Thursday, November 27, 2008
10. The ability to become a mother in a non-traditional way. Sometimes life just works out that way.... whether we like it or not. I'll be eternally grateful that something in this universe nudged me to go to that adoption fair in '06 instead of '07. Otherwise I would've missed my opportunity to adopt from China because of the rule changes that no longer allow single applicants.
9. Griffey, my furry soulmate. And the fact that he is home safe and sound where he belongs.
8. My house. I love that I'm able to own a house and create a home for myself and Mia. Every year it gets a little better with the improvements I do and I fall in love with it again. That and every year I owe less on the mortgage. Which really makes me love it even more.
7. My job. I truly love what I do and it gives me the ability to comfortably provide for myself on my own. I'm also grateful that I started at such a young age. That will afford me the ability to retire early.
6. The opportunities & freedom I have as an American citizen. Especially as a woman.
5. Mia's birthmother... whose choices will help me to find my daughter.
3. My daughter, Mia, who I don't know yet but feel in my heart every second. I dream of the day when I'll finally know her face. I imagine the happiness that'll come from being her mother.
2. My family whom I love dearly. Enough said.
And finally the number one thing I'm thankful for........
1. My health! If you know my history then you understand why this is at the top of the list.
I hope you all enjoy this day and are able to spend it with those that you love. And always remember to remain grateful for the blessings in your lives.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Remember back in April when I had the living and dining rooms painted? Well, I'm still not quite done with the whole re-do. Ah c'mon.... you know me. The procrastinator that took over a year to complete her bedroom makeover. That's me. LOL! But don't worry. I'm almost done. I just have to finish sewing the beading onto the curtains and then have someone help me hang another set of rods. Then it'll be complete. So I won't reveal the entire room until then. But I'll show you a few of the finished corners, okay?
First of all, there's the fireplace. I originally had the chimney painted the same color as the two accent walls. But the more I lived with it the more it just didn't feel right to me. It felt off balance. The color was too heavy for the top of it. So I decided to paint it back to white but change the mantle to the hot pink color.Then I had an epiphany! I love damask. Love love love it. My new curtains have a damask print. As do a few accent pillows on the couch. Wouldn't it be cool to stencil a damask print onto the chimney, I thought? Hmmmm... why the hell not. It's my house, right? So I did.Here's an "in progress" pic. And down below a close up. Isn't it beautiful? So dainty, so detailed.But it was a pain in the ass to paint. Let me tell ya. But whoever designed the stencil was a genius. Because it's only one large sheet. I just had to line up the design and overlap it. Kind of like doing a puzzle.
Here's a before shot. Before the paint job, new accessories and the room makeover.........Here's the new look. Wow... what a difference paint makes on that brick. I had no idea it looked so dirty before. I love cheap and easy decorating so I'll share a few of my tricks with ya. See the apothecary jars on the mantle? I paid half as much buying them from a discount store. Yet they look exactly like the Pot-tery Barn ones. Some of the filler items were so expensive. So I came up with this on my own. Those balls look like moss or some other fancy looking thing, right? Again something out of PB. Go ahead and click on the pic to check it out up close. But it's just a $1 bottle of green craft paint and a $3 bag of styrofoam balls. Uh huh... pretty clever, eh? The other jar is just shiny green glass marbles. Another before pic.Ta da..... after. The accent walls are a brighter hot pink now. Here's another cost saving idea. Instead of buying all new picture frames, I spray painted almost all of them black for a new look.I love my wall words. My house is my sanctuary. There's no place on earth I'd rather be than safe and warm, cozy and comfortable in my own home. The home that reflects me. Who I am. My bold, bright, colorful, eclectic, hot pink personality. There truly is no place like home. So I put that sentiment on the wall.But of course I had to credit the person who originally clicked her heels together three times and said it first. :)Another favorite thing is my new glass candle holders with my pink and green polka dotted candles. Love these!! Another great budget buy. I've seen the EXACT same candle holders in the PB catalog listed at about 5 times what I paid for these at Hobby-Lobby during a half off sale. Seriously addicted to that store. Art can also be very expensive. I knew I wanted a trio of frames here matted in white. I wanted to hang them high because I wanted my wall words at eye level. Three frames at Wallymart on sale for $15 a piece. Woo Hoo! Since I couldn't find a matching set of three prints that I liked, I just found some pretty scrapbook paper to put in the frames. I created my own art for less than $50 bucks.While I'm on a roll here I'll show you some of the dining room. This is the new china cabinet I splurged on. But hey... when I'm saving money elsewhere I can afford to splurge on some things. (Plus the store had 3 yrs same as cash and China has a 4+ yr wait so I couldn't resist. LOL!) That's a finished pair of curtains. Notice how the top panel matches the chair cushions. My mom made the curtains and I re-covered the chairs. Also added the new light fixture.The back window only has one half of a curtain. I need to bead the other panel and then do the living room curtains, too. But it took me 2 and 1/2 hours just to finish this one the other night!This is why. The beading has to be sewn on by hand. And I'm not very good at it. The living room curtains were originally gonna match the ones in the dining room. But I re-designed them. I decided to use the damask fabric as the two side panels with the stripe as a valance that hangs on a separate rod over top of them. But the valance will stretch across my entire front window. All 128 inches of it. That's 128 inches of beading that needs to be hand sewn, peeps. Now you understand why it's not finished?Oh and remember way back when I beaded my new lamps to match these curtains? Well, clearly it was before April because in this pic the wall behind it hasn't been re-painted yet. Again more proof of my terrible procrastination habit. LOL!So whatcha think of it all? I'm certainly gonna have to do a lot of painting if I ever decide to sell this house. Cuz I realize my taste is pretty bold and not everyone will share my love of these colors. But it's my house. And I absolutely love it! It makes my heart smile every time I walk thru the door. Sometimes I just sit on the couch and look around at how beautiful it's turning out. It feels like home to me....
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thanks again for the prayers for my Aunt Norma. Several of you have asked for an update on her status. They finally closed her but were unable to reattach the things they were hoping to. She now has the drains which will be permanent. There's a possibility that months from now when she's all healed, the doc could go back in and try again. But my aunt may not want that after all she's been through. She had 12 surgeries in 18 days. That's a lot for anyone to get through.
Right now she has a hole in her belly about 6 inches in diameter. It's covered with mesh and has some sort of vacuum attached to remove the moisture and draw the wound together to heal. The dressing has to be changed 3 times a week. And it's very painful. So right now they're just waiting for that to get better. She still has the trach and is breathing on the ventilator.
But she's had a couple of moments of recognition when she turned her head in response to my uncle's voice and then another time when a nurse asked if she could hear her and my aunt nodded yes. The nurse told her to squeeze her hand and she did. But my cousin says these moments are few and far between. Mostly she's just out.
They think she'll be in ICU another week or more and then recuperating in the hospital for awhile after that. Her family will be very happy when she can be weaned off the meds and become communicative again. She's been out since Halloween. But they're dreading the task of explaining all that's happened and the major life changes it's caused. So please continue to pray for healing, for comfort from the pain, and strength for her family.
My cousin appreciates it and left this comment on the Prayer Request post in case you missed it.
"I am Debbie, Krista's cousin and Norma's daughter. I can't tell you how moved I am that all you wonderful people are praying for my mom. You will never know how much it means to me and how much it helps. I cried when I read what Krista put on the blog and I cried even harder as I read your comments and how ready you all were to pray and send positive, healing thoughts to my mom. Thank you all so much. Your concern, good wishes, thoughts and prayers are truly, truly appreciated. You are all very good people."
As I type this I'm staring out the window at an albino squirrel. He's upside down on the tree outside my window staring into a hole in the tree. And he's been there for like five minutes. Seriously. I'm going to take a pic so you'll know what I'm talking about.See? What is he doing? Or she? I guess to be fair I don't know if this is a mister or a missus. There are at least 2 albino squirrels that hang around my backyard. They like to torment Griffey. Anybody else have white squirrels? Is that common? I'm fascinated by this guy. He's still just hanging there. I'll let you know if I figure out what the hell he's doing.
My friend, Kris, is having a fundraiser to help pay the orphanage fee for her adoption of baby E. She started out in the NSN China line like me but opened herself up to SN about 9 months ago. Her agency thinks she should be getting a referral soon. She's raffling off a Wii game system. Go over and check it out.
It's cold here. We fast forwarded through fall and jumped straight into winter. I'm not happy about that. And I hate that it gets dark at about 5pm now. The days seem so short.
The nurse practitioner who is treating my knee injury has referred me to an orthopedist. But their first available appointment isn't until Dec 17th. Fabulous. Meanwhile, I have good days and bad days with it. Earlier this week the knee seemed completely back to normal. I thought it'd healed. Then Thursday I helped carry a couch (long story and probably not the smartest thing). By Friday afternoon, I could barely walk on it.
Something is slipping around in there. It's the weirdest thing. Like a knot that moves or something. I can't explain it. But it has me perplexed as to how it can feel fine one minute and then not. Cuz once it slips (and there's no way to predict what'll make it slip... sometimes even doing nothing causes it) it's shot for the rest of the day. Then it requires wrapping, rest, ice, elevation and lots of Mo-trin to get it right again. Pretty much sucks. And is totally gonna screw up my plan to climb the Great Wall if it doesn't get fixed. Luckily, I have plenty of time to rehab the knee cuz China won't be calling anytime soon. LOL!
Speaking of which, I totally forgot to even notice my 29th LID-versary which passed on the 14th of this month. Blah blah blah is all I have to say about that.
Back to the nurse practitioner..... the subject of my adoption came up in our conversation. She has a very close friend logged in November '06. Small world, huh? Since I've had 3 visits with her now we've had some time to chat about it and life in general. We've got a lot in common and I really like her. We exchanged numbers. We're planning a dinner out so I can meet her friend. So my injured knee isn't a total waste. I might make some new friends cuz of it. :)
Oh wait.... now the squirrel is halfway in the hole. What's he doing? I can't believe I'm actually photographing this. But it's hysterical.
See his little tail? He's all the way in now. Sorry it's so dark. I was snapping away as fast as I could through the window glass. There's another squirrel in there!! The brown one just chased the white one down the tree. Hmmmm... are they married and having a lover's quarrel? Or maybe the white one was trying to sneak in and steal some nuts? Maybe it's a turf war. I can just imagine this squirrel yelling out "Yeah you better run!" as he watches the white one take off across the yard. The things that amuse me....
Alright it's time for me to go do some housework. Talk amongst yourselves until I get back. :P
Monday, November 17, 2008
The day was a cold one. And it started out a little wet from some snow flurries. But it was good football weather. For Ohio. We snapped a quick pic of the team taking the field.
But before heading over to the game, my crew taught the boys the fine art of tailgating. The first lesson is how to properly hang out in a parking lot. Tanner caught on immediately.
Next was eating. Lots of eating. Oh and drinking. But the boys stuck with soda.
Then, of course, it was time for cornhole, cornhole and more cornhole.
Check out the old school bus in the background painted orange with black tiger stripes. Now that's cool. The boys loved all the crazy team spirit they were witness to.
Travis has a good pitch but the guys let him take a few extra steps up since his arms are shorter than theirs. Notice the scoreboards, Tracy? (I had to rig them up for the parking lot. Not everyone can play on sandy beaches. LOL! Pretty inventive, wouldn't you say?) Although Craig committed a huge cornhole foul here by placing his beer on the board instead of in the handy dandy cup holder. And yes, that's a Bengals fan canoodling with her boyfriend who is an Eagles fan. Proof that love can overcome all obstacles, I guess.
Tanner giving a huge effort on the toss as evidenced by the look on his face.
Trisha is due to give birth in January. To TWINS! Now this girl is a trooper. And no I didn't hurt my hand as everyone kept asking throughout the day. That is a heated arthritis wrap thing. I wore one on both hands. Also had one of these on my back. And I hooked up both of the boys with their own, too. I'm no rookie tailgater. You gotta stay warm any way you can.
I had to snap this pic. Travis was totally chillin', watching the game, just munching down on that soft pretzel.
In spite of some initial complaints of their freezing feet, the boys really had a good time. And thankfully, the Bengals didn't lose the game. Well, they didn't win either. In fact, it was a tie. A very rare thing in NFL football. Leave it to the bumblings of our hometown team to pull that one off. But these days being a fan means just appreciating when you don't have to suffer thru another loss. Yes our expectations are low. LOL!
Oh and for all my Georgia blog mamas who think it's overkill for me to bring a cooler full of jello shots to our 3 day sleepovers..... this is pre-game.
And this is post-game. Now maybe you'll understand why it's just a reflex action for me to make so many. LOL!
PS. Don't worry. The 11 year old drove us home. Kidding, people.... kidding. He only steered. The 8 yr old laid on the floor to push the gas and brake pedals. I mean.. c'mon. It's not like he's tall enough to reach them himself. LOL!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
- Thanks for the prayers for my Aunt Norma. They're very much appreciated. My cousin reads my blog and said it's given her great comfort to know that total strangers are praying for her mom. There's nothing really new to report. The doctor can't leave her open any longer than Monday. We're hopeful the swelling and other things that need to happen in her belly will happen soon so he can reattach things. Because if he can't get her put back together before he has to close on Monday then her long term quality of life will be much more complicated. So now we just wait and hope and pray.
- I had to sit thru 8 hrs of training today. It was incredibly boring. Because it was all refresher stuff like defensive tactics, range safety, and traffic stops. I've been a cop for almost 14 yrs. I don't need to sit thru instruction on things I learned in the police academy and then practiced in the field hundreds of times. But we have to have a minimum of 8 hrs of some kind of training every year to keep our certifications. This was a last minute scramble to throw together a class for those approaching year's end who hadn't met their requirements. Yep..... now you know why I was there. Procrastination at it's finest.
- My knee isn't much better. I had an MRI on Tuesday. Waiting on the results. May start physical therapy as soon as worker's comp approves it. My bum knee was a great excuse to sit in a chair and watch all the other guys wrestle during DT training today though. LOL!
- The training day wasn't a total loss cuz I heard some juicy gossip. It seems my ex-husband (also a cop with my department) is getting a divorce. He was getting some weird vibes from his wife and checked into it. Found out she was stepping out on him. She agreed to try to work it out and go to marriage counseling. But then it all fell apart and now they're over. The story gave me an odd sense of deja vu. Oh yeah... it's the same exact way MY divorce happened except he was on the other side of it. Karma's a bitch, ain't it? I have not one single ounce of sympathy for him. It seems the saying "you reap what you sow" has finally come back to haunt him. Is it evil that I'm feeling a bit of pleasure from this news? Hahahaha!
- I saw gas priced at $1.83 today. Swee-eeet!
- I can't believe Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away. 2008 will be over before ya know it. I need to start my Christmas shopping. I want that over. The shopping part, I mean. I'm kind of excited about Christmas this year. Which is the complete opposite of how I was feeling last year when I didn't even decorate a tree. Adoption wait depression sucks. I still wish I had my daughter home RIGHT NOW. But I've accepted the wait. So I'm okay with the holidays this year. For now, at least. Ask me again in about a month. Hopefully I won't be crying and flat on my face in a vat of Ben & Jerry's. LOL!
- I have the most awesome surprise planned this weekend for my two oldest nephews. They're gonna be shocked and amazed. Can't tell ya yet. You'll have to wait and see. I'm so excited. It's gonna win me the coolest aunt in the world award. Again. :P
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So I'm asking for some prayers for my Aunt Norma. I haven't mentioned this here as of yet because I was still hoping things would turn around. But she continues to hit one road block after another. It's a long and complicated story. Some of the medical things I don't even understand.
But in short, she's in ICU and has undergone 8 surgeries in the last 12 days. She was on a ventilator but now the doctors have given her a tracheotomy. She's had complications which caused the removal of her small intestine. This means she'll require IV nutrition for the rest of her life through a PICC line. Right now the doctors need the swelling in her large intestine to go down so they can reattach all the other things...liver, bile duct, stomach, etc. If the swelling doesn't go down, she'll be closed with a drain in her liver and one in her stomach. I'm not clear on whether these are permanent or not.
But suffice it to say, she's battling right now. My heart goes out to her because I know what she's going through after having been through a very similar ordeal myself. I know the challenges she faces to heal and recover. Her suffering has brought back a lot of memories for me this week. Bad stuff I try not to think about. It's a really scary time for her and our family.
So if you're the praying kind and I know that a lot of you out there are, I'm asking that you send some up. Because you can never have too many people praying, right? Please ask that the swelling go down in her large intestine so the doctors can reattach the organs they need to. Pray for healing. Pray for strength. Pray for her immediate family who are practically living at the hospital now. Just pray for my Aunt Norma to get through this. I thank you. And I hope to pass along good news soon.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The lovely Annalise. Not sure what was up with the pointy finger. But she's a sweetie, isn't she? She and Teagan played with this cutting food toy for a long time. Who knew cutting veggies could be so entertaining? Teagan has been watching somebody in the kitchen. Cuz he'd slide the veggies off the board with his knife into a nice little pile when he was done chopping. It was too cute. I included this pic just cuz I love that look on his face. He's got his daddy's dimples. The birthday girl keeping up with the Buckeye tradition. She just gets more beautiful every time I see her. And so smart and polite. She's just a dream. And I love the fashion statement she made pairing the OSU jersey with the sparkly purple pumps. It was risky but I think it works. LOL! Teagan sat there and cut food for about an hour. He loved this thing. Which was great for me cuz I had no idea what to get him for Christmas. I've already been over to Ama-zon to pick one up. It's by Melissa-&-Doug for anyone interested. Expect to see this item again during present opening in about a month and a half. I hope the attraction hasn't worn off by then. BTW... don't you wonder how kids can sit on their knees like that for so long? That just makes my joints hurt looking at it. I must be old. Tatum decided she liked the easel. Can you see her polka dot tights? I thought they were adorable.These two T's had a great time at the party. Aunt Krista did, too. It was nice to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. Oh and the margaritas were great, Marty. Thanks for including us, Robin. We had fun.
Here are some funny kid quotes from the T's to leave you with. These kids always crack me up. And I wanted to remember some of them so I'm documenting. LOL!
While driving in the car, Teagan said "I yike you, Ki-ta." That's his thing. He always just blurts out with a list of the things he likes. If you point something out along the way for him to see he'll immediately say he "yikes" that, too. Usually it's "Ohhh... I yike cows!" or "Ohhh... I yike water towers!" always said with great enthusiasm. It's adorable. I'll be sad on the day he learns to pronounce the letter "L". And when he can finally say my name with the "R" and the "S".
After professing his "yike" for me he then said "I yike Tatum, too." Tatum replied with "I like you too Teagan. But I hate Travis and Tanner." With emphasis on the word hate. We then had a conversation how it wasn't nice to hate your older brothers even though they may be mean to you sometimes. I had to suppress my giggles though.
While Maddy and Tatum enjoyed eating birthday cake together, Tatum blurted out to Maddy "Are you from China?" and Maddy nodded yes. Tatum was intrigued. It was cute. She doesn't really understand the whole thing or where China is. But she knows she has a cousin coming from there someday and it fascinates her.
When we got back to my house, I told them they could pick out a movie to fall asleep to. Her recent experience with Maddy and Annalise and all things China must've sparked an interest cuz she requested "that movie about China with the big yellow guy". Which translates to "Big Bird in China". Can you tell they don't watch Sesame Street in the T's household? They hadn't seen the China movie in over a year so I was surprised she even remembered I had it.
Oh and sadly she now pronounces the word China properly. Way way back a long time ago when I first started this adoption, she used to call it "Sh-ina". LOL!
Sometimes I affectionately refer to Griffey as buddy.... in the way you might call someone honey. But the kid's dog is named "Buddy". So when Griffey started to jump up on the bed I said "Come on up, buddy". Which caused Teagan to furrow his brow in disapproval and sternly tell me "Dat's not Buddy. Dat's Gi-ffey." Like I was a complete idiot for calling my dog by the wrong name.
Almost forgot this one but had to come back and add it. Tatum's new favorite song is "All I Want To Do" by Sugarland. She loves all the do-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. So I had to play it over and over on our car rides and listen to the chorus from the back seat. She even got Teagan singing the do-oo-oo-oo-oo's. I hope I don't ever forget this memory. Just made me smile.
And this one Teagan will kill me for someday but OMG was it funny. We're brushing our teeth in the bathroom. Teagan had left the toilet seat up ... in typical guy fashion. He then backed up to rest on the toilet, I guess, and fell in. Completely dressed sitting in toilet water. And he was stuck and couldn't get out. Thank goodness he'd flushed! He looked at me with sheer terror. I had to fish him out. He was not happy about it. But Tatum and I started cracking up as I began stripping him out of his soaking wet clothes. Then he started laughing, too. So now that'll go down in history as the story of .... "remember when you were 3 yrs old and you fell in the toilet and got stuck". I'm laughing hysterically right now as I type this just remembering the look on his face as he sat stuck in the toilet with his little feet up in the air. If it wouldn't of seemed like cruel and unusual punishment I would've run to get my camera. But the teenage Teagan probably would never have forgiven me for that. So you'll just have to use your imagination.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I respect John McCain and all that he's given for this country. I hope that he truly means what he said in his very gracious concession speech. I hope he steps up to offer his help to our new president. Maybe they'll be able to put aside their differences and lead by that example. Then maybe we'll start to see some positive change.
Because our country is in crisis. There's a lot of work to be done. And all this division needs to stop. We all need to be united in our efforts to keep this great nation a place that we can be proud of.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Tatum really loves the class. I'm admittedly a little biased but I think she does really well. She listens and follows direction. Which is really saying a lot. Trust me. And she has really great form.... especially considering she's only 5. Seriously though. Look at the other little girls in the class. And look at that perfect little pointy toe. Oh... she's 2nd from the teacher.
The girl has some flexibility, no? Excuse the blurry pic. It was taken from across the room.
Again... perfect form. This kid is a natural. Well, I'm just saying.
She knows most of the moves by name. The teacher would call it out and she knew exactly what to do.
They're practicing for a recital. And Tatum knows almost the entire routine by heart already.
Who knew this tomboy would end up being such a girly girl? I mean being raised with 3 rowdy brothers and this is the only kid who suffered a broken bone so far. (Knock on wood.) But she loves to put on her toe shoes and dance.
I just love this last pic with her perfect little long legged ballerina body, her beautiful reddish-blond hair..... and her panties showing from under her leotard. It just cracks me up. :)