Friday, January 30, 2009
The purpose of this study is to examine the many ways families headed by gay fathers have been created, explore how families function, and learn about the relationship between partners. The study consists of an online survey and will take approximately 25- 35 minutes of your time.
To qualify for the study you have to identify as male, a father, and gay, bisexual or homosexual and have at least one child of any age; this child can be biological, adopted, foster, step, or other child. You do not need to be the child's legal parent to participate. This study has been approved by the University of Virginia IRB #2008-0407-00. Samatha is working with Dr. Charlotte J. Patterson who is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. If you and/or your partner are interested in participating or want further information please contact Samantha L. Tornello (Principal Investigator) via email GayDadsStudy@gmail.com. She will send you a web link that you can use to access the study.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Kensi is now eating more, (okay... more like drinking) and more each day. Way To Go! Chris and I received an Enfamil "Mastering Mealtime" book in the mail yesterday that stated a newborn, average weight of 7lbs at birth, should be eating 2-3 oz every 2-3 hours. Trust me when I say I think she knows it, too. She's eating on average, 4 oz at a time (which, we've checked with her Dr. and he say's it's perfectly fine).
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We've had a very busy weekend which will give us several days of blogging material - our first weekend retreat, finding out who crocheted the pink/white afghan, Paul's first "official" nap, Kensi's second doctor visit, prep-work for our Creative Memories event this upcoming weekend, the finalization of her 'official' birth announcement (meaning, a non-blog version... yes, we're going snail mail), our first of three post-adoption home study meetings, the great 'explosion' of 2009, and so much more.
We have reached another milestone in the adoption process and would like to share with you some of our thoughts (especially for those of you in this process - whether you are adopting or opting to adopt).
Fear: fear is the uncertainty, the unknown, the 'will they pick us', the 'what if they change their minds', the 'what if everything goes wrong'. Courage: courage is being able to get to the other side of fear. If there is one thing we have learned in this, it would be… you must trust. In the adoption process there is a time when the bio parents can opt to parent instead of adoption. This period of time varies by state, but is something everyone goes through.
For us, yesterday was the day. While we have been in ongoing communication with Kensi’s bioparents, we've felt very comfortable that this day will come and go. But still... you hold your breath a little, that is fear. I look at it similar to a graduation... you know you're going to graduate. The date is set. Invitations sent out and your guests have arrived. You have your cap & gown on... and yet, you're still a little nervous. Is this going to happen? Can the plan change? In 99% of instances... you graduate, as planned, and move forward. But on that rare occasion, the paper work comes back and you're shy a couple credits, and thus, won't be walking across the stage. Well, last night Chris and I graduated without any issues.
So. with that being said, we'd like to address our birth parents for the first time, via our blog.
S & S –
You decided that we are the right couple to parent your
child, and we are forever grateful to you (more than words could ever say) for giving us the opportunity to be a family. Please know in your hearts that Kensington will always have the best of everything that she could ever ask for: emotionally, spiritually, financially and academically. We will teach her love - respect for herself and respect for others. We will teach her how to laugh. We will take her to the shore and teach her how to make sandcastles and where to buy the best saltwater taffy on the east coast. We will teach her how to dance and sing just because it feels good. We will teach her anything and everything we possibly can and know that everyday she will be teaching us too. We will show her the world - literally. She will travel around the globe, because reading about a place or looking at its pictures is an unfortunate substitute to actually getting there and feeling the pulse of the place and absorbing its culture. She will receive plenty of hugs and kisses and a family who reminds her everyday what a truly special blessing she is and how many people love her.
We are committed to offering Kensi a life of unconditional love and constant nurturing. We believe that she should always know and feel your love and we will do everything we can to make sure of that.
Always in our hearts – Paul & Chris
P.S. To Kensi’s extended biofamily and friends (of which many are reading the blog), thank you for sharing in this experience with us. Peace & Love.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Kensington had her second doctors visit this past week. She now weighs (drum roll, please) 8lbs, 4oz... and is 21 inches long. There are a couple 0-3 month outfits that she's been able to fit into, but many of them are still a little large on her.
Rainbows and Smiles quick page by Sara Ellis.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I found out that WhiteHouse.gov, the official site of the President, was updated to reflect the changeover from President George W. Bush to President Barack Obama within a few minutes of yesterdays inauguration. On the Agenda page, it lays out Obama's civil rights agenda, which includes broad support for the LGBT community, including the expansion of Adoption Rights. President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not. Right on!
(oh... what's that below? Another post from today? Wow)
Kensington has had an amazing birthday celebration that has continued on for weeks, which has kept us quite busy with the thank you notes (again, we're only 1/3 of the way through and I am determined to get at least 15 out today if it kills me).
This little angel has so many beautiful outfits... and we can not wait for her to grown into them. With the amount of formula she's taking in, she should fit into all of her newborn clothes within 2 weeks, and her 0-3 months shortly after that (one would think that 0 months would be the same as newborn.... but it isn't).
In yesterday's, Today... Life Is Beautiful!, post you will see a picture of Kensington in a little teddy bear swing that she received from her Uncle Mark and Auntie Aggie, who have been spoiling her to death - and she loves it!
Adam gets the Gold Star award for creativity and talent. Not only did he create an amazing Adoption Portfolio, but he hand stitched the pillow cases that we posted on our Wednesday, December 17, On again, Off again... post. In addition to that, he made Kensington four beautiful onesies (A deer, birdie, angel and "Kensington" set), which you can tell by the picture below, she fell in love with.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
With that being said, what can lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Americans expect from the new President of the United States?
Barack Obama is the most gay-friendly politician to lead America. During his campaign for the White House, the former Senator from Illinois spoke about his personal friendship with gay people.
"Michelle and I have been blessed with many openly gay and lesbian friends and colleagues whom we have been close to for many years," he revealed in a series of written answers to a gay newspaper. "While that fact has made the issue facing the LGBT community more personal, the fundamental reasons I have for supporting equality are greater than any individual."
Today is a time for celebration and optimism and hope!
Monday, January 19, 2009
In the pictures it may seem like we span weeks, due to the different outfits Kensington is in… but it’s just not so. On Saturday alone, she went through 5 outfits. Yes.. count them. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. (okay... I have to stop spending so much time watching Baby Einstein). Kensi has this ongoing habit of tinkling every time we start to change her diaper. On a few occasions, she’ll squirm while peeing, which causes it to go everywhere, thus needing a wardrobe change. Just a change, not a malfunction.
We were finally able to take down all of the Christmas decorations and pack them back up in the attic. We've also completed about 1/3 of our thank you notes... so it's my goal to get another third of them done this week and to design her birth announcements. Again... it's a goal. :)
I picked up the scuffed and distressed frames from Anna Aspnes at designerdigitals
Friday, January 16, 2009
Back in high school and college, you told me theatre was a waste of time and wouldn’t prepare me for anything in life. Let me tell you how wrong you actually were. I’ve been able to take the fine teachings of Pro, Doc, M’Liss, Strick, Vic, Jacque, and Faulds and it has helped me become a better parent. Let me take a few moments to make my point:
Lights: We have installed dimmers throughout the house to create the perfect ambiance for Kensington. During the day, the lights are set to the maximum level to encourage her body to realize that it’s daytime (which means small naps, but lots of activity – including her tummy time). At night, the levels are dropped. We also have motion-detector nightlights that illuminate the major hallways so when we’re up at 1 am, we can make it to the kitchen without walking into a wall or tripping over Gossip.
Make-up: Chris and I haven’t slept in days, but you would never be able to tell due to the amount of “yellow-mellow” we’ve used under our eyes. Also, we haven’t seen the light of day in three weeks, but I remembered that Max Factor liquid base is a versatile foundation that creates a natural finish that won′t streak, smudge, slip or transfer onto our clothes… unlike Kensington’s spit-up.
Box-Office: Sales, sales, sales. Mazha Dearest, the gift of the crib (which not only is loved by Kensington… but commented on and adored by EVERYONE) is like an appetizer. It’s the starter piece. We got the crib, you got pictures and photo albums. Now… if you actually want to see her in person, it’s gonna cost you a little bit more. Kensi would like a Grand Victorian Playhouse. Please click on the name to be directed to the place where you can purchase it. Thanks in advance.
Sound: Please see Thursday, January 15, 2009 posting… enough said.
Props: Having gone out a couple times, we’ve realized that we need to focus on our Prop-list for her diaper bag. One cannot get caught without the proper nipples for her bottles, additional binkies in case one falls and we’re not able to wash it, and the right suction bulb for her nose. We’ve learned to always check the list twice before going anywhere.
Set Design: We’ve used the right color combination in her nursery to create a calm and soothing environment. We’ve structure the layout of the room to enhance the mobility and functionality of the space provided. The pieces used have purpose & meaning and accent the room to leave one in awe when entering the room. The mulberry and HTHAP pieces have been woven seamlessly to complement and fashioned the necessity of the room.
Costume: While “premature” clothes may be to small, and newborn clothes too large, we’ve altered pieces to enhance her petite frame. We’ve also created and used a colour palette that compliments her skin tone and the hue of her eyes. To ensure continuity in style, we’ve assembled coordinating outfits, bibs, blankets and accessories in hatboxes to provide for easier access when preparing for the morning routine.
Choreography/Vocal: I have created an original dance number to my original song entitled, “It’s a warming up”, that is preformed at each bottle warming session. Within the coming weeks, the dance-mix version will be taped and posted on the blog… but the steps go a little something like: 5-6-7-8… Weight on right foot, stamp left foot down, take a few steps backwards, hop forward on one foot, Weight on left foot, stamp right foot down, etc.
Directing: We’ve become ‘those’ parents that are directing people to use Johnson & Johnson’s Purell hand-sanitizers before holder her, positioning her in the right angle when holding/feeding, etc. We’ve taught Kensington to emote when she’s in need of another bottle, and to move with purpose. We’ve also ensured that she’s positioned properly for each picture and have created an overall well-orchestrated environment where everything comes into play.
PR/Marketing: This blog has been viewed over 3800 times and in 16 different countries. Chris and I just added a map on the blog that will start tracking countries that are logging on. Keep an eye on it – it refreshes every 24 hours with the hits.
Acting: This whole thing is an act. She’s a perfect child that sleeps through the night and never cries. This blog was just created for an over dramatization on how hard parenting is. To tell you the truth, this parenting stuff is easy. [are any of you buying this? Okay… maybe I needed to work on my acting skills a little bit more]
Thanks Mazha & Fazha for all the support! We love you and appreciate all you do.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Chris and I have found the routine that works... so for now, we're sticking to it. It goes a little something like this.
7:oo p.m. - Warm Bottle
7:02 p.m. - Take bottle and Kensington upstairs to her room. Turn dimmer light on low. Turn on humidifier.
7:03 p.m. - Put bottle next to glider, turn on her iPod. "Lullabies" play list. First song is All things are Bright and Beautiful, by Fisher-Price Rainforest Music.
7:04 p.m. - Place Kensington on changing table. Prepare diaper, Johnson's baby wipes and butt paste. Change.
7:06 p.m. - Spray a little saline and clean out her nose.
7:07 p.m. - Lavender Blue by Fisher-Price Rainforest Music is now playing in the back ground. Bring Kensington to glider. Feed her two ounces and then burp.
7:19 p.m. - Jewel of the Earth is now playing. Feed her remaining 1.5 ounces, then burp.
7:28 p.m. - Are You Sleeping begins to play. Rock Kensington with Carter's Plush Bear Security Blanket over her eyes.
7:32 p.m. - Bring her to her crib (thanks again Mazha and Fazha), and place her in her baby snuggle nest. Hover on the side of the bed to see if she makes a noise. Upon the Clouds is playing.
7:35 p.m. - Leave her room. I See The Moon starts.
[24 songs play, ending with Ingrid Michaelson's Morning Lullabies]
Repeat these steps again at 9 p.m., 11 p.m., 1 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
While reading Luca (and now Matteo) Has 2 Mommies , We came across the "Mom Song", which as you all know, can also be the "Dad" or the "Parent" song (lol), but I guess this gives us something to look forward to :)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Auntie Cathy and Uncle Kyle. (Since this picture, two of the Christmas trees have come down... but still don't have the time yet to put up the other decorations. Please read post below - smile) Kensington is wearing one of her favorite onesies, from Dave and Theresa. Blanket provided by Aunt Simone :)
I finally had the chance to log into the news section of Yahoo: Who knew Israeli troops invaded Gaza recently? What's up Blagojevich? Michigan has weather in the -20 degrees - Yikes! Patrick Swayze and Howie Mandel were rushed to the hospital, and there's a new season of American Idol with a forth judge. WHAT?!??! Where has the time gone?
Chris and I have two Tivo units. One for down stairs that can 'record two shows/watch one show' at once, and an additional 'record one show/watch one show' upstairs. We haven't turned on the TV except to play our Baby Einstein DVD's. Bye, Bye Tivo.
HBO, Showtime and Cinemax... Love you Tudors, Big Love, True Blood, Entourage, and Dexter - but bye, bye.
Netflix: Um... hate to tell you this, but it just isn't meant to be. While I'd love to catch up on all 8 seasons of Little House on The Prairie, we have this mansion on a mountain to take care of first.
Advocate/Out: We love you. But unless you're going to start showing off stylish gay-fashion with built-in burp cloths, you got to go.
Newsweek: If the world is coming to an end, shoot me a text message on my blackberry, if not, see ya later.
Time: Who has time... really? We have a feeding schedule every 2 hours.
SmartMoney: Yeah, a lot of good you've been to us. What's that you say... "invest"? Whatever!Bye, bye. It's now called: College fund. We just saved $19.95 a year (that we can reinvest) and you don't have to clog up our mailbox 12 times a year.
O: Seriously Oprah. We can't keep up with you. One minute you're pushing one diet and the next minute you're crying to us all that you fell of the wagon (again)... but wait... here's a new diet (again). Girl, we ain't got the time to read about something you're going to say doesn't work in 3 months. We got a child to take care of. And don't even think of telling us to have fresh flowers delivered to her room on a weekly basis because it sooths ones soul. There's snow on the ground and it's -20 degrees in Michigan. Tell me where flowers grow in the ice?
Domino: Stop trying to tell me how to tidy my home in less than 5 minutes. I don't see a pack-n-play, bassinet, baby papasan, toys, changing pads and swaddles in any of your make-over homes. Get real. Unless you're going to show me how to make over a nursery for the holidays for under $20, or create a stylish diaper bag out of worn out binkies, go organize someone else's home.
Bon Appetit: It just doesn't make sense. You want me to spend hours in the kitchen slaving over the stove, to then put everything in a blender to liquefy it to then add to a bottle? Not going to happen.
Sports Illustrated: I've told you time and time again, you have the wrong household! I don't care if the Eagles make it into the world series. Please take me off of your mailing list once and for all. (BTW - I really do know the Eagles are a football team - - smile)
The National Enquirer: While I honestly do care about Brittany's kids and K'feds new fashion line, I got to put you on hold for about 12-18 years. But I'll be back... don't you worry.
Parenting, Parents, American Baby, Family Fun and Creative Keepsakes: You're in. We just can't part with you. We think we've made enough sacrifices that you get to stay :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Two days without blogging. It won't happen again (okay, don't hold me to that statement). We've now taken the advice that everyone gave us in the very beginning... sleep when she sleeps.
Kensington still has her days/nights a bit mixed up, so I've been trying to take advantage of the small naps throughout the day since Chris is working. Her cold is about 90% gone - A few sniffles here and there, but she has yet to have a fever (knock on wood).
Personally, while I'm enjoying the tme off from work, I'm anxious to be 'in the know'. I'll admit, I've checked my work emails a couple times (a gazillion) and called in to talk to the team about their events and the day to day activities. I can't help it! I get really excited for the team as we enter the event season.
Below are a couple postings... hope you enjoy!
In that old silk hat we found,
Saturday, January 10, 2009
This little outfit is from the Jackie, Jamie and Howard and it's one of her favorite sleepers. It's part of the Taggies collection.
[frame source - Natali Design]
Chris and I heard of children being call MacKensi, or McKenzi (or various spellings of both), but in all of the baby books we looked through (and there were many), neither on of us saw a Kensi/Kenzi anywhere... so imagine our surprise when we found a Mulberry clock that could be customized... and the example they used was Kenzi (different spelling, but you get the point). And to add to the coincidence, we found block lettering in the same style, from a different online store, and the example they used was Grace. Out of all of the items we looked at, only two of them were customizable and they used "Kenzie" and "Grace".
We had several of these Kawinkydink moments throughout the process, and will be sharing these throughout the next couple of days when not trying to catch up on sleep.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Today, I got the best birthday present ever... Chris and Kensi let me sleep in until almost noon. I KNOW - noon!!!
Chris got up at 1am and fed her and I did the same around 4:30. She then needed one more feeding, but wouldn't take it at 6:30... instead she was ready for it at 7:30am.
Chris brought me coffee (at 9:50... remember, it has to be before 10), and I didn't even budge. At 11:50 she made a noise and I jumped... realized that it was noon, and only want to sleep for another couple of hours. But... I couldn't. I now have parental responsibilities (who said that? Who ever you are, go away).
I tried the, "It's my Birthday, so I don't have to change any diapers." That went over like a lead balloon.
Kensi was in her Baby Papasan chair and the next thing you know not only was she out sleeping, but Duncan (the protector) was sleeping with his head on her lap.
Guess what, today I had the opportunity to give her a bath and if is do say so myself, it wasn't so bad.
There is so much more to blog about... but even with sleeping in, I can't seem to put a complete thought together. Hopefully tomorrow :)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
We initiated the blog to share our story with friends and keep our familis that were out of state up-to-date on what was going on. The amount of encouragement from them, as well as so many individuals around the globe has been extremely overwhelming. In the week pre-k (pre-Kensington), we were receiving about about 40-50 hits a day, and now it's over 120, and growing... and this morning, we went over 3000 hits.
Days before she was born, I was updating the blog and deleted our original counter by accident. Not being able to find the same cute teddy bear counter, I installed a 'generic' one just to get one up and found out that it tells us what country/state the person is from. Again... overwhelming.
We have 4 regular viewers from the UK and 3 from Germany; 2 from Argentina, Singapore, Canada and Spain, 3 individuals from US Armed Forces bases (one I know is from Guam), and at least one person (or couple - smile) in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Brazil, Czech Republic, Croatia/Hrvatska and the Netherlands. And here in the US, lets just say I think we covered all 50 states, including one person stranded on that bridge to nowhere in Alaska that is picking up free Wi-Fi from Russia... because they're that close.
For all of you who have viewed our site, left comments, kept us in your prayers, and shared our story with others. We can not thank you all enough. Kensington not only has 3 daddies and a mommy that love her very much and want the best thing for her, but now "family" around the world that is keeping a close eye on her.
With that being said... watch out. We may be calling you soon to babysit (or at least for a visit when we're in your neck of the woods).
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
We just want to thank everyone for the wonderful emails, phone messages, text messages, etc., welcoming us back home. You all are the best!
We got home last night and the kiddo's were extremely excited that we were back... and confused about this little chickpea we had in the car seat. Duncan immediately came and sniffed around her. With a, "gentle" command from us, he went and kissed Kensi. It was so adorable. Now... if he'd only acknowledge Gossip every once in awhile, we'll be fine. Gossip sat in the corner and watched us bring everything in. We set up the pack and play in the living room and Gossip walked around it a couple times, sniffing, trying to figure everything out. Duncan is about eye-level to the top of the pack and play, so every time Kensington made a noise, he'd go to see how she was doing [just wait, it gets cuter].
Who knew the comforts of home, and a real bedroom, was what Kensington needed. Two nights ago, the batteries in her sleepy chair died. So it didn't vibrate or play music. Top that off with a cold you have a recipe one unhappy baby. In the car ride home, she was a complete angel, but once we got her home she was still cranky. We felt so bad for her.
We started to get a little worried about her and called Momma Peckens (yes, we have her on speed dial). Well, wouldn't you know it, just the fact that we put her in her bed (with the vibrating mattress) and turned on the iPod with a lullaby playlist, she went right to sleep. Crankiness gone... and wouldn't you know it, Eureka, the little stinker had a stinker!
Oh, to be able to use a baby monitor (thanks Eric!!!). Last night we were able to sleep in our own comfy bed, allowing Kensi to sleep in her own crib, and yet hear and see everything she did. And... to be able to use a glider, instead of an office chair on wheels worked SO MUCH better. Being home is what we all needed.
We had the normal feedings (9pm, 11pm, 1: 30am, 3:30am -and added 4:30am - 5:30am and 7:30am). I had to clear her little nose out because she kept on getting congested. At around 3:30 when I did it, she let out a blood-curdling scream. Duncan bust through the door - he's a smarty, he can open doors by jumping up on the knob and pressing hard with his nose - and rushed in for her rescue. He nudged me because he thought I was hurting her and wanted her to stop crying. It was the most precious thing. The cat on the other hand decided to jump up on his bed and get comfy on his spot which just frustrates him to no end.
Oh, by the way, we've now become a pros at filling and assembling a Dr. Browns bottle with formula and steaming it with using only one hand. Not bad for being a dads for only 12 days.
Around 6:30 I heard the neighbor shoveling his icy driveway. We had about an inch of ice, and it's something that a snow blower just won't break up. He was at it for an hour. And his driveway is less than half the size of ours. Chris went out and threw three 20lb bags of salt on the driveway, I pulled the covers over my head and dreaded having to do that to ours. If it wasn't for our doctors appointment, I'd just hibernate indoors today.
The 20 minute drive to the doctors office took almost 45 minutes. So much for getting there early to fill out all of the paper work. When I walked in they made an announcement, "We have a New Baby!!" in the bubbliest of voices. They then handed me a stack of paperwork and, in the same bubbly voice, instructed me how to fill it out. This is the same voice that they use on the phone, and as I found out, used in the examination room. It's cute at first. After 20 minutes, not so much. Seriously. No, seriously. :)
Kensington got weighed and she's back to her birth weight of 6lbs, 6oz. I was concerned that this was low, since she was discharged at 6lbs, 5oz, but found out that she lost more weight than that and getting back to the birth weight at two weeks is ideal. So she passed that test.
She's now 20 inches - she grew a whole half inch.
Doc's report: she's in the 50 percentile of weight, 50 percentile on the circumference of her head, and at the 40 percentile of her height. He says, "she perfect". Well, duh!.
He wants us to use a saline spray several times a day to help clean out her congested nose, and gave us some eye drops to help clear up the cold-related gunk in her eyes. Also, he's suggested that we not take her out until she's about 2 months and her little immune system needs to build itself up [I think this is my doctors note to get out of the board meeting this Saturday. Sorry Pete, doctors orders]
After about 2 hours at the doc's office, it is time to visit the local CVS to fill her prescriptions.
We are greater at the drop-off counter by Bunny (who has checked us out countless times) and she looks at Kensington and puts a death grip on my arm, "Oh my... she is so precious! I want to eat her up!... oh, I'm so sorry about your arm. I hope I didn't hurt you. But come on... look at her. She's adorable. P A U L A... come here, look at the baby".
After the admirations I hand over my prescriptions and inform her that the company insurance just changed so she'll need the new card to update the system. She looks at the prescription form. "What's her last name?", "Irwin-Dudek". Shes write Irwin on the top left side of the paper and Dudek on the top right side of the paper. Then she scratches it out.
"What is it again?"
"Oh...", she says to Kensington with a cute little smirk, "you have to love mommies who hyphenate their last names."
"Kensington doesn't have that issue... she has two daddies that got married and now have a hyphenated last name."
Bunny does a double take and I laugh. Pause. She looks at the form. Pause. Pause. "are you Chris's..."
"Husband? Yes I am." She throws herself over the counter and gives me a hug. Again, I've been there with Chris on multiple occasions. "Everyone... this is Chris Irwin's little one." They all come back to stare again.
Ummm... hello. Look at me. I'm cute too. :)
We're now home and she's sleeping. Oh... this is the life.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Let the saga continue. We heard back from Interstate today. I'm cleared (Yippee). Chris is not (what the...?). On the application for clearance, his name was misspelled. I don't understand why is social security number wouldn't suffice... or why they couldn't run both "Christoper" and "Christopher". So... are you holding on tight? Chris has to travel back into PA to get rescanned, and we have to wait another 24 hours. Even though I'm cleared, they won't let me in the state with Kensington until Chris is cleared as well.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I used the Artemia kit, available from After Five Designs. Their collaboration freebies are expired, but the entire kit has hundreds of items and I love the design and theme. Highly recommended :)
Last night, Kensington slept very well. After her 9pm feeding, I made sure I woke her up at 11, 1, 4 and 7 for feedings. She slept through most of the night, with only about an hour (between 1:30 and 2:30) where she was up. Not crying. She learned how to vibrate her lips and she was making funny noises that would then in turn make her grin :o)
Friday, January 2, 2009
The day started off perfect (oh... and ended that way as well). Kensington slept throughout the night - well, Chris woke her up three times to feed her, but he got her before she cried for food. After her feedings and diaper changes, she quickly fell back asleep. He claims to have "figured this out".
This was the first day I'd been out of the hotel (and now beach house) before 10am. I have this weird thing about coffee. On my 1hr 45min trip into the office each day, I normally stop at Dunkin Donuts twice for an extra-large light & sweet coffee. If I have anything cold to drink in the morning before coffee, I can't drink coffee. If I don't have coffee before 10am, I can't drink coffee at all - but, if coffee is the first thing in my system in the day, I can drink it all day. It's the small OCD in me. Anyway. Today I had coffee from DD for the first time in a week. And they did it just right - Hallelujah!
We got up at the crack of dawn and drove to the truck stop at the NJ/PA border (yes... to those future adoptive parents reading this blog... Walmart, Chinese Buffets and Truck Stops will be a part of your story as well) where we met Dee. She watched Kensington while we traveled into PA to get our FBI screenings and a quick drive-by the house to see the kiddos.
When we got to "The Packaging Place" with the huge UPS symbol on the door, we went in and handed the guy behind the counter our registration paperwork and told him that we were there to get our screening. "we don't do that here."
I gasped! "The UPS website list you as a screening location and we called on Wednesday and were told to come in today."
"Sorry. We don't do that. You can check the UPS store in Mt. Pocono if you want." (which happens to not only be 20 miles west, but one of the places that said they were booked until Monday).
Chris and I were devastated! We traveled all this way to get the screening done and this isn't the place. I pulled up the UPS site on my Blackberry. "Chris... it says it right here. Eagle Valley Mall. Wait. The mall only says 'Eagle Vally Printing', nothing here says Eagle Valley Mall"
We traveled across the street into the other shopping center, and around the corner, in the back, we saw the REAL UPS store, and not just an authorized UPS shipper.
It ended up taking less then 2 minutes a person to get scanned. We told the UPS employee what happened across the street at she informed us that they have had constant issues with the owner of The Packaging Place. She told him that while she understood not wanting to send people to UPS if they are just shipping/faxing/copying items... but if people come in for FBI background checks, to please send them across the street. He refuses. All I have to say is - Karma!
After getting scanned, we called Interstate with our transaction numbers, along with Steven from Rep. Siptroths office with the same information and then headed to our home to check the mail and pick up a couple items.
We opened the garage door entrance into the house and we greeted by a very excited Duncan! After giving him a stuffed goose that we bought, we walked up the stairs into the house and was hit with a horrible smell. It's not the littler box. We walked around the house and it was something in the kitchen, but couldn't tell what it was. There was chicken in the trash that gave off a small odor, but there was something else. Something that smelled like death. And so it was...
Not visible to the us at eye level, but if you looked in the aquarium, at a certain angle, you you see two dead Tinfoil Barb fish (that were on the verge of dying before we left because the school of Blood Parrot Fish refused to let them eat) floating on the top of the water. It was the sickest thing ever! After spraying a can of Fabreeze, we rock/paper/scissored to find out who was going to fish (pun intended) out the dead creatures. I lost. Actually, with the smell in the house, we both lost.
We grabbed a couple more of the smaller outfits for Kensington, checked the answering machine, and were out the door.
As we were headed back to NJ, we got a message from Interstate letting us know that they have the scans and that it would take approx 24 hours to process through all of the systems (so they say), and we should be cleared by Monday afternoon. So... just a couple more days until we can bring Kensington home.
We got a lot of calls, emails and texts messages from people concerned about us. Thank you all... Know that we are fine. Know that Kensington is fine. Not being cleared by PA in time was a PA agency over site and an inconvenience, but not an issue in the adoption itself. I'm just happy that we'll be in PA within the two week period of her birth to see our pediatrician. We're looking at this in the best of light - it's just an extended vacation at a beach house (yes... with snow on the ground - and have you seen us. We're so white that people know we don't do beaches).
Kensington got her second bath today, and learned how to say "Daddy". Okay. I made that part up - she didn't have a bath today :)