Monday, May 31, 2010

Close encounter of the parental kind

The week after the girls were here my parents visited.  I think my dad was quite nervous to come to Chicago...but I think by the time he left he learned that Chicago isn't the scary, crime-ridden, cesspool he thought it was.

I gave my dad the run-down of all there is to do in our fabulous city...and I let him choose what he wanted to do.  We started the weekend off at the Museum of Science and Industry.  They have a really cool exhibit there - U505.  U505 was a German Submarine that the US captured in WWII.  You can go right on the isn't in water anymore, it is dry docked in the museum.  My dad is fascinated with history so I knew he'd love it.

After the museum, we stopped by Navy Pier.

Day two of their stay we went on a gangster tour downtown.  On the tour they had a giveaway.  Dad won a book about Chicago mobsters.  He was so cute - like a little boy on Christmas.

The third day I thought we'd head back downtown and do some sight-seeing...but no.  When the Untouchables Tour was over, dad was chatting with the fellow in the above pic who told him about a huge car museum.  So guess where we went?  Yup.  We spent the third day checking out hundreds and hundreds of cars...then four antique malls.  Ah well...that's my dad for you.

I almost had Nathan convinced to let me buy this.  I can't even begin to tell you how long I have wanted one of these VW busses. (Remember my Hippie phase??!?)  It has original paint and original interior...and it was on SALE!!!  Unfortunately Nathan didn't catch my enthusiasm.  :(

Nathan found ways to keep himself entertained at the antique mall:

This was the treasure my dad got at the antique antique metal riding horse:
They couldn't take it on the plane with we'll be driving it out this summer.  Do you think it needs to be in a car seat??!?

Girl's Weekend

We have had a busy few weeks at our house.   First off: the great city of Chicago played host to our first (of hopefully many) Girl's Weekend!  My mom and my three sister-in-laws flew in from Utah and we spent the next four and a half days playing.  We went to Six Flags, stimulated the economy at the outlet mall, did some sightseeing downtown, saw the Botanical Gardens....and ate a lot of yummy food.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the week:

I know the pictures they take on rides are for suckers.  Well, call me suckered...I just couldn't resist this one.  Bottom row: Me, Shanna, Mom (L-freakin-OL!), Kass and Michelle is on the second row on the right. 

Jelly Belly Factory Tour.  Kinda cheesy...but we always have fun snickering about the train engineer tour guides.  Our poor girl sounded like an auctioneer rattling off her script :"AndifyoutakealookattheTVsontherightyoucanseehowjellybellybeansaremade."

My OCD came in handy at the outlet mall.  Ghirardelli has this little bag that you can fill with as many squares as you can fit.  I got 72 in that little bag (don't judge...the 72 were for the five of us and for the girls to take home with them...just how much of a chocolate whore do you think I am??!?   Don't answer that.) 

We stopped at a beach so the girls could see Ocean Michigan (because if you can't see the other side of a body of water we decided you can call it an ocean) and there was this barrier thing.  It said STAY OFF...which meant we had to go out on it.  It doesn't look that bad, but it was kinda creepy. 

We had fun playing at the Bean.

I loved having them here to visit...I'm pretty sure I walked more in those four days than I have walked in the past four months.  My poor knees were swollen for three days afterwards!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We're live!!

Our profile is now live on our agency's website

You can see it HERE

Oh, Happy Day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guest blogger

I was asked to guest post on a blog for birthmothers.  Check it out here

I'm famous.  Aren't you glad you know me??  :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Remember this fantastic day?

I got a message from our caseworker today - our homestudy is complete.  We are {{FINALLY}} officially approved to adopt!!

It only took 207 days (just a few days shy of 7 months).


We celebrated with Coldstone :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Love this!

(you can click on this to make it bigger if you can't read it)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

To my many mothers

Happy Mother's Day!

L to R: Mom, Grandma Verla, Aunt Linda and me

Alice (Nathan's mom) and me

Grandma Donna and me

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Birthmother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  All over the US, people will be celebrating their mothers.  Over the last five years Mother's Day has become an increasingly difficult holiday for me.  I {{love}} my mother, grandmothers, mother-in-law and all my sister-in-laws...but the day is a celebration to all things tender to us.  It is a celebration of something I want so much, but have not yet been able to have.  We usually plan ahead to spend the day away from family, friends and church; away from the celebrations that sting a little too much on the wounds deep in my heart.  Sitting in church, waiting for the uncomfortable moment when all the women are asked to stand is like waiting for execution.  I know they are having everyone stand so as to not exclude anyone...but standing there, waiting for my card or carnation or whatever token is being distributed, I feel like a fraud.  Like there is a big flashing  sign on my chest that says "Not a mother!"  By the end of the meeting I am a mess, and I would rather weep in the privacy of my own home. 

It has been a little different this year.  Maybe that's because I feel like we're finally moving closer to the reality of someday actually being parents.  Our adoption journey thus far hasn't been the smoothest, or the quickest...but at least we're moving towards a goal.  But the day I do get the lucky distinction of being called Mother, it will be due to the selfless sacrifice of another.  The best day of my life, will be the worst of hers.

So today as you prepare for the festivities tomorrow will bring, take a moment to think of those brave women who made the tough choice.  Say a prayer for them.  If you know one, hug her. 

If you have some spare time, these two blogs will give you some insight into the love that goes into the decision to place a baby through adoption (please never say GIVE UP for makes me cringe):  Oh, but just a warning - you better have Kleenex handy.  Seriously. 

You can read the history of Birthmother's Day HERE

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Don't mess with the dress

I got up today, got the mail and noticed yet another bill from my accident back in November.  It was from my ever-so-awesome chiropractor, who STILL hasn't been paid..despite the many phone calls he's made.  I got mad.  I picked up the phone and called the adjuster....and no sooner than I got my name out SHE HUNG UP ON MEI thought to myself "surely this must be an accident."  So I waited, and waited and she never called back.  Apparently it wasn't an accident.  I got madder.  I called our insurance guy (who has been slightly more helpful than a wet rock) and got his voicemail...on which I left a pretty steamed message...afterall...shouldn't he go to bat for me?  Isn't that part of why I pay such outlandish premiums??!? 

Because I had yet to speak with a real human, my frustration was nearing a boiling point.  I know my credit has been negatively affected by now, not to mention I am EMBRRASSED that my doctors haven't been paid.   So what did I do?  I got online and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and the Illinois State Insurance Commission.  Nathan is checking with JAG before he comes home.  Ya, JAG, as in NAVY LEGAL

My accident wasn't that bad.  I wasn't hospitalized, no one died.  My neck still aches now and then, but I am better off than lots of other accident victims I've seen.  I never wanted to sue them...I've never understood that mentality.  Until today.  I have spent so many hours on the phone trying to take care of this.  I have gotten more than one headache from this mess...all because they aren't doing THEIR JOB

You mess with me, you won't like what happens.  Despite what my sweet, charming smile would have you believe, I can be mean when I need to be. 

In addition to all the above craziness...Nathan called our caseworker today.  He is fed up with the stalling and waiting.  Turns out our background check came back about a week ago.  Seriously.  No phone calls to let us know.  Who knows how long it would have been before we heard from them if Nathan hadn't called this morning. 
Our final interviews and home visit are now tomorrow afternoon.  So in addition to all the crazy insurance hoop-jumping, now I have to clean (and I mean really clean) our entire apartment tonight...because I'm babysitting for someone tomorrow from 8 to 2. 

I just may need a keg of Diet Coke to make it through the remainder of today without causing bodily injury to someone.  Or multiple someones.