About Us

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Long awaited remodel.

Our bathroom is a typical south city bathroom. Small, cramped and OLD everything. Well, about 10 years ago we put in a new vanity and sink, but since then we have not done anything except paint. So we decided to invest in a remodel. We were going to do it ourselves, but we thought better of that. In other words, we did not want to get a divorce so we hired a contractor to start our remodel soon. I can't wait. Now mind you, we have to use the neighbors bathroom if we stay here so instead we are going to live at the local camp site when they start the remodel here in a few weeks time. I can get ready for work there at the camper with full showers and be at work in less time than I normally travel each day. LOL Go figure. DH started to take down a few items. I asked him to set me up with an extention cord in the bedroom so I can blow dry my hair and then he realized we would be without a mirror in the bathroom for several days/weeks before the remodel starts. Ha. Oh well. I can dress and fancy myself up in front of the mirror on his dresser meantime.

Thank goodness for tax returns. If we had not gotten a return this year (next year will be a very sweet return with being able to claim J then on our taxes and the Adoption Tax Credit we will qualify for), we would have put this off another year. These are a few before pictures.

Those of you that live in the city can appreciate the SMALL SPACE we have in our precious bathrooms in our houses. I have ONE and only ONE bathroom in this house and it is impossible to be here when they do this. I dread the dust they will create, but it means J will have a new bath to take her fun time baths in now instead of the kitchen sink (she is growing out of the kitchen sink!)

Our house obviously had been remodeled a few years before we had moved in in 1994 because I know of a few (mae) neighbors that were blessed to move in with the wonderful 40's and 50's pink and or hideous green tiled bathrooms. Ha, I was not that lucky to have those colors, but it was in a bad need of a redo. stay tuned for more to come in the next few weeks when the contractor brings in the plumber, demolition crew and the remodel crew. YEAH. I am so freaking excited. DH and I went out last night and bought the new tube, sink/vanity/mirror set and a HUGE floor to ceiling wood cabinet for storage and then a new shower rod and curtain with matching paint. We bought tile for both the floor and tub surround. It should look pretty good. At least I hope so. fingers crossed.
This is all for J. SO she can take a bath in the big bath and not the sink anymore


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Blessings after so many years of waiting

When I was a child growing up in St. Louis, I had a very large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents (even other in-law grandparents joined in) we kept in close contact with. We had a gathering at our house each year on Easter Sunday after church. We (each family) would dye at least 1-2 dozen eggs and once everyone arrived at our house, the men would take those dozens of dyed eggs over to Tower Grove Park in South St. Louis City and hide them by Klemm ave. They would leave one adult over there and then come back to get us all. We kids, in our Easter Sunday best dresses and suits, brought our empty baskets with us to the park. On the count of 3 we were released by our parents to bask in the glory of recovering the REAL hard boiled dyed eggs. I LOVED THIS event each year. What a blast. No Top Prize, but bragging rights of who collected the most eggs each year. We did this until I was at least 14 years old or so. Then family members started doing their own thing and we usually ended up at my Aunts house after church and enjoyed her (money filled) plastic egg hunt. See, they changed to plastic eggs because in the earlier years we always managed to miss finding at least 1 dozen eggs. Ewwwww, I can't imagine how stinky those lost eggs got in those bushes and trees and grass hiding places. Yick.

Since then, we have not had any immediate family gatherings on my side of the family, although there are young kiddos, but they do through own thing with the in-laws grandparents. Now DH's side does have small kids (7 yrs old down to Julia's 6 months old) so maybe next year when we get together like we did as kids at his brothers house, we can then do an egg hunt. Plastic eggs will rule the roost again. I just know it. Money is the new thing to give. I'll look forward to it next year because.......

Many years have passed in our married lives from 1999 when we had our first ectopic pregnancy. We spent many Easter Sunday's in fears of the waning of our dreams of becoming parents. I had recovered several different Easter's from miscarriages or surgeries so it was hard to keep hope that one day we would enjoy the blessing of a child on an Easter Sunday. We watched our sisters, brothers (most) & cousins have kids and enjoy the Easter Festivities of church, Easter baskets and dinners in despair that we would be the childless couple watching all this transpire. Only with the help of counseling and support groups (and a rock of a husband) did I keep the hope alive and by the blessing of domestic adoption we have finally reached our dreams. We waited and waited with fears of Parenthood never becoming a reality, but what a blessing it is after all these years and heartaches we lived with.

Please, if you are going through infertility and or adoption, please know that you will become the desired parents you and your partner wish to be by keeping the hope alive (even if it is the smallest string of hope).

This little beauty is what kept our hope alive.......

Saturday, March 22, 2008

sorry for the much needed break of blogging...

I took a break out of town with my mom and her boyfriend to Tunica for a few days of gambling. I had such a fun time. It was amazing seeing the flooding though along the ride there and back. WOW. I pray for those in the floods path.

I am going to try to upload a few videos for your viewing pleasure:
sleep over eating rules! This was taken while Julia was eating dinner one night last week. She got about 3/4 the way through her fruits, veggies and cereal and then just dropped her head two times. Luckily I had the camera right there to catch the second and final nod.

This one is of her new trick of reaching for, grabbing and feeding herself some of the gerber banana puffs. She loves these things. Thanks to our friend K and her twins that don't eat them anymore, we got this tube of puffs last week and are almost done eating them. She gets about 20 of them before dinner each night and for snakes if we are out and about around lunch time. (like today at the mall when we got her pictures taken).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

roly poly she is

Julia is now rolling from her back to her front to her back again to her front. WOW. Does this mean I better child proof the outlets, put locks on the cabinets? hehe.. No, no crawling yet, but she did start pushing her legs up under her buttox and lifting her butt like she is trying to get up on all 4 limbs.

She has also discovered her up and down high pitch squeal. She still loves sucking on her toes when on her back.

My baby girl is growing up too fast. Next week she will be six months old. Where the heck has the time gone? We waited for years to have a baby and now that we have her in our lives (thanks to domestic open adoption) the time is flying by entirely too fast.

Ok, off to give her a bath and feed her.

btw, we are finally in the remodeling mode for our bathroom. The first weekend in April we will be having a contractor gut our bathroom and redo it. YEAH. No more shower doors and no more yicky caulking to deal with. We are picking out the tile this coming weekend and new bathtub. FUN. Tax return is ate up with our remodel. Thankfully we planned on this this time around. Next years tax return will hopefully bring us a new hardwood floor all through the house.


Ok, maybe I'll try and get a video of her rolling over and over.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

even if you are not irish, Happy St. Patrick's day.

This will be one of a few tattoos I get in the future. I collect real 4 leaf clovers and plan on adding a tattoo of one on my lower leg one day. My Irish heritage has been traced to a town in Ireland by my late Aunt. She gave her daughter and son full trust that they are to carry out the keeping up of the family tree. Well, my cousin did go to Ireland on his honeymoon a few years back and made a point to find the town our ancestors came from and he also found a pub that a long distant relative owns. He stood in front of the bar and took a picture of the name of it too. I so wish I had that picture. I might have to call my cousin to attain a copy. Our I have searched for our family crest. I hope to one day have a copy of that too. It is a very involved crest. last note on this subject: I will travel to Ireland one day too.

Will you be eating corned beef and cabbage? Have fun, if so. I refuse to eat either. I can't stand the taste of corned beef and my belly does not tolerate cabbage. Yick.

Enjoy the green tomorrow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

splish splash I was taking a bath (tunes sung by Julia)

WARNING..... Baby in Sink taking a bath!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry if these are slow to load.

Friday, March 07, 2008

baby mania, kid mania sales coming up

Yes, I am a freak when it comes to finding the local or greater St. Louis / Illinois baby / kid mania sales.

this is one coming up next weekend in Edwardsville IL
Shop ‘Til You Drop
at Kidmania
The community will find great deals on children’s and maternity
items at the Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/
Glen Carbon’s annual Kidmania community garage sale
event on Saturday, March 15, 2008. The event will be open
to the public from 8:00 a.m. – Noon and will be held at the
Edwardsville High School located in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Admission is $3.00 per person and children six and under
are free.

Mehlville baby mania sale:
M.O.M.S. Club has the date set for their Spring Baby Mania (children tailgate sale) so you can plan ahead.

Saturday, May 3, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00

Mehlville Senior High School, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road, Front Parking Lot

APril 19th ....open to the public 1-3 pm
Lindbergh High School

Call: Kim @ 314-631-2448 to reserve a spot.

if you know of anymore sales like this, please let me know and I will add it to this post.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Birthmother visit and letter writing.

In an open adoption, adoptive parents and the birthparents can tend to agree to open terms (not written terms ) of when visits can happen by either party or when letters and pictures can or will be sent. So today, after a near 3 month no contact time frame) we met up with Julia's birthmother at her friends house. We also got to see Julia's two birth siblings, her birthgrandma and the friends and their daughter who hosted the gathering. We all had so much fun.

A week ago, we knew we would be meeting up with all of them and I felt a little nervous about it, but today I was not nervous at all. More curious of how things would play out this whole evening. They went better than expected and lots of pictures were taken. (For Privacy reasons, I won't post those pictures on here.) I will always cherish these moments and pictures as we can tell Julia as she grows up who each of them are and how much they mean to her and DH & I. This gift Julia's birthmother gave us the best gift any couple could ask for in their dreams of being able to become parents. Especially after 5 miscarriages, two ectopic pregnancies and many heartaches throughout the 8 years of infertility and losses.

What a joy adoption can be and is for us. Julia's birthmother made the most unselfish decision to make an adoption plan for Julia and we were blessed to have been the couple she selected and felt would be able to care for and raise Julia to the best of our ability. That was not an option for Julia's mother at that time in her life while pregnant with her and up to delivery. But she reaffirmed this belief and feeling with us tonight when she hugged us goodnight and said she was so thankful for us in her life. I whispered back into her ear that we are so thankful for her in our lives too. Sometimes that frequency of seeing each other can be months away, but we know she thinks about Julia every day and night. I know she talkes to her kids about Julia and us and how we are able to provide Julia with a great home to grow up in. It is amazing how loving the birthsiblings are with Julia too. We got some good bonding time with them both and really enjoyed catching up on how they are doing with school and such. They are so beautiful and we are so lucky to have them in our lives to share with the milestones of Julia's growth.

Today I sat down and wrote our second letter to Julia's birthmother(bm). I wanted to do this a month ago, but with being sick I slacked off a little. Julia's bm did not mind it being late and was actually very thankful for me having brought the letter along with 15 or so pictures to give to her directly. Last time I wrote the letter was when Julia was 2 months old. We had not talked to her(bm) for a while so I had sent the letter off to the agency to send it to her when she was ready emotionally to handle reading it and seeing the pictures. This was during a time when we did not converse or see her in person for a while. I did not want to make her wait for the agency to contact her to see if she was ready for the letter and pictures so I brought them with us tonight and gave them to her. They LOVED the pictures and she said she would save the letter for later to read in private. I totally respect her decision for doing that because I think it might make her a bit emotional reading about Julia's milestones in the last few months and felt she did not want to break down in front of everyone there.

I'll make sure I keep on top of the letter writing starting tomorrow until the end of the next two months. I'll have lots of updates for her and many milestones Julia is meeting and surpassing. It will be fun to journal them into her letter as they happen. That is my goal, to keep up on top of the writing as it happens. LOL Good luck, right?

I have these letters saved on flash drive and also copied what pictures I sent with the letter (didn't do that for the first letter and now I regret it. ). So this letter covered Thanksgiving, day after Turkey day doctors appointment, December milestones, Christmas update and her January milestones and updates. So the next letter will involve her first ever Valentines Day, First St. Patty's day celebration and parade in dogtown (I took a day of vacation in hopes that the weather is nice and she and I can go to the parade together), Easter and then court finalization in April. Oh and our first SPring 2008 camping trips.

I am glad that Julia's bm enjoys getting these updates. We are so thankful for her gift of Life in Julia and we can only begin to help return the rewards by sharing Julia's life feats with her. Thank Goodness for our connection. Thanks to Crissy for introducing us to this situation of adoption. And thanks to our agency, A Gift of Hope Adoptions for helping our birthmother through the rough times and us through the new experiences.

Another note is that we mentioned tonight that DH and I want to adopt again and we hoped it would happen in the next 5 years or so, but DH and I decided (more dh than me) last night that we would want to do that quicker than 5 years from now. More like 2 if we can find the means of funding another attempt to grow our family. Everyone was excited for us too. They know now that we want Julia to have a sister or brother and to make our family a family of 4. Ahhhh, amazing to feel that joy!

Now I need to go start the process of planning Julia's Forever Family Day celebration party for after her finalization in mid-April.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I want to share this with others that might still be in the process of adopting for the sake that if they choose open adoption, it can be a great sense of Joy with the amount of openness we have with our birthmother situation.

We are a family of 3, but we have such an extended family. Yes, we inherited an extended family with Julia's adoption and we welcome that through the rest of our lives. What a pure blessing. They are all family no matter who and how we got there.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

did you enjoy yesterday?

the snow, did you enjoy it?

how much did u get if you live in the area?

my doggies loved it!

it was pretty when coming down. We, at work, watched the beautiful fluffy stuff fall all day. The drive down 270 to 44 east was not too bad last night. We will see this morning.