Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Read it and Weep!

So I was reading through some other blogs and I always come across entries that move me or make me cry. This one really touched me so I thought I'd share it. Click here to cry.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Still Waiting!

Still waiting...nothing new going on. Nothing to report. Ugh! Tired of waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Spent the weekend doing some cleaning and some outdoor work. Thanks to my brother Todd for coming over on the hottest day of the year (115!) to do some yard work with me. After weeding the nasty little piece of landscape at the front of my house, we laid down rock...but only after we had pulled the rock from Dad's house (he is changing his, so we transplanted some stone). Horribly hard work and Todd did 10 times more than I did. Thanks!
After that we power-washed the house...it was so gross before (all moldy and mildewy at the back of the house) that I'm embarrassed to post this but WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
Then we worked on the deck (which I finished myself Sunday). I was ready to just pull the whole thing out and put down a slab...but wow! Now I just need to seal it. Thanks Joey for letting Todd borrow the power-washer so he could bring it to my house!
Here is a cute picture of the kitties...they are strictly indoor cats but they were longing to go outside this weekend since I spent so much time out there. Sam is feeling better...he got a shot of steroids on Friday and the coughing is close to being gone. He is also on antibiotics--which he does not like the taste of. Do cats really like bright pink, fruit flavored medicine? I have found a great combination of mixing it with tuna juice strained straight from the can and he drinks that pretty readily. Why can't they just make cat antibiotics that are tuna-flavored?
Last, but not least...after reading several blogs of fellow Ethiopia adopters, I have realized the emphasis placed on HATS! Apparently hats are an important part of good parenting so I bought a few over the weekend to take with me!
I'll keep everyone updated if I hear anything new!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shopping and Books!!

In case I never mentioned it before, I have an addiction. I'm not talking about the one with the red label and lots of caffeine (Coca-Cola)...I'm talking about books. I have lots of books. Here is a picture of my "library." Keep in mind, I have another full bookshelf in my room and a half-filled short one in the guest room. I estimate that 75% of these are kids books and "tween" books because I have never thrown away a book in my life! Not to mention that, thanks to Ebay, I went back and collected all the ones I used to check out of the library as a kid! So today, we went to the book fair. I bought these books pictured below...only spent around $40. Pretty good...the Strawberry Shortcake books are the best! One is scratch and sniff, one is "touchy-feely," and one has sparkly foil pictures. The CD is the best of Wee Sing--great find for $3.50. So here is what the baby's bookshelf looks like. I have lots more kids books in the "library" but I only moved in the youngest ones and will switch them out as she grows. Here is the picture I promised of the 3-in-1 book...cloth book, teether and toy in one. Went to Wal-Mart today...continued my committment to buying a few items everytime I go. Today was med day (not nearly complete, but a good start).Baby Tylenol, Q-tips, wipes, 2 strengths of Baby Orajel (thanks Stacie for the heads up to the teething possibility!), sunblock, and my favorite...the Triaminic strips. What are these for, you ask? They are benadryl strips...one strip equals 1 tsp of childrens benadryl and these are much easier to carry on a plane and less messy for dosing mid-flight. I plan to test them out before we leave Addis because some kids get excitable instead of drowsy from them. I bought Triaminic brand because you get 16 per box versus 10 per box of Benadryl brand for the same price...also the only flavor I could find in the Benadryl brand was vanilla mint--do infants like that flavor? The Triaminic are grape and since Baby Tylenol is grape, I'm pretty sure it will be well-received!

Last but not least...any time I'm doing anything in the nursery, the gang of fur-balls follow me. I was snapping pix of my purchases and looked over and here is what I saw...I call it "Cat Food!"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nothing new to report!

Talked to Lindsay earlier this week and she said that everything is moving "sluggish" in Ethiopia. The courts are now closed and it is also their new millenium celebration so the focus is not really on my referral over there! Guess I have to let that one go! It is only every thousand years you get to celebrate a millenium so I'll let them have their fun without telling them to get back to work.


Here is a new picture of Madi, taken last night. My brothers, their wives, and I went to our friends' Joey and Angela's house (we missed you Angela!) and played with the babies. J & A's son is about to turn a year old and I was going to post a picture of him but thought I should ask first...then I realized (after uploading my camera) that I had a great one that epitomized the kid. Baby Will is always giggly and happy and "on the move." I managed to get his feet in the picture as he crawled away.


The vet finally called back today with Sam's test results. He has feline asthma (which is what I thought before we did all these tests) and I am happy with this diagnosis. We are going to try benadryl and new food because it is probably allergic in nature. I gave him a taste of children's benadryl, hoping he would like it and slurp it up (Ollie does!). This would have been nice since he is supposed to get a teaspoon and a half but NO! One tiny taste and he went nuts...scratched me (he has NEVER scratched anyone) went tearing off around the house foaming at the mouth. I swear...one tiny taste and probably half a cup of slimy foam. This picture is after he had calmed down--he is still drooling and it's ten minutes post-tasting. So tomorrow, we will try pills! That should be a blast!

I also got a diaper bag from LLBean today. I am so excited about it. It is very roomy and durable and comfortable to carry. It will be great for traveling (I think...I've never travelled with a diaper bag). My previous experience with LLBean bags has been wonderful...they are so sturdy and durable. I may order a matching carry-on bag that is almost identical (without the changing pad, of course!).

That is it for now...going to the Book Fair tomorrow! Can't wait. I'll let you know what I find. I found a great book the other day; a cloth book with a "handle." The handle is made out of teething material with a rattle. I'll have to take a picture and post it--what a great find--book, teether and toy all in one!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baby Fever

Spent several hours tonight with my niece, Madi...she is SO cute and has the sweetest disposition. She was awake for a long time, fascinated with the ceiling fans...then, blink, sound asleep. So adorable. If you click on my dad's blog, he posted a picture of her sleeping in my arms...the picture of me is horrible but no one wants to look at me anyway--look at the baby!

I hosted a baby shower for a co-worker last week. She had her little boy a few weeks early so we actually got to play with him while she opened gifts...he's a cutie at a whopping 5 pounds.

Then I've been following Micah and Mamush's stories...needless to say, baby fever is spiking! I am so impatient...I know I can't go until the courts reopen, etc. I just need info...who is she, what is her name, how big is she. I tell myself that once I get this, I will be satisfied and can rest easily as I prepare for her and wait on the courts. Yeah Right!! As soon as I see that adorable face, I will be ten times more impatient. A year from now, I'll laugh at this post...thinking "it wasn't THAT long." Already the home study process and getting the I-171H seems like it took no time even though I agonized over each and every step and delay. So that is the adoption update.

On the homefront...Sam went back to the vet today. He got gassed and then they did a tracheal lavage and cleaned out "a lot of junk" from his lungs. The vet is leaning towards an inflammatory process like asthma (that would be a great diagnosis, considering the other possibilities) but I have to wait on the test results; those will be 3-5 days. The good news--his heartworm tests were negative. Thank goodness! After the research I did...let's just say, nasty stuff! Sam is feeling pretty good overall. He was still pretty groggy when I brought him home. He was all glassy-eyed, stumbling and just kept walking in circles. I couldn't stand to watch him, so I took Ollie dog and went to my parent's (where I met up with Madi!). Sam is much better now and only slightly wobbly when he first gets up. The vet said the anesthesia would take longer to wear off because he is so fat!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Feeling Better!

Feeling better these days...just getting anxious for a referral. I don't know why, because courts are closed and I'll have to wait anyway. But just to see a picture and know her....

Anyway...if you want to see some awesome pix of Micah (and some of friend Mamush--who comes home later this month) click on this site. Hopefully Kevin and Stacie don't mind me posting the link. They should be leaving Ethiopia shortly with baby Micah! It sounds like they are happily exhausted and ready to come home but not really ready to leave...makes total sense to me!

Not much been happening the last couple of days. Sam (my very overweight 2.5 year old orange tabby) has developed a cough which got really bad the other night. So I took him to the vet on Thursday and he had some abnormal findings on his chest x-ray...they are going to gas him on Monday and explore...it could be an infection, asthma, heartworms...who knows. He hasn't coughed since he came home from the vet's so maybe we scared it out of him. Hopefully it is nothing serious. Those that have known me for awhile know about my ordeal with a certain other 3 year-old orange tabby (we won't go there) that ended badly several years ago. I got Sam shortly after that and Sam is my absolute sweetheart...I hope everything is okay but I will not put him through the torture that Smuckers went through. So, I'm praying for feline asthma or an infection...we can handle those. It certainly hasn't interfered with his ability to eat!! I'll keep everyone posted.

Found someone that wants to house sit for me while I'm in Ethiopia...so I don't have to worry about the cats being alone for a week. Ollie-dog will still go to Mom's--he loves going to her house and I think he will need her in my absence. He gets a little pitiful when I leave! So him and Daniel-dog can play together for a week...that will be fun.

That's it for today...starting a long stretch of working days so I'll post when I can!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Emotions...

Tonight I pretty much broke down...I don't blog much about my feelings, kind of shy about that but thought I'd share. I think part of it is knowing that Stacie is over there now bonding with her son and making friends with Jenni's son. I've been following lots of blogs and watching people in their journeys but these are people I know! (Well...I've never met them, but we are sharing this process piece by piece, signature by signature). Also, just knowing that my agency CHI is off the ground in Ethiopia has really brought everything around to reality (does that make sense?). Read Jenni's posting on her blog about the email Stacie sent her...about their sons playing together on the other side of the world. I just keep wondering where my daughter is and what she is doing......

I have decided on a name...I have a couple of backups in case I get my referral picture and the name just doesn't work but I think I have it. Sorry...it's a secret!! I want to be able to announce it all at once. Now just waiting on a referral. Could be days, could be weeks, could even be months--I hope not that long! I shouldn't complain...those adopting from other countries wait years.

Feeling better from my shots. My arm is still bruised but looking much better. Some have questioned why I got the yellow fever since it is not required. It is required for some other countries in that region and there is always the possibility (although unlikely) of emergency landings or evacuations, etc. I am not risking having to get vaccinated in a foreign country because we had to make an emergency landing elsewhere for something. And it looks like my insurance company is going to cover about 80% of the costs...so why not?

Working on some packing lists--although won't really get serious on that until I get my travel guide (that comes after the referral). Did buy some vacuum bags...may or may not use them depending on how much room I have.

Well...off to bed!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Update from Ethiopia

CHI's Ethiopia Director, Sharon, is currently in Ethiopia assisting the first families take flight--so to speak. If you click on CHI's link to the right you can read more but I thought I would post an excerpt of her update here for you to read. Very encouraging.

We currently have sixteen staff working at Children's Hope/Ethiopia. All of them have felt led by the Lord to enter into this work with Children's Hope, House of Hope. They are some of the most gracious, hardworking, dedicated people that I've ever met. We currently have four nannies (in title), however, it's amazing to see that everyone takes part in taking care of the children with Jesus' joy…from the guards to the cleaners. It's amazing to see. So now when I'm asked how many nannies we have I will say sixteen (with an explanation, of course!).

We have ten children now at the House of Hope. One arrived just a couple of days ago and two arrived today (Monday). Four of those children will be traveling home to their American families over the next three weeks. The first will arrive in St. Louis on August 11. All of the children are absolutely adorable and loved very much by our staff.

Today, I visited one of the orphanages from which we have been receiving referrals. I was so impressed with this orphanage. The director of the orphanage was so welcoming and inviting. Nothing was off limits in visiting her or the orphanage.The orphanage was bright and colorful and clean and has been established for only three years. Children's Hope is the only US agency that this orphanage places children with. The director spoke very highly our agency and the integrity of our Ethiopia representative (Tsegay). She is a Christian and I could see and hear the passion in her face and voice as she talked about her work and the children. She places children 1-day-old to 7-years-old. She has several babies who were abandoned in the streets at birth, (still with the afterbirth attached) and the police often call her when they find newborns abandoned on the streets. She cares for twenty children at a time. I will be visiting other orphanages in the coming days.

What I've witnessed and experienced here in Ethiopia will change me forever. I know that I will leave this country having received far more than I can ever give. Nevertheless, I am humbled to be doing this work for the Lord.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Weekend's over, so sad!

My long weekend has come to an end. I managed to get in some shopping, cleaning, laundry, relaxing, and recovering.


Not to scare anyone that still has to get their shots but here is what my arm looks like 48 hours after my yellow fever shot. Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt (unless I poke at it too much)...it hurt when I got it though. It hurt enough that the other four shots were not noticeable. The tables turned about 12 hours later when all the other ones got sore...had some stiffness lifting my arms (made folding laundry a more loathsome task than usual). But now they are pretty much better except the ugliness from the yellow fever shot...with my fair skin, I tend to be hypersensitive to anything that causes a reaction so I shouldn't be surprised. Other than a little fatigue and nausea, I think I faired pretty well for 5 shots at once.


Went to the movies yesterday with my sister-in-law and her step-mom Sylvia. Lesa is a bigger musical freak than I am (didn't think that was possible!!). So we went to see Hairspray. It was really good...it was pretty funny but then you add in the fact that Christopher Walken is married to a very robust John Travolta dressed as a women--hysterical. I will be adding this soundtrack to my MP3 player.

Went shopping today with Mom...I bought this shelf with the canvas totes thinking it was going to be bigger and could place under the nursery window. When I assembled it and saw the size, I took down the plain, ugly shelf in the nursery and put this up in its place...much better. And the lamp looks like it is part of the set...what luck.

I also bought some new pajamas from Wal-Mart. They are Hanes Tagless; they are all separates and in different styles. I know this is a weird thing to blog about but they are SO comfortable and fit so good, I may never wear real clothes again. I may just wear them on the plane.

I even got in some relaxing (okay, I slept--but that is relaxing!). Here is a great picture of all my animals getting along...who said cats are the only ones that like to play with yarn. It is amazing how many different directions one piece of string can be pulled at once!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

35 years!

Happy Anniversary
Dad & Mom!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hot Shots!

Hot - It is so hot here!! Upper nineties (without the heat index) and no break in sight! The grass is brown and dry, everything is wilty. I can not stand the heat. I'd much rather be cold and be wrapped up in a quilt drinking hot chocolate.

Shots - Went to the Health Dept for my shots this morning. Ouch! Let's just say that I'm glad that I had already had Hep B, tetanus, and MMR. So I got 5 shots...my arms hurt! But so far, that is the only bad part...a little headache and achiness earlier but nothing ibuprofen couldn't handle. The only thing left on the disease list is a prescription for malaria meds...haven't decided whether to do this or not. Supposedly if we stay in Addis, the elevation is high enough that there are no mosquitoes! But if there is a mosquito in 1000 miles of me, I'll get bitten. The problem is that the med for malaria makes your skin super sensitive to sunburn (just what a white-skinned redhead needs to hear when traveling near the equator!). We'll see.

I'll post more later this weekend. Planning to do a little shopping and go to the movies tomorrow if I feel well enough.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Check out some other blogs!

So nothing new to report on my end...starting my shots tomorrow. So I'll probably be feeling crummy the next couple of days. Ugh!

Lots of news with some of my fellow adopters. Jenni and Jim's court date went off okay with only a slight 24-hour glitch. So they are officially parents. No name picked out but check out their site for pix. They should be looking to travel around the end of the month.

Kevin and Stacie are traveling this weekend to meet and bring home Micah! Pray for safe travels for them. Keep an eye on their blog over the next couple of weeks. I know they will post as much as they can from Addis (depending on the internet!).