Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Referral In Hand!

Daddy proudly holding his daughter's referral.

Mommy trying to grasp that she is really holding the referral and original photos in her hands.

Jeff is excited. He has been handling the whole thing better than I from the beginning. Oh, there were a few times when we'd get news of it taking longer or when we got the news of her hearing loss that he was sad and it really hit him. He, too, loves this little girl more than anything. But, in general, Jeff takes things in stride more than me and he's been very positive about it all - lifting me up when I got so down. He's also been SO busy with work this past year, that he didn't have time to really think about it morning, noon, and night like I have. Of course, Ruby is never far from his mind. He is such a proud Pappa. Must have watched her video a 100 times already! He got the referral package today when I was out running an errand. He left it unopened on the counter, although dying to see it. Wanted me to take a picture of him with it and he took one of me opening it. He's so sweet! 

Me, I was little emotional today. Could blame it on the hormones, but really, I think it was just the realization of how far we have come. How close we really are. The dreams...the years of trying...years of waiting...years of hoping and praying and not ever being sure when and if it was going to has all come down to this. We are only a few months away from holding our daughter and being a family!

Just knowing we were sending in our child acceptance letter got to me. In a good way! We notarized our letter and shortly after there was our full package. So we ran back to the UPS store again, had 2 more things notarized - one for Wacap and one for the state of Washington where Wacap has to file. We had to sign and initial a few more things - basically all stuff saying that we know this is for the child's life and we know the risks of adoption, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary. So we signed and initialed and Fed-X's the whole thing back. We had also scanned the first notarized letter and emailed to Kate before going back the second time. 

Still have to get her that photo album. Totally forgot to do that in my excitement and sentiment. Uploaded to Walgreens and had them in an hour. My how I love technology! So now all I have to do is bring with me to FL, find another soft photo album, and ship off to Wacap this week. This will be the 3rd album we sent to her, so by George, she is gonna know who we are!

Oh, and I'd like to admit that I drove poor Kate NUTS this week. She was so nice when I was in a panic over not getting the package yesterday. Well today I called all worked up that the referral was sent in the MAIL. Not insured, not UPS, just plain old US postal service. I said, I love ya Kate, but I have to give you a hard time about this! I insist we get all of our documents Fed-Xed next time! What if the most important document we have ever received had been lost in the mail? How could they mail it? Why couldn't they have Fed-X'ed it? I rambled on and on. She was calm and nice and told me there was nothing to worry about because it was a copy. They would never send the original just for that reason. Also it wasn't time sensitive because I already got the info emailed and I could scan and email her the child acceptance letter and then SHE could email directly to DSDW. Oops. Stopped me dead in my tracks. Oh, well, then, uh, gee...sorry! (my exact words, I think). She just laughed and said I am not the only Mom to worry about these things. But she didn't say it condescending or as if annoyed. She simply said "it's understandable to get emotional or be worried about this kind of stuff..and that families tend to feel so out of control for so long so when they get the paperwork it's like this is something they CAN control." EXACTLY! She was just so kind and understanding that I had to hang up before bursting into tears at the UPS store. I felt like such an idiot. I thought, why on earth am I getting all stressed out? I guess deep down I worried our paperwork wouldn't make it's way back to Thailand and would get delayed somehow. Which, in hindsight, is ridiculous.  Of COURSE it will get there okay. I waited until I got to the car then called her back in tears and apologized like 10 times. She laughed and was like, PLEASE go relax and have a spa day. I didn't have the heart to tell her I had just HAD a massage today and was still like that! But I did tell her I was off to FL for some R&R so she had a week off from my calls! 

And on that note, my friends, I need to scoop up the remaining laundry in the dryer, throw it in the suitcase, and get to bed! This girl needs some zzzz's! Jeff is already out like a light. We both are looking forward to some beach time this weekend and a chance to chill out a with our friends. If you don't see a post after June 5th, send a search party! You find me baking in the sun on a beach somewhere with a big 'ol smile planted on my face. :-)

Dreaming in Color

Oh, my little darling! Had such a great dream about her last night! I was at a nice resort or conference or something. Not sure if it was a working trip or not. I remember being preoccupied with whatever meeting I was in or conversation I was having. I was just sooo excited to get back to her. I knew she was waiting. So I guess we took a lunch break and I made a bee-line for the door. I clearly remember this next part of the dream. I came into what seems like a busy lobby or a hotel or possibly a restaurant. Not sure who was babysitting Ruby, but she jumped out of their lap as soon as she saw me and RAN excitedly into my arms, yelling Mommy! Mommy! I just beamed and ran and scooped her up! We both were smiling and so happy and comfortable with each other. She was then wearing a cute red one piece swimsuit and I was wearing a matching red flow-y tank style top and shorts. (Yes, you can laugh at me here cause I even have to be fashionably coordinated in my dreams - LOL!) The last thing I recall is me still holding her cute little self and us heading happily to the pool. Mom and daughter. Happy & together. Good stuff! Is it too late to go back to bed? Oh, and BTW, I did not buy the adorable Kate Mack Patchwork Picnic bathing suit above for Ruby...but the temptation is great!

Never got the referral packet in yesterday. Evidently, Wacap doesn't believe in Fed-X. They sent it 2 day air - urrrrr! Guess times are tough all over and they wanted to save money. I told them next time we would be happy to pay for it so long as my eager little hands get it the next day! :-) Hopefully it will get here today. Good news is, I found out that all we need to do to keep things moving is send back our notarized Child Acceptance Letter  and Kate can scan and email to the social worker. The other forms that have to be signed and sent back are just for Wacap. Had no idea. I said to Kate, well, GEEZ, why didn't you tell me that? I could have sent it on Friday? She was like, oh, I thought I did. In all fairness, I was so excited when she was rambling on about this form and that so I probably only digested half of what she said! I told her this and we both laughed. She is sooo nice and called me from the grocery store on her day off cause I was in a panic that I wouldn't get it before we leave for FL early tomorrow morning. Honestly, I couldn't do her job and deal with emotional, panicked, impatient moms all day long. God bless her! Anyway, we are good to go. Scanning and emailing her the letter today plus Fed-Xing a copy for her to send in her next package to Thailand. Ruby, honey, we are on the way!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today Is the Day!

...we get the official referral packet in! Now I know many of you are itching for details and I promise to share what I can about the process. We have had our child letter of acceptance ready since last JUNE, so all I have to do there is print, sign, and go get notarized today. Then I believe there are a bunch of forms to sign and send. Should be able to get that all done today and Fed-Ex back to Wacap so Kate has it in her hands tomorrow morning. It's funny, but the night Kate emailed saying the referral was coming, I went in and added a few things to the child acceptance letter and changed the date. I dated it ahead and changed it to Friday, May 22nd...the EXACT date we ended up getting it! Is that funny or what?

So anyway, we will send the letter and forms back to Kate. From there, she sends it back to Thailand and we wait for 2 things: the To Whom It May Concern Letter (whatever that is) and our board meeting dates which invite us to travel to Thailand. Usually takes 2-4 months. Home study was updated and has been sent in (as far as I know - will double check today). New fingerprints are scheduled to be taken on June 6th. So we are all set! We are an I-600 family so I think we don't have much else do to till we get to Thailand. Woo-hoo! So exciting to be at this stage finally!

It's kind-of cloudy today so a good day to do paperwork and errands. And I do have a good few errands to take care of. We had a wonderful and fun weekend with friends and family but now it is back to diet, exercise, paperwork, and packing. We leave for FL in 2 days. Also want to work on Ruby's Lifebook/scrapbook. Got her birthday shots with bear that were taken by Wacap to put in there. Plus that happy, smiling referral shot! I may do a whole page just around that happy image! It's AMAZING how lucky we have been with getting pictures of her from families that have been over. I am near done with the SECOND scrapbook already! Oh, I just LOVE to have my little ones history there for her! By the time I get over and take pics of her town, orphanage, care-givers and then shots with us, I'll probably be on my 4th or 5th book! LOL! Hey, you can't take enough pics to document such a momentous occasion! It's our baby! However big she may be getting, she is our baby girl and I want to fill in every detail of her past (and present) for her to have some day! 

Will post more when I get packet and give details of all that comes with it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Celebration Weekend

This our new Mommy & Daddy shot to send to Thailand. Our referral letter asks us to send a photo album of ourselves and home and family. I already sent 2 of them with Wacap last November, but what the heck, I'll send another. Can't hurt, I guess. 

We are still reeling from our good news! Have had a great time sharing it with our friends and family. Everyone is really happy for us. Lots of calls and emails and comments have been coming in, too, and THANK YOU cause it sure means a lot to us!

Much to celebrate right now! May and June are a busy time for us with lots of birthdays. We celebrated my Dad's on May 8th, our nephew Anthony's a few weeks ago, my dear friends Kimi and Tammy last week, my sister in law, Melissa yesterday, and our nephew, Ryan's is next week. Then Thursday we will be in FL celebrating my friend Jen's 40th and my brother Jason's is in June.  

So we have quite the social schedule this weekend and coming up. We were at my brother's yesterday to celebrate both Melissa and Ryan's birthday and at our neighbors for a BBQ today. Tomorrow we have friends coming for a cook out and Tuesday I think I am going to need to go on a serious diet! Aaah, summer. What can you do? We are having fun and we might as well do all this socializing now. Speaking of diet - or lack there-of - I came up with a new appetizer to take to parties. Came up with it myself with what was in fridge one day and to my surprise it turned out pretty good. Thought I would share...

Blue Cheese Portabella Mushrooms

Portabella Mushrooms (medium size - not the real big ones)
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Crumbled Goat cheese
Red onion diced
Pine nuts crushed
Herbs de Provence
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar (I used a fig balsamic vinegar this time and it was real yummy!)

So take out the stem and fill half way with olive oil.
Heat oven on broil.
Make a mixture of the cheeses, onion, and pine nuts then add the herbs. Don't add salt. Blue cheese is salty enough. 
Spoon mixture into mushroom caps and drizzle balsamic vinegar.
Broil for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to watch them cause it cooks fast and you can burn the cheese.
You can drizzle a tad more vinegar before serving if it cooked out. Enjoy!
(and FYI, really easy but looks impressive. My kind of recipe!)

A few shots from our recent celebrations:

Dad's birthday dinner at our house. Chloe in the background still recovering from paw surgery.

Birthday lunch in NYC with friends Tammy, Kimi, and Jenn (for Tammy & Kimi's birthday).

My brother Jason, Ryan, and Melissa (the birthday girl!)
Ryan with his presents.

Birthday boy Ryan with blue Carvel ice cream cake goo on his finger. He actually wanted to share it with me and can I just say I am ready to be a mom cause he was so cute I licked the goo he offered me off his finger. YUCK! 

My brother Jason racing his son. Ryan made us all do it a couple times. Look at him running like he's going for the gold medal. I love his face in this and also my brother's proud smile.

Here is Jeff's go at it.  Love this shot. Jeff's gonna be a great Daddy!

Mom and son blowing out the candles. He said, come on, Mommy, we are going to blow the candles out together! So sweet.

Jeff and our friend Bill at his house today. 

...and one with all the guys hanging out.

Jeff is still over there hanging, but I am pooped! Enjoying a little quiet time and staring at my sweet baby's picture again. Oh, how lucky we are!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Morning!

How cute is this image? Snagged it off someone's blog who made this for her daughter for breakfast. Is that sweet or what? Someday real soon I'll be making silly faces on my angel's toast!

I woke up at 6am on a Saturday morning. This is not a normal occurance for me. Well, at least not for a few more months! Jeff was like, what are you doing? Guess I am just too excited to sleep. I woke up and my thoughts drifted to her and I've been awake ever since. I secretly want to wake up the world and say DID YA HEAR? WE HAVE OUR REFERRAL! Stand on a mountain and scream OUR BABY! OUR BABY!  WE ARE GOING TO HOLD HER SOON!!! Of course, soon is relative, but go with me here. It's never been so close. So we have a few more months. Somehow it's easier to take when you can actually see the finish line. You know there is really an end and you have a good estimate of when and where that is. Think summer will fly by as we scramble to get the last minute things done. I realized this week we still have many little things to do or take care of before we go.

Now for details... 
Kate at Wacap is such a lovely person. When I called her to say, YAY, and how are you sending it? Can I get it tomorrow???? She wasn't sure with it being the weekend so she emailed us the stuff I was dying for -pics, the background, and medical information. The hard copy will get to us by Tuesday. So nice of her to take the time to scan and email those! She knew I just could not wait another minute! 

As for the all looks great! No real surprises. Mostly info we knew, but some new info like birth weight and history and how she was as a baby and stuff like that. No surprises with the medical either. Healthy and developing well except for hearing and needs speech therapy due to hearing loss. But we can work with that. They describe her hearing as sensorineural which is permanent so that's not great, but we won't really know how bad it is till she gets here. To be honest, they say she is hearing at a level where she shouldn't be able to hear soft talking, yet in the video she is responding to a nanny talking softly in her ear. So soft that we can't hear fully what she is saying. Okay, and she speaks Thai so we wouldn't know anyway, but still. She has hearing aids in on video, but not in new pics. So maybe it's not that bad? Maybe I want to think it's not that bad. We'll see, but I am not going to worry about it. She is precious and we will deal with it and make it as best as we can for her.

Let's see...what else can I share? Well, she feeds herself with a spoon and is walking well and can go up stairs holding a hand rail. She is a healthy height and weight and in the normal bracket. Those little details are so wonderful to know! My favorite is how they describe her emotion and psychological development: "She is a bright and cheerful child who is afraid of darkness and loud noises and being alone." (Aw, you won't be alone for long, pumpkin! Mommy will be glued to your side!) It's good to know this information to best prepare for her. Her room doesn't get real dark anyway, but I will get a cute night light for in there, as well. Then it says "She is a self-centered child who will get angry when someone does not follow her way." Yes, it actually says that. I just laughed and thought uh-oh at the same time. Poor Jeff, he's got 2 Diva's now! Yea, I know. May not find that so funny down the road when she is challenging me, but for right now all I know is I just plain love her. Love her adorable smile and her spunk. Love that she is bright and strong and stubborn and possibly a tough little cookie. That is what has helped her survive her first 2 years and will make her a go-getter and strong woman later in life.

Oh and her pictures! Almost forgot to mention her pictures! We got two of them. Again, showing so much personality. In the first one the most incredible smile. Definitely the happiest we have seen her yet. She is outside and it looks like the ocean is behind. In fact, the area where she is standing is all sandy so the beach must be close. She has shoes on (another thing we hadn't seen in a photo yet). I love that she was outside. She appears to have a beach cover-up on so in my day dream, they take the kids to the beach. My friend is sure it is the orphanage she is standing in front of. May be but I am going to keep on day dreaming that she went to the beach that day! :-). May just be that they take them outside for a walk or outside the building for fresh air. Either way it's nice that the kids get out of the orphanage at times. Wasn't sure if they did so that's cool. The second shot she is back to pouty and moody, but oh so gorgeous! Just want to kiss that pout and make her giggle! They have her in a beautiful little dress. She just looks precious. It's funny how absolutely perfect she is for us. We can't imagine any other child fitting with us so perfectly. I mean, I'm sure when we have a second child we will feel the same about her, too, but this little girl is so much a part of us already, I can't imagine it any other way. So happy. Happy, happy, day-dreamy Saturday morning. Going to grab some coffee and lay in the sun while I wait for the hubby to wake up. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Miracle Granted!!!!!

IT'S HERE! Crack open the champagne cause WACAP GOT OUR REFERRAL TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our daughter is officially ours! The referral is really here and we are really going to get to see her! Think we are still in shock. We heard a few days ago that the SW told Wacap she was sending it. I was DYING to post about it. But we've had our hopes dashed so many times on this journey that I didn't want to tell everyone until we had it in our hands. Well, it's not in OUR hands, but it's in Kate's and that's good enough for me! She is sending it out to us today so hopefully we should see it either tomorrow or Monday.

I was sure I would be screaming at this moment. In fact, I was sure YOU would hear me screaming at this moment. :-) The other night when Kate's email said we were getting it Jeff & I just sat there staring at the email in disbelief. Today I am just crying.  Happy, joyful, relieved tears. It's been such a long, long journey to get to this point. Our baby! Our sweet, beautiful girl is really going to be with us soon!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Faith really does move mountains. For my dear friends still waiting...I hope it won't make you feel down. I know it's hard sometimes when you are still waiting. I know how it feels to be so happy for that family that got the referral but at the same time wonder when is it ever going to be our turn? Please know you are next and it's gonna happen! Let this prove to you even more that there is an end to this journey and miracles truly happen every day! Love you all and praying for your referral!

Love, Jen

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Sea Of Dora's

No, I haven't lost my mind. Well, not completely. :-) I bought these little Dora's and her male counterpart (Diego?) to take to the orphanage kids in Thailand. Been gathering stuff all year round to take and when I saw these at the grocery store today I literally cleared the shelf into my cart! Have only about 18 so I may have to pick up a few more before we go. Gotta find out how many kids are in the toddler room. I know they are supposed to be Latino/Mexican (forgive me if I am wrong here) but I thought the coloring and eyes shape were close to that of a least more than any of the white dolls they are currently playing with. Hope that wasn't a totally odd, un "PC" thing to say... but well, the point is I liked them and thought the kids should have a doll that looks more like them to play with it. So I went for a bunch of groceries and came home with only fish, toilet paper, and a sea of Dora The Explorer dolls. hee hee. Why not? 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Meet Sawan

Been meaning to write about a boy we just started to sponsor. Our friend, Sharon, posted about her experience with an organization called Compassion. They are really wonderful and we may have the opportunity to meet him someday. His name is Sawan and of all the kids on their site, his almost mischievous smile made me pick him immediately! Add to that, his description said he loves music. I was like, that's it! He's the one! So allow me to introduce Sawan. How cute is he? He lives in NW Thailand - not far from a friend of mine. Can't wait to meet him and his family someday!

Did anyone watch Extreme Make Over: Home Edition last night? What a beautiful show! The family they helped was just incredible. Three great teenage boys and a dad with a heart of gold. I love that show and how they make such a huge difference in people's lives! Last night's show was just incredible to see. Something worthwhile on television and someone giving back to a wonderful man that has helped so many others. What a very cool and wonderful thing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ruby, Gardening, Friends, Prayers

รัตมณี - Ruby, red precious jewels or stones. This is our little gem's name in Thai Script. It is beautiful. Thanks so much to Sharon for sending it to me! Like her hubby, Jeff is going to get a tattoo on his arm in Thailand with his daughter's name on it in Thai script. We love all your great ideas, Sharon! Thanks!

Feeling better today, thanks to so much love and support. Talking to friends and getting your nice comments really helped! Of course, exhaustion has helped a little, too! LOL. Been gardening for hours and I'm too tired to actually think much. Good remedy and there are a zillion more weeds out there to keep me preoccupied. That's good... I think. Will post pics of the garden soon.

We said a long, hard prayer out there for all of you last night. Those who have their kids home and are just there being supportive and those who still waiting. We know this wait is not ours alone. We know ALL of our children need us and we are really so glad to be sharing in your journey. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Praying For A Miracle

As I was sitting around sulking this morning, this thought popped into my head. It's a quote I heard long ago.

"That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

Well, I noticed I'm still here so it hasn't killed me. Am I stronger? Not so sure about that one. But I am determined not to give up and let my spirit and hope be diminished. I am going to believe there is still hope. I am going to trust.

I just can not accept Fall for a referral. I am praying for a miracle instead. For us and those dear friends that are also waiting and oh-so-close. I am praying for strength for the SW in Thailand too. That she can find the time and energy to get to those referrals before the Homeland Tour begins so we can at least travel by Fall. 

Thank you so much for the supportive emails and comments. I so needed to hear your kind words today. Thank you all very much for your support.  Praying for all of your precious little ones to find their way to your arms quickly.

As for me, I am getting away. The husband just booked tickets for us to FL for the end of the month. Beach time will not take the agonizing wait away, but will help to renew strength and pass the time. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is This Even Possible?

I got an email last night from Wacap. I read it and re-read it. No, this can't be right. I am reading something wrong. There are two families she HOPES will travel by the end of summer and then hopes maybe more but doesn't know if she will get referrals through the summer. The homeland tour is going to take up a lot of the SW's time.  I'm sorry, WHAT????

I got her on the phone today. She is wonderful and supportive but has no answers. It's not her fault. I know it isn't. The Thailand program is unpredictable. But who's fault is it? I can't blame our SW cause I know she too is working hard and has sooo many cases from 7 different countries. But still, how does this happen? Why do these children just sit in an orphanage day after day when there is someone willing and able (MORE than willing and able) to take them home and love them? People ask me this on a daily basis and I have no answer for them. Because I don't know myself. My strong wall is crumbling down. The projects I keep coming up with are not helping. I couldn't even find the strength to plant flowers today knowing she won't get to see them or the butterfly garden I created just for her. I just sat there crying instead. How pathetic is that? 

Bottom line is we may have to wait now until Fall. Just to get the referral. Then who knows till we travel. I just don't know how this is possible and I really don't know how I can possibly manage to wait that long. Is this really happening? 

As I told my dear friend, Nancy, today...I knew this would be an emotional roller coaster, but I had no idea how much steeper the climb would get each time I had to go back up! Going to try to seek out some singing jobs for this summer. Rehearsing takes my mind off of things and getting a singing gig will motivate me to go back to the gym more often. Wish me luck! I need a much bigger diversion and one that will last all summer long. 

[NOTE: Well, I tried to rush down this morning and take this post off before anyone read it, but I was too late! I'm sorry to be such a downer after just posting about laughter a few days ago! I am going to stop posting for a few days till I can pull myself out of the doldrums. The last thing I want to do is to spread negativity amongst my friends and fellow adoptive moms. I was just down last night when I posted. I know this will get better. Hoping others in process get their news very quickly!]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekly Inspiration: LAUGHTER

Good for the heart. Good for the soul. Good for the parents that are waiting eternally for their child, too! The other day Jeff & I rented "Yes Man" and it was hilarious. Such a good laugh and we needed it as Jeff had a stressful week of work and I had the impending Mother's Day on my mind. It was really the husband's pick as I am not always a fan of Jim Carrey. Well,  he did good! In this movie Carrey was brilliant. We both had a good laugh and the "moral of the story" - so to speak - was that life shouldn't be wasted and you should go out and say YES to things more. Yes to something you never thought of doing. Yes to things were afraid to do. Yes to things you just never got around to or were never open to try.

We were still discussing it an hour later and I just stopped and looked at Jeff. I said, sooooo honey.....want to go ice skating some day at Rockefeller center? Want to go back to the gym with me? Want to go into the city more often?  To my surprise, he said YES! Why not? (Although I believe the yes to ice skating was followed by "I will take you and Ruby ice skating some day").  We'll see! 

Then he came back with a few of his own. He said, hey, want to go to a game sometime? How about watch football with me? Gulp. Beat at my own game. But you know what? Life is short... I said YES!

Good motivation and good laughs. And you know what? I think we are going to have us some fun!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Couple Time

Jeff & I at Fairmount Park

Philadelphia Art Museum

Well, yesterday was just about as nice a time you could have on Mother's Day without actually seeing your mothers or being able to be with your child yet. Both our mom's had other obligations so we headed into our gorgeous city we rarely visit for a day of fun. And fun we had.

Went to the museum to see the Cezanne exhibit. Very nice. There were a few Matisse which I actually like better than Cezanne. Jeff really liked the Picassos. I think Picasso may have been a really disturbed guy (LOL) but we both really enjoyed all of it. Took a nice stroll down Fairmount Ave to look at the old boathouses then headed into the city for a nice dinner at Roy's. Roy's is a chain, but a very nice one. It's Hawaiian Asian fusion and Jeff had never eaten at one. Such a treat! I forgot how much I loved the food there. It was my friend and client, Kim, that actually turned me on to that one. She took a bunch of us there on a corporate dinner once. 

There was one moment at dinner that was a little awkward. My brother is a wine rep and knows the people at the restaurant. He called them and had a nice bottle of wine sent to the table. (That is the nice part, not the awkward part!) Anyway, I guess the manager wanted to come over and make sure we were enjoying everything. He was like "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Where's the kid? Oh, I bet you are soooo enjoying getting a break from the kids tonight!"  Yea, right. How about I'd trade this dinner and all the fancy dinners on the planet just to sit home and stare at my child...even through a hissy fit. He went on and on for a few minutes. I just wanted to say, OKAY, STOP ALREADY! We are enjoying our dinner now go away! But of course, I didn't and would never. He was only being nice!  I slapped on my best Bree Vandercamp fake smile and thanked him. After all, he did give us a nice coupon for something free on our next visit. And dinner was fantastic. I recovered quickly, but decided for now on any Mommy-type event was going to be spent away from happy families with adorable children (and people with probing questions) until we get Miss Ruby home! 

Got home in time to watch my favorite dramas on the tube. Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. Really the only TV I watch except for the occasional HGTV and Extreme Make-over Home Edition. Snuggled up next to the hubby and decided that, yes, it was a good day. Couple time highly recommended. :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Well, I wasn't sure what I was going to post about today. I thought about it for the last few days. How did I feel exactly? I am a mom/not-yet mom.  I am still here and she is still there.I could easily get all down if I let myself thing about it much, BUT...I AM her mother and this year she knows it. She has seen my photo and heard my voice and may somehow understand it. So, yea, I AM a mom, now aren't I? Why not celebrate it instead of being sad?

I woke up this morning to my husband handing me a cup of coffee (as he does most mornings) and wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. I then opened my email and found a beautiful ecard from him and a nice email from my Mom wishing me the same. I am loved and I decided NOT to spend this day with any sadness. I am so blessed to have the life I have. I have a wonderful husband, Mom, Mother-in-law, and many wonderful friends and relatives. The sun is shining and it promises to be a gorgeous day. Both our Mom's ended up to be busy today so Jeff & I are going into downtown Philly to go to have lunch and go to the art museum to see the Cezanne exhibit. The hubby is making me breakfast as I type and I am really looking forward to spending the day with my sweet soulmate and best friend.

Wishing a beautiful day to our Moms and Grandma Kitzmiller. You are beautiful women and we are who we are because of you and your love and presence in our lives. Today we thank you for all the things you do and for just being there.

My Mom and Jeff 

My Mother-in-law and I down at the beach last summer.

Jeff and Grandma Kitz

Me and Grandma.

And always remembered, my beautiful Gram, Kate (Katherine). 

Wishing all of you Mom's a beautiful day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Life is Good Again

Well, I got back from Vegas late Thursday night, and all I can say is: Life is good! To be able to have good friends is gift. To do what I love for a living and get a fab vacation out of it is also great. The resort was incredible! But to work for a client that has also become a friend and be appreciated for a talent I haven't used for soooo long (performing live jazz)...well, that is a true blessing! The pic above is my friend Kim and I. She is just such a doll! A really great person and a lot of fun. She has an event planning business (Kee Consulting) and handles big corporate events with such detail and ease and is one of these people that breathes life into everything and everyone around her. She's a creative and marketing genius! In her "spare time" she runs a catering company and can cook up a storm! Check out her website at 
This is my super-talented piano player, George & I after the gig and George (below) when we started. Look at that backdrop!  A few people took my pic singing so if I get one later I'll post.

The gig could not have gone more perfect. It was a pretty, breezy sunset followed by a near full moon night. Palm trees were swaying behind me as my piano player just played every song brilliantly. Sometimes outside performances can be a nightmare if you don't have a good PA system or sound guy. I was a tiny bit concerned before I got there, but the AV guy was just awesome and both the piano and my voice carried all the way to the other side of the patio. Everyone seemed to enjoy us and I had a ball. It's funny because I used to get so worked up before each gig...especially if I hadn't performed in awhile. Well, I suppose after 40 years on this planet I learned something! Life is to be lived and enjoyed! Why stress over it? Waiting for my baby is stressful. Worrying about her hearing and how long till I can hold her... now THAT is something that is difficult. But singing? No way. I just refused to let myself worry and because I just didn't care and let go, it turned out great! Life lesson 4,343: every thing turns out better when you don't worry about it and just trust and enjoy!  Actually, I think I have had that lesson repeated about 1000 times already... but this time I remembered! :-)

The whole three days were so full it felt like I was there a week. I got to see one of my favorite people on the planet when I was out, Uncle Tom. We went to dinner Tuesday night and just had a great time, incredible food, and wonderful conversation. He only lives about 10 minutes from the resort. I always try to see him and his lovely wife, Sherry, whenever I am out that way, but they were out of town when Jeff & I were in Vegas in November so this was a real treat to see him. 

I hit the pool both days, had a massage, and even got in a little shopping time. Life is good! They had a HUGE Anthropologie store and if ever there was a store I could get lost in, THAT is it! In fact, there is nothing I DON'T love in that store, whether it is fashion or home decor, the store has just everything I love with a vintage-y feel. They even have cute stuff for kids! It's dangerous! I was lucky to get out of there with just 2 pair of pants and a gift for my mother-in-law. I seriously had to TEAR myself out of there and remind myself the pool was waiting! 

My favorite line of the week was at the end of the night after my gig. My friend and client, Kim, was complimenting us on a job well done and asked how long George and I have been performing together. We both laughed and at the same time replied: uh, tonight! Even though we worked on the lullaby CD together we never performed live before or rehearsed together.I had practiced at home, of course, and knew we'd be okay. We both knew the songs and just discussed keys and jumped in.  Another lesson to live by folks: JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET! It's so much more fun that way and you'll be glad you did!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Pleasant Distraction

I got an email from an old friend and favorite client of mine. They have a big corporate meeting in Las Vegas and wanted to know if I was available to fly out and do some background jazz for a few hours one night. Uh, YEA! I called the piano player, George, that just did the lullaby CD with me and he was available. We threw this together in a week. I booked the tickets, typed an invoice, rehearsed like crazy, spoke with the hotel and AV to make sure we had everything we needed, and off we go! I'm packed and leave tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn.

Haven't performed live in over a year, but I have been singing a lot since doing the CD. Surprisingly, all the jazz standards I used to sing are coming back to me like I never stopped. Maybe I should be nervous, but I'm not. I'm just happy to be singing again and seeing old friends (my pals at Hughes) and getting this great paid vacation in NV. It also helps that George is so talented. I feel very confident with him on the gig. 

We are staying at the beautiful Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa in Henderson, NV, just outside of Vegas. (See pics above). Really a place up my alley and takes me back to the Mandarin Oriental and Greenbrier days. My hey-day. I used to sing at the Oriental in Bangkok during the winter and the Greenbrier in WV in the summer... 3 years in a row. It totally spoiled me! Hmmm...I could really go for a massage this week, too. Wonder if my client gets a discount? The last pic is one of the spa and is calling my name LOUD and CLEAR. I may have to see what I can do! :-)

All of this doesn't heal the void in my heart right now, but it IS a pleasant distraction and just what I needed. Will post again this weekend when I get back. Have a great week!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Sad. Touching. Beautiful. Heart-wrenching. A story that had to be told, but not for the faint of heart. I cried through much of it, but couldn't tear myself away from it either. It was really well done and at one point Jeff says, honey, it's a movie! But it's NOT just a movie. It's a Hollywood version of the real suffering so many have to endure! And if this is the movie version, can you imagine how bad it is in real life? My heart aches for all those children living in slums across the globe. I have more resolve than ever to make a difference in some way.

Sorry for another down post, but I had to talk about it and a disturbing conversation I had with someone the same night. I was making dinner and went out on the patio to admire my newly planted flowers. My neighbors daughter (who's in her in her 40's, and should know better) was out in the yard and came over to look at our pond. She has some baby Koi fish to share and wanted to see how big it was. We were concerned that maybe our pond was too small to take on a fast growing fish like Koi. Jeff gave the pond a good cleaning last weekend. He was so excited to get it ready for Ruby so she can have little fishies to look at this Summer. Well, now she may not even see them till Fall, but at the time we thought she'd be home soon.  We both were excited to hurry and get fish in there.

So we are standing there talking and having a nice chat when her Dad (our sweet neighbor) calls our house to say they are eating dinner soon. Jeff hollers out the message to us. I say, yea, I have to get in, too because I am making us some good Indian food tonight and we are watching Slumdog's supposed to be a really good film, etc. (Special note: I found out this is NOT the sort of film you want to watch while eating dinner. I couldn't even watch the beginning. I had to leave the room and Jeff told me when it was okay to come back in).  Anyway, her next comment just FLOORS me. She says, "oh, well, there's a child for sale, for ya!" I was so taken aback that I just mumbled, "oh, please don't say such a thing like that!" and quickly changed the subject and went inside. OMG, was that supposed to be funny? Or does she actually think we are "buying" a child? I was horrified! 

All night long I cursed myself for not coming up with some clever comeback. I thought of calling her later, but then, again...why? You just can't explain stupid to someone who's stupid. I wouldn't want it to be weird with our neighbors either (who we just adore). We share a yard, a garden, they watch our animals, and they are like family. So I just let it go and hope she won't be stupid enough to ever say something like that in front of our child and make her feel "bought". Maybe at some point before Ruby is home, I will see her again and find the right words to say and explain it delicately. How would all of you out there in blog land handle it? I don't want to start something, but shouldn't something be said? Or is it better left alone? Maybe she wouldn't "get it" anyway. There are going to be people that come into our life that will be ignorant from time to time. Maybe I should just get used to it now. But geez, I really wish I had thought of a good comeback!

Friday, May 1, 2009

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Yes, I have hit a wall again. With every month and every new season we get a new sense of hope and anticipation. Okay, it's not going to be Fall, but maybe Christmas! Okay, it's not going to be Winter, but how great will Spring be?? Hmmm, alright, so maybe it won't be Spring, but it will be early Summer which is just practically the end of Spring and right around the corner, right?? We make deals with ourselves. We rationalize how much better the next season will be and we tell ourselves that it is not really that far off. She will be fine. We will be fine. It's just a few more months. We are really getting close now!

Well, I'm sorry for the negative vibe of this post, but when on earth is this ever going to end??? We have been supposedly "close" since last November and yet we are in the same limbo mode as 6 months ago! It's so frustrating that some days I just have to take off my blinders and scream! WHY? and WHEN for crying out loud??? GET A MOVE ON IT!!!!

I was pulled out of my stay-busy-and-deny-everything mode recently when I saw someone on the yahoo group mention they have a June board meeting in Thailand. I read it and was like, huh? They are booking June already? But wait a minute...WE are supposed to be at that meeting! I was so sure that June would be the very LATEST we would be going, yet here we are in May with no referral yet. I had talked to Wacap and the SW actually told them a few weeks ago that our file was ready and will be the next referral coming. Well, it's still not here yet and two days ago Kate said "you know, a June referral wouldn't be out of the ordinary... It will be a year since your dossier is in". How is this even possible? When we started this I plowed through the paperwork and got our dossier to them in less than 2 months. The file sat on Andrea's desk for months and somehow never got to Thailand until JUNE. I am still scratching my head on that one. Also when we started, we were told it was 2-10 months to get referral, now it is 2-12 and we are the worst case scenario. Uggh. And with the 2-4 month wait between referral and travel, we have a new "worst case" projected travel of September! This is breaking my heart.

No seashore, no butterflies. She won't see the butterfly and hummingbird garden I started for her. She won't ride her tricycle on the patio we just hedged in. She won't ease into our life here in the warm weather, but may instead be shocked with the cool fall. I know she doesn't know all that she is missing, but I do. And it's (yet another) hard pill to swallow. God please send me more strength and patience. The well is running dry.