave me a newfound respect for Michael Bublé. Don't get me wrong, I haven't bought his album or anything, but I'm about to make an important tie-in here. The song that he sings in this skit is very similar to the song, "Haven't Met You Yet." Which, as dorky as it may be, is one of the songs that gives me hope through this adoption wait. In fact, it's hard for me to even type these words and not tear up a little bit. Which kind of makes me feel even dorkier. A Michael Bublé song makes me cry. Sheesh.

I might have to wait, I'll never give up.
I guess it's half timing and the other half's luck.
Wherever you are, whenever it's right,
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life.

And I know that we can be so amazing.
And, baby, your love is gonna change me.
And I can see every possibility...

What's new in music for you these days?

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Happy birthday to me!

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'm turning 34 this year. Kind of crazy, because I don't usually feel that old. I don't really know what age I "feel." I'm also not sure that I know what any age feels like anyway, so I guess it's moot to even try to figure that out.

So because of my birthday, I've been doing some heavy introspection recently, and I'm determined to make some changes in my life, kind of as a birthday present to myself. What's really weird, though, is that the changes that I want to make in my life as a birthday present, I'm thinking of them as a 35th birthday present. Things I'd like to be in place in my life by the time I'm 35.

When I was a young'un and I sat down to make the beautiful life plan that would be the rest of my life, it went like this... Mister and I would graduate college at 22, get married at 23/24, have our first baby about a year later, keep having some more babies until we had 3-5 babies and we were about 34. Somewhere in there we would buy the perfect Victorian house, drive fabulous cars..... blah, blah, blah.

Here's what happened from that list. Mister and I graduated college at 22. We did eventually get married, of course, but we were 26! So already starting off I was mad because we were about 2 years "late" on the master plan. Then a year later, we started TTC and here we are now.

This is important for my birthday, of course, because from the time that I was 26-29, I told myself that it'd be OK, I could still meet my goals if we could just have one baby by the time I turned 30. Have one baby and buy a house. Any house, I didn't really care.

Well, 30 came, childless and renting. (31, 32, and 33 have also come childless and renting, for that matter, but I'm really in a different place about that now.) I decided that I didn't want to walk around thinking of myself as a failure, so I gave myself a few more years to meet those goals. I said that probably when I was 35, we'd have bought a house and had babies, and definitely by 40.

Of course, here comes 35. In 366 short days, I'll be 35. And part of my heavy introspection is that I'm holding myself to these goals that are not actually goals. I have absolutely no control over when we'll have a baby. Maybe by the time I'm 35, maybe not. Maybe we'll have bought a house by then, but maybe not.

Aside from these 2 unmet non-goals, I have an awesome life. I simply can't justify walking around this awesome life feeling like I've let myself down. Because I haven't let myself down at all. We have (almost) everything we want, we travel, we eat out, we stay out late, we want for nothing. Many people in the world would look at my life and think I'm living a dream life. And in some ways, I definitely am.

So for my 35th birthday, I decided that I needed different goals. I am not going to have the goal that "maybe by next year we'll have a baby and we'll own our own house." Because yeah, maybe we will. But maybe we won't, and that'll be OK too. My focus for my 34th year will be to get my life in order for turning 35. Baby or no baby, house or no house. So for one year, I will do these things that are actually goals. These are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound goals. Not just "I hope I have a baby by then" goals.

Here are the gifts that I will give myself by the time I'm 35:

1) (Not so much measurable or time-bound, this one is just a SAR goal, I guess.) Goal #1 - Lay off. Really, back off and give myself some slack. I am absolutely not a failure in my life for not having had children. Most people wouldn't look at me and think of me that way, so I'm going to try to stop too. I'm compassionate and have great empathy for others, now it's time to apply some of that to myself.

2) Give up soda. I drink way too much. I'm concerned about the health, environmental, and philosophical impact of all the artificial sweetners, caffeine, plastic bottles, chemicals and even the financial cost of it all. I'm going back to water, wine, beer, and iced tea. Maybe lemonade sometimes too, if I feel like it. But as much as I love soda, I think it's doing me more harm than good. I may definitely need the entire year for this goal, but that's all right. I'll get there. I'm not buying any soda after my 34th birthday. I'll still drink whatever is already in the house, but I will not supply myself with anymore soda after October 28.

3) Exercising at least 3 times a week. A few weeks ago, I walked 5 miles every day, which is drastic, I know. I went from 0 miles a day to 5, and I think that it would be an unrealistic, unattainable goal to say that I'll walk 5 miles a day 5x a week. So I'm going to leave it a little more attainable and realistic and say that I will do some form of exercise at least 3 times a week for the next year.

4) Read at least 1 book a month. I love to read, but TV and the internet compete better for my attention. I'm embarrassed to think that if someone asked me, "What have you read recently?" it would become another famous gotcha. "What have you read recently?" isn't a trick question, as we've all heard, and if people in public life will be the object of scorn and ridicule for not reading, then I'd better hold myself to at least that lowest bar of conversation. Because seriously, if I went on a job interview and the principal asked me that, I'd stutter and freeze on that one. Unless Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook counts, which I kind of don't think it does.

That's it. 4 short goals. I'm starting them on my 34th birthday hoping they'll be habits by the time I'm 35. Cut myself some slack, give up soda, exercise and read. I think I can do it. It's my own personal New Year, so why not throw some resolutions in there. And, of course, if sometime along the path of being 34 years old, I happen to have a baby or buy a house, I'm open to those as well.

However, the best news of all is that having just read Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook, I have some awesome ideas for what birthday cake I should have...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dog walking and grief

OMG. It is so cold here today. The weather display on my computer says 60 and there's a thermometer at one of the banks in town. It said 62. I am feeling a little outrageous today and therefore will flat-out call both my computer and the bank liars. LIARS! There is no way it is 60 or 62. My hands feel like ice.

I took the dog for a walk down at the beach, and despite freezing our butts off, it was a really nice time. She was full of energy, rolling in the sand, digging for shellfish (yes, it's true - she's a freak.) and she even went in the water. She typically hates the water, but for whatever reason today she actually had all 4 paws in.

This is a weird mental digression that I'm about to take, but it's rattling around in my mind, so I'm going to try to put it into words. Please don't think I'm too insane or weird on this one.

As many of you probably know, my mom died 5 years ago. While I would say that most days, I don't feel like I'm actively still grieving, every once in a while something will bring it up and here I am again. One thing I can say for sure is that losing my mom fundamentally, to the core, changed who I am. As it would anyone, I'm sure.

One of the ways that I feel changed plays out most dramatically in my relationship with my Zoe dog. We got her about a month after my mom died, so we've had her for just more than 5 years. She's now 6 years old. Beagles are supposed to live 12-15 years, they say. So Zoe is about middle-aged, I guess.

Because she's my dog and we've had her for almost her whole life, I really know her. I see her slowing down. She's not a puppy anymore. The vet says she's not getting old, she's 6 and in the middle of her life and I shouldn't see slowing down and that I probably don't really see it. My aunt, who has had many beagles says that 6 is the middle of her life, she's not slowing down, beagles can live for 15 years. Zoe must not be slowing down.

But here's the thing. She's my dog. I see her. I know her. She's slowing down. And maybe when I say that she's slowing down, this is where other people mean something else. Here's what I mean. I mean that if I took her down to that beach every single day in a week, maybe once or twice would she play like she did today. If I had taken her down to that beach when she was 2 or 3, she would play like that every time.

So when I take her to the beach and she wants to pull me off the path because she wants to go in the water and dig in the sand and eat clams (well that part is not OK with me) it stands out to me. It's a rare occasion that she wants to do that. So I let her, obviously.

The good way that I am changed from my mom's death is that I am acutely aware of the passage of time. I recognize that these fun times at the beach are fewer and further between than they used to be. But that makes me more present in those times when we're in one of those rare times that a walk is more than a regular walk. I'm really there with her and enjoying myself (except when she starts eating the clams. That's just weird.)

But the bad way that I am changed is this. "She's middle-aged. Beagles are supposed to live until they're 12-15 years." True. But mothers are supposed to live until they're 80-100. "Zoe's in the middle of her life. She's not slowing down." My mother was in the middle of her life, too. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, none of us. Not my mom, not me, not you, not my dog.

I try to take the good out of that and say that since we've no guarantee of tomorrow, if the dog wants to go on the beach and roll in the sand, then we absolutely have time to do that today.

I hate to think I'm grieving bad things before they've happened. That's the other side of that bittersweet feeling that comes with a dog randomly getting the energy to roll in the sand. I can't notice only that she's doing something she wouldn't do 6 of the 7 days this week. How can you think of the one time something happens without acknowledging the 6 times this week it hasn't happened? I'm happy that she had fun today. But also very aware that the last 6 times we've been at the beach, she hasn't wanted to roll in the sand.

I just reread this and I think I'm insane. So to pay you off for sticking around until the end of this post, I give you a picture of my beloved Zoe. Because if she wanted to roll in the sand and play in the water, I dare you to say no to her. Go ahead, try.

Yeah, I can't either. I can say no to her eating clams though. That's still just weird. And gross.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Fun Weekend

Remember how I told you yesterday that I had an awesome weekend? Well it was so great! First, look who I met!

True, not the greatest picture. But hey, who cares? It's Duff! He even shook my hand. (Too bad I didn't get a picture of that moment!) This weekend was the NYC Wine and Food Festival, and they do all these different events, parties and cooking demonstrations. This was from the dessert event called Sweet. Oh my gosh, there were so many people there! It was in this huge event space that was the most sprawling thing ever. There were probably 5 or 6 huge rooms full of people and tables. Each table was a different baker or restaurant. And most importantly, at each table were samples of each baker's or restaurant's best dessert. I ate so many cupcakes, brownies, cookies, pie, chocolate mousse, gelato, you name it. After you sampled, you got to vote on which one was your favorite, and then the winning bakery or restaurant got a prize. The Clinton Street Bakery were the winners for an incredible upside down pear tart. Oh, it was wonderful! It was a lot of fun. And Mister and I got all dressed up and spent the evening in the city, which I always love to do.

Sunday was our day of lawn care. Mister cut the grass, and I took down my garden. I've never had a garden before this year, and it wasn't particularly successful, so I haven't decided if I'll do it again next year or not. But we took out the tomato cages, weeded everything (except the front walk) and raked a little bit. We went to Home Depot and bought some mums for the front of the house so we could be fall-ish and decorative. We grabbed some pumpkins and set up a little fall display.

Also, we had an interesting mum experience at Home Depot. As you can see, those are really large pots of mums. They were on the shelf, and we had one of those flatbed carts. I picked up one pot and Mister picked up the other. We left the mums on the cart for a few minutes and went out to the front of the store to look at the pumpkins. While we were out there, my face started to feel really itchy. I asked Mister if my forehead was red. He said that it was, but really my whole face was red. Then a minute later, I noticed that he was scratching too. "Is my neck red?" he asked. Uh oh. It was a really long itchy ride home from Home Depot! We didn't suspect the mums right away though. While we were inside the store, we saw some of the bulbs for gardens for next year. I picked up the hyacinth bulbs and I was looking at the package. I noticed a warning that said, "Hyacinth bulbs have been known to cause skin irritation in some people. Please wear gloves when handling them." So naturally, when I got itchy 10 minutes later, I blamed the hyacinth bulbs. I didn't think it was the mums until we got home. By then, we had both stopped itching and then we unloaded the mums from the car. By the time we got inside, both of our necks and faces were itchy again. I really like those mums. I think they're very pretty. But when it's time to clean them up, I say, "NOT IT!!" Or maybe I'll wear a hat and a scarf and a ski mask or something!

Monday, October 11, 2010


OK, let me tell you about my day so far.

First, I had to do some laundry or I couldn't get dressed. So I started off doing laundry so that I could get dressed and get moving on my day.

Once I got dressed, I had to go to the grocery store, which I usually do on Mondays, so it's kind of my regular schedule. We always go to this grocery store that is kind of far away. It's way better, and a lot of stuff is cheaper. It's kind of like a farm stand type of grocery store, but they pretty much have most things we need. But it's about 20 minutes away and we definitely pass about 5 perfectly reasonable grocery stores on the way. Now this is like the Disneyworld of grocery stores - they have characters in costumes, animatronic robots who sing songs for the kids, and whatnot. It's kind of weird. So dummy here forgot that it's not a school day. Now they have all these special kid activities going on, a hayride, a pumpkin carver, a magician, and a band. It took a while to get through the store, but I highly prefer this store, so I don't really complain that it takes long. I know it takes long, and that's part of the deal with going to the better store, I get that.

So I got home from the grocery store and I had to bake. Mister had asked me last week if I would bake something today for his class tomorrow. He's leading his small group discussion and thought it would be friendlier if his leadership offered baked goods. I agreed, so I said I'd make some brownies today.

But first, I've been really craving chocolate chip cookies, so I thought that I'd bake both. It's not really hard to bake either, so certainly I could bake both. Fine, great, an afternoon of baking. I put the dog outside on her tie-out so she can enjoy the nice weather and I started to collect my supplies. Then, uh-oh.... I won't have enough chocolate chips to make a batch of cookies. (This is when I'm really grateful that on the way to the good store we pass about 5 other stores...) So I realize I have to get to the store so I can finish my cookies.

Off I go! This is how it goes to this store. It's pretty close, 4 or 5 minutes to drive there. But then parking fiasco! 10 minutes to park! Then another 10 minutes to shop and pay! Then walk back to the car and another 10 minutes to get out of the parking lot! Then another 4 or 5 minutes to drive home. I needed chocolate chips and it takes 45 minutes. :( Oh well, I say. That's again, part of the deal. If you live in a big town, that's how these things go.

I got home, get my chocolate chips and go inside. I made the cookies, and I'm all set to start making brownies. Then, uh-oh... I don't have enough cocoa to make the brownies. So I realize I have to get to the store so I can finish my brownies....

Actually, this was where I told Mister that I was about to lose my mind and would not be making a 3rd trip to the store on the same day. He agreed and offered to pick some cocoa up for me on his way home if I would make the brownies tonight after dinner. So now I'm relaxing before I start dinner. What a crazy day!

Mister and I had a super fun weekend, which will require a separate post because it was just that awesome. I think I'll make that post tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sweet Dreams...

I dreamed about my baby last night. She was perfect and beautiful and awesome. I kept looking at her and thinking that I couldn't believe she was here and real. Of course, then I woke up and realized that she wasn't here or real, but it was a great dream while it lasted. I love those dreams; it gives me so much hope to think that this adoption is for real, even if we don't know who or where or when our baby will be here. It kind of feels like when you are reading a really tense or scary book and you read the last chapter, just to know that it'll all work out. That dream reminds me that it'll all work out. So thanks for checking in, Baby! It was great to see you. I can't wait until you're here and real.

Oh and speaking of the dream baby, this is weird. The dream baby had a name, which is a name that I would never use. It's a good name, but it's a friend's daughter's name. But in my dream, it was my baby's name, and it was great. Then first thing this morning, I took the dog for a walk in the park. We met another dog along the path and I asked the owner what her dog's name was... it was the name of my friend's daughter, and my dream baby from last night! Weird, right?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blog Award!!

Well, I've never gotten a blog award before, so it's kind of exciting. Thanks to Lauren, my blog buddy who shares my Connecticut/Pennsylvania roots.

So now I get to do a post about getting an award.

Here are the rules:
- thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
- share 7 things about yourself.
- pass the award on to 7 other bloggers who you think are fabulous.
- contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award.

Seven Things About Me
1) When we moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut, I spent probably 6-7 months hating it and wishing I could go back to small-town life. Now I find myself wishing we lived closer to NYC.

2) In order to adopt from our agency in CT, we had to have a family member write a letter of reference for us. Mister and I decided to ask my older brother and his wife write a letter on our behalf. On the same day that we told them about our adoption and asked them for help with our paperwork, they told us that they're also adopting and needed help with their paperwork as well! I'm going to be a mom and an auntie!

3) I love Netflix and I've been watching a lot of stuff lately. Here's the odd thing - I get movies and TV shows on DVD, but when I have both a season of a TV show and a movie at the same time, I watch an entire season of a TV show in 2 or 3 days, and a full-length film will sit on the coffee table for an entire week. I buzzed through 3 seasons of Gossip Girl and 4 seasons of Grey's Anatomy in about 2 weeks. I got the Lovely Bones, and I kept it for probably 2 weeks before I watched it. There's something much more doable about watching shows in 42 minute segments than a 120 minute movie. I don't know what it is. I'm a weirdo.

4) I have weird control-freak issues about the dumbest things - for example, I like the play counts on my iTunes playlists to match up. This affects my life not at all, but I just like the look of having everything all lined up. Of course, as soon as I had everything on my favorite playlist all even, Mister plugged his iPad into my computer and messed up all my play counts. Now I'll have to even it all out again.

5) My mother always told me (probably everyone's mother said this at one point) "When you grow up and have a kid, you'll see... she'll be JUST.... LIKE..... YOU!!!!!!" I guess it'll be good that we will have had to prepare so much for parenthood. I was kind of a whirlwind as a kid.

6) (This is only kind of about me, indirectly.) My dog's name is Zoe, named for the character on Sesame Street, kind of. When we got her, I was teaching 2nd grade, and I asked the children for input on what we should name her. One of the girls said we should name the dog Zoe because she'd always wanted a dog, and if she ever got a boy dog, she'd name him Elmo. On Sesame Street, Elmo's girlfriend is Zoe, and if she ever got a boy dog named Elmo, she'd bring him over to our house and he could be our dog's boyfriend and it would be just like Sesame Street. I thought that was one of the funniest uses of kid logic that I'd ever heard, so of course I had to agree to it. Zoe it was.

7) I'll finish with a childhood gem. One of my younger brothers was severely asthmatic as a child. He's better now, but he logged lots of hospital time as a youngster. One of those times was completely my fault.... My parents had a tiny B&W TV that they kept in their bedroom. They'd move it into our rooms sometimes just for fun. My brother and I were camping out in his room, getting ready to watch Little House on the Prairie. Just before Little House was to begin, President Reagan busted in with an address. Two little kids watching a Presidential address, well, clearly we weren't paying any attention to the content of the speech. We started making fun of the way he spoke, and his voice, and my imitation of President Reagan was so dead-on that my brother started laughing and couldn't stop. Then he started wheezing and couldn't stop. Then he stopped breathing and couldn't start. Oops. Off they went to the hospital, where he stayed for a few days. I felt pretty guilty about that one. It all ended well, though, so we can laugh about it now. I'm fairly certain that neither of my parents felt much like laughing that night though.

So those are 7 things about me. Now onto the tagging of 7 people I think are fabulous.

I tag:

Grace from Chois-R-Us
Tillie from A Nuttier Life

Whew. That was hard. But fun. Thanks Lauren for tagging me!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I completely forgot about ICLW. I forgot to sign up and now it's too late. But maybe that's OK - I'll do free form ICLW and post and comment when I can. Feel free to leave comments (or not) if you like.

We are moving along right along with all the adoption stuff. Mister went to the doctor for his physical, and we are so close to being finished with the profile book. We're still working on the closing few paragraphs and then that's it. I can't believe we're really this close. (Of course, this is before I have to wait up to 3 years or whatever. I'm sure after years of waiting being "this close" will seem funny.)

This weekend, Mister and I are going to my aunt and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary party. My uncle is my mom's youngest brother, and he was a very young uncle. He is 13 years older than my older brother, and 16 years older than I. When we were very little, we had a teenage uncle! Kind of funny. (It's not really that funny, I suppose. My uncle was born when my mom was 12, and so my mom was 25 when my brother was born and 28 when she had me. Not that unusual at all, really.)

At any rate, we're going to my uncle's party. My mom wasn't really close to her family, so we didn't really see them all that much, and I'm not sure I've seen them since my mom's funeral.
None of my brothers are going; they all have other things they're doing. So it's just me and Mister and my dad. I still feel weird about going though. Just because I haven't seen them in so long. And because I haven't seen them in a long time, I really hope this party won't turn into a "when are you going to have kids?" spectacular. Because while I can write my little paragraph up there about how much progress we've made on this adoption, we still have no idea when we are going to have kids. And we're not "out" about this adoption AT ALL (like no one except the people who wrote our reference letters knows) so I won't even tell them how much progress we've made.

But, the good news is that on the way home from my uncle's, we are stopping to see our friends who had a baby recently. I think she's like 7 weeks old or something. So I'm kind of psyched about that. Knowing that I will get some baby cuddles is going to be the carrot on the stick to get me through this (probably very boring) family party.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

6 Pages Left!

First off, is everyone's profile 20 pages long? I looked at some online and they were like 6-8 pages, so when our social worker said that for our agency, most people's are 18-20 pages I resisted the urge to have a temper tantrum and scream, "THAT'S SO UNFAIR!!!"

Either way, Mister and I have 3 more pages to write each, so 6 pages in total left. I'm pretty psyched. I have to write about Mister, like what I love about him and why he'll be an awesome father. He has to write one about me too. Then we each have to write about our respective families and then we each are writing a page about ourselves. I think on my page about myself, I'm writing more about biographical information, things like where I grew up, what I like to do, how I feel about teaching and I'm writing less about why I think I'll be a good mother. I'll let Mister cover that, because frankly, I have no idea. It's kind of weird.

So 6 pages left - about me by me, about Mister by Mister, about Mister by me and about me by Mister. Then we each write a page about our families and we're done. We're finishing this weekend. And from there, we're on our way.

Oddly, Mister and I had one of our very first conversations the other day that was actually about parenting and what it will be like when we have a baby.

:-D I just said, "when we have a baby" like it's really going to happen!! Yay. Sorry. Back to my story.

One of our dear friends had a baby about 6 weeks ago, and she posted something on Facebook about how she thinks the baby has acid reflux problems because the baby cries so much. One of her friends commented on that post and said, "Yeah, that's awful. We thought that about (whatever her own kid's name was) too. She just cried for like 6 months and then it got kind of better."

So here's the thing - we love our friend, and so automatically, we love our friend's baby. It sucks that her baby might have reflux. I hate to think of a tiny 6 week old baby just being in pain and crying a lot. That makes me sad. It makes me sad to think that my friend has to watch her baby be in pain and not know how to help. That makes me sad.

But then there's this other part. This part of me that reads that FB comment and wonders, "Wait, they just cry for like 6 months? And then it gets kind of better?"

So that's what Mister and I were talking about - what the hell do you do? They just cry for 6 months? How do normal people handle that? I am patient, patient, patient. I have a master's degree in teaching small children. I've been the big sister, the babysitter, the teacher, all feeling like I'm preparing myself for that "someday". But let me tell you. I'm patient, yet I get annoyed when the dog scratches the door to go outside for the 2nd or 3rd time in an hour. I'm always like, "WTH? I just took you out. You need to go out again?" I'm patient as anything, but I recognize that I have limits and annoyances.

Mister, well, he doesn't think he's patient at all. I think he is more patient than he gives himself credit for. He's patient with me, and he's patient with the dog. He gets impatient when people at work bug the crap out of him, but I don't think how you behave at work is necessarily the same as how you behave with family.

But yeah. So they just cry for 6 months and then it gets kind of better? Kill me now. Oh wait. I'm signing up to do this. On purpose.

I don't know, man. Are we insane for wanting to do this? I figure somehow babies turn 7 moths old and everyone has a baby, so somehow it works out. I'm banking on it.

Yeah, so I've been blogging about babies who cry and I've written 0 of my 3 pages. And really, worrying about crying babies when I haven't even finished the profile, well that's kind of putting the cart before the horse. I guess I'd better get back to work. Because we're finishing this weekend. I'm sending the final draft to the social worker on Monday. For realz.