Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Watch our Julia Childs...

because here we come!

Chris and I, in preparation for meeting our Bio-mom on Tuesday of next week, are putting together a recipe book for her. At our very first meeting, she told us that during the holidays she spends most of her time in the kitchen with her family baking. We told her that we too enjoy our projects in the kitchen (though, Chris more than me) and we decided to collect our favorite recipes and trade them.

Being that I'm on some super-gay crafty mission, I've decided to collect them and create a digital scrapbook for her. Some of the recipes I've included are Chris' Carrot Cake, meat stuffing (Jeff's favorite), pumpkin spice rolls, peanut brittle, pecan pralines, chicken marabella, pumpkin pie, bananas foster, and a few others. Below you can see a sample of the pages I created for her.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

dis·agree (dis′ə grē′)

intransitive verb disagreed -·greed′, disagreeing -·gree′·ing
- to fail to agree; be different; differ
- to differ in opinion; often, specif., to quarrel or dispute
- to be harmful or give distress or discomfort
- to want to name your daughter a beautiful name and be told that it is to masculine.

Just a tiny bit of false advertising

~100% ultra premium acrylic
~Superior color definition
~Superior stain resistance
~Washable and scrubbable for easy maintenance
~Single Coat Application... maybe on white, but it took 3 coats to prime the walls :(
~Drys in 30 minutes (typo... should have said 3 hours)

P-Daddy's in the house...

What a great surprise waiting for me when I came into work today... Liam's mommy helped him pack up some of his favorite items for our little-one-to-be. In addition to the amazing items (I've heard WONDERS about Gripe Water) in the bag, Liam's mommy handmade the beautiful card you see above. Whenever you need something original made, no matter what the occasion is, KimBy Greetings is the way to go (with that being said, would it be a major faux paux to ask her to make me a "Thank You" card for her?).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drop drop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is

For the love of Jehovah. Today had to be one of the more stressful days I've lived through in awhile. Chris and I headed out to the baby stores to pick up our crib (thanks Mazhai and Fazhai) and to wrap up our registries.

First Stop - Buy Buy Baby. Chris and I walk straight to the furniture section. Chris and Leslie came here a couple weeks ago and found a lovely set, but then Chris went back to the store and found the most fairytale-ish (okay... I'll admit it, I just made up a word) set that reminded me of Belle and Beauty and the Beast. Once I saw it, I agreed that this is the one...

After realizing that only one of the boxes were going to fit in my truck, the day started to go down hill. This half-day outing to the stores has now just turned into a weekend adventure. After about 25 minutes of standing in the store, I found myself standing in the middle of the infant clothing section with tears streaming down my face.

It wasn't the fathers walking around the store pushing their strollers that look like they just aged 10 years because of the lack of sleep (i.e., Bill Clinton after being in office for 2 months - GWB didn't have this problem because he was on vacation 38% of the time he was in office)... it wasn't the crying babies who were either hungry and colicy or even the 101 employees - not Dalmatians - that kept asking, "Can I help you sir"... it was the sheer fact that I don't understand the need for a crib, a bassinet, a sleeper mobile and a vibrating pack-and-play. Does a baby really need 4 different items to sleep in?

I felt (and still kinda do) totally overwhelmed. Our forefathers didn't have all of these 'baby essentials'. They merely opened up the dresser drawer and laid down some bear/deer/rodent skin for warmth. If it was good enough for Abe Lincoln, it should be good enough for our child.

Well, I guess that will be easier said than done - Chris put the bassinet, a sleeper mobile and a vibrating pack-and-play on our registry against my objection. And the Boppy... don't even get me started. Jackie Kennedy was never caught walking around the Whitehouse with no darn Boppy and her kids (god rest JFK Jr's soul) turned out just fine.

Next Stop - Baby's 'R Us.

Let me start off by stating that the clothing line is much, much, much cuter here than at Buy Buy Baby (evil smile). Chris and I updated this registry, and I continued to feel overwhelmed, but Chris did find the cutest little outfit that will be her "coming home" garb. In addition to the pieces here, we also picked up the matching shoes, jacket, pants, t-shirt, and sweater. Let's just say, I don't think I will be getting that pair of Armani jeans I wanted anytime soon (is this what they meant by sacrifices??? because this stuff ain't funny!)

We also picked out the bedding that we will be going with. Here is the Mulberry design -

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beam me up, Dr. Spock!

Chris and I chose our pediatrician last night after reviewing all of our birth mothers medical records - all 30 pages - and Chris was able to set up a meeting with them today.

Based on all of the books we read - i know, i know... books tend to fill your mind with things that will not help you become a great parent - we asked the following questions to ensure that we made the right choice.

Pediatrician Background, Credentials, Experience
- How long has the pediatrician been in practice?
- Does the pediatrician have any areas of subspecialty?
- What hospitals does the pediatrician have privileges at?
- How soon after the baby is born will the pediatrician come to see it?
- How does the pediatrician feel about parents calling in after hours over "little things"?
- Is there a specific time during the day that the doctor will take phone calls?
- How many same-sex families are patients of the practice?

Office Logistics
- Is the office conveniently located for less travel time with a sick child?
- Does the practice have multiple offices you can visit?
- What are the office hours and are there any early morning or late evening hours for working parents?
- How long in advance must you book appointments?
- Are there any diagnostic facilities on site such as X-rays, blood work, etc.?
- What lab work can be performed at the pediatrician's office?
- Is there a specific time during the day that the doctor will take phone calls, and how does the office handle your phone-in questions?
- Does the doctor answer any general questions by email?
- How does the office deal with after-hours emergencies?
- Is there a 24-hour answering service that can connect you to a doctor?
- Who covers for the doctor when he/she is on vacation?
- Does the office mail out reminders for scheduled immunizations and checkups?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I need the Cliff Notes on "Baby 411"

So I've taken on the crash course of digesting Dr. Field's and Brown's: Baby 411. It's close to 10:00pm and Chris and I are trying to get ready to meet the birth parents again tomorrow and I can't get through Chapter 3 on Abnormal Jaundice. What do you mean I may have a yellow baby for 5-7 days that I'm gonna have to stick under a heat lamp? I'm against tanning booths :) Can't they just make a pill that will turn the baby to a nice peachy color?

Chris is reading "An Adoptive Parents Guide" and just came across the chapter on potential RED FLAGS. I think we both stopped breathing when he read them. We've now entered into the high risk catagory. I'm sure we're going to be okay, and the process will go smoothly, but just seeing our situation in black and white in a book is a little scary. Looks like we'll be making a call to the agency tomorrow on our 4 1/2 drive to the birthparents house.
Wish us luck!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Drop cloths and brushes: $35.00
2 Gallons of Primer: $24.00
1 Gallon of Signature Iris Blossom Purple: $40.00
2 Gallons of Chef White: $32.00

Having her nursery ready when she comes home:

Friday, November 14, 2008

We're Going To Be Daddies!

Thursday's Blog - Take 2.

So I ended up leaving the office late tonight, preparing for a conference in upstate New York tomorrow. Around 7ish I call Chris who's heading back from the hair salon. Still no news from the agency. So sad :(

Every song on the radio makes me think about parenting/adoption/being chosen:

1) Jason Mraz, I'm Yours: I won't hesitate no more, no more, it cannot wait. I'm yours. Well open up your mind and see like me. Open up your plans and damn you're free. Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love. We're just one big family and it's our godforsaken right to be loved loved loved loved loved.

2) Akon, Right Now: I haven't seen your face. I'll try to be strong... But the stress I have is washing with. Wont belong before I get you by my side, and just hold you.

3) Nickelback, Gotta Be Somebody: This time, I wonder what it feels like, To find the one in this life, the one we all dream of. But dreams just aren't enough, so I'll be waiting for the real thing. I'll know it by the feelin. The moment when we're meeting, will play out like a scene. Straight off the silver screen. So I'll be holding my own breath, right up 'til the end. Until that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with.

4) Pink, So What: Okay, maybe not this one... but is has a catchy beat :)

In through the garage door I enter. Duncan jumps up on me and wants his kisses, and I roll my laptop case to the side of the couch. Chris is on one side of the couch, mail is on the other. I start debriefing about my day and pick up the piece of mail on top... a card with "Paul" written in black ink on the envelope. I open the envelope and continue to talk. Duncan needs to go outside. Card goes down on the pile. 2 minutes later, I come back in and continue to debrief. I don't even read the cover of the card, I just open the inside to see the words "You're going to be a dad" on the inside. Chris is teetering on laughing at me because my jaw has hit the floor with total confusion, crying because he's happy, and mad that I didn't even read the outside of the card that was a baby themed "Congratulations".

Apparently when I called earlier, Chris had lied to me (no surprise there). Chris was in the salon when he got the call... When he entered, he told his normal stylist that he may receive a phone call and if so, he'd need to take it right away - he did so because this place is known to tell their patrons to get off the phone because it ruins the 'spa-like' experience. When Chris was in the middle of getting his hair washed, the phone rang. Up he jumped with water streaming down his back. It was Barb, our social worker. She heard from the birth mother and we're a match! Chris was excited and gave Corrine the thumbs up and the salon went wild with excitement. Barb told Chris that she would call him back and leave the birth mothers number on his voicemail... we should call her up directly because the birth parents wanted to see us again. Chris went back to getting his hair washed when the phone rang again. Chris jumped up again, water continuing the stream down his back, only to find Barb telling him it was her, and he wasn't supposed to answer the phone - she was leaving the number on his voicemail. :)

After getting his haircut, Chris called the birth mother to tell her how excited he was, and that I didn't know yet and he was going to surprise me when I got home. She was happy that we (he) was happy and loved the fact that Chris was going to surprise me.

(fast forward)

So I open the card and Chris pops the cork on a bottle of champagne. We toast and I listen to his recap as I down the glass. After about 5 minutes, my stomach is in so much pain, I can't stand it. Chris thinks it's nerves... but I was in pain before i got home (I think it was the 2 large McDonald's Sweet Ice Teas I had on my commute).

I'm now laying on the ground, doubled-over. I move to the couch. Back on the floor. Then back to the couch. Chris offers to take me to the hospital because I'm in so much pain - instead I down a bottle of Pepto and three minuted later I could actually stand up.

I too called the birth mother and left a message for her telling her how excited I was and that we'd call her on Sunday with a day and time that we could drive back to see them.

So, the long and the short of this posting - We're Going To Be Daddies!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Email Exchange

10:30 am (email to work account from Chris) - Did you hear anything yet?

10:31 am (email to personal account from Chris) - Did you hear anything yet?

(I was in a meeting and not checking my blackberry)

11:23 am (email to work and personal account from Chris) - ????????

12:31 pm (I reply) Nope :(

12:32 pm (email to work account from Chris) - Should I call Barb to follow-up?

12:57 pm (email to work account from Chris) - ??????

1:11 pm (I reply) I don't think so... we don't want to be one of "those" people.

1:12 pm (email to work/personal account from Chris) - I can just do a, "hey, we're just checking in..."

1:13 pm (I reply) go for it

1:14 pm (email to work account from Chris) - I need her number :)

1:15 pm (sent number)

2:30 pm - I call Chris to follow-up, he left a message with Barb.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One flew over the cuckoo's nest

I work with a bunch of nut jobs!

I guess missing the meeting with our CEO and COO raised some red flags, so when I came in this morning and was quizzed on how sick I actually was (okay... poor excuse, but I couldn't not just show up to the meeting without sending my team an email expalining why I wasn't going to be attending the meeting).
Some thought my leg would have been amputated, some claimed that I was on a job interview, and many claimed we got a baby. I guess I blew my excuse when I ordered chili cheese fries at lunch - something that a sick person just doesn't order, unless they want to hug the porcelain god.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today's the Day.

So much for going to bed early! We found ourselves both staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m., too anxious to actually sleep. We were completely ready by 8 a.m. this morning and waited around the hotel until 9:30, and then traveled a couple minutes down the road to meet Barb, our social worker, and the birth-parents. Our meeting wasn't until 10:30, but walking in circles in the hotel room had started to grow old - for both of us. We waited in the lobby of Denny's and were able to at least get something to drink. I received a voice mail message from Barb where she was just checking in and stated that she was pulling into the birth-parents house and would be at the restaurant in about 15 minutes.

10:20 a.m., in walks Barb and the young engaged couple and our stomachs drop. We all say hello and head to the table and state, "Don't know about you two, but we were up all night and are beyond nervous, " in which they laughed and said, "Same here!"

[what was discussed, and information about the birth-parents isn't our story to tell, it would be our daughters... if we are selected]

The meeting, from our perspective, went great! We were able to see the sonogram pictures and showed the couple additional pictures of our family and friends, along with our home and our travels, and after about two hours of talking it was time to wrap it up. Barb told the couple that she would give both parties a few days to talk and see if the matches were right and then we'd go from there.

As we were leaving the restaurant, the birth-mother gave us a hug and stated that the meeting went better than she expected and that she would love to see us again. We walked out into the snow that was falling and headed home.

About thirty minutes into the 3 1/2 hour ride home, we received a call from Barb that said she thought the meeting went great and we should be hearing something from her shortly.

Let the waiting game begin!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Agency Holiday Party

Today we traveled to Albany for our adoption agency's pre-holiday party. In the picture in our case-worker supervisor, Mary. It was a great opportunity to see the staff, meet with other parents-in-waiting and hear the status of their journey and see pictures of the construction on the agency's building. It was also great to see other couples who attended the agency's "Getting To Know You" weekend in Vermont with us last August when we first considered Friends In Adoption as our agency of choice. Many of them signed on that weekend (we waited until January) and have already have had a placement... others signed on later and are in the process of receiving their postcards and having meetings with birth-mothers. It was tough not to talk about tomorrows meeting with a birth-mother/father because we didn't want to a) jinx it, and b) deflate someones hope whose portfolio was also being reviewed by the same birth-couple.

After the party we headed out to our hotel where we waited... in complete nervousness. We watched the National Rodeo Associations finals that were taking place in Vegas and are planning to going to bed early in preparation for the big day. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Match Made In Heaven

During lunchtime today I decided to give Duncan a bath and groom him - a task that is always a joy. When I came back downstairs I noticed my 'message' light flashing on my blackberry. Scrolling through the call log I didn't recognize the number that called and debated on whether or not to pick up the message. I was supposed to be off today, and ended up working all morning, but on a project that was fun so it was worth it. Deciding not to let the message go unanswered, I called into my voicemail. I heard Barb, one of the caseworkers, on the line stating that she'd been trying to reach us (Chris was in the office on a conference call and didn't switch over). She stated that she had an 'opportunity' to present to us and that we needed to call her as soon as pobbible. Needless to say, I bolted into Chris's office with misty eyes and told him to get off the phone - not sure if I said, "Now", "Immediately", or to just "hang up". I called Barb back, on her home line and her cellphone and left messages. Chris and I listened via speakerphone to the message a couple times. An 'opportunity'... only one thing that this could be - the portfolio that went out several days ago. We must have been matched.

Barb called me back about fifteen minutes later and told me that the birth parents, who reviewed ten couples, ended up both choosing us as the couple they would like to meet, and as soon as possible as the due date is less than 6 weeks away. Needless to say, I will not be making my meeting on Monday with our CEO and COO, but I'm sure they will understand :)

Barb sent us over the medical, social and family history of the engaged couple and we reviewed it and are very happy with the information that was provided. Chris and I both cleared our calendars for Monday and we're planning on heading up to New York state to meet Barb and the couple for breakfast. Funny... meeting for breakfast when I can tell you right now, my stomach will remain in knots until after the meeting and I can almost guarantee you that I will not be eating.