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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

xmas 2010

Rudolph's Ride Christmas
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Decorating for Christmas 2010

I didn't take any pictures due to camera issues (yup, need a new one, Oh Santa!)

but tonight I had so much fun lifting Julia up to the top branches of the tree to put ornaments on.
Last year she was out cold and too young to participate, this year she was right in the action of helping us decorate the inside. FUN Days we waited so long for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've neglected you for oh so long.

I admit I had to take a break from blogging person stuff due to who was watching, but honestly, I don't give a crap anymore. I want to blog my thoughts and if you happen to log on to this blog and read them and you are family or friend, just know I am just speaking from my heart. That is who I am and if you don't like it, delete my bookmark from your list.

That being said, I am going to go out on a limb and talk about a few things I am dealing with right now. Some good, some bad, and a bunch of GREAT things in between!

Sadly my camera is broke so pictures of the cuteness of Julia and her friends and our family are slow to come. I am going to have to break down and purchase myself a Christmas gift early. LOL I am just waiting for some good deals to happen and might even wait until Black Friday to buy with much savings.

Buying with much savings is my goal. Being a stay-at-home-mom now has really taught me to shave mucho bucko's from our budget.. I can say our budget is way out of whack still, but I am working on that, especially when something as essential as a camera breaks ...

This week I am starting our Christmas shopping. First order was online today from Amazon.mom.com. A gift for Julia! Santa's list this year is going to be crazy long because she sees things and says Santa can bring that to me. I am working on telling her that she must be nice and not naughty in order to possibly get one or maybe two items on that list. LOL Santa is watching you, Julia. I tell her that often.

Friday, October 15, 2010

my candle is lit, please light one for all our angels

http://www.october15th.com/origination.htm

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Please light your candle for all of our angels in heaven (not just mine, but my oldest sister born still several years ago, family members that have had miscarriages and still births or infant losses after birth.

Hugs and prayers to all.

Friday, October 08, 2010

remembering our babies in heaven

October 7th and 10th both bring days of rememberence of our losses of both sets of twins we carried. IVF# 2 lost twins (one girl confirmed) on October 7th 2002 and IVF#3 we lost twins (gender unknown) on October 10, 2003. It stinks that they were both only in the first trimester and only as big as a gummy bear in my womb, but we did see their heartbeats on both pregnancies so I know they were thriving in there, just my body could not tolerate them and bled them out. Makes me so mad that my body failed me two years in a row with two sets of twins each time. I miss them, even if I only knew them in me a few weeks time and by ultrasound a few times.

I love you my baby angels. all of you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

height check at 35 months old.

37 & 3/4 inches tall

she is 35 months old.

IS that tall or what?


Today we weighed her at home with clothes on ....

31.2 lbs.

At 35 months:

your child is 31.2 pounds, and that is
at the 59th percentile for weight.

your child is 37.75 inches, and that is
at the 64th percentile for height.

your child has a head circumference of 19 inches, and that is
at the 41th percentile for head circumference.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ahhhhh moments

While driving around today, the song "Feeling Stronger Everyday" by Chicago came on the radio.... Julia quickly said "Daddy plays guitar (bass) to this song". WOW, she is so smart to recognize that song and associate it with Jeff playing to it at home. I love it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I love a good yard sale score for kids clothes

Yes, I buy a good majority of Julia's clothes 2nd hand. So what. If you can find the bargains like I do, you would do the same or I hope you do already.

Today I went to a sale (before our car broke down, that is another story in and of itself) by our house today and found 40 pieces of clothing for 25 bucks. That included one Harley Davidson winter jacket for 1.00, a Children's place winter lined coat for 3.00, several sets of 4T pajamas, two piece dresses, 4 or 5 pairs of old navy and children's place jeans with adjustable waist lines (score!!) and a good number of 4T (and a few 5T) shirts and play pant separates to mix and match. I LOVE IT. The lady was so happy someone could use these clothes. I saw not a snag or stain on 99% of the clothes. Two of them that do have stains, I know I can get them out. One coat has a nick in the front bottom, not so noticeable. I now have all kinds of 4t items for her winter wardrobe. I am so excited about this.

Finding bargains like this make me so happy. I am on a tight budget (just ask me about the car costs we have had lately) and these finds really help ease the budget for her clothes. Now I need to focus on some clothes for her gymnastics class she will be taking and a few pairs of shoes and boots for the winter. Thank you sellers! This lady today had such wonderful prices (average was .50 cents and 1.00 at most) on her clothes. When I saw the Harley Davidson jacket, I about jumped out of my skin. It ROCKS, even daddio says so (future wanna-be harley owner). LOL

I also found two picture frames that were brand new and a few hand crank flashlights for Julia to take camping.

The day was capped off by hubby rescuing me from our broke down car (that cut my yard sale time, booooo) and taking Julia over to Tower Grove Park wading pool to meet up with her cousin and Aunt.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, bargain bliss.

Oh, and thank you to our friend Crissy, who donated some clothes to Julia this past week also. Winter Snow pants, dresses, pj's. Some 5t so those are for next year. YEAH!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

some milestones and musings and birthday wishes

milestones of late are that she is totally potty trained (shhhh, no jinxing me, ok! ) she has had 1 accident in the last 4 weeks.

sending Happy Birthday wishes to Julia's birthmother.

of late, Julia has been playing the "I'm pretending" card. She will role play and then say she is playing "pretend". She is so cute and I love listening to her make up her stories. I need to start blogging them so I can remember to tell her when she is older what kinds of pretend and make believe she talked about at this age.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fall 2010 Consignment sales resale events

Yes, it is that time again ladies... Fall 2010 consignment and resale events.

I will just start the list of notices I have gotten so far. Please check back often as I will update this list as soon as I get a new notice of a new sale..

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
3 R Kids Consignment Fall/Winter 2010 Sale:
Sale will be held at Atonement Lutheran School Gym, 1285 New Florissant Road North, Florissant, MO 63031 from September 10-12, 2010.

Sale hours:
Friday, Sept 10 - 6p-9p
Saturday, Sept 11 - 8a-4p
Sunday, Sept 12 - 1p-4p (50% off most items)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recycled Kids Sale
http://www.recycledkidssale.com/news.html

>>>Belleville, IL-September 11th-12th
Location: 200 South Belt East Belleville, IL 62220 (No Admission Fee)
Saturday Sept. 11th 8:00am-4:00pm Sale to the Public
Sunday Sept. 12th 9:00am-12:00pm ½ Price Sale to the Public
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.kidscloset.biz/sales/saint_charles_county

kidscloset
KCC ST CHARLES COUNTY SALE LOCATION:


DISCOVERY CHURCH

8134 MEXICO RD

ST PETERS, MO 63376

GENERAL PUBLIC SALE HOURS:
Wed, Sept 29th - 9 am to 6 pm
Thurs, Sept 30th - 9 am to 5 pm
Friday, Oct 1st - 9 am to 5 pm
Sat, Oct 2nd - 8 am to Noon
(Fri/Sat 1/2 price sale day)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mehville Baby Mania sale
Fall Baby Mania Sale
Please join us in the Mehlville High School parking lot
When
Sat Oct 16 8am – 12pm Central Time
Where
Mehlville High School Parking Lot


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
EXPIRED
EXPIRED:
Recycled Treasures LLC Kids Consignment sale August 6th -8th!
West County-Kids Consignment Sale (Chesterfield)
SALE INFORMATION
HTTP://WWW.RECYCLEDKIDSTREASURES.COM
LOCATION: GATEWAY ACADEMY 17815 WILD HORSE CREEK ROAD, CHESTERFIELD, MO 63005

AUGUST 6TH -6PM-9PM
AUGUST 7TH - 9AM-5PM
AUGUST 8TH - **MOST ITEMS 50% OFF THIS DAY** 10AM-3PM

Click here for directions to Discovery Church!
xxxxxx
EXPIRED
>>>St. Charles, MO -August 19th-22nd
Location: St. Charles Convention Center-
1 Convention Center Plaza St. Charles, MO(No Admission Fee)
Thursday, August 19th 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Sale to the Public
Friday, August 20th 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Sale to the Public
Saturday, August 21st 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Sale to the Public
Sunday, August 22nd 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Half Price Sale
xxxxx
EXPIRED
Mother of Twins Club
MOTC
Re-Sell-It will be August 21, 2010 at Lindbergh High School.
4900 South Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63126
1-3 pm for the public $1.00 admission
http://www.stlmotc.org/sale_flyer.pdf

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A quote in Adoption I can relate to.....

"They told us that when we completed the home study, we were in the "pregnancy stage". The only difference is that we didn't know if we'd be pregnant the length of a rabbit or an elephant." MP

This came from another fellow adoptive mother. I love it. So true. We waited from Homestudy completion of March 2006 until September 2007 when Julia was born. It was a long long wait, but well worth every minute of it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for washable markers (pic 1)

I am thankful for our daughter being potty trained at 2 yrs 9 mos (last month).
I am thankful Hubby found a job right after his other contract ended in June.
I am thankful for our friends and family.
I am thankful for getting the idea I need to get my behind back into college. (I am calling advisor tomorrow to set up appointment to see if I can get into the medical billing and coding for the fall schedule).
I am thankful for our beautiful daughter (pic 2)!



Friday, July 16, 2010

11 years ago today started our journey through infertility & miscarriages

July 16th 1999, I was wheeled out of work on a stretcher with horrible abdominal pains. I got to the ER and found out that I was pregnant (after 6 months of no pills) only to find out it was the beginning of a crazy road of a malformed bicornuate uterus and an ectopic pregnancy. This started our journey on a long 8.5 year road of infertility and miscarriages.

They had found a heart beat in the tube so we knew it would not survive. We had to do a shot(actually two, one in each hip) of methotrexate to "dissolve" the tubal ectopic pregnancy in my left tube. With in hours of the shot and going home, I was in total hives, allergic to the medication to "help" my body rid itself of this toxic pregnancy. Ugh. We were so blessed to have been pregnant, didn't even know I was since I had a "cycle" "Aunt Flow" just 4 weeks prior to that date of the ER trip. I was then wisked into surgery a few days later to remove the ectopic pregnancy before it burst in my tube. The tube was rendered useless due to blockage so we were told in a few months time to try again since my right tube was most likely open.

That day of the 16th of July 1999, I was so sad to know my body was not going to be able to keep a pregnancy. I was falling apart when driving home that next day from the docs office after the shots and just knew I wanted to try again ASAp to get pg. Little did I know it was just the beginning of a long heart-gut wrenching journey that would bring us a total of 9 heavenly angels and no biological earth angels. Multiple miscarriages, total of two tubal ectopic pregnancies and no live earth angels.

Thankfully after those 8.5 years, we took our journey to become parents into the world of adoption and are so blessed with our daughter, Julia. She is 21 months old and is the light of our lives. Never did I guess my road to motherhood or Jeff's road to fatherhood would take us that long bumpy road.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

more freebies

In my mailbox this week:

-Two free samples of MAYO (chipotle and olive mayo).
-1.86 fl oz Caress Whipped Souffle body wash (giving to my mom since I can't use items that have sulfates in them).
-free sample of Eucerin along with a 1.00 off coupon!
-Home Made Simple coupon book with over 30.00 in savings inside). My favorite coupon is the Magic eraser for Mr. Clean and then the Glade air freshener coupon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

prepping already for her 3 yr old party in September

a tent awning in Tower Grove Park between playgrounds. Sprinkler fountains should still be on, bring your suits.

Bring lawn chairs, Sun block, bug spray, kids swim suits and towels and yours too if you want to get in the sprinklers with the kids. hehe

I will be making Cup Cake Ice Cream Cones if I can figure out how to get them there without melting them. http://thefrugalgirls.com/2010/02/ice-cream-cone-cupcake-recipe-so-cute.html

No theme... just party time at the playground / park.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to Daddo and all those out there or in Heaven





Happy Father's Day to Daddio (that is what she calls him)! You are the best and make it so much better for Julia and I.

A few daddio and Julia pictures to fill our hearts with love.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I think we are trained

Ok, I know I am going to totally jinx myself here, but I'll say it.

I think Julia is potty trained.

She will sleep roughly 9 - 10 hours a night and has not had a wet pull up since 4 weeks ago. If we are out in public, she will ask to use the bathroom. The last potty accident she had was over 3 weeks ago when we were out at and she didn't ask me to use the potty. She got a talking to, but no time out for that incident.

Today, she woke up and went #1 on the big girl potty (dora seat on the big toilet) after about 20 minutes and then an hour later went into the bathroom and closed the door (hey, the girl likes her privacy) and went #2. She even tries to wipe. I have to stand outside the door now and wait for her to do her business and then she tells me it is ok to come in and help her wipe. LOL she is so independent.

I love it, a new stage in life. She is growing up so fast and I just can't believe I won't have to buy diapers for her ever again. I have about 10 pull ups left and I think she will take weeks to use those up. I am not set on putting her in big girl undies yet for night time. I'll hand onto those for a few more weeks to ease my mind that she won't pee-pee in the bed.

My little girl is growing up so fast. I so wish we could adopt or find a surrogate to have another and complete our family.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Parents as Teachers Quit us......

It is official. Parents As Teachers has CUT all future visits to our daughter and MANY other children in the St. Louis City PAT districts. I am So angry that this has been one of the state budget cuts that will affect our CHILDREN directly. I hate when our GOVERNMENT just does not care about the kids.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where is the camera when you need one? (poop ment)

This is my hubby's post on FB tonight. Note the sad to Hilarious demeanor. LOL

Jeff G****** had a rotten day today-dealing w/morons at work, depressed at losing his job of 20 yrs & what happens to brighten his day? As he walked in the backyard w/his dogs and the kiddo, he sees both dogs "pinching a loaf". looks away, turns back to find the kiddo bent down also pinching a loaf - right along side the dogs. "What are you doing?!" "I'm a dog Daddio!!!" OMG I can't stop laughing. Thank you for the laugh kiddo!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I won't jinx myself........Potty training is going so well

for a few weeks now, I let the little sweetie (or terrible sweetie, remember terrible 2's are active) run around in her bare naked-ness! This, I think, has helped us with potty training her. She tells me when she has to go, even holding herself. She is in pull ups when we leave the house (as she will pee-pee in big girl cloth undies still) , but honestly, she will go for days without peeing or pooping in her big girl undies (pull ups). She will use the public toilets with less fear now (those dang bathrooms are loud from the super sonic hand dryers or the super sucking self-flushing toilets so I don't blame her).

She did so well with the sticker reward system after we unsuccessfully tried the m&m training (one m&m for peepee and two for #2). She preferred the stickers (thanks for the Dora Chart from Vanessa and Abbie's Mom!) so we went with that. After she grew old to the sticker idea for about 3 weeks, we changed over to a sucker ONLY if she goes #2 on the potty. It is working so far and honestly she has forgotten about her sucker (dum-dum's) 2/3 of the time. LOL NO, I don't remind her of missing her sucker either. I avoid it if all possible.

I am so proud of her and tell her that often. She goes nearly 9 hours at night without peeing. She refuses to go during the middle of the night and just holds it for a huge peeing session on the potty when she wakes up. This even rings true when she wakes in the middle of the night to climb in bed with us after she has a bad dream or two. She has not had a wet pull up at night for over 4 weeks. I love it. LOVE IT.

Julia is 2 years 8 months this week and is nearly potty trained. I am patting myself on the back each day (along with praising hubby) for us being so vigilant with potty training. We didn't push it on her, she was just ready to start training a few months back since her girlfriends, Vanessa and Abbie( who are 4 yrs old), are mentors for using the big girl potty.

I don't mind not buying diapers, heck, I have a bunch of size 5 still that I might donate to the lady I am babysitting for party time. She has a boy who is 17 months old so he will soon be into a size 5.

I think I will take Julia out next week for a little mommy and daughter shopping time and let her pick out some disney princess big girl cloth undies. I hope this might persuade her to give up the pull ups and lessen the accidents in cloth undies. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

jbf consignment sale this June 5 / 6

Just Between Friends
Kids Consignment Sales Events
Serving you in Kirkwood/Arnold, Mo


2010 All Season Sale!

When: June 5th,6th
Where: Arnold Eagles hall

1725 Jeffco Blvd, 63010


I don't get paid for these advertisements, but I do go to them because I can usually find some great bargains.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You must check out this blog.... Three Yellow Roses

Three Yellow Roses

The leader of our local IAS Adoption Support group writes a blog and let me tell you, she is a FABULOUS writer. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the latest post and then take a few more minutes to scroll through some of her past articles she has written. She touches the raw emotions, the realities, the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride in adoption.

Come back here and let me know you checked her out. I'll see her at next months adoption support group meeting and will let her know you read her blog.

Cheers to some real, some fun, some tissue necessary posts from her.

Monday, May 17, 2010

no words, just pictures......





refreshed and now back to the monday world

this past Tuesday - Sunday, we went camping! WHOOOHOOOO, nice to plan it, put it all together and then DO IT! I was able to get off work Wednesday (babysitting) and leave out with hubby and daughter Tuesday night to meet up with my mom and her boyfriend at Meramec State Park in Sullivan MO. Sure, the forcast was crappy for rain, but we didn't care. We do not sleep in tents so I am ok with this and brought things to keep us occupied in the need to be cooped up in the camper for hours on end.

It was a nice family vacation.

ahhhhhhh, refreshed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: A wonderful Mother's Day gift

I Capture
Perfect Moments.


After sending off the box the other day with two cards and two flip photo books and some games for Julia's birth siblings and Birthmother this past week, I figured I would not hear from her birthmother or family for a while. That sometimes happens when I want them to contact me back asap after sending them something, but *secretly* I have had wishes to hear from them sooner than later, but never get my hope up with living from experience in the 2.5 years of Julia's life.

Well, yesterday, to my surprise, while celebrating Mother's Day at Grants Farm with my hubby, daughter and another couple and their twins (my IF friend who GETS IT), I got a text message from someone. I popped into the shade (please remind me to wear sunscreen and to put it on dear daughter too for the next outing!) while at GF and looked at my text message. I figured it was a Target mobile coupon day or junk text from my phone carrier service or something like that, but NOOOOOOO, It was from H, Julia's Birthmother. WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO.

Realizing it was from her made me well up with tears. I was so stinkin' excited. It really did make my heart swell with excitement. I read it once and then again and again. I pulled hubby aside while Julia was feeding the goats and told him what the text msg said. He smiled and said Happy Mother's Day to me.

She wished me a Happy Mother's day and said she was texting from her new cell # and to bookmark that # now.

We went on to text each other about 5 more times. I can't tell you how much this filled in that void that was happening in my heart from not having heard from them in so long. I was afraid it might be months before they actually snail mailed us back or even phoned our cell #'s. Which, we sign every card and letter with our names and both cell #'s just in case they might get the itch to call.


That is my most recent Perfect Moment.


More Perfect Monday Moments at Lori's Weebles Wobblog!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Birthmother's Day May 8, 2010

The Saturday before Mother's day is designated in the adoption community as Birthmother's day. This year I made two photo flip books on snapfish and am sending them along with two different cards we made. One card is for Julia's Birthmother, H. Addressed to her directly to with her a Happy Birthmother's Day and a Happy Mother's day. The other card is for the whole family wishing them well and telling them that we are missing them.

The photo flip books consist of photos from the last 3 or 4 months. I didn't write a milestone letter, but plan on doing that.

I miss her birthmother. I wish we can see them all in person soon.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Freebies May 1 - May 31st

CVS sent me a new Everstrong Loreal Sulfate free fortifying system: samplers of shampoo, conditioner and overnight leave in conditioner. This is a great sample since I have to buy sulfate free shampoos and soaps due to my allergy to Sulfates.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabulous Foto Fridays

Suson Park last week. Julia caught her first Fish! wooohoooo




Thursday, April 29, 2010

Naotional Infertility Awareness Week

If you or anyone you know has been touched by infertility, please watch this video.

What IF?.....

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mehlville Baby Mania sale May 1, 2010

I made it official a few weeks back, I am a seller/vendor in the Mehlville High School MOMS Baby Mania sale. sites 29 - 32. Actually my sister and I are sharing 2 selling spaces.

Ahhhh, I have been organizing all of Julia's outgrown items to price, hang and fold. Now I have to work on what to price them at. I have been organizing the 2 and 3 (etc..) piece outfits on hangers along with coats and dresses, but most of the other clothes will be on tables and toys on the ground. I sure hope it does not rain! We will have awnings, but if is it windy, we are in trouble. I also have a foll of plastic to cover tables if it does decide to rain on us. The event is Rain or Shine!

I am not an organized person for the most part so I am paying for having just boxed up these outgrown items and put the toys in bags without some sort of sizing to each bag/box. Fun.

now to get to the pricing. I am so not ready to do this. I am not sure if I should do a poster with pricing chart or if I should go and price each piece. heck, I think the poster will have to due since I am running out of time. next year I'll be more organized for this sale.

I hope to make at least a few hundred dollars to help buy her next years wardrobe and toys. That is my goal.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I cried like a baby

Ok, I'll admit it here (and I still have not told hubby);

Today, when I was walking the dirty laundry downstairs, I smashed my fingers on my right hand against the door jam. I instantly cried a loud yelp and the tears started flowing. Hubby didn't hear my yelping wail because he was being a good husband and was upstairs vacuuming the first floor. LOL. I had tears streaming down my face and it caught the attention of our daughter, who was tagging behind me to help me change the laundry loads. She instantly kissed me on the hip in concern of my wailing. I stood there by the washer and just let the tears stream and gave a few more hardy yelps out again. It was relieving. My fingers hurt, but they are ok now. I just hate it when I do stupid stuff like that.

Sometimes I just keep these little things to myself. I am accident prone and gave up on looking for sympathy from others when I hurt myself. I was being the good wifey and doing the laundry, yet I get hurt on my way down there. Not fair so I felt it was a good relieving cry.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

My Earth Day will consist of going and buying vegetables to plant in my (not yet formed) garden. I will try and grow my own tomatoes, green and yellow peppers, cucumbers, carrots and lettuce. I want to make my own salads like I did a few years back. I gave up on gardening a few years back due to the rabbits and squirrels, but I will not let them stop me this year.

What is your Earth Day going to consist of?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Forever Family Day 4/16/10

Today, we celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Julia's coming into our family legally through the courts.

I know we won't talk to her tummy mommy today, but I hope she knows we are thinking of her. She gave us the light of our lives and I am so proud being a mommy after all those years of infertility and miscarriages, and seeing Hubby be the daddy I knew he had in him too.

Julia is 2.5 years old and acting like she is 6. LOL I love her sassy ways, she loves to boss the little boy around we are watching part time each week. She loves to interact with her older 4 year old friends like they were all born together on the same day. hehe

on 4/15/08, The owner of the agency flew down to st. louis to help watch his grandson while the social worker (his daughter) walked us through court for finalization. It was so nice to have the support. Jeff and I had both of our mothers there. They were so happy we invited them to share that special day.

Last year we celebrated at the local Fortels pizza den and This year, I bet we will end up there or at Dewey's pizza place. I'd love to take her to Great American Pizza CO, but there at not so many "little kids" activities for her age there. Instead, we have a new swing set that grandma bought we are putting up hopefully after dinner. Wish us luck on that.

Adoption is such a blessing for us. I can't wait to do it again and have another date for us to celebrate the meaning of how our family came together.

Julia, we love you. Hugs and Kisses

Monday, April 12, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: Friends who "GET IT"

In the land of IF/adoption: these are my some of my close friends who really GET IT!

We have traveled so many roads together and I would do anything for them!



at one time or another, we all crossed paths in the local if support group and remain friends. The oldest children from the group are now going on 6.

Friday, April 09, 2010

diaper coupon clipping nearing an end?

I think my days in buying diapers are nearly over. (shhhhh, don't jinx me!). 1 pull up diaper = all day use. Sweet. Thanks to Juia's friends Abbie and Vanessa, Julia is now using the (adult) big girl potty with her dora potty insert seat. Ahhhhh, the benefits of older friends as roll models. :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

saving Parents As Teachers in Missouri

I sent this to Russ Carnahan, Clair McCaskill and Kit Bond, Jay Nixon,

I am writing you in hope that you have in progress, a fight against the funding cuts for Parents as Teachers in Missouri. Yesterday, a PAT rep visited our 2.5 yr old daughter, Julia, and told me that the funding cuts proposed has put them in a precarious position and have been told they CANNOT book anymore 3 - 5 yr old PAT evaluations of children. WHAT? Are you kidding me? This is hurting our children and the parents of PAT children by taking this educational opportunity away from us to prepare our children for school. So in a matter of 6 months my daughter, along with a huge number of Missouri children will no longer be able to gain the guidance of a PAT rep in our homes. Please stop this funding cut. I hope I can count on your support on this. We need your help in keeping this program for ALL ages for PAT available and not limiting it to 0-2.11 years of age.

Monday, April 05, 2010

march 28 - April 5 updates milestone and freebies

Julia has been having up and down days with potty training, but since last week (we went camping) she has been doing a great job. We took her potty chair camping with us and started a reward system of 1 m&m for peepee and 2 m&m's for #2. Well as of last night she got 2 m&m's for the first time. She really did go #2 on the potty all by herself. Today, as I sat in the living room, she brought me her potty chair insert and showed me her second successful 2 m&m potty trip. YES! She is getting this concept down.

Our friend Ms. Kelly had given us a Dora sticker poster for potty training so we started using that with today's successful trip for 2 m&m's! hehe She loves stickers and loves seeing her progress on the chart so I'll stick with that for a while.

Next shopping trip will consist of BIG GIRL underwear for Ms. Julia! I'll let her pick out the pack she loves. I can't wait. What a huge milestone for us. I need to buy more diapers as we are down to the last pack, but yet I don't want to buy more because if she is really potty trained in a week or maybe two weeks from now, We will be done with them! No more coupon cutting for huggies diapers then. AHHHHHH, that thought alone makes me smile a mile wide!

Freebies this past week.
-Uniball pen
-Stride gum (along with a nice coupon)
-two different packs of 2 diapers from Costco(hey, that helps me in not wanting to buy more diapers for her. Hahahaha).
-Free Kiwi magazine
-free sample of post it page tabs

Monday, March 29, 2010

OH MY GOSH.. She went potty on the big girl potty!

I wrote a paragraph in the previous post about Julia NOT potty training.. Well Guess What she did today.


Julia went peepee on the potty! I need 2 go buy stock in some dum-dum suckers and hit the dollar store 4 some great stickers. Thanks to Vanessa, Abbie, Keira and Harper ( Thanks to their mommies for showing Julia recently how their girls went on the big
girl potty!)

Now I need to take her shopping tonight to buy some big girl undies. WOOOOHOOO!

Good Monday morning.

Today the word on the street is Pollen. No, really, that is the word on the street on Sesame Street and let me tell you it is also in the air here at my house. I had to double up on meds already at 8:30 this morning because I could not stop sneezing. I do have the windows open and refuse, REFUSE I tell you, to close them and turn on the air. It is really not that warm for AC yet anyways and I can't stand being cooped up inside with two toddlers so I MUST open the windows. I have my prescription allegra and dosed a round of sudafed on top of that today already. Ahhhhh, SPRING is here. I do love Spring in so many ways it outweighs the allergies I have (as long as I keep a dose in me each day).

My tulips have about 40 leaves to them. I wonder if they will produce any budding flowers this year. I'll post pictures when I can see the bud stems if there will be any. Otherwise, next week I'll invest in my tomato, cucumber, lettuce seeds and maybe some strawberry plants and get them going. I am thinking St. Louis is not out of the freezing zone just yet so I might wait a week or two longer.

Julia told us the other night that she is ready to go camping! She even had her tinkerbell lantern in hand ready to go. I told her soon baby, soon. We have 7 camping trips planned already for the Spring, Summer (few of those) and Fall!

Ok, time to get back to tagging the buckets and buckets of clothes and toys of Julia's I will be selling in the Mehlville Baby Mania sale May 1st. My sister and I got 2 selling spaces and I can't wait to get everything in line to make some cold hard cash so I can buy her next years round of toys and clothes. Currently she is in a 3T shirts and pants, but the shirts are all getting too tight and the pants are getting too SHORT. She has very little of a butt to hold up the pants so the myselfbelt helps in that area.

Potty training is not happening. I really believe she was on track to train, then I took on a 14 month old a few days a week of sitting so I think that set her back. Regression is what I read it as and I agree, that is what she is doing. Hopefully that has plateaued and she will pick up the idea of the potty seat again now that she saw Abbie, Vanessa and Harper using the big girl potty last week.

There are so many things Julia is saying to us now and I need to run to the computer and write them here as soon as she says them or at least on paper to blog later. They are way too funny. Of course this sleepless brain of mine can't even remember one phrase from last night she kept cracking us up with. She says thins with such conviction and attitude now it is like she is acting. Maybe we have a future Hollywood movie star on our hands. (I can dream right?)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Federal Adoption Tax Credit extended and even increased for 2011!

I got an email that linked to a blog discussing this.

http://betheanswerforchildren.wordpress.com/



Joint Council is pleased to confirm that the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC), which was scheduled to expire in 2010, was extended for one-year (through December 31, 2011). The highlights of the ATC are;

* The maximum credit was increased from $12,150 to $13,170,
* The ATC is now retroactive to January 1, 2009. This represents a potential increase of $1,000 for adoptive families.
* The ATC was made refundable. If a family has no tax liability, the IRS will refund the amount due.

The extension of the ATC through 2011, was passed as part of the health care reform bill which was signed into law by President Obama on Monday, March 22, 2010. There was some concern that the ATC would be included in the reconciliation process, however we have confirmed that it is not part of reconciliation which means the ATC is law until December 31, 2011.

Joint Council along with many other advocates and adoptive families have long advocated for making the ATC permanent. We applaud Congress and the Obama administration for the extension and continue to call for a permanent tax credit.

The ATC is a critically important element in finding permanent families for children in the U.S. foster care system and the children of our world, who live without permanent parental care. The ATC makes adoption a viable option for many families who may otherwise be unable to afford to adopt. We again applaud the extension and improvements to the Adoption Tax Credit.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

a day of change

Although I write this in the wee hours of St. Patrick's Day 2010, just few short hours ago we put our daughter to bed in her newly converted toddler bed from her original crib. Actually, truth be told, she fell asleep in our bed (like she does many a night during the week) and then I always put her in her own crib before I head to bed in the wee hours of each day (night owl I am).

I decided today at lunch time it was time to remove the side rail from Julia's crib and convert it into a toddler bed. Yes, I put a safety rail on that open side, don't fret. For the last few weeks we have been planting the idea of redecorating her room with her. Including getting a toddler bed for her. Well, I converted her crib instead. I wanted to tell her she is a big girl now and she can sleep in a big girl bed like mommy does. She loved the idea the last few days so I went with it today.

I know I am running the risk of her not sleeping through the night, but I am hoping and praying she stays asleep like she normally does any given night for 10-12 hours (even near 14 hours last night). Boy, I sure need to get some overnight diapers for her for those 14 hour nights. LOL She rarely wakes (I know, go ahead and say it... I just jinxed myself, right?) during the night. Fingers crossed that this long sleepy nights remain for her for a long many years to come. I really truly believe she gets these sleep filled nights from her birthmother. H admitted to me that both of her older children sleep very well. I sure hope that carries on here for a long time to come.

Change is happening in our lives with Julia so much lately. Milestones too many to keep up with. She become more versatile in her vocabulary each day, she is working on sharing with her new playmate each day. She loves to go for walks and rides in her wagon around the block. Loves the gym a few days a week and loves swimming.

Speaking of swimming, I had bought her a D.ora body swim flotation suit at a sale last summer, it fits now and helps her swim like a fish in the pool at the Ymca.

The I love you Daddio and Mommio are so frequent and unprompted nowaday. Today, I called daddio at work and she didn't get to talk to him. She asked to speak to him so I called him back and she just told him all kinds of things (many we couldn't understand because she was talking so fast). Then at the end of the conversation she said to him "Daddio, I love you". So sweet. When he got home tonight, he said when he hear the "daddio, i love you" it made him so proud of her and almost made him cry. I love it. She did that same thing to me a few weeks back.

During the day she often sings the abc song all the way through, now and she is working on 1-15. Surprisingly, the other day she counted backwards from 8 to 1. WOW. Way to go Julia!

I am working on some preschool functions for her to do during the day. She keeps me busy for sure, but I just don't want her or her playmate to be in the house all day long with this nice weather around us. I have a few outside activities for her to do now outside and I can't wait to introduce them to her.

Monday, March 15, 2010

to share or not to share

of course we, as mothers, have or will have this in their vocabulary soon. Sharing is not something that comes naturally for a little 2.5 year old. Julia has been in a really possessive mood lately with her toys, but who can blame her? This generally only happens when the little boy I watch part time is here. Hahaha. Poor B. He is innocent enough and just wants to learn and play with these toys. According to Julia, that is against her rules. I am learning to defuse the situation of Julia acting out on B before it happens. I try and ask her to please teach B how to use her toys so he can be a big boy like she is a big girl. She likes that idea and talked to him in a semi-authoritative voice when she does. I praise her when she is showing him how to do something and when she won't share, I try not to be negative towards her, instead saying that sharing is a big girl thing and she is a good girl when she shares.

I need to go get some of the younger baby toys out of the basement so he can have a few to play with. B is near 15 months old and I don't see that most of Julia's toys are age appropriate for him.

the beachnut lets grow email reminded me today that I need to help julia with sharing more and setting more of an example of sharing between us adults so she can pick that up from us to share with B.

Friday, March 05, 2010

A post on another blog worthy to link to. Those that coupon will understand!

check out this post: http://www.coupongal.net/2010/03/did-that-really-just-happen.html

I just laugh out loud at those that roll their eyes behind me in line when I have my coupons. If they say something to their partner, child and or anyone else, I purposefully take my time getting my stuff up on the belt and then take my time putting all my coupons on the shelf / register for the cashier to scan. I know that is mean to an extent, but I am just sick and tired of being degraded for my hard work that saves me loads and loads of money while others are oblivious to the FREE or near FREE items I have in my basket! FREE PEOPLE FREE! I started couponing a few years back with the intent to cover my taxes on each invoice total. Today, I coupon to kill over 1/2 to 3/4 of my receipt total or even more! Shame on them for not using the system of coupons to save. NOT SHAME ON ME! I am one coupon crazy laid off mom!

Monday, March 01, 2010

2010 baby mania resale events, consignment sales, etc..

I'll try to do these in date order, but please be kind if they are just a little out of order. If you find a date of a sale you know of and I don't have it listed, Please Please email me at twogoots (at) yahoo (dot) com

HERE WE GO FOR 2010:
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KIDMANIA SALE

Saturday March 6, 2010
8 am - 12 pm
Edwardsville High school Illinois

http://www.edwardsvilleonline.com/jsc/Kidmania.htm


entry fee 3.00
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MOMMES and Dads
http://www.mommes.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=1
This is the IL sale. I have yet to find the MO sale and will post it as soon as I can.

SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2010 8am-12PM
AT GATEWAY CENTER,
1 GATEWAY DR.
COLLINSVILLE, IL

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Just Between Friends
Kids Consignment Sales Events

Serving you in Kirkwood/Arnold, Missouri

Spring 2010 Event Now Scheduled!
March 19th & 20th
Concordia Lutheran Church
505 S. Kirkwood Rd
Kirkwood, MO 63122
UPDATED DATES AND LOCATIONS BELOW:

ST. CHARLES
http://saintcharles.jbfsale.com/
The Spring/Summer St Charles Sale will be
March 26th & 27th
at Harvester Church of the Nazarene on McClay
http://saintcharles.jbfsale.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.showevent&eventid=2006120511093921&siteid=2006112810183970

WEST COUNTY (chesterfield)
http://chesterfield.jbfsale.com/
May 15th & 16th, 2010
Maryville University Gymnasium
650 Maryville University Drive
Chesterfield, MO. 63141

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http://www.storklady.net/Shoppers.htm
* Spring 2010 Registration NOW OPEN *
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


SPRING-SUMMER 2010 SALE

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:
Thursday, April 1st - 9am - 7pm
Friday, April 2nd - 9am - 7pm
Saturday, April 3rd - 9am - 1pm
(Saturday only: 50% off most items)

LOCATION:
Former MACY'S Dept. Store
Crestwood Court mall
Use entrance and parking lot at northeast intersection of Watson Rd. & Sappington Rd.

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http://recycledkidstreasures.com/flyer.pdf
April 9th - 11th

go to the link and check out their page. They won't let me copy over their advertisement page. @@
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http://3rkidssale.com/default.aspx


SPRING/SUMMER SALE 2010!!!
APRIL 9-11, 2010
RALLO PLAZA
1139 N. LINDBERGH BLVD
FLORISSANT, MO 63031
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:
FRIDAY, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
SUNDAY, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (50% off MOST ITEMS)
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Greater St. Louis Mothers of Twins Club
RE-SELL-IT SALE
Re-Sell-It will be April 17, 2010 at Lindbergh High School.
Saturday April 17, 2010
Open to the Public 1-3 p.m.
($1 admission per person)
Where: Lindbergh High School
4900 South Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63126
GO HERE for the sales flyer: http://www.stlmotc.org/sale_flyer.pdf
PLEASE READ THEIR DETAILED ITEMS A SHOPPER CAN BRING IN OR NOT!!!!!

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Mehlville High School baby mania sale

http://www.mehlville-moms-club.org/articles/fundraisers/baby-mania.html


May 1st
8 am
at Mehlville High School parking lot.
3120 Lemay Ferry Road

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

My CVS deals this week


cleaned up at CVS! got a $25 gift card for bringing my 10.00 Rx to them. Then went shopping and got all these items for $39.64(using that $25gc). Plus I got $10 off my next visit (from a pepsi raincheck I had the manager do last month) and 2.00 ECB's for next trip too! WOOOOHOOOOO

I had a raincheck for 10 off 20.00 or more in pepsi products plus it stated (thanks to the manager) that I could get 10.00 in Extra Care Bucks to use from that rain check!

-Wonder bread (fresh date) was marked down to 1.70 from 2.49!
-Puffs were .88 each plus I had a coupon for .75 off 3!
-cvs ziploc freezer bags were 2.19 marked down .60 (i was out at home so I had to buy some to store my hamburger deal i scored at schnucks last night
-CHOCOLATE Cheerios (FINALLY FOUND THEM CHEAP!) were marked down to 1.99. I had a
coupon for 1.00 !! 99 cents for CHEERIOS, are you kidding me? YEAH!
-Tide w/bleach alt. 10.99 with 2 ECB's plus I had a coupon for .35 off!! (this is way cheaper than Target, even with target coupons I had).
-BOGO free CVS Vitamins (see pic!!!) way cheaper than natures bounty even with coupon)
-Two bags of CVS Gold EM of dumdum suckers .99 each then I had a 1.00 off CVS coupon!
-Lorel' Lip shimmer (should be 5.00 but rang up for 8.49. I had a MFC for 1.00 off. I am taking it back to make sure i got the right one for 5.00 sale and then having them reimburse me if so. If not, still a great deal and a pretty shade of coffee for me! cuz i am worth it!
-I also had a 5 off 15 from CVS
- I used my 4.00 off from recyclebank!!!!
-I had another 4.00 off from cvs and also some other

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a starters list for preschool activities and printable sheets

Don't forget when printing your coloring sheets to mark your paper so you can turn it over to print the next page. Thus two prints to one page back and front!!!


http://www.snackpicks.com/cleverPrint_solutions.aspx

shapes and colors
http://www.tlsbooks.com/preschoolshapes.htm

Sunday, February 21, 2010

trying to be a penny pincher is working, check this out

shopping at Shop-n-Save last Thursday night.... Total after all 68 items scanned $165.30 (over two weeks of shopping I had to do). I got 10.00 off for their Thursday 10 off 50.00, then I had three 5.00 off (15.00 total) entertainment book coupons I could use, then another $24.27 in manufacturer coupons. My total for a...ll my items after all discounts and coupons $116.03 including taxes.

Not a bad trip. I love making the checker look at me in shock that I had that many coupons!

It really does pay to clip those coupons and shop their Thursday 10 off 50. Now if I had time, I would have taken each 50.00 of groceries out to my car and went back in for each 50 to get those extra 10.00 off each time. Next time I will.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I made the local paper

first, this is the main article in the local post dispatch paper this weekend (then look at the bottom after the xxxxxxxxxxxxxx for the article I was in):

WARNING....... ADOPTION, INFERTILITY, DONOR EMBRYO, MISCARRIAGE and PREGNANCY and babies ment in the attached articles:

http://tinyurl.com/yh24zfc
Embryo adoption plants a complex family tree
Embryo adoption plants (P-D)
BY NANCY CAMBRIA
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/14/2010

The big day had come.

Newborn twins Sarah Estelle and Anna Isabelle McLaughlin lay in bassinets beside their mom at St. John's Mercy Medical Center.

Anna slept. Sarah's wide, dark eyes took in the lights and shadows of the room. She was so little. So perfect. But her new life was already so very complicated.

Jen McLaughlin, of Kirkwood, snuck her daughter a tiny kiss.


"How can you just look at her and not think she could have been left on a shelf to perish or be handed over to stem cell research?" she asked.

An estimated 500,000 frozen embryos are stored nationwide as the byproducts of advanced fertility treatments, commonly known as in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Although most who create the embryos will use all of them in an attempt to have a child, sometimes there are extras. Anna and Sarah were once two of them.
RELATED LINKS
bullet Keep up on technical news with our Life & Tech blog
bullet Get more science and tech news


Last winter, McLaughlin and her husband, Pat, were given the twins' embryos from a couple in California who had successfully birthed a son. With two children already, their family was complete.

But the California couple never anticipated that four frozen embryos would remain — scant specks in glass pipettes, each about a hundred cells in all and visible only to a microscope.

The McLaughlins are among at least 260 families nationwide each year who successfully have babies after embryo donation, sometimes called embryo adoption.

In the process, the couple have plunged headlong into the dicey ethical, religious and medical debate over the creation and fate of frozen embryos.

It's a debate that Jen McLaughlin, who is Catholic, has tackled with total certainty, grounded in a belief that the embryos are moral equivalents of children.

The embryos, too, needed a family.

Her conviction about the sanctity of family is also firm.

So much so that McLaughlin and the donors are pushing the bounds of a simmering ethical debate on embryo donation even further by rethinking what "family" really means and just how far their children's genetic bonds should go.

Embryo donation sometimes is an anonymous process, with donors and recipients engaging in a cloaked transaction through fertility labs that severs the likelihood of a future child's linking to a genetic past.

But these two couples insisted on an open process so the genetically related children — even the children who still may be born from the two remaining frozen embryos — would stay connected. They felt their children had a right to know their genetic heritage, no matter if their full and half siblings are raised by different parents in different circumstances and most did not come from the same womb.

"He's going to have that richness of knowing everybody's there, we all care about him and we all know him," said the embryo donor, who asked not to be identified to protect her son's privacy.

And the children's history is even more complicated, because their embryos were created using eggs from yet another donor. The egg donor, too, has her own two children, linking the children born from the embryos to even more half siblings.

The branches of this high-tech family tree, germinated under a microscope, could potentially bear nine genetic full and half siblings living in two states, if not more, 2,000 miles apart.

If this all sounds like untested waters in family dynamics, it is.

"It's a brave new world of assisted reproduction," said Paige Cunningham, executive director of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, based in Chicago. "After all, we're just experimenting here, aren't we?"

ADOPTION OR DONATION?

Jen McLaughlin had no luck carrying a pregnancy to term, and she and her husband wanted a big family. So they decided early in their infertility problems not to risk valuable time on uncertain treatments.

They embraced traditional adoption. By the time the McLaughlins learned about embryo donation in 2008, the couple had adopted five children, four of them from Russian orphanages and one from Missouri.

McLaughlin, however, never lost the intense desire to have a successful pregnancy of her own. When she read a short newspaper article on embryo adoption — where the embryo exchange is treated more like a traditional adoption — she knew she wanted to try.

In IVF, a woman's eggs are harvested and then fertilized by sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs are allowed to divide into a tiny cluster of undifferentiated cells. Some are usually transferred to a womb that has been coaxed by a regime of fertility drugs to encourage implantation and a successful pregnancy.

Others are sometimes frozen instantly in liquid nitrogen to be thawed and used later for another try or more siblings down the line.

But sometimes viable extras remain. If cryopreserved correctly, they can theoretically exist forever.

The fate of those frozen embryos not only sparks intense ethical debates over when life begins, but overlaps with the polarizing issue of embryonic stem cell research, which proposes using embryos to find potential cures to disease, over the opposition of many abortion opponents.

The concept of donating embryos to other couples got a push eight years ago under President George W. Bush, who dedicated federal funding to promote, in his terms, embryo adoption. The federal funding has since increased to $4.2 million. Now, Georgia has passed the nation's first state law symbolically recognizing embryo adoption.

Yet, calling the process "adoption" raises intense debate. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine argues that such transactions should strictly be called donations. Arthur Caplan, head of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said equating embryos with orphans or foster kids denied the grave needs of the world's existing children.

"If you have to make a moral choice between adopting a baby or an embryo, is it really possible to say there's no difference?" he asked.

Even the Catholic church, which believes the embryos are people, doesn't condone most assisted fertility treatments and has stated that it neither accepts nor rejects embryo donation.

McLaughlin ultimately realized her decision wasn't going to please everyone, but she believed what she was doing was right for her and the embryos.

AN OPEN ADOPTION

From the moment McLaughlin decided to attempt embryo donation, she also knew she wanted to keep the process open.

She chose a donor exchange service called Miracles Waiting, one of the few places where donors and recipients can meet without predisposed religious principles or complicated adoption terms imposed on them, said the organization's Executive Director Kim Walton.

"Because this is such an emotional subject, it really takes them deeply into, or possibly away from, their religious beliefs," Walton said. "Everybody's having a hard time, there's no reason to judge them."

McLaughlin nearly jumped out of her seat when she first read the donors' posting. The couple had four embryos that had been conceived with donor eggs from a woman with a Russian heritage. That excited McLaughlin, given she and her husband had adopted four children from Russia.

After many conversations and a home study, the deal was struck last February through a property contract that included clauses requiring future contact between the families. The McLaughlins covered legal costs and medical expenses as well as fees to keep the embryos frozen.

In May, when her hormone levels were just right, McLaughlin ducked out of town for the transfer of the embryos into her womb.

McLaughlin has never shied away from knowing her adopted children's pasts. She and her husband, a lawyer, had spent thousands of dollars on private investigators to track down the birth families of their adopted Russian children. They knew their kids would one day wonder about who they were.

The embryo donor, 46, was also a firm believer in open adoption. She had been adopted as a young child and had only recently reconnected with her birth family. "You're just completely cut off from a part of you," she said of closed adoption.

So the embryo donor family invited McLaughlin to stay with them in California for the embryo transfer.

It was the beginning, all of them hoped, of an important lifelong connection.

McLaughlin stayed with the donors for a week. The couple drove her to the fertility clinic and even helped with her needed hormone shots.

When McLaughlin returned from California, she was glowing. She was pregnant, and she had spent time with a blond, blue-eyed little boy who was her daughters' genetic sibling.

McLaughlin was also excited about a new connection.

The woman who donated the eggs used to create the embryos was now willing to have limited contact with her genetic offspring's families.

SMALL GESTURES

All of the adults involved know there are emotional hurdles ahead. Their children one day will deal with the knowledge that they have connections to at least a dozen full, half and unrelated siblings, as well as distant genetic parents.

"It's impossible not to ask how these children will feel knowing we gave them away," the embryo donor said. "We had to ask, how would they feel knowing there's siblings we didn't keep?"

Social scientists also aren't sure what may come of this.

While research suggests open adoption is healthy in traditional circumstances, there is no research on how embryo adopted children may fare in open arrangements. And some worry that parents are imposing sibling relationships on the children without first giving them a choice.

That concern is shared even by some conservative groups that encourage adopting embryos but condemn the technology that made them.

"My concern always in these cases is the adults who are creating all of these confusing relationships, and the way they do it fairly nonchalantly," said Barbara Quigley, executive director of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Missouri.

McLaughlin says it's all very simple when you look into the sleeping faces of her twins.

"People are going to look at their photos and agree this is the right thing to do," she said.

All the studies in the world also aren't going to change the embryo donor's convictions about open adoption and donation.

"I think that most people who are researchers have never been adopted," she said. "If they haven't had that experience, they couldn't possibly know what it was like."

So, with tiny baby steps, everyone is moving ahead in this most modern of families, linked genetically and contractually, potentially for a lifetime.

Late last month, a small package arrived on the McLaughlins' doorstep. The package contained two polka-dotted bath towels embroidered with Sarah's and Anna's names.

They were a gift from the twins' original egg donor, whom McLaughlin has yet to meet.

"It felt like a miracle," McLaughlin said. "I felt like everything was coming full circle. These girls are going to have a connection with all of their different mothers."

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http://tinyurl.com/ygnnw9t
Couples wrestle with what to do with extra embryos
By Nancy Cambria
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/14/2010

For the people who create embryos, deciding what to do with those left over from in vitro fertilization can be a decision rife with ethical questions.

They are choices that can arise each year, when parents receive a bill to continue cold storage of the embryos. And the issue arises again when parents write their wills and are asked to decide who will inherit this frozen legacy in a glass pipette.

The options are complicated.

Couples can do what most do and keep the embryos frozen for years.


The embryos also can be discarded, though laboratories may be skittish about doing so. The embryos can go to research.

Or, in a rare but increasingly publicized option, they can be offered to other infertile couples.
RELATED LINKS
bullet Keep up on technical news with our Life & Tech blog
bullet Get more science and tech news


Randall Odem, director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Washington University School of Medicine, said fertility clinics need to alert their patients to the tough decisions that may await them if they opt to freeze embryos.

Yet those warnings — and the reams of paperwork required — can fall on deaf ears.

"You want to get pregnant. You don't care," said Danielle Pennel, executive director of Infertility and Adoption Support Inc. of St. Louis. "You'll sign any piece of paperwork to get things started."

Becky Gudermuth says she and her husband are keeping their one remaining embryo frozen because they really don't know what's right for them.

The St. Louis couple went through five unsuccessful attempts at IVF, five miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy and then a partial hysterectomy, which now makes it impossible to carry a pregnancy to term. The remaining embryo, created six years ago, is still too precious to give up — even though Gudermuth said she and her husband would probably never be able to afford a surrogate mother. Gudermuth said that they might donate to someone also struggling with infertility but that knowing someone else was raising their genetic child would be hard for them to bear.

Or, there's another alternative for the couple, who adopted a child three years ago.

"I've also thought about asking for the vial the embryo is frozen in and burying it in the backyard under the tree," she said.

Odem said these emotional issues might not affect as many people in the future. The medical school currently has a research program that freezes some of the eggs used in IVF instead of exposing them all to sperm. This yields fewer embryos, but ensures that patients have frozen eggs in lieu of embryos for future pregnancy tries. If the procedure is widely adopted, it could significantly reduce the need to freeze extra embryos, Odem said.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A pink envelope in the mail will always brighten my day

The dogs started barking, it is time for the mail to arrive this afternoon (I started writing this on Thursday). The slot opens, I hear the push of paper into the box (our mail slot is a through the wall into our house). Julia rushes over there, opens the door on the inside of the house and grabs the mail. She takes it upon herself to look for any fun Disney items we might receive, takes that item then brings me the rest of mail to go through. Today, the stack contained a small pink envelope with the fluid penmanship of a young writer. An envelope from Julia's birthsister. SWEET! (birth sister / I'll use the initial B for referring to her)

I opened it right away (not looking through the rest of the mail first - WHO CARES about that other mail. LOL) and found two pictures, a pad of stickers for Julia and a note for us to read. It was a short note, but if it were only two words written by B, I would jump up and down with excitement.

This is one of several notes we have gotten from B in the mail over the last year. This is always heartwarming to receive these letters and pictures from her (and some from J's birthmother). She has no idea how much it makes me swell with love for her and her family. Some birth families involved in adoption never have contact with their birthsibling that was adopted. We are so blessed to be in an open relationship with them so Julia (and hubby and I) can continue to grow to know them and know how wonderful each and every one of them are.

I hope and pray we never lose contact with them.

Someone asked me the other day if I was scared to share our home address with them. No, flat out NO! Our door is a welcome mat for them if there were ever a day any one of them wanted to come visit. We are confident with her birthmothers decision to place with us that we have accepted them as extended family and welcome them any time. We are so blessed to have them in our lives and we always look forward to seeing them or seeing an envelope from them in the mail.

Ok, off to write a letter to B and to H (Julia's birthmother) and family. I made a 2nd Birthday flip book of pictures to put in the envelope from snap fish a few weeks ago, so I'll include that in the envelope.

Open adoption ROCKS!

Friday, January 29, 2010

TAX CREDIT for ADOPTION

For many adoptive families, the Adoption Tax Credit has been a great benefit in making adoption affordable. Families who finalize an adoption in 2010 may be able to take advantage of a tax credit $12,170 for qualifying adoption-related expenses. The 2010 credit will begin to phase out with a modified adjusted gross income of $182,520 and will completely phase out at a modified adjusted gross income of $222,520 or more.
Families who finalized an adoption 2009 may qualify for an Adoption Tax Credit of $12,150. Families should consult with a qualified tax expert to learn more about claiming the Adoption Tax Credit.
Call to Action - Adoption Tax Credit to Sunset in 2010
The Adoption Tax Credit has helped families across the nation grow their family through adoption and has helped countless children in need find a forever family of their own. However, the Adoption Tax Credit is set to sunset at the end of 2010, in which it will then revert back to its original dollar limit of $5,000 per adoption or $6,000 for the adoption of a child with special needs.
South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson has introduced H.R. 213 - The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009 to repeal the sunset of the Adoption Tax Credit. Adoptive families and adoption supporters are encouraged to contact Congress and voice their support of this important bill. To contact your congressman regarding support for H.R. 213, click here.
To learn more about the adoption tax credit, visit http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

Thursday, January 28, 2010

moving forward

I am meeting up with some of my former co-workers for lunch today along with Julia. I am so excited to see them. It feels like 2 years since I have been gone from that job the company "eliminated" (but just distributed the work to my former immediate co-workers), yet it has only been just shy of 4 work weeks I was let go. I am meeting them at Qudoba for lunch and then I might head back to that former working place just to visit a few people. Maybe said they wanted me to come back with Julia later to see how big she has gotten. I might do that.

I have been making it my mission to coupon myself crazy. Today, I played the Qdoba craft 2 order to win a coupon and I did. Great timing because that is where we are going today. Sweet. Basically, Julia and I can pick two items off this craft 2 list and share them only for the cost of a drink! Now that is my kind of coupon bargains to find.

I start babysitting a little boy in March so that will help $-wise. Then this summer I plan on watching my niece. FUN. I love it.

Hubby got a bit of good news yesterday. He thought his work contract was up in June of this year, but it is actually up in Feb 2011. WOOOOOHOOOOOOO! Oh that was such a relief on our shoulders financially to think he has a job until then and not out of a job just 6 months after mine. I so hope he can get a perm job there, but at least we know we are able to make his contracting income until Feb 2011. I plan on paying off my car early and our other creditors by then so we can focus paying off our camper and his truck. Ahhhhhh. We had to take a hit on our 401K loans we did for adopting so this helps with the fact we are going to not get nearly the tax refund this year or even might not get one at all and could possibly owe for the first time ever. I hate it that we both lost our jobs within a year of each other, but at least our 401K loans are split into two different tax seasons so the defaults won't happen all this year for 2009 claims on tax hits. See, those loans had to be turned over into hardship withdrawals and we had to take the tax hits on them. Luckily we still had equitable balances in both of our 401K's that they can be turned over into IRA's now. Hubby did that a few months ago and I'll be able to open my IRA this month. So at least we can start building interest on those balances again and can start contributing to them again after we gather the funds to adopt again.

See, there I go. Thinking about adoption again. YES I AM. We are homestudy ready, now we just have to find the cash funds to sign with our agency again. Might be several months, but hey, it brings a smile to my face knowing we can do this again.

Ok, off to get ready to meet the girls for lunch.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2 years 4 months old, she is!

I want to see her grow up, but yet I don't want time to pass so quickly. We waited so long to see her this little and I want her to stay my baby girl, my sweetheart; forever. She so deserves to grow big and strong and yet I want her to stay my little girl. I have given into the fact she is a toddler and not a baby (infant) anymore. Ha

She still calls hubby Daddio.
She is now crying when I put her to bed. This was never a problem before.
She is wearing a size 3T clothes and a size 7 or 7.5 shoe.
Today she spent a few hours with memaw carol while I went to the MO careers office to do my obligatory every 4 week check in and profile build.
She cried when memaw left.
She spent over 45 minutes sitting on her potty chair. (no, no production on there yet to celebrate).
She is in a gym class at the local YMCA and loves it.
She will have another adjustment when I start babysitting a little boy (friend of the family) in March.
She loved the day she spent with her cousin Friday. :)
She loves LOVES her stuffed animals. I'll have to try and get a picture of her crib later to show you.

There are so many things we keep saying we will write down that she says. One thing we are working on is she tells us what she wants and then says NOW at the end of the sentence. Oh boy, that will be stopping soon. I guess that was a bad habit she picked up from her cousins at my sisters (former babysitter to Julia). LOL

Swimming at the YMCA each week is one of her favorite things to do. We try and go up at least 2 times a week, but this week we missed it. I promise to take her again Friday evening. I need to find a new swim suit for her. The 3T I have for her is getting tight.

Her favorite food right now is Turkey dogs (hot dogs). She ate two the other day.

We need to put a lock up high on the screen doors to the house and the bathroom door. Can't get a minute of peace in there alone when she is awake.

She wants to go see Mickey Mouse. Ut-Oh. Looks like I need to start a savings plan for Walt Disney World for 2011. I think she will be old enough by then.

As we were eating dinner tonight, Julia came over to Daddio and called him by his first name. "Jeff, blah blah blah"... LOL Bahahahahaa She mimic'd me talking to him.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One of my goals in life......

I have always loved receiving help on challenges I have had in life. I would seek out the different avenues through local contact and online to gain knowledge or just support for any challenge of work, marriage, home life and most of all one of those (read: MAJOR) challenges was going through years of infertility, miscarriages and starting the process of adoption.

I always want to research, investigate and prepare for something we will invest in our lives for a long time, possibly FOREVER. I want to be the most prepared to step up to the challenge of saving time, money and emotions in it all. Then I promised myself I would turn that good fortune of information around and give it out to others so they can reap the benefits of being able to make it through their plan in life also with the most efficient course to attain their goals. An outreach of sorts.

Today, I received a call from my former infertility and adoption counselor asking us to consider helping out a couple she had in one of her session today with information about our journey into adoption. I was able to provide them with the name and numbers to our adoption attorney, another adoption attorney and our adoption agency, A Gift of Hope Adoptions. I gave our counselor the ok to have that couple call me if they need to just chat about information they are gathering. I hope to also put them in touch with the local IAS support group in town. There are so many resources in town and on line that I know they can benefit from. I hope they call, but if not, I know I have given them very useful information to start their journey of information gathering for adopting.

One of the first reading materials I bought for the process of research was Adoptive Families Magazine. (No, they are not paying me to advertise this.) I was able to gather lots of information on what to look for as in agencies, costs, steps to take for the home study and lawyers. I was able to read hopeful stories about others that had gone through infertility and attained their ultimate goal of becoming parents through adoption. I finally had hope. I also attended the now IAS group for support and information on how to start our home study and what costs we were looking at and what to expect in our journey.

I always feel very good in being able to turn my knowledge around and help others in their journey to build that dream family. Yes, we are a family of our dreams, but we are still working on building that dream family of 4. Our home study is ready to go and we wait until we know if our tax return will help us in that ability to resign with our adoption agency we used to adopt our daughter through or if we might consider changing our home study over for foster to adopt program. We wait to see.

I am not a professional counselor, just a woman that has experienced it all in real life and I can share my story with you. Some sad points, yes, but ultimately the joyful process of adopting our daughter through open domestic infant adoption.

I am so thankful for those professionals and peers out there (you know who you are!) that have helped me be in a position to be able to help others in their journey too.

For that, I am THANKFUL!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

turning the big 40 and being a mother... what it all means to me

I turn 4o today. This is a huge birthday for me because when I was teen, I saw my mom turn 40 and oh thought she was an oldie but goodie at 40.

The parts of town that I come from you don't just say FORTY you say it with a south side accent of FARTY... OH LORDY SHE IS FARTY! Ahhhhhahahahahaha. Yup, I am joining the pristine club, the wise club and filled with many true friends that are turning 40 and or have already joined in a few weeks, months or even years ago ... So mom, I am so sorry for having called you an old Fart. FARTY IS FABULOUS!

I had grand ideas of being a mom of 3 by now, but heck, I am counting my blessings and saying thanks for my beautiful daughter brought to us through adoption and maybe when I am later in my 40th year we can adopt again. Heck, we are home study ready.
This is what makes me smile all the time now (even after many miscarriages and heartaches trying to conceive and it never held on. SHE MAKES ME!
And thanks to my wonderful Husband, Jeff



13 is my lucky number so I will play the lottery tonight with that number heavily played. LOL

Cheers to another great year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

She's not a baby anymore. Julia's first hair cut





slideshow sunday

http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=3cc0b347c43994486d96e1&skin_id=601

I was so blessed to have been in the delivery room when our daughter was
born. Thanks to her birthmother! Here is a little video hubby put
together when she was weeelittle. We can't wait to adopt again to build
our family and make Julia a big sister.

Monday, January 04, 2010

making promises to myself, no resolutions

No, I am no good at resolutions. Sure, you might say resolutions and promises are the same, but to me they are not. I can keep a promise to myself better than a resolution. I can't exactly explain that, but it works for me.

This year I promise to make a cleaning agenda. A calendar of sorts to clean the rooms in the house on a weekly basis. I recently read on another blog that you can create zones and basically that is what I plan on doing. Having 2 dogs (lab mixes) and two 7 month old kittens in the house requires we vacuum every other day at minimum so that won't change. I will add in more dusting, scrubbing the bathroom down (including that tub the child bathes in) on a weekly or near that basis. I need to de-clutter and that will come to a head in the next week when I finish buying more storage bins for her toys and downsizing the amount of toys she has in the living room (we only live in a 2 bedroom with finished basement ) and the family room downstairs. Yard Sale will happen in either March or April. No excuses! I have a full utility room downstairs with 18 gallon totes with all her clothes and toys in them and I need to make more room for more items down there. Bargains galore I have for girl clothes and shoes and toys to sell.

so off to make my list of zones.

Do you do this if you are a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM)?