May 31, 2008

I'm On Maternity Leave, And We're Leaving!

At 12:01AM this morning my work status officially changed to "on maternity leave". My email auto reply is on, my voicemail has been updated accordingly, and my lovely colleagues have promised that the only emails they'll send will be requests for more pictures! Morning meetings will be replaced with Ashton's first feeding and some play time, wading through emails will be replaced with wading through laundry, and client presentations will be replaced with finding ways to entertain, educate, love, and tend to every single need of our adorable one year old boy.

Best part about maternity leave? The word LEAVE! We are leaving tomorrow, as in 27 hours 30 minutes! Which means we need to find a way to fill the next 27 hours 30 minutes...and sleeping hasn't worked any other day this week so I'm going to jump out on a limb and say tonight wont be any different. Indiana Jones, maybe a little Sex in the City, I suppose we should eventually pack ourselves (Ashton and the gifts/donations are all set), vacuum, meals should take up some time, it's raining out so going for a walk isn't an option, I'm SURE we'll need at least one more Target run, and 3 cups of coffee and NY Times nicely took up about an hour this morning!

Oh, and we changed our hotel plans for the 3rd time. We're staying at the Radisson SAS Dubai Creek on Monday night, the House of Hope on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and the Sheraton Addis Thursday through Tuesday. Our return flight departs Addis the evening of Tuesday, June 10th and after a quick stop in Dubai will land us in NY on Wednesday morning. Wednesday, June 11th we'll be staying at cozy casa McGregor, ALL 3 OF US!

I need a 4th cup of coffee...

May 30, 2008

Sunk? Yep.

So I know I was all, "It hasn't sunk in yet" this morning, but let's just chalk that up to something... not sure what that something is yet, because I'm currently carefully counting out diapers per plastic bag to maximize our luggage space... And that's how tonight is going to roll. It sunk in. Maybe not completely, and to be honest I hope it doesn't ever feel like it "completely sunk in" because I really hope a part of this was just always there, not needing to sink in but just always having been a part of everything.

38 hours, 40 minutes.

We just had our travel call with our agency (nothing like handling last minute details at the last minute) and feel OK. We've got our tickets and a few pair of socks. And Cherios, we heard he likes those. And we're off. SOON.

It Hasn't Quite Sunk In Yet

But I think it will very, very soon, that we leave in 51 hours and 20 minutes! Yesterday was my last day working in the NYC office and as a well wishes/send-off into mommyhood they organized a luncheon for me and another colleague who is expecting in June. They gave Ash some really adorable clothes and a colorful wood stacking toy that he's going to love playing with. They also pooled an extremely generous amount for us to bring with to Addis Ababa to purchase things for the orphanage. An amount that is going to go a really long way towards the purchase of cloth diapers, medicines, baby formula, clothing, and other high need items. We've been the grateful recipients of such gifts from quite a few friends and family and can't wait to bring everything over to the House of Hope. Several CHI families have sent us some much-needed boys clothing and several donations have come in the form of a monetary gift, so we will be able to purchase the items in Ethiopia which will help support the local economy. Thank you to everyone who has given. And thank you to our luggage manufacturers for creating large duffel bags with very strong zippers.

Our order from arrived with Born Free bottles and sippy cups and about a one months supply of gDiapers. That completes the "necessities" on our list, which means that now we get to start thinking about how we're going to occupy ourselves on the 13 hour trip to Dubai and then the 4 hour flight to Addis. If the past few nights are any indication I highly doubt that sleeping will be an option (I've felt a bit like a first grade girl the night before her first day of school every day for about a week!) so we're gathering some reading selections and relying on Emirates Air movie selections to pass the time.

I'm currently reading What is the What by Dave Eggers (author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) which is a fictionalized memoir about a Sudanese refugee who makes his way through Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, and then finds himself in America struggling to find fulfillment. I'm about half way through and imagine I'll finish this one in the first hour or two of the flight. And for a complete change of pace I also have The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray, Love) which is the story of a man who lives in a tepee in the wilderness full-time by the time he is 30, and according to Publishers Weekly Gilbert "paints a complicated portrait of American maleness that is as original as it is surprising." Can't wait to read it.

OK the more I write the more it sinks in. And the more time passes - we're now down to 50 hours and 40 minutes!

May 28, 2008

For The True Math Geeks

I owe this to a good friend and fellow math/science geek...Enjoy!

I Will Derive!

My Humps - Calculus

Sexy Back: Calculus Style

May 27, 2008

Two Questions

While my sister was in town last weekend we spent a lot of time obeying orders getting things done and taking care of all of the necessaries. We're first time parents, so it's important to have someone experienced telling us what to do sharing their wisdom. Really, we loved every minute of it.

There were two questions that she asked us, however, that have continued to bounce from one lobe to another in my mind and took some time to settle:

1. What are your greatest fears about becoming a parent?
2. What is your adoption story?

On first glance these may look like automated questions from a "What to Expect When You're Expecting" type book but they weren't automated at all, they were casual and over Sunday brunch honest in their intentions questions. Which basically means the canned replies of "we fear everything, we just hope we're ready!" and "adoption has always been in our hearts" were not acceptable answers. These questions deserved a more thorough reply.

What are our greatest fears about becoming parents?
Honestly, we're taking the no fear approach to parenting. We're ready. We're ready to succeed and we're ready to fail. We're ready to accept the challenges and also ready to ask for help when we fail at meeting them, and we will. We're concerned about a lot of things. How he'll adjust, how we'll adjust, how we'll continue to incorporate Ethiopian culture into our daily lives (yes, daily) and address issues of race on a regular basis. We're thinking, planning, and expecting to be turned upside down, and we know that life is going to throw some real tossers our way. We don't fear these things. We may be terrified and hopeful and know nothing and know something and have millions of questions and a handful of answers, but fear isn't the right word to describe this. Psyched, stoked, and turned-on are more like it.

What is our adoption story?
I had to chuckle at this one. Does anyone ever ask pregnant mothers what their conception story is? "Say, tell me the story of how you conceived the little one, I'd love to know!" Yeah, not likely. I'm not completely ignorant (though wish I were sometimes) and I do "understand" the difference, but it still makes me laugh, a little. So here is our adoption story. It's not long.

My husband and I met when I was a freshman in high school and he was a sophomore. We happened to live across the street from each other but it was a busy street so we never took the same school bus, which is why we didn't meet until high school. He was on the downhill ski team and my 40'something father had recently taken up downhill skiing in an effort to get his daughters interested in the sport, so I suppose you could say that my dad is the reason we're now happily approaching our 7th wedding anniversary.

We skid, we traveled, we attended university in one of the most beautiful corners of the country (Bozeman, MT), we spent a year traveling through South America, and then we got married on the Gallatin River in Big Sky Montana and headed east to NYC to pursue photography and a goal to help level the playing field of public education (TFA, I'm 2001 corps). Throughout all of this we dreamed about our family. When would we adopt, where would we adopt from, how would we learn the language(s) prior to traveling, etc... and basically spent 12 years trying to land our feet in as many countries as possible so that when the day finally came when we were ready to adopt, we would know what the continent of our future son/daughter felt like. The spring after we spent our first weeks in Africa we applied to CHI's Ethiopia program. The rest as some would say is history, but to us is just the beginning of the next chapter.

I know the title of this post is "Two Questions" but I'm going to toss out a third:

What are you going to do?

The country of Ethiopia is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in history and thousands will die. Thousands. Our son's first family, our son's first family's friends and family, and many others who do not have enough to eat or drink. The situation has surpassed dire.

Visit UNICEF to read about their work in the Horn of Africa or click here to donate.
Visit Children's Hope International to learn about projects you can contribute to in Ethiopia.

It took me a few hours to respond to questions #1 and #2, please don't let it take that long for you to respond to question #3. Please.

May 26, 2008

Email To Blogger

This is just a test to make sure that I can email posts to our blog when we're in Ethiopia. Quick question for anyone in the BTDT group who used a Blackberry while in Ethiopia - were you able to send/receive emails as usual and how was the cell/data service in general? Or did you use other/hotel computers to email? Thanks for any tips you can send our way!

6 Days

We've been waiting for this for a bit over one year, and dreaming of it since before we married almost 7 years ago. This was our last weekend without a kiddo in the house. We're officially at "The Monday" when we no longer have a weekend buffer to prepare for things. Because we leave next weekend! Next. Weekend.

I write this with an extreme sense of calmness because we truly have accomplished everything that one could ever hope to accomplish in one weekend. We shopped, we baby proofed, we installed (car seat is all set!), we washed, we sorted, we organized, we designed, we packed, we ate, we rested, we enjoyed.


And we owe a million dollar lottery ticket to my sister who made all of the aforementioned events actually happen. (Seriously, she rocks the souk.)

6 Days... Smiles all around!

May 25, 2008

Packing & An Ergo Lesson

The start: Clean nursery and empty bags

Next: The beginning of organization and a necessary refueling

Making sure we have everything (for Ashton Wondemu at least, we'll handle our stuff later)

Packed...half way at least

Ergo Mom!

Ergo Dad! (only legal in 2 of 50 states, that I know of...yeah, that's our cat Bridger)

May 24, 2008

In No Particular Order...

Bat #2
We arrived home after picking my sister up from the airport and decided to grab a bite to eat before settling in for the night. Then my cell rang and it was ADT with the message, "Hello, we're calling to let you know that your alarm has been triggered in zone 17 (the upstairs motion detector) and need to know if you would like us to contact the police." Uh...YEAH! Thankfully we were nearby so actually beat the police officers to our house. My fearless husband went inside and at first was a little concerned when the cat's didn't come downstairs to greet him. Then he went upstairs and it all became clear. Moments later, once the officers had arrived, my husband came sauntering outside with a wadded up paper towel in his hands and let the officers know that everything was alright. The alarm must have been accidentally triggered when Bode caught his (2nd) bat of the season. Sorry sirs... our cat apparently has some aggression issues to work through when it comes to small rodents and flying animals.

Babies R Us
I have no idea how long we were in there, but we were in sorry shape by the time we left. I had no idea you could fit so many items into one shopping cart, all of which are absolutely "necessary" and couldn't possibly be lived without. Uh huh...I'm starting to think my sister might not have been the best person to take along on this trip. "Yes of course you need that! And that, and that and that..."

Babies R Us was out of stock of Born Free bottles and training cups and a few other items, so after a well needed refueling we began operation complete the nursery #2 and braved our way through the Saturday afternoon Target traffic. One 12-month swim short and some well needed organizational pieces later we were on our way...but still no Born Free products, and the health food store next door was out of gDiapers.

We're 80% of the way to having Ashton Wondemu's bag packed along with our donations and gifts. Mike and my bag will be easy so I'm pretty happy about this. There was a minor episode of flipping out when I realized that NOBODY had Born Free products in stock (apparently people took the recent press on BPA to heart and now demand is wiping out the supply) but thankfully I found who not only had the right Born Free products in stock, but they also carry gDiapers, and they also guarantee overnight shipping for free on orders >$50! Everything will ship on Tuesday and be ready to join our packed bags on Wednesday. Phew.

The nursery...I'll let the picture speak for itself!

Chevy Chase
Is there a more perfect way to end a lo-ooong Saturday of shopping, packing, and nursery prep than steaks on the grill and Funny Farm on the couch? I think not. And it gets even better when it's shared with a sister who also enjoys such quirky things as watching 1980's movies over, and over, and over and still finding them just as funny every single time.

We booked our hotel in Dubai for next Monday in the Deira Creek region. We also booked the Hilton in Addis Ababa for the full 7 nights just in case we're unable to stay at HOH, but the reservations can be canceled without penalty through next week so we're not too worried. We're just relieved to have reservations set and confirmed.

This time next week we'll be on our way, 50 minutes into our flight to Dubai!

May 23, 2008

New Pictures!

We received these two new pictures today and I must say that we are parents to the most adorable little boy on Earth. Not that I'm biased or anything...


Our flights are booked and we leave in NINE DAYS! We're all set to depart NY on Sunday, June 1st and arrive in Dubai on Monday morning. We're going to spend the day/night in Dubai and then take off for Addis Ababa on Tuesday morning to meet our son. We'll be in Addis for an entire week (not returning to NY until the next Tuesday) so should have plenty of time to explore the city where our son was born and love, feed, and play with all of the children at HOH. The next nine days will definitely not go by quick enough, but that's ok, we're leaving in nine days! I haven't packed for any trip we've ever gone on earlier than the night before our flight, but somehow I think this one will be different...

May 20, 2008

Updates and Details!

(Scroll down for some pretty adorable pictures!)

So basically we haven't stopped smiling since yesterday and have tacked on the word "mom" or "dad" to every sentence we say to each other. "What do you want from the coffee shop, dad?" "Are you going to finish that last piece of sushi, mom?" We have our flights on hold and will hopefully be taking off on June 1st, just waiting on confirmation of our US Embassy appointment in Addis Ababa before we make the purchase. We're leaning towards flying Emirates Airline and spending a night in Dubai on the way there, with just one very short layover on the flight back. Short...yeah, I'm sure that's a word we will not be using at any point during the 22 hour trip home! Now we need to figure out if we'll be staying at the House of Hope, the Hilton, or the Sheraton, but are really hoping we can stay at the House of Hope for at least a few of the nights.

Now here's my favorite part of this post - DETAILS! They came in the form of two emails from CHI moms who recently returned home with their children. They had spent lots of time at CHI's transition home, House of Hope, which is where Ash currently is. They were able to love, play with, and feed him! Below are some of the details they were able to share with me. I can't tell you how floored we were to receive such thoughtful emails from two complete strangers who had spent time with our son as recently as a couple weeks ago. Amazing. THANK YOU!

Here is a snapshot of my favorite bits of the emails - Enjoy!

"I fed Wondemu. He was so sweet, at first he just held his bottle, but after he realized that I was willing to hold it for him he started playing with my hair."

"The fuzz on his head is so soft and he seems to love it if someone rubs his head."

"He wasn't walking yet when we were there, but he did a great job when I would hold his hands. He does pull up on furniture, but very slowly and cautiously. His crawl is hilarious, he sort of does a low military low-crawl, more elbows than hands, except he sticks his little diapered bottom pretty high in the air."

"He is plumpy round with rolls in all the right baby places."

"He seems to have excellent fine motor skills."

"He is a very sweet and beautiful boy. He is very shy and serious, but very cuddly and affectionate. He mostly liked to be held."

May 18, 2008

Tomorrow Morning, Round Two

So here's the deal. The most probable reason that our agency didn't receive any word from Ethiopia on Friday about how/if court went is that they were without electricity due to the awful conditions mentioned in yesterday's post. The most realistic next steps (at least the ones I've created in my own mind) are as follows:

*The electricity outage didn't affect the courts and court happened, and it went well. If this is the case then we will be receiving an email from our agency tomorrow informing us that we are officially mom and dad to our beautiful son. NOTE: This means that right now, this very instant, we are ALREADY mom and dad! (I'm obviously hoping for this scenario...)

*The electricity outage did affect the courts and court didn't happen. If this is the case then hopefully we will be rescheduled for court on Monday with a successful result and will be notified by our agency tomorrow, or rescheduled for another day sometime soon and will be notified shortly.

*The electricity outage didn't affect the courts and court did happen, but it didn't go well. If this is the case then hopefully we'll be rescheduled for court soon with enough time to address whatever reasons may have caused our court hearing to be unsuccessful. This is the scenario I'm dreading.

So as it turns out my data driven analytic personality type may be benefiting me this weekend because I really do think I've sorted out all potential realistic scenarios. On the other hand I've spent the entire weekend sorting out all potential realistic scenarios...and now I have a headache. Thank goodness we spent most of yesterday planting in the garden. My soul returns to a happy place every time I pass by the back window and view the rain on our newly planted vegetables and herbs. But the REAL happy place will come tomorrow...right? All extremities crossed, here's to hoping for good news tomorrow.

Hallelujah. Holy Sh*t. Where's the Tylenol.
(If you don't get this reference you had better run out to your local video store and rent National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Then you'll get it. Yes, we're watching Christmas movies today...surprised?)

May 17, 2008

Drought In The Horn

So we're over our 12 hour moment of weakness pity party. Amazing how one article can snap you right out of anything and completely change your perspective on a day. One of the orphanages CHI works with is in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia which is referenced in the NY Times article below. Click here to read more from UNICEF about the devastating drought in the Horn of Africa or click here to make a donation. The butterflies in my tummy are back, but this time in a sick to my stomach sort of way.

New York Times
Famine Looms as Wars Rend Horn of Africa
Published: May 17, 2008
Villagers say hundreds of Somalis are dying of hunger and thirst amid soaring global food prices, skimpy rainfall and rising violence.

May 16, 2008

Could Be, But Don't Want To Be

We could be being strong about the fact that we may or may not have made it through court today and won't even know if court took place until Monday, but to be honest, we don't really want to be strong right now. We want to be at home, with his picture, maybe in the dark maybe not, just not thinking about the many ways that we should or could "appear strong". Because we don't feel strong right now. We feel helpless and we feel selfish for feeling helpless and honestly just want to get an email tomorrow morning from someone in Ethiopia who happens to have email access informing us that court actually happened, and that it went well.

There are so many times throughout the process where I think adoptive parents have to assume the appearance of being strong. Whether it be waiting on your acceptance into the program with an agency, waiting on your approved home study, waiting on your I-171H, waiting on confirmation that your dossier actually made it from St. Louis to Washington D.C. to Ethiopia, waiting on a referral to waiting on a court date to waiting on confirmation of a successful court date (which could take 2, 3, or 4+ tries) to waiting on confirmation of a visa appointment for travel...My goodness the waiting and need to be strong at all times is just never ending. And please, lets just remove the line "it will all be worth it in the end" from anyone's vocabulary. Because honestly, do you really think we're thinking of bailing? Trust me, we know it will be worth it, and we're IN THIS.

So for now, at least for the few remaining hours of tonight, we're not going to be strong about this. We're going to wish that today had gone according to plan and try and convince the knots in our stomachs to just go away. And then we're going to wake up tomorrow morning and it's all going to be better. We're going to plant in our garden and imagine Ash plucking tomatoes from the vines this summer. We're going to rearrange our work travel plans for next week so that we will be in the same state (hopefully NY) when we receive news of how/if court proceeded today. And then we'll be strong. We could be strong now, but we don't really want to be. Sometimes it's OK to just not be happy about how a day went.

No News

We just got an email from CHI's Ethiopia Program Director. In a nutshell it said that they haven't heard from Ethiopia yet about how court went today and that this is probably due to the power being out. She assured us that this lack of communication between their staff in Ethiopia and the US only happens when there is no power. She also said that we'll likely have to wait until Monday for any news.

On a more positive note she wrote that she's sure court was favorable for all of the families and that we'd receive an email letting us know once it's confirmed. But probably not until Monday. I guess the butterflies in my tummy will just have to hang out for a while longer...

Here's a link to a short article I found on the power outages and water shortage. It's raining in NY today, oh how I wish I could send it their way.

May 14, 2008

Tomorrow Morning

Is potentially the last morning I will wake up, ever, forever, without legally being recognized as a mother to a child. Our child has been growing in our hearts for a long while, however tomorrow morning could be the last morning when I wake up wondering if it will ever be "official". Addis Ababa is 7 hours ahead of us here in NY, so there is a real possibility that I will wake up on Friday morning to the phone call informing us that we are now, officially, his parents. Which brings me back to the possibility that tomorrow morning could be the last morning before everything changes. Friday morning everything could change.

I don't know all of the ins and outs of the regulations, but I'm pretty sure our boy's birth mother will need to be present at the court appointment on Friday in order for us to be officially identified as his parents from that point forward. The very word "official" in this case means two completely different things. For me, "official" is a gargantuan sigh of relief and a beginning of the life of a forever family. For her, thousands of miles away, the word "official" is causing her to dread Friday morning. Tomorrow could be a last for me, but would then also be a last for her. She will always be his first mother and we will make certain that our son knows and understands and is proud of his beginnings. Nonetheless, I'm feeling a bit bittersweet about the next 36 hours.

May 12, 2008

Yup, That Was Me


That was me, shouting in frustration after being confronted with the realities of maternity leave standards in the USA.

And then that was me, dragging the cats into Brooklyn for the week when we decided that we just needed to do the city thing for a few days. Now.

And yes, that was me leaving my favorite nail salon after receiving the most fabulous spa pedicure (Mothers Day gift from hubby) so that I could wear my fabulous new peep toe shoes (also, Mothers Day gift from hubby) out to dinner this week. Big smiles.

Big smiles were then topped with sheer happiness when it was me walking out of Whole Foods with my very first starter kit of gDiapers. Yup, that was me walking through Union Square with a box of gDiapers. The cashier asked if I wanted a bag. Are you kidding me? I'm sporting my diaper purchase freestyle woman!

So finally, that was me wearing flip flops to sport my pretty new toes, toting a box of diapers in one hand and a bag of wine in the other, then stopping to pick up dinner from my favorite Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. Frustration Schmustration, these are happy days.

Oh, and one last thing. That was me sporting the "4 days until court" ticker at the top of the blog!

*Update: This is me, being grateful for employers willing to compromise in tough situations. But I have to admit Canada's policy sounds pretty nice!

**Better Update: THREE DAYS!!

Jump At The Sun

Deesha Philyaw's recent post on Anti-Racist Parent is fantastic. In addition to her witty insight on "the princess problem" she lists several fantastic resources. One sent me to where I picked up a handful of great books from Hyperion Book's Jump at the Sun (jats) products. I'm particularly excited about Jack and the Beanstalk, but if you search jats on Amazon you'll find a slew of options. Amazon is also currently running a 4 for 3 promotion so keep in mind that if you add 4 jats books to your shopping cart 1 of them will be discounted when you check out, and if your order totals $25 or more you can receive free shipping!

May 10, 2008

Categorizing Mom

Teleflora's "America's Favorite Mom" which is set to air as a prime-time NBC special on Mothers Day still hasn't figured it out. The show set out to crown remarkable moms based on categories, one of which bit the dust early on. You see, in addition to the categories of Military Mom, Working Mom, Single Mom, and CEO "Chairman of Everything" Mom was the category Non-Mom Mom. The Non-Mom Mom category (defined as "Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. A priceless gift for everybody.") was recently changed to "The Adopting Mom" because of the reaction to the previous label of Non-Mom Mom. Duh. I'd like to know where the head of the person in charge of coming up with those labels was when they were signed off on. They've now issued this:

Teleflora is immediately changing the name of our "Non-Mom" category to "Adopting Moms". After closer examination, we can see how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children -- moms who are indeed real moms to their children in every sense of the word. In fact, many of us at Teleflora are “adopting” parents ourselves, including our president and owner. The essence of this category still focuses on a grandparent, neighbor, step mom, or mom to adopted or foster children, each one raising and loving a child."

Great. Thanks. Your thoughtlessness is forgiven. God bless America. Yet I'm still perplexed by the inclusion of a separate category for adopting moms in the first place. All of the other categories are defined by the mom's work status while just this one describes a method of becoming a parent. What if I want to nominate someone who is a Working Mom and and Adopting Mom, do I have to choose? Or does the fact that she adopted her child somehow eliminate her from simply being a Working Mom, would she need to be a Working Adopting Mom? The whole contest just rubbed me the wrong way.

So to end this rant I'd like to propose a new category to vote on:

Kick Ass Mom. This category is non dependent on current work status as defined by the IRS nor does it consider the method of becoming a parent as an influential factor. May we all thrive as Kick Ass Moms always.

May 9, 2008


I'm a little late in posting this but...Congrats to Jamie on the newest member of The Battle Station!

May 8, 2008

Wonder Boy

Wonder Boy is the new Bean. We should have been calling him this all along, but until a good friend pointed out the similarities in the sound of his name compared with the sound of Wonder Boy we just hadn't quite caught on. So for now, at least until we can share his name (which for those counting is now just one week!) he will be known as Wonder Boy.

Although most of his wonders will take place post-now there are already a few wonders happening that are fully due to his presence in the world.

#1: Wine Enthusiast Toast of the Town. This is the one event my husband and I have attended absolutely every year since moving to NYC 7 years ago regardless of anything. We always go, always. The top wine distributors in the world and top chefs in the city go all out in a pristine NYC setting (Lincoln Center) for an unmatchable culinary experience. Seriously, we've LIVED for this event and are often the first to purchase tickets. Until this year. I'm embarrassed to admit that my dear friend actually had to email me asking if we had our tickets yet and that was the first thought I'd given to the event! ITS MAY! What was I thinking? We're typically the ones emailing our friends in March reminding them to purchase tickets and here we are in May, having completely forgotten about the event entirely and now due to prior work commitments will not be able to attend. What is wrong with us!!?? Oh yeah...we've had other things on our mind. And I'm SOOOOO OK with that.

#2: We're about to potentially wrap our last week on Earth before officially becoming parents. If all of the stars align by the end of next week we will officially be mom and dad. That's one wonder our Wonder Boy will have a hard time topping. Although there's not a doubt in my mind that he will.

Nursery Prep & High Hopes

Who knew that becoming first time parents would catapult us into the group of highest consumers of plastic on the planet. Seriously, every single box we open contains a ridiculous amount of plastic packaging, foam padding, or some other chemical-laden shipping material. Our recycling pickup is only ever other week so our recycling bins have been stuffed to the max lately. This is one area where I've got to salute Ikea - they do an amazing job of environmentally friendly packaging and shipping. Honestly, 3 tiny boxes that fit into the trunk of a compact car will somehow magically turn into a king size bedroom set. It's kind of like the circus stunt where 15 clowns pour out of a VW Bug only it's an entire homes worth of furniture crammed into a handful of boxes with minimal amounts of plastic. Children's shops could learn a thing or two.

So what did all of those boxes and sheets of plastic bubble wrap and newspaper wads net us? An almost complete nursery! I really think we're one order of gDiapers and a diaper genie away from having the basics covered. Yes I know I'm fully delusional and that there are certain to be zillions of runs to the store for the "absolutely necessary" items we're sure to have forgotten or just haven't thought about yet, but I stopped worrying about all of that the moment my experienced mother of three older sister booked her flight to visit us over Memorial Day weekend. She thinks she's coming out for a relaxing weekend. Yeah...

8 days. I got an email from our agency yesterday that said aside from events out of our control such as a family member not showing up or there not being electricity that day (Addis Ababa has been without electricity about 2 of 5 weekdays per week lately because of an awful drought) that we should have high hopes of passing court next Friday. Of course the events that are out of our control could certainly occur, we're just hoping they don't!

May 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby

So, this post confirms the reason God created bakeries. Well, we tried. Look forward to Ashton's 1st birthday (the remix) once he's home when we'll have a cake that doesn't look like blue frosting and store-bought letters come dangerously close to duking it out with the only winner being the lone #1 in the corner that eventually melted because it took us so long to take the darned picture. We'll figure it out, eventually, maybe, or not, but there will ALWAYS be lots of frosting and tons of candles and ridiculous amounts of laughter. Bring it on.

A homemade (Pillsbury) cake cooling on the front porch

The final product

What it took to get to the final product (We had a huge tub of Christmas sprinkles left over but of course only the red and white would be appropriate for this occasion. Only a Daddy would pick out the green sprinkles for his boy's first birthday!)

The final product lit

And enjoyed...happy birthday baby.

And just to stay true to form... 1 week 4 days TOTALLY kicks 1 week 5 days butt!!

May 3, 2008

Poor, Poor Mailman

So my last post referenced some Really Good People we're fortunate to have in our lives. Today I'm going to add the mailman to that list. OK, in all fairness he has been on the list since we began stalking him 11 months ago but recently he's gained regal status on the Really Good People list. I think that instead of a monetary gift during the holidays this year we're going to need to send him to a chiropractor or a really good masseuse. Within the past couple weeks he's graciously delivered to our doorstep (these packages don't exactly fit in a mailbox) a car seat, highchair, *32 pound box of gifts from the grandma's for our "remote baby shower", and um, our neighbor's goat just escaped and is running dangerously close to the road just a sec...

OK, the goat is safe. This kind of thing just doesn't happen when we're in Brooklyn. I've had blog-posting interrupted to pay the sushi delivery man and occasionally to enjoy the latest Dominican beat being pumped through our neighbor's window, but never an escape goat.

Where was I...oh, the mailman. I can't imagine his confusion as most of the packages have Babies R Us plastered on the side or some other obvious children's shop label and ALL are addressed to "Mom & Dad". When he dropped off the car seat I watched his eyes wander to my belly and could tell he was confused. Based on the other packages we regularly receive from "Children's Hope International Adoption Agency" and "Adoptive Families Magazine" I thought he would have put two and two together, but apparently not yet. He hasn't quite caught on. My plan is to wait until we pass court on May 16th (1 week 6 days is by far the best that ticker has ever looked!) and then meet him at the doorstep to fill him in on the news and what an important part of the journey he's been. I'm sure he'll be speechless and begin weeping uncontrollably...or more realistically will just share a congrats and be on his merry mailman way. In any case at least he'll finally understand the delivery of all things baby. And then curse us as he limps back to his truck rubbing his sore back.

*A note regarding our remote baby shower: Most of our family lives in MN and we're in NY and given the always last minute and up-in-the-air time line of international adoption we weren't able to schedule a time for us to go to MN for a shower, so they mailed the shower to us! I already know that one of the boxes is full of toys that my sister's children generously agreed to share with their new cousin, but I have to wait until hubby comes home later today to open some of the others...grant me patience!!! (The exciting kind of patience though, not the patience schmatience waiting sucks kind.)