Friday, December 28, 2007
Since I was pretty down in the dumps this holiday season, Griffey and I decided to spend the night at my sister's house on Christmas Eve to try to take my mind off things. It helped. My niece and nephews always crack me up. They drive me a little crazy sometimes. But they always brighten my spirit. People fighting over who gets to sit next to me at dinner does wonders for my self esteem. LOL!
After a nice dinner, we put on our matching pj's. With penguins, of course. Here are some of the attempts at a picture with not only 4 squirmy kids but 2 dogs who insisted on getting in on the action.
After about a hundred takes, we ended up with a few that weren't so bad. Isn't it cute the way Travis slung his arm around my neck? He's my little boyfriend. It's good to know there's at least one man in the world who adores me. LOL!
But this is my favorite. It depicts the T's in their truest form. Slightly off balance. I love that look on Tanner's face. Like he's so grossed out that his little sister has her arm around him and his little brothers are leaning on him. Ahhh..... sibling love.
But look what the boys chose to play with instead. Yep. They were both lovin' the dollhouse. Forget the Hot*Wheels cars, the Tonk*a trucks, and the Fisher*Price parking garage. They wanted to play with the dolls. It was hilarious! My brother and bro-in-law cringed a little over that. I don't think playing with dolls as a boy will affect their macho manly man- ness.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Even the little guy. But notice the adult supervision hovering behind him. LOL!
This random shot was taken while the cookies were in the oven. It's to document one of the few times in history when all four T's were sitting together quietly. They made this decision on their own with no prompting from the adults. Notice there is no crying, no one in a head lock, no bloodshed. Of course, they were distracted by whatever was on TV. But normally even the TV is not enough to subdue the mayhem. Absolutely amazing. A rare moment in this household to say the least.
Day Two of O.C.C. '07 involved the final (and some say best) phase of the project....the decorating.
All that from a cookie, huh? Very interesting. Maybe she'll grow up to be a writer someday.
Monday, December 24, 2007
This is the second holiday season spent without my daughter. But more depressing is there will most likely be yet another after this one. It's difficult for others to understand how it's possible to miss a child so much... who only exists in your heart. The holidays are rough for those of us still waiting. Especially those whose homes are quiet on Christmas morning. To distract myself a little, I'll be spending the night at my sister's house. It'll be nice to wake up with the kids and watch them open their presents.
But I'll still think about my Mia. As I do every day. And I'll dream about the Christmas morning when my house won't be quiet anymore.
This song was written by a member of the band Third Day while he was waiting to bring his own daughter home from China. This video of his family and their trip to China is shown at concerts during the song. I'm borrowing it as my message to my daughter.
I can't wait until the day that I can finally hold you in my arms. Until then... I'll keep carrying you in my heart. I love you, Mia. Merry Christmas from Mommy.
And Merry Christmas to all of you out there.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I signed up to be part of the Secret Pal exchange. Basically that means I have two Secret Pals. One who sends me a gift once a month and one who I send a gift to. We've decided to end the exchange because, quite frankly, 18 months is a long time. I think a lot of us have lost our steam. In the beginning, we were all so excited about our adoptions. But the wait has become difficult. None of us expected it to take this long. The exchange was becoming more of a chore trying to come up with new gift ideas every month. And for me, the last few months have been bittersweet. I really looked forward to the gift but it was also another monthly reminder of just how far off we still are from our babies. So this month we revealed our identities. (I'll reveal the SP I send to once I know she's gotten her last gift from me.)
I never knew for sure who my pal was all this time. At one point, I thought I knew who it was but then decided I was probably wrong. But I was right! My Secret Pal is Drea from Canada! She also has a blog named And Mia Makes 3! Not only are we both adopting from China at around the same time but she's also chosen to name her daughter Mia. I think that's cool.
Drea, I've truly enjoyed your thoughtfulness. My favorite gifts from you were the personalized ones. I love seeing my daughter's name on things. That was always so much fun. You really took the time to get to know me (through reading my blog) which helped you come up with ideas suited for me. You even included Griffey several times. I cherish all of the things you sent. I can't wait to explain to Mia when she gets older how much fun this was. I appreciate the time you took to make each month special during this crazy wait. Maybe someday we'll actually meet.
Here's my last Secret Pal gift. I love the little Asian family dolls. They're adorable. The hat and mittens will come in handy in these cold Ohio winters. Of course, the pen is perfect. You can never go wrong with a penguin. But I was stumped on the two spotted things. I've never seen anything like it. I saw the name on the side of the tag and had to go to the website to figure it out. For anyone else who can't figure it out either, they're fleece baby legwarmers. They snap on over their pants to cover that gap at the ankle you get when you carry them. What a cool idea. Those will get some use during our winters, too.
Thanks again Drea for everything you've done to make this wait a little more bearable! You're the best.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
She got the royal treatment. They propped her up on pillows, wrapped her in a luxurious robe to keep her warm and let her tootsies soak. She told me the machine "was shaking her feet" which loosely translates to mean "vibrating". The big girls had made a coffee run for themselves. Since 5 yr olds generate enough energy to not need caffeine, she got to enjoy a hot cocoa.
Ahhh... doesn't that pic just scream relaxation?
Then she got her toes filed, buffed and polished. They even lotioned and massaged her calves just like a big girl pedicure. Next was her manicure. Notice the tiara? She finally decided against the ear piercing after being warned it'd hurt a little. Maybe in a few more years she'll change her mind. But we're in no rush to see her grow up.
She'll kill me for this pic someday but we were about to pee our pants over this look. She was so warm and relaxed with all the pampering that when the girl started messing with her hair it was all she could do not to fall asleep. That's her arm just hanging limp off the side of the chair. She was in a Hannah*Montana induced coma, mouth gaping open, eyes glazed over, staring at the TV.
I love this pic. It's the moment that she finally got spun around in the chair to check out the finished product. She was lovin' herself. But seriously... is she not just absolutely stinkin' adorable?
Drag queens everywhere are gonna be so jealous of this purple, sparkly, glittered, feather tiara ensemble. Check out the eyeshadow.
Just as we were ready to leave, she decided she had to walk the runway a few times. Rupaul would've been so proud if he-she could've been there to see it. Work it, girl! All the pampering and glitter just proved the theory that all little girls (even tomboys who live with 3 brothers) deep down just want to be a supermodel diva. If only for a day.
It really was a lot of fun. The whole day was a good one. After the big makeover, we went out to lunch. Just us girls. That was nice. Then later that evening we all met back at my sister's house for pizza, cake and ice cream. Uncle Travis and Braeden even joined us. Unfortunately, Kristy was working and couldn't be there.Here's the birthday girl about to blow out the candles on her cake. I wonder what she's wishing for.
Notice the stuffed penguin and shark laying on the table in the above pic? They belong to Travis, who insisted I snap a pic of him, too. Tanner is the only one I didn't get a pic of. He's coming into this obnoxious "I'm almost 11. I'm a tween now. And I'm way too cool for all that." phase. It's becoming rather annoying. Can't wait for the actual teen years if the tweens are this much fun.This is the bracelet I had made for Tatum's birthday present. It has a ladybug charm hanging off the bottom. Another great E*Bay find.
The only non-family member in attendance at the birthday party was my friend's daughter, Mia. I decided to give her momma a break so she could do some cleaning, packing and other last minute stuff before the long drive home today to visit her family at Christmas. (Hey..us single mom's gotta take care of each other. LOL!)
This was just too cute. Teagan and Mia both have a mutual adoration of Dora. Here they are intently working on some Dora dominoes that Tatum got as a b-day present. Don't they make a good couple? And yes that equals 3 two year olds in one room at the same time. In addition to the 3 older ones, it was a bit chaotic. But a fun time nonetheless.
This afternoon, I'm going back over to the T's house for our annual xmas cookie making extravaganza. I might have to bring some tequila with me. Kidding, people! I'm sure it'll be fun. Even without the tequila.
PS. The ladies I mentioned in this post are both doing better. Lori is home and recovering. Turns out she didn't have an aneurysm (which is an artery bursting) but instead had a vessel burst which caused the brain bleed. Apparently, not nearly as bad. So her prognosis is very good. Shana has made improvements also. She's breathing 60% on her own so they are expecting to take her off the ventilator soon. We're hoping that this is a good sign that she's moving in the right direction. Thanks for the prayers.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I took this pic about noon today and it continued to fall until about mid-afternoon. It's not the snow that's the problem but the fact that it's a wet, slushy snow. So it's freezing. The roads are very slick. My brother's girlfriend slid off the road this morning and hit a pole. But she's okay. The car... maybe not so much. But I heard she's still able to drive it. So that's good.
All activities were canceled today. Tatum's birthday party and girl's day out were re-scheduled for next weekend. So I have spent the day snowed in enjoying a blissful day of lounging. Did I use my time productively to clean, do laundry or any of the other many odd jobs that need to be done around the house? Hell no! I put on my most comfortable sweats and softest warmest fuzzy socks, pulled my hair up in a clip, and laid on my couch. I played on the computer a little bit, talked on the phone and watched a movie. I ate some yummy vegetable soup for lunch. Nothing better on a cold snowy day. (Don't go getting all excited. It was out of a can. Remember, I don't cook.)
I did motivate myself to go out and shovel snow for about a half an hour. So the day was not a complete slug fest. Now, I'm about to go watch another movie. That's right. TWO MOVIES in one day.
And no cleaning. I love when it snows on the weekends!
Tomorrow will most likely suck however. I have to fight my way into work in the morning. It's my Sunday rotation.
Yee freakin' haw. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Let's hope I'm at least halfway there. I tell ya... 18 months ago I never would've imagined I'd be saying that. The wait sucks.
What can ya do?
We're expecting a snowstorm this weekend. I ran by the grocery store after work just in case. So did everyone else. I've never seen it that packed. It was crazy mayhem. Of course, this just has to be the weekend that I have plans to be out and about tomorrow. Oh and I have to work on Sunday. Wonderful. Why can't a snowstorm hit when I'm able to hibernate all weekend? We'll see how much snow we really get. The news stations here tend to blow it a bit out of proportion. I mean, it IS Ohio. Are they shocked that it might snow in December?
Last Sunday was my annual Bengals game. (Reading the last line of this post from last year reminded me of how I was still in a happy place about my adoption timeline back then.) The weather was awful. Rained all day. And it never got above about 35 degrees. I was a soaking wet freezing mess. The jello shots didn't even help take the chill off. We were the only dumb-asses tailgating without a canopy. Nobody thought to bring one. Fantastic. So we just stood out in the rain in our ponchos. Nothing like holding your plate OVER your cheeseburger so it doesn't get soggy. By the time we walked to the game I could no longer feel my feet. And it wasn't from the beer either. But at least our team won. That would've just been the icing on the cake if they hadn't of. I didn't take any pics this year. I was afraid of getting my camera wet. Yeah... it was that bad.
Tomorrow is Tatum's birthday party. She has a girl's day planned with mommy, grandma and me. We have an appointment at this place for a diva makeover. She might even get her ears pierced....
if she works up the nerve. She was all about it until her mom explained that it hurts. Now she's re-thinking the decision. Hopefully, we won't be snowed in and have to cancel. That would suck. We might do a little shoppy and lunch if we have time. Then back to her place for cake and ice cream with the family. I just realized that we've only just had family birthdays. None of my sister's kids have had an actual kids invited birthday party yet. Why is that Carla? Tanner's almost 11. He has actual friends now. Maybe it's time.....
In sad news, there are two women I know who are struggling with life and death right now. One is a co-worker's wife who had an aneurysm 2 nights ago. They med-flighted her to Cincinnati. And we have the leading local trauma center right here. So that concerns me. They have a 2 yr old son. I just saw them a few weeks ago at the children's xmas parade.
The other is another female police officer I work with. She has twin girls and is 7 mths pregnant with a son. She's had major complications from the pregnancy that have landed her in ICU on a ventilator. She's become septic like I was. It doesn't look good. They want to deliver the baby early to give her body a better shot at fighting this. But her blood counts are too low right now. She took a turn for the worse last night.
These two have been on my mind all day. I've been sending up some prayers. If you're so inclined, I'd ask that you send some prayers, positive vibes or whatever it is you believe in for both Lori, Shana and her unborn son. I'm not a very religious person...but I consider myself deeply spiritual. I have my own beliefs and I would never judge anyone else for theirs. I know that I had a lot of people praying for me when I was knocking on death's door. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that is part of what pulled me back from the brink. I hope that the universe decides that it's not time for these three to go yet.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I also got a Secret Pal gift in the mail. Socks for me and socks for my Mia. A couple new Jibbitz for my Crocs...a penguin and a ladybug. A ladybug wall hook. A tee shirt that says "Year of the Pig". Some luggage tags with our June Bugs DTC logo and a couple of cards written in Chinese that probably explain that I'm adopting a baby. I'm assuming ...since one is marked "girl" and one is marked "boy" on the back. Very cool! I'm really looking forward to finding out who you are next month, SP. I've got a couple of guesses but I honestly have no idea. I can't believe we've been doing this for 18 months! Thanks again SP!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
So a little back story before I get down to it. Because of having that little incident that almost killed me when my gallbladder was yanked out and the resulting bile leakage and sepsis crap (no pun intended), I have some (hmmm... how shall I say?) "problematic bowel issues". Basically, it boils down to this. When I start to get The Feeling, I have a very limited window of opportunity to locate a restroom because my body has decided that it's time to "GO". And there's generally no stopping it. This fact is already causing me distress about the China trip with those damn squattie potties and the group tours which are not exactly gonna be on MY poop schedule, YKWIM? But that's a whole other post. The issue is made worse by stress or when I'm nervous. Yeah... imagine how fun China is gonna be. I'll be registering for Immodium at my baby shower. But like I said... whole other post.
This morning I get into the office and don't even get to sit down before my sergeant tells me my number is up. Random drug test. Go pee in a cup. Not what I wanted to hear first thing in the morning. So I report to the doctor's office chugging water the whole way over. Which immediately starts to upset my empty stomach. I get there, check in and get in line behind two other guys also randomly selected. As I sit there drinking water, I start to feel the tell tale signs that I have come to know entirely too well. OMG... not now!
So then it's my turn and they call me back. Now let me set this up for you so you understand the stress that I'm starting to feel. (Remember how stress is not good for "the issue"?) I have to go in the restroom with a cup and fill it to the marked line. After I'm finished, I'm not allowed to flush cuz the lab guy comes in and checks the toilet. I guess those are the rules at a drug testing place. They don't trust us cops, ya know. Plus if I don't get the cup filled at least to the line, they scrap the sample and I have to START OVER! I'm not allowed to leave until I get to the line. Seriously. This happened once before and I sat in that friggin office for 3 hours chugging water with the Internal Affairs Sergeant breathing down my neck. (It's his job to accompany us during our random testing...hence his nickname "The Pee Sgt"). That day really sucked and I didn't want a repeat.
I go in the little private restroom and stare ominously at the toilet and the sample cup. What the hell am I gonna do? I really need to go #2. Like ... really. But I can't have the lab guy check that out in the potty. How humiliating! Cuz it's not pretty. And it absolutely doesn't smell pretty. (Hey I warned you in the first paragraph this was way too much info but you kept reading. So you have no one to blame but yourself!) That's all I need is the rest of the guys coming in there after me knowing "the girl" is the one who stunk up the john. Oh geez... what do I do? I feel like the walls are closing in on me. There's no way out.
I decide to try to squeeze out enough for a sample without letting anything else out. Yeah... try it sometime when you've got "the feeling". To let one go but not the other. Nearly impossible to do. I manage to get just under the line. WTF?! You've got to be kidding me! Please just a little more...just a little more. You can do it. You don't want to be stuck here for hours. You have someone waiting at the office you need to interview. Just a little more. Concentrate! If you leave this room with it below the line, game over. Start again. Can't do that. Just a little more. Plus how will you be able to ask them for a different bathroom so you can go #2 while you're waiting to build the #1 reserves back up?
So I'm stressing. Which equals stomach churning. But no.... I can't. Not here. Not now. So I try to get just a few more drops of that priceless yellow liquid out. Not gonna happen. Physically impossible to relax enough when I'm basically trying to reverse suction on my colon. I've been in there for about 10 minutes at this point. So while I'm still in the assumed position with my pants down around my ankles, I yell out to the lab guy who has to stand right outside the door, as if this whole process wasn't dreadful enough. "If I can't get all the way to the line, do I have to start over?" He says to let him see how much I've got. He may be able to stretch it out. I zip up and come out. Now I really need to go #2. But can't ...think ...about ...that ...now. Mind over matter. He checks my specimen and thinks he can get enough.
Flashback to the beginning of my exchange with lab guy before I went into the potty.... conversation comes up that I'm divorced because my married name and maiden name are both on my lab form. He throws out that he's divorced, too. So as I'm standing there starting to feel some pain and in dire need to release my bowels, completely humiliated and wanting at that point to just run screaming from the building
...... wait for it
...... wait for it
...... here it is.....
He Asks Me Out!!!
I don't know whether to be flattered or thoroughly disgusted seeing as how when he says the words he's Actually Pouring My Urine into a sample tube. OMG! I'm horrified. I can't go out with this guy even if I wanted to. Which I don't. But what if I did.
THIS would be our story. How could I tell my children about when daddy asked mommy out as he was pouring her pee into a tube while she stood there trying to keep a poker face so he couldn't see how hard she was trying to prevent a major bout of explosive diarrhea!? This story could never have a happy ending with a beginning like that.
So I lie and tell him that I'm flattered but I have a boyfriend. Well, it was easier than hurting the poor guy's feelings. I mean seriously.... who asks a girl out as he's holding her pee?
He gets enough of it into the sample tube and I high tail it out of there as fast as I could in search of the closest bathroom .... that is NOT in this building! Luckily I made it. Those high speed maneuvers I learned in street patrol really come in handy sometimes.
And how was your Thursday?
* You guys crack me up! The comments here are almost funnier than the story itself.
Monday, December 03, 2007
So as I was reading through my blog archives searching for the non-existent thank you post for my jello, I realized there was no thank you post for my October Secret Pal gift either. WTF?! Man, do I suck or what? Why do you guys even bother with me? LOL! So I went browsing for the pic that I took of my SP goodies. Well, guess what? There's no pic. But I distinctly remember taking it back in October. Somehow it got deleted and never was uploaded to the computer. Which in turn made me completely forget to post a thank you. I think maybe I've had too many margaritas lately or something. I've become quite scatterbrained and forgetful.
Because there was no pic, I had to go and dig the gifts out of that black hole of stuff that will someday be Mia's room. Let me tell you....that was no easy feat. But here's the new pic. My SP sent red gifts in honor of Canada Day. Seems she's a Canuck, too. Unfortunately, I long ago ate the Halloween candy she sent. So you'll just have to take my word for it that it was good. Love the pj's. A girl can never have too many pairs of penguin jammies. And someday Mia will wear her Canada shirt as a reminder not only of my gracious SP but for all of our north of the border friends.
Thanks again Secret Pal and many apologies! I can't wait to find out who you are next month! Oh...and since I was going from memory (which I think I've already proven sucks lately) feel free to correct me in the comments section if there is another part of the October gift that I've forgotten to stick in the photo.This was a surprise from another Canadian blogger buddy, Doris. (They love me up there. What can I say? LOL!) Cute little note cards. They suit me, dontcha think? And look at those corker bows! I love them! I can't wait for the day that I'll be able to make some Mia pigtails. Thanks D!
You're not gonna believe this one. Take a look. A penguin birdhouse! I can honestly say, I've never seen one of these before. This came postmarked from Georgia. Thanks Jeter Mama! (I miss you, homegirl. And miss your blog.) Now I've got to figure out a place to hang this cute little thing. But maybe I should wait until springtime? Hmmmm... not sure.