Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weekly Inspiration: RAIN

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

I googled dancing in the rain after someone sent me the above quote and found all these gorgeous photos...

Makes you wanna go out and do a little rain dance, now doesn't it? :-)

Sometimes I Grieve

...just a little bit. I grieve the loss of your first 2 years, my daughter. I look through the scrapbook of photos I have of you from one month, 3 months, a year... all the way until now. It aches me that I couldn't hold you then. Couldn't coddle you and love you when you were a baby. Couldn't be there when you needed me most. I know that God has a plan and the plan was you were to be a toddler when you arrived into our lives. I have accepted this and on most days I am just so excited to be your Mom that it doesn't matter what we missed. It matters what we have now. How great it will be to have each other for the rest of our lives! But still, in quiet little moments - every now and then - I am sad for the baby that didn't know how much she was loved. That didn't get to have a Mom and Dad there to baby her and give her all that love and attention. And I get sad for me, too. And your Daddy. That we missed so many little moments. Your first steps. Your first words. Your first smile. It's been hard to watch you grow up from way over here. I didn't get to give you a bottle and rock you to sleep. But I sure will rock you to sleep when I finally see you, my dear.  You are certainly still small enough to rest on my lap. And rock we shall. 

We can't take away the pain of your past. We can't deny the emptiness of your first 2 years. But we can fill up your heart to overflowing with our love so that someday it will be just the good things you remember. This Mom and Dad of yours will never leave your side and will go to the ends of the earth and back (literally) to give you all we have to give and more. These are the things I think about in quiet moments alone.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Poky Little Puppy Puzzle

Bet you can't say that fast 3 times! :-) This darling little puzzle was a gift from my dear cuz, Lauren, when she was up a couple weekends ago. Forgot to post cause there was so much going on around here. Lauren has fond memories of the Poky Little Puzzle from when she was a girl and wanted to share that with her God-daughter. Sweet gift from a sweet cuz!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Good News!

Well, there is so much excitement in the Thai adoption world right now! Wacap got 3 more referrals and one "To Whom" letter last Friday, we got presented at that board meeting last week and are hoping for that "To Whom" letter by July, and Holt just got their June batch of referrals in. One went to a great lady and blogging friend, Terri, from Journey to Little M! Congrats on your gorgeous baby girl! Amazing! We are so happy for you!

Babies are getting their families! Families are finally getting their precious babes! Travel is next and the excitement builds every day. Still a few friends I am dying to see get their info, but I am feeling good about all this movement in Thailand. I feel like things are moving along good and it's only going to be just a little longer for them. God give us all the strength to be patient for our little ones! It sure isn't easy!

I picture Ruby with me every second of the day. I think of her when I wake and imagine seeing her sweet face looking up at me from her crib. I think of her when I grab my morning cup of coffee and imagine her in her height chair (well, that is when we actually have one) and I see myself making her breakfast and singing to her all the while. I picture her in her stroller while I take the dog for a walk in the park. Really, I see her face in every minute, every activity, right there with me. I just imagine how it will be and how I will navigate or do things differently with her beside me. It will be incredible! Even vaccuming or cleaning those floors becomes a happy occasion when I think of her little flat feet pitter-pattering across them. Pitter patter little one! Pitter patter right into my arms where you belong!

Monday, June 22, 2009

How Do You Explain

...how it feels to meet your brother and his wife for the first time? Well, at first it is weird. And cool. And you can't get the silly grin off your face. You have thought about all the things you want to say, but then you meet... and absolutely nothing comes to mind. Just the silly grin. We all stand in the entranceway for a minute. Thankfully, my brother Jason comes to the rescue with a funny joke. Then my long, lost brother John quickly jumps in with some quit wit of his own. Or was it the other way around? Can't remember. Me, I got nothing. Still smiling. A tad nervous. Snapping pictures and watching Mom who is also nervous, but BEAMING. I  love watching how happy she is and am proud of how she is holding it together and not spilling over with tears at this moment. I would have!

Jason cracks some champagne. He and Melissa have gone all out and prepared a 5 course feast for the occasion with a special reserve wine to go with each course. (Gotta love having a wine rep in the family!) So back to the champagne.... We toast to John who toasts to Mom and within minutes the slightly awkward first moments are gone and somehow it feels like we have always known each other. It helps that we all have been talking on the phone and emailing for the last month or so. The rest of the evening just gets better. John and Jason joke back and forth like old buds. Kellie (John's wife) and I totally hit it off. Mom and John head outside for a cigarette break here and there. The food was incredible and the conversation fun and lighthearted. No pressure or pretense. We are all letting the relationship unfold naturally and gradually. But the whole family was excited to get to know them and they were equally excited to know us. We laughed and talked and shared stories for hours. It was comfortable in a way maybe we all hoped for but weren't sure we could actually achieve on the first meeting. Really a great day into evening.

I find myself thinking of our little Ruby from time to time. Wondering if someday she will be so delighted to meet her birth family. How it will feel for her. I want to be with her at that moment if I can. I want her to know them or at least her birthmother and know that it is totally okay to have two families. We are her real family. And so are they. Adoption is a curious and complicated thing. But it is also a LOVE thing and THIS is what I know for sure...

The birthmother never stops loving that child no matter what the circumstance or how much time has past. The adoptive parents never see the relationship as not "real" for the heart sure can't tell the difference. No pregnancy could make their love more or less real. And family is family no matter how they become that way. My love for my child is no less than the love my brother Jase has for two his beautiful sons. My Mom's love for the child she has longed to meet is as real as anything she has ever known. My relationship with my sister in law or my husband's relationship with Jason (and now John) is like that of a sister or a brother. No name or blood or proof has to be present. Just the heart. Love knows no boundries and I can't wait to share with our daughter all of these great lessons and all of the amazing relations in her life. For all of us will have a hand in her future. The mother that gave her those amazing eyes and the mother that will gaze lovingly into them. The ones that gave her life and the ones that will show her all life has to offer. The family I hope she has someday that will further bond her with Thailand, and the big, loving family here that will love her with all of our hearts.

And speaking of our family, here are some shots from our big day...

Mom and John moments after meeting.

Jason giving a toast to John at dinner. I love the look on Mom's face. Like, oh geez, what is he going to say? But Jason is just a natural and gives us all a good laugh. 

Here is John, Kellie, Anthony, Britney (hidden) and Jeff all listening to Jason's speech.

Cute couple Britney and Anthony.

Little Ryan being an angel. He LOVES Britney!

Cute shot of Jason and Melissa. Poor Melissa had to run Ryan to the hospital earlier that day for his knee. He fell and skinned it the day before and was walking around limping like a little old man. So funny cause she rushed him to the emergency room to make sure he didn't have a fracture or anything and they told her he had a severe case of melodrama. LOL! "Miraculously" he was able to walk again by the next day.
John and Jason catching up outside. Although they look serious here, they both have the same great sense of humor and kept us smiling all day.

Kellie and I getting to know each other. She is such a nice person!

Jason proudly displaying a mammoth pile of steak. Not a meat eater myself, but evidently the Kobe beef was incredible. He made some seared tuna earlier and I got a big piece since I don't do steak. It was YUMMY!

The 3 of us.

John and Mom on a ciggy break.

Melissa and I having a nice time. And miracle of miracles, the sun came out that day after weeks of non-stop rain. I think it was a sign. :-)

And I think to myself...what a wonderful world. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

And a happy day it was! A happy weekend, in fact, but I need to do a whole post on Saturday, so I'll get back to that.  This is my handsome hubby proudly holding his Father's Day gift - a coffee mug I had made for him that says "Daddy's Girl" on one side and has her picture on the other. Such a silly little thing, but I thought he'd like it. You should have seen his face light up when he saw his favorite pic of Ruby on it. So sweet!
I got him a cute Mommy to Daddy card too that said all the things I love about him then I had to hand write how much I think he'll be an incredible Daddy. Funny, I couldn't find a single card for the Daddy-to-be...so I improvised a little. 

We started out the day with coffee here, then hopped in the car and drove to Harrisburg to see our Dad's. We had a the biggest, best breakfast EVER with my Dad and Lynn. I wish I would have remembered to take a picture at brunch cause we had so much food on the table you'd sware there were 10 of us eating there! We had a real nice time, ate entirely too much, then headed back to Dad's for a couple hours to talk and hang out.
Me & Dad.

Next we headed over to the Jeff's parents to hang with them. Then Jeff, his Dad, Mom, our nephew, Dailan, and I all went out to dinner.

Here's the whole lot of us after a big pasta dinner. I think I will be doing OT on the treadmill this week! It was a fun day, though. Great to see our families and a wonderful weekend altogether.

Wishing all the Dad's out there a very Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Very Special Day

Today I am meeting my brother for the first time. My mother had a child long ago and the choice was made by her parents to give the child up for adoption. She told me about him when I was a pre-teen and I've always wondered about him. Mom had a huge, hole in her heart all these years not knowing where he is, how he is, etc.  Recently they found each other. This is her whole life's dream come true. It is the dream she dared to dream but wasn't sure would ever happen and yet TODAY she is going to meet him! We all are! 

It's an interesting dynamic as we are about to be new parents through the gift of adoption. It has really given us a full perspective. We hope to be able to find out something about Ruby's birthmother so that she can be united with her some day. We realize more than ever, how very important that is. Thing is, I don't know if we will be able to get much info on her. But I do know we are going to try.

For today, we are excited.  Not only did we find out we have a brother and he is this really nice guy but here he lives only 10-15 minutes from myself and my brother Jason! How ironic is that? It's all so uncanny and we have laughed at the many parallels in our lives. We have all gotten to know each other by phone and email over the last month. It's really cool cause it broke the ice and we have already found we have so things in common. Mom is just beside herself. Happy and excited and a bit emotional, too. My brother Jason is having a big 5 course dinner for us all today. I am bringing a salad and side dish while my new brother John is going to make cheese strudel - Mom's favorite dessert. I laughed when they told me this. I was like, MOM, you couldn't have picked an easier favorite dessert to tell him? Well, John is a sweetheart and was happy to give it a go. Evidently, he is pretty good in the kitchen!

Will share more of our reunion later. Have a great weekend everybody! I know we sure will!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Just found out my good friend, Nancy, and her hubby got their referral!!!! YAY!!!! They have been waiting as long as us and we are sooooo happy for them! It's a good chance we will be in Thailand at or around the same time! Nancy & I met in blog-land and have now become very good friends. What a great month and finally a lot of movement coming from Thailand. So much for that tour slowing things down!

Still praying for Ellie, Terri, Jessica, and Rosemary to get their referral soon and Kam to get those travel dates! Hang in there cause, things are moving, friends! Referrals are coming out and kids are coming home! We heard another family also got their referral from Wacap today. Don't know who that family is, but very happy for them and that child to have a family!

And you know what? I just realized that a year ago today was when we found out we were matched and the social worker said to Wacap, "Don't worry, the Kitzmillers will be matched with her". Gosh, and here we are a year later and FINALLY only a couple months away from holding her in our arms!

Okay, it's worth saying one more time....YAY!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Jeff had a gut feeling about this. My gut gets all mixed with my head so I decided to go work in the garden awhile to try to stop thinking about it. I couldn't get the board meeting off my mind all day yesterday. 

I was half way through the second flower bed when Jeff comes out and says "We got an email!" I could see the look on his face. He was really excited about something. I wrote Kate this morning asking how long after a board meeting does she usually hear something. I never really expected to hear news TODAY. So I look at Jeff. I was like NO, really? From Kate? REALLY?? Now mind you I am all grubby from weeding and he is clean with a white shirt on. He comes running over to hug me anyway. He said, "Yep! I just knew it! We are going to have her by my birthday!" Jeff's birthday is on September 11th and he has been saying that for a month now. His instincts are usually dead on.

The email Kate received from our social worker said she proposed our case to the CAB and we will get more news in July. Kate thinks that means our final approval and To Whom letter and then soon after travel dates. She thinks it is likely we will travel in August! Daddy's birthday wish is gonna come true! And mine, also!

Two more months, baby! Just two more months!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Wednesday in Thailand

Well, not yet. But by 10 pm tonight it will be 9 am on Wed there and they could be presenting our case to the CAB in Thailand. I'm not sure why I believe it's even possible this early on.  I guess I am hopeful because our agency is hopeful. She said it seems like they are trying to really get a lot done before the home land tour ties them up. Hmmm...which should be pretty soon. June is already half over! Hard to believe.

We are staying busy with home and yard projects and planning a trip to the seashore with Jeff's parents in August. They, like us, were hoping Ruby would be with us by then, but at least we know she'll be home soon. Trying to stay focused on that right now. We are in the home stretch and I am grateful for that!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Skinny on Safety

Well, we are just about finished with our baby-proofing! There are gadgets and gizmos set up all over the place. I think we have every potential danger covered, but surely she will come in here and hit her head or bump her knee on something we hadn't thought of. I know I can't protect her from the normal every day stuff. Accidents are gonna happen. I mean, I can't very well put knee pads and a helmet on her. Hmmm...or can I? Yes, of course, I am only kidding!

Seriously, though, there are some great products out there so I thought I'd share some of our finds and what we have done so far. 


Safety First drawer latches on knife and utensil drawers. Bought at BabiesRUs.
Safety First Cabinet locks for under sink cabinet with cleaning supplies and garbage disposal and cabinet with misc appliances. Got these at BabiesRUs, too.
Safety First Oven lock. This thing was a bit tricky to figure out, but easy to install and use once you realize it slides from the hinge and not the slidebar-looking thing on the front. In fact, the thing that looks like it should slide doesn't slide at all and baffled the both of us for a few minutes. It was one of those things that once we did it, we were both like OH! Of course!
Stove guard. Our friends have this and recommended it. The sticky tape that comes with it doesn't work so get yourself some strong-sticking velcro and you'll be good to go. Also helps if you don't stick and unstick it looking for the right placement a couple times. :-) Both oven products were bought from One Step Ahead.

We have 2 baby gates for the kitchen. One blocking the TV/playroom so I can use that area as a sort of safe play-pen type area while I cook since the room is right off of the kitchen and next to the corner where I'll be working. The other gate is for the back winding stairs that go up to her room. I have fallen down these steps myself a time or two so we don't want her going up or down that way. 

We also had to do some real thinking about our basement door. We didn't want Ruby falling down the steps or getting into the stuff in the basement, but couldn't keep door locked because the cat needs to get down to his box. Couldn't do a baby gate cause we couldn't find one with a cat door in it. Don't want the cat box upstairs where her curious fingers might get to it and didn't want to drill a hole in the very old farm house door that leads downstairs. The solution? So simple that it's funny. After scratching our heads for weeks, Jeff said, how about a long hook and eye? Brilliant! It's short enough to keep door closed so Ruby can't come through, but long enough to keep door open about 4" for Max to crawl through. Perfect!

TV Room/Play Room:

First, we put soft corners on the TV cabinet. 
Then we bought screen guards for TV, DVD, receiver, and CD player. 
The sliding glass door alarm is brilliant and was a bargain at $9.99. Keeps door locked and goes off if someone tries to open it.
Jeff is still re-wiring the whole room so all are safety tucked away in the wire covers I bought...
 and all the TV wires are neatly put in this handy black tube thing below.

Again, all from One Step Ahead, except some wire covers from Home Depot. Now all I need are the toy storage bins I've been eye-ing up at Land of Nod and we are play-time ready in there! 

Her Bedroom - There was a big debate on whether or not we needed to tether the dresser to the wall. Our parents thought we were nuts, half our friends said we absolutely HAD to get them, while other friends said they never did and their kids were just fine. It seems to all boil down to whether your kid is a climber or not. Well, recently another friend told me her story and it was all I needed to hear. One child was climbing up the dresser and pulled it down on both her and her sister. Had it not been for the bed that stopped one of the drawers and got it stuck, they could have been crushed. That's enough motivation for me! Call me paranoid or call me smart, but I'm not taking any chances! Besides, it's such a small effort to ensure our daughter's safety. Our friend said to do the "drawer test". Go up to whatever furniture you aren't sure about and open all or most of the drawers. Now lean on it a little. Even Jeff was shocked when we did this to Ruby's dresser and how easily it tipped for such a heavy piece. So off we went to Home Depot for a solution. I wanted to use tethers like the ones below, but we they need to go in studs and we have plaster walls and hard to find studs so went with shims instead. You just put them in tightly under the front legs and it forces the piece back against the wall so it can't tip over. Again, such an easy thing to give such peace of mind!

Tethers available at OneStepAhead.com, BabiesRUS, and maybe Target. Shims you can get at Home Depot or any hardware store. 

We also put locks on the windows in her room. May put them on a few others on the second and third floor, but luckily, a lot of the old windows are half painted shut and really hard to open so we feel okay there. Going to test every single one. The fire place in her room is another issue. We don't use it and I painted it with non-toxic paint. We are going to shove insulation up there or an old pillow so she can't climb in it, although the opening is narrow and it would be very difficult for her to do that. Still, we may just put a big soft something in there to block it completely, but I haven't figure out what yet. Any ideas???
Of course, we also got baby gates for the top of the side staircase and 2 for the center stairs - one for top and one for bottom - and we ordered new carpet today for the stupid floor I tried to sand. It's really in bad shape, all splintery and would cost far more to refinish.

You know, between the rearranging, floor renovation, and safety-proofing... part of me wonders if it would have been easier and cheaper just to move into a whole new house! LOL. At least we can rest easy in the knowledge that Ruby has a safe, protected environment to come home to. Now, for the park and outside the home....I'm going to need some coaching from you experienced moms on how to relax! My diaper bag already includes a plethora of first aid stuff, band-aids, handy wipes, and alcohol swabs. No, I'm not a paranoid first-time mom or anything. Not me. :-)

Jeff just read this and said, "Why don't we just get her a big bubble, Jen?" LOL!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Visit From Cuz

Took a break from house work and renovations for some fun. My fab cousin, Lauren, came up for a visit on Saturday, and as always, we had a great time. She brought her little fuzzy bundle, Simpson, with her and both our doggies got along famously. So cute to see two white furry ones running around the house. (See cute photos below).

The weather has been really strange lately and Sat was no exception. I can not remember the last time we got so much rain in June! Feels much more like April then the beginning of summer. Ah, well, a little rain (okay a LOT of rain) can't stop us from having a good time! We had planned on going to Peddler's Village for a little shopping and wild horses (and terrential rains) couldn't hold us back! It's an outdoor shopping village and when we first got there it was just POURING. So we went for a long, lingering lunch first until it lightened up enough for us to hit the shops, then came home and had dinner here with the hubby. Here's a little before and after. The "after" picture is just horrendous of me, but so funny that I had to post it.

Clean and dry....

...getting wet but still having fun! (Check out the flooded street in the background!)

Cute cousins taking time out for a photo op.

Hey, did she say TREAT?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Little Update!

Got an email from Kate at Wacap today in response to my email asking her if she heard anything after last week's board meeting. I know it's too soon, of course, but Kate for some reason seemed to think there was a possibility we'd get presented at this one or the next so I thought I'd ask. Turns out she just got an email last night from our social worker saying she received our child acceptance letter and will present us at the CAB (Child Adoption Board) soon. SOON! 

Okay, I know. Before I get all excited I need to remember that "soon" is a relative term here. Especially in the world of international adoption. It could mean next month...or 2 months from now. BUT it could possibly - just maybe - mean the next board meeting on the 17th! I am kinda excited about that possibility! Guess we'll have to wait and see. Fingers crossed!!

Friday, June 12, 2009


This image says it all. I am tired. I have Ben Gay slathered all over my shoulders and back. I have new appreciation of our ancestors of the female variety. How on God's great earth did women do anything but clean back in the day? And MY, how strong their arms and back must have been! This old house must have been much harder to clean back when the fireplaces were walk in and their main mode of heating and cooking. Things weren't sealed up properly back then either. Add in horses and stables and the mess you'd track in all over the house and uggh! What a mess it must have been. I just can not imagine.

You see, I thought my house was clean. Oh, there's the occasional pile up of paper work or clutter, but in general, the place usually looks pretty good. I dust. I vaccum. I clean the bathrooms, etc.  Jeff uses the swifter thing and helps a lot around here.  We used to have a house cleaner come twice a month to give the place a good once over, but when I stopped traveling it seemed silly to pay someone for what I could do myself. Boy, I am re-thinking that now!

Can I just tell you I can't BELIEVE how dirty my house was when I really took a super close look. I have to wonder how deep the last housekeeper cleaned. And once I did take a real close look I could not be stopped! Every corner, every crevise....nothing was safe from my scrutiny. 
For one, when you have a 300 year old house, you have 300 year old crevices. You have gaps between the wide plank floors that require a toothbrush type scrubber to get the gunk out. There are all sorts of cracks and corners for dust bunnies to lie in this house and I am shocked I never noticed before. I think the mop and swifter just glazes over the top. My knees are a bit sore from going around on all fours in search of said dirt, but let me just say with confidence - those floors are clean enough to eat off of now! Secondly, all the moving of stuff from one room to another and the sanding caused a lot MORE dust to surface. It got worse before it got better. I have been at it now for 3 straight days. Wow, what a lot of work. Feels good... in an exhausting sort of way. Well...now that it's done it feels good! :-)

 I can see my Gram smiling down from Heaven. She used to be obsessed with cleaning her house. Her name was Katherine (Kate) and I used to call her "Katie Spic-n-Span". LOL. (I get it now, Gram. I really do.) I also get that the next time I get a housekeeper she needs to have good knees for scrubbing 3 floors worth of hard wood floors! Mine are not cutting it! 

Thai For Kids!

Thai for parents, too! Found this book on fellow blogger Becca's site and ordered right away. This is EXACTLY the sort of thing I have been searching for all year! Just came in the mail today and I can not tell you how happy I am with this! It contains every word you could think of to communicate with your child. There are both Thai and Caucasian characters and cute illustrations for each scenario - like family visits, celebrations, kitchen, bathroom,...even clothing! Some hilarious words in there too like dog poo and booger (with illustrations, LOL) that keep the book fun and silly for the young reader. 

I think it's a GREAT way for Jeff and I to learn a lot of words especially associated with children and will help us communicate with Ruby in the beginning.  Also a terrific tool for teaching her the language later. I like that the pages show a bit of Thai life and culture, too. Oh, and it comes with a CD. Haven't listened to it yet, but I am guessing it helps you with getting the right tone for each word. There is a little reference page in the front of the book that easily explains the way each letter or vowel sounds, too. Very, very cool! So excited to learn this stuff for my baby!

ABSOLUTELY AWESOME MUST-BUY BOOK! (No, I don't work for the publisher, but I liked it so much I wrote and thanked them today!) You can pick up Thai for Kids at Amazon.com. 

Well, what are you waiting for? Get shopping! 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pandora's Box

Ever notice how one home project turns into a little of this and a little of that and before you know it you have redone a whole room? Yea, well we have too. It started with a little office swapping... and turned into a major reno project! I knew the carpet in Jeff's office was shot, but had no idea how bad till he got all his things out of there. Our old cat made a mess of it and it had to be ripped out. Stains everywhere. We tore it out and then remembered why it was carpeted. Oops. So now we have to re-do the hardwood floors and/or pick up a nice 8 x 11 rug. Not to mention a few things we need up in Jeff's office. Let's hope we don't discover anything else!

Things are always tricky with this old house and today's challenge was when Jeff and our nephew, Anthony, were trying to bring down my hutch to the 2nd floor. We all forgot how narrow the stairway is from the 3rd to 2nd floor. The poor guys struggled and sweated and turned that thing every which way to get it down. Have NO idea how we got it up there in the first place! Well, they finally got it angled just right and we were all excited when one foot of the hutch went straight through the ceiling, sending down a pile of dust and drywall. Really, I would have screamed had it not been so darn funny. We all just laughed then they finally got to set that heavy thing down. So now Jeff is fixing the drywall, I am touching up the wall that got scraped, and my hutch is sitting in our bedroom waiting for the floors to be done in my new office, formerly Jeff's office. 

I'm pooped. Jeff is pooped. Today I have ripped up a rug, chisled out staples and floor tacking out of the floor, vacuumed and scrubbed the floors, and finished scrubbing the hard wood floor upstairs in Jeff's new office and the sitting room adjacent to it. Uggh. I ache in muscles I forgot I had. Jeff pulled out a lot of the carpet and drug it outside, hauled a zillion things up and down the stairs today and put together his office, all while working and making calls. I must say, we worked our tushies off, but it looks good! Jeff has a nice, clean, quiet work space upstairs and I will have my desk in the room right next to Ruby's bedroom. It's perfect! Funny we hadn't thought of this arrangement before. Worth all the hard work.

But for now, I need to go rest my weary 40 year old body before tomorrow's project...sanding and staining the floors. Uggh.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Project Baby Proof

Daddy installs window locks in Ruby's room.

Jeff & I are back home safe and sound and kicking into full throttle with house projects.  Been so busy, in fact, that I can't believe how fast the days are going! We are baby proofing, rearranging and organizing like nobody's business. We decided he should move his office upstairs before the baby gets home and I would take his. So we were moving drawers and files and furniture and cleaning along the way. It needed to be done anyway. So much clutter in both of our offices. 

I ordered a few more safety things from One Step Ahead the other night and we hit Home Depot last Saturday for some special locks and shims (for the dressers so they can't fall over). We have locks and latches for everything! I started washing Ruby's clothes, too. I had talked about it for some time, but finally took the tags off all the items I thought for sure would fit and did a load. So sweet to see her stuff hanging down there! So I'm tired, but having fun prepping for baby. :-)

Pretty little laundry piles.

Check out these cute socks with the critters on them!

Me cleaning the floors. I am smiling, but really I am thinking, dear God, how I miss my cleaning woman!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fashionable Girl

Ruby has no idea what Momma has in store for her. In a few years she may be a tom boy. She may be far more interested in jeans or play clothes than dresses. All of this is A-okay with me as long as she is happy and healthy. But for the first couple years she's all mine and I can tell you she is going to be sporting some serious fashions! Not only is Mommy quite the shopaholic, but she has some wonderful friends that have contributed to her wardrobe as well.

Look at this beautiful little dress my friend Dawn got for Ruby! Such a wonderful gift! She also got our Miss Ruby the CUTEST little butterfly shaped sun glasses. Can't wait to see our little Ruby in her new dress and shades! Okay, just can't wait to see her PERIOD, but the cute ensemble is a bonus!
Pretty, pretty dress and matching shoes I found on sale the next day.
Detail on shoes...and look how perfect they match!
Are these not the cutest shades? Love 'em!

Last but not least, Ruby's Momma paid a little visit to a certain favorite department store. Saw that polka dot swim suit above and could not resist! And then a quick visit to Anthropologie and Mom had a matching ensemble. It was only after I got both that I remembered my dream from last week about us in matching red outfits. LOL. Subconscious shopping inspiration. Like I don't think about shopping enough in my waking hours.

So, yea...our little Miss Ruby will be pretty in pink...and red... and well, suffice it to say she's going to be very fashionable girl. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old Friends

Jen & I grew up one block from each other. Her Mom used to play with my Dad as kids so there was never a time we didn't know each other. Like sisters, we are the best of buds and are sometimes SO alike. Other times we are total opposites and each have our own unique way of viewing the world. Still we are the dearest of friends. We make each other laugh and always have a great time together. It's really been a great vacation. Thursday was Jen's 40th birthday so we went for dinner and out on the town in Delray. I just love Delray... a very cute, artsy town with lots of great restaurants, live music, shops, art galleries, and a great beach. I could live there! We had a really a fun time that night.
All of us at Jen's B-day dinner.
Me & the Hubby

Jen's husband, Mike, and Jeff ended up in the same field and are now business partners. So Jeff came down to FL this week for work. Jeff usually works from home, but needed to be here for some really important meetings they have this week. 

Me, I was here to see Jen, celebrate her birthday, and get some much needed R&R! I decided I was not going to be sad this summer even if it takes awhile to get our travel dates. I am so grateful to have gotten that referral before fall! Okay, if we don't hear anything by August, it will probably get to me again. But for now, I really want to make the best of this summer. It's our last as a couple and although both of us CAN'T WAIT to be parents, we ought to take advantage of the time we have now to do things we won't have time for later. We actually went out dancing the night of Jen's birthday. I can't even TELL you how long it's been since we were out dancing! Possibly the last time we danced was at a friends wedding 4 or 5 years ago and I have no idea how long before that. LOL, it will probably be another 5 till we do it again, too! Well, unless you include dancing around the house with our little Ruby! I can tell you THAT surely will be done!

But anyway, we have had a good time here both going out and just hanging out. There is a very cool movie theater here called MUVICO that we went to one night. Only a handful of them in the country. You can eat dinner either in the restaurant or order it to your seat. There is valet parking and you can even order up a bottle of wine with actual wine glasses - not plastic - to take in with you. (Yes, it is for Mommy & Daddy date night only. No kids allowed because they serve alcohol). You sit on these cozy little red couches with a little armrest/tray for your food and beverage. It's really a neat place.  Jeff has been talking about it since the last time we went a year ago, so we HAD to go! Funny, though, as much as we enjoyed the experience, we both kept thinking how nice it would be if little Ruby were sitting there in between us and how much fun it will be when we take her to a movie theater for the first time. Lots of great firsts coming up!

The weather has been a bit cloudy and rainy this week, but it's always nice in the morning so I have managed to get in some pool and beach time. LOVE the sun! In an attempt to both get in tip top shape AND do fun things we have never done before (or not for a long time), Jen and I have been roller blading most everyday. I also bought us hula hoops yesterday to get back in touch with our inner 12 year old. LOL. Yes, I really did. I believe Jen's response was, OH MY. But hey, 40 is the new 20! Okay, well 30, perhaps? Anyhow, going to try our skills with the hulas later and will let you know how that goes! haha. I figure if it kept our waistlines thin and flat back then, maybe it could help now. That is if we can actually get the thing going around without pulling out a hip. LOL. Hey, you only live once! Why not have fun?

New Friends

Making such good friends over the last year has been such an unexpected gift. I thought maybe I'd be lucky to get to know a few adoptive families and find friends for Ruby that she can really relate to and connect with down the road. I also thought it would be so nice to reach out to other Mom's and exchange stories and such. But what I didn't expect was to make such good friends. Friends who are a constant support, a lift when I am down, a kind word from someone who has been there, an excited cheer when the news is good. Friends who have become a part of our daily lives, though they live in another town, another state, even across the globe. 

We follow your blogs and anticipate each step of your journey as we travel through our own. It is not uncommon for us to sit at dinner and one of us say, hey,  Terri and Chris are getting their referral this month!...did you know they got to meet Jessica & Matt?...I bet Nancy & John will get their referral next!...Did you read Ellie's sweet post today?...or read Rosemary's? Did you see the incredible box of goodies Jessica sent me? Did you see Mireille's newest stunning pics of the girls? Oh, and Sharon, wonderful Sharon, and those gorgeous boys! How much we think of you all and I'm sorry cause there are more that we follow and we love you all, but these are the friends I have gotten to know and "talk" to often so I mention them above.  I hope I get to meet all of you out there someday.

Dawn, from Red Thread Family is another great friend I feel so lucky to have met. How nice it is when you finally meet a fellow blogger and find the conversation so comfortable and easy! Such was the case last weekend when we met up at the local Chilli's. Just like my meetings with Rosemary and Ellie (and phone conversations with Nancy) we chatted like old girlfriends that had seen each other just yesterday. Been following Dawn's blog for some time and was hooked from day one with her witty posts, great sense of humor, and what a beautiful, fun family they are. In fact, she was closing her first blog "Eggrolls & Chopsticks" and I begged her to keep it up a few more days so I could read their whole story. She thought I was crazy, but kept it up for me to read most of it. :-)

I got to meet this lovely person and her daughters on Saturday. It was such a great lunch and we went to a nearby park afterwards. The girls were even more beautiful and absolutely precious in person. Lily is a total sweetheart and we made fast friends. She has the most loving personality! At one point, I had been holding her little sister and after Rosie got up and ran back to Momma, Lily (age 6) hopped on my lap. It was so cute. I had to fight the tears at Lily's affection and how it felt to hold that cute little peanut, Rosie!  They were just so sweet! They brought me a gift bag for Ruby (thank you!) that Lily was excited to hand it me when we first met. I opened it a bit later and found the most adorable sundress and shades for Ruby! (Pics on next post) Can't wait to see her in them! Dawn's little Rosie had a pair of shades on herself and seemed to just love them. She is too cute for words! 

Here I am with Dawn's adorable girls...

And here is Dawn & Rosie at the park....

More pics on Dawn's blog and a funny bit about me pushing Rosie on the swing too carefully. She likes to go HIGH! Poor kid, I was pushing her ever so carefully. New Mom syndrome. :-)

Hello From Florida!

Having a great time down here and heading home tomorrow. The above pic is my dear friend Jen and I coming from dinner last night. We've had a ball hanging out while our guys have been busy working.  So excited today cause the Hubby got me a wireless Verizon card so I can finally get back on the net!  Yay! Been having serious withdrawal from Blogland!

Entirely too much to write so I am going to break the next few posts into categories. Stay tuned...