Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Addicted!

I need to create a new blog just for the Grandbabies! Plus it will give me another place to show my new addiction! Just this morning in about 15 mintues I put this layout together. This one was a cheater page where you just drop in some photos and add your text. It's perfect for quickly making use of pictures. I really want to go back and make myself a book of Brennen's first year. The program I'm using is called FotoFusion. It's much easier than my PhotoShop Elements. Simple and quick is best for now but I will learn to use Elements as well. So here's another layout!

Another Precious Panda In the Perfect Hands!

Last night our friends Mike and Rhonda had their long awaited Gotcha Day! It's so amazing to watch people that we know experience the joy of finally getting their child. Hannah is precious! You should check out their blog! You won't be disappointed! I get all emotional every time one of us (or any one that I read about for that matter) gets their child. It makes it more real for us. It lets us know the system really works and that our day will come soon. Mike and Rhonda have the ultimate blessing on Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Layout #2! Getting the Hang of this!!

Okay, so this digital stuff if FUN! Of course, I'll never run out of pictures to learn with. My only problem is that I am running out of memory on my computer! I have an 80G external hard drive but it is full too! I have so many graphics on my computer already that collecting digital scrapbooking materials is going to push me to get another one I guess.
We had a wonderful weekend with Brennen! We cooked dinner for Sara and Chris Friday night and then kept him for the night. It was interesting to say the least! We had a great time with him! We're learning all kinds of tricks and tips for being prepared for Lexi. For example, on Friday when I was putting Brennen to sleep for the night, I rocked him in the recliner. I don't have a glider in her room and wasn't sure I would get one until FRIDAY! As I rocked him, the dogs would walk through and he would sit back up. If Geoff opened a cabinet in the kitchen, you could hear it! It was very distracting for him. So after I finally got him to sleep, I told Geoff that we must get one for the babies room. And he now has a new thing to do on his "Honey-Do" list (change the hardware on the squeaky cabinets!)
Another tip we've learned... put the dogs up when Bren is eating. He has discovered that if he throws food off of the high chair, they will eat it and he finds this VERY FUNNY! No food goes in his mouth... just the dogs! On Saturday morning when he was finished Geoff went to let them out and I cleaned off the high chair but that didn't stop Brennen. He used his imagination and fooled the dogs. He would pretend to pick up a piece of food and pretend to throw it! The silly dogs fell for it every time!
As we were going through the day taking care of the little guy, Geoff was constantly helping and playing with him. It gives me such a great glimpse of the wonderful father he is going to be for Lexi. He's already great with Sara but watching him with a little one is extra special. At one point in the day, we were dressing him and I could just "feel" Geoff's anticipation to have Lexi home. I turned to him and said, "you're thinking of doing all this for Lexi aren't you?" Of course, his answer was "YES!". And he will one day really soon!

Playing Around

I'm experimenting with digital scrapbooking today... this is my first attempt to do something. I have a longggg way to go! But I think it will be fun!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some Recent Brennen

Brennen's First Chicken Leg... this was about it. He'd rather eat tomatoes.
Halloween Dragasaurus

Reading Thomas the Train... he loves his books! A teacher's dream!
And a Sara and baby update...
I went with Sara to the doctor last Tuesday. She is not due until 12-17 but she is dilated 1 cm. already! The doctor wants her to take it easy the next few weeks and will see her again the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. He told her he thought that she may have the baby that week but wants her to last that long to give the baby's lungs time to finish developing. So we may just have a Thanksgiving baby! Get ready world for baby Christopher Evan!

Jumping through more hoops!

We got a call last night from our social worker from the Home Study agency. We've recently been in contact with them about making some changes to our Home Study that was completed in June. I think I've blogged before about how long it has taken to get our update this time. We thought everything was okay. However since the Hague Convention requirements have gone into effect, the way things are done on the Home Study has changed somewhat. We found out about 3 weeks ago that USCIS had finally gotten to our paperwork (there is supposed to be a 90 day turn around, however it took a little longer than 120 days). Well, it appears our HS agency wasn't up to speed on the changes so we needed to do some changes in the paperwork. We've been calling USCIS, our agency, and the HS agency trying to get everything taken care of. We thought we were pretty much okay until we got the call last night. We found out that we needed to take some online adoption classes (10 hours) and redo our financial statements. It wasn't a big deal and today we have worked on them both and have the paperwork ready to fax in them first thing tomorrow morning. I guess the part that irritates me is that the separate offices fail to talk to each or if they do talk they don't always talk about the right things. The HS agency is in Atlanta. The social worker is in Savannah. It's taken 2 weeks after talking to the woman in Atlanta for us to hear from the lady in Savannah. We could have had this done weeks ago.

And not to mention at first the HS agency wanted more money to do the changes. More money. We've paid for the update. They didn't do it up to speed with the Hague Convention but that is not our fault. Thankfully, our adoption agency went to bat for us and pretty much told them that we shouldn't have to pay any more money. Of course... we did have to pay for the online classes that we took today. I swear, I took these same classes for free a few years ago just because I wanted to learn. Now that these classes are required... they cost money. It's like every one involved has their hand out and all you can do is fork it over if you really want to get your baby.

My fear is that we will end up with a referral in January and we'll still be waiting for our i800. That will be a total nightmare!! I pray we do not have to cross this bridge.

In the meantime, we continue to anxiously wait. I can only hope that once we get the referral, we will not have papework drama.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Blog Needs a Make-over...

I know I really need to do a Make-Over for my blog! I really do! When I began the whole thing I knew very little about blogging. I have to admit, I understand a lot more now and secretly wish to update but I never seem to find the time. Blogs after all are known for the ease of publishing them! But I'm a creative sort who would love to do a do-over all by myself and then love the appearance but I just don't do it. I find that I spend a LOT of my after-work time at WORK! Working MORE or just helping my friends who WORK LATE! It keeps me from coming home to an empty house except for the irritating dogs and cats and then waiting for hours for Geoff to finally get home. I am sure once Lexi is here, I will come home as soon as I can! No more working late teaching the After-school program or just hanging around helping others... instead it will be GOING HOME to Lexi. Now that sounds like the perfect plan. But maybe??? just maybe???? I'll decide to give this tired old blog with broken links from 2 -3 years ago a make-over and join the more sophisticated world of blogging!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November Referrals

Wow! Today was a great day for many people. Referrals arrived and Donna, Stephe, and Karen all got referrals! Their girls are all soooo adorable!

I wish I could say I knew what the cut-off day is but I don't yet. There are rumors that the 20th is in but nothing concrete. We still are hoping for a December referral but I'm beginning to worry that it will be January. I know... more waiting. Very disappointing waiting. We spoke to our adoption counselor today and learned that if we do get a December referral, we most likely will not travel until after Chinese New Year in February. Given this news, we may as well get a January referral because at least then we won't have to wait extra time until travel. How frustrating it would be to have Lexi's referral and have to wait even longer!

Anyhow, a big CONGRATS to all the new Mommies and Daddies out there!