Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Housekeeping

1) New blog template, thanks to Julie's inspiration. She's inspired several of us Dillon families to have a blog makeover! I like it... but now my header looks odd. Oh well. That's about 750th on my To Do list at the moment. Then again, I'm not sure 'new blog template' was anywhere on the list either.

2) I finished the 4th and final book in the Twilight series. At 3:30 in the morning. Again. I'm really too old to stay up that late reading teenage vampire novels. But I had to see what happened with the Bella/Edward/Jacob thing and wow, Stephenie Meyer delivered! Go. Read. See for yourself. But don't come whining to me when you can't stay awake at work the next day! Blame Elaine... she started this whole thing.

3) My planner is finally updated and ready to roll. I ordered the wrong page size (too tired due to previously mentioned vampire books) and had to wait until today to get the right pages. Hopefully, I've got all of my To Dos in one place and I won't be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Well, I will. But at least I'll be running to the right place, on time for a change.

4) Thank goodness Charlie didn't win on Shear Genius. And that's all I have to say about that.

5) I'm liking Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. Now I'm hugely curious to see who the McCain VP will be.

6) My friend Meredith and her husband, Joe, received horrible news last week. They have handled everything with a grace that I wouldn't have imagined possible. I know their hearts are starting to heal - to find a little peace - and I look forward to seeing them find joy again as they move forward in their adoption journey. Little Noelle will always be in my thoughts and in my heart. A girl with fashion sense like hers is guaranteed to leave an impression!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What? Monday Already?

I may need to skip work. I finished the third book in the series yesterday. Well, last night. Or this morning. At 3:30 a.m. Yes, I'm tired. But more importantly, I need to go buy and devour (Ha! Vampire humor!) the fourth and final book in the series. I must find out what happens!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vampires. Seriously.

I am so not into vampires. Yes, there was that slight obsession with the reluctant Vampire Queen with a shoe fetish in the Unwed and Undead series... but other than that, I tend to avoid anything that sucks blood. Despite the fact that Elaine has been harping (yes, harping) about the fabulousness of the Twilight series for months, I resisted.

But I finally sat down with the first book. Wow. That'll teach me to doubt Elaine.

I'm completely loving the characters and the writing and the humor and the angst. I bought the second book in the series this morning and my weekend plans now include the book and the Olympic wrap-ups.

There's only one problem. I'm keep seeing Elaine's husband when I'm picturing Edward. And I'm still voting for vampire hair.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cows and Planner Pages


Seemingly disparate topics, no? However, equally important in our little corner of the world.

This morning, while driving A to daycare, she asked where milk comes from. The conversation went something like this:
  • Milk comes from cows.
  • From their tushies? (snort)
  • No, from udders. (insert explanation about udders)
  • Do you pull their tail to make the milk come out?
  • No. (insert mama trying not to laugh while explaining about milking a cow)
  • (insert child thinking so hard that I could hear the gears turn)
  • Do you have to push a button like at McDonalds?
  • (insert mama laughing so hard that I could have potentially snorted milk out of my nose)

After dropping the kids at school and daycare, I headed to work - which was much less amusing than the automobile conversation that started the day off. And while I was there, attempting to figure out magazine deadlines, readoption meetings with a lawyer (who is going to do our readoption for free!), and stuff I need to do for upcoming PTO events, I realized I seriously need to go back to my day planner.

Since I started my job at the publishing company three years ago, I haven't used my day planner. I didn't have all that many deadlines - usually one big magazine deadline a month and maybe a couple of interviews to remember. There were PTO meetings and Site Council meetings and maybe a Quilt Night here or there... but I could keep track of it all on our family calendar and it was no big deal. But I'm finding that some additional responsibilities at work and my position as president of PTO this year are making my family calendar obsolete. And the little 'To Do' lists that I scribbled on post-it notes are now taking up entire notebooks. So... off I went to the Franklin Covey web site. Now that I've dropped this month's salary on updates and expedited shipping, I should be somewhat organized by the weekend.

But I can't get the picture of a cow with a 'Milk' and a 'Diet Coke' button on its udder out of my head.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reunion August 2008

The weekend didn't go quite the way we'd planned... a flat tire on the turnpike torpedoed our plans for the Ethnic Festival... but it was still fabulous! Hank and his family came to visit - whoo! And we also met Steve and Allison, who are adopting a little boy through Dillon from the same orphanage as Hank & P. I'm sure we'll be seeing them a lot as our children grow. There was a little shopping, a lot of talking and laughing and eating, and a few talent shows (four girls singing and dancing - cute the first couple of times... after that, not so much). Reunion August 2008 was terrific! So terrific, in fact, that we're scheduling Reunion November 2008 in Tulsa!

Friday, August 15, 2008

School Daze

Today is the first day of school. Well, technically, it's the second day of school. But since yesterday consisted of 2 hours and 10 minutes of book and school supply organizing... and since I didn't take a picture yesterday... TODAY is the day I'm acknowledging as the first day of school.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You Knew It Wasn't Going To Be That Easy

When last we met, your hero was gloating because the adoption finalization process was going so smoothly. Uh huh. You knew that wasn't going to turn out well, right?

Our state recognizes foreign adoptions as legal and final. In order to get P's state birth certificate issued, we handed over some paperwork, paid $14 at the court house, and in 6-8 weeks we'll have the new form. A name change is a little more paperwork, but also easily achievable by someone who waded through an international adoption. With the name change and the state birth certificate, we can get the social security number. It was all going along swimmingly until I looked into the requirements for the Certificate of Citizenship. We have to have paperwork from the state legally acknowledging the adoption. And we'll have to hire an attorney to accomplish that. Crap.

So I called one lawyer today and have a quote for $750. I've got a call into another law firm and we'll see what they say. I have a lawyer friend who works for the State. Her husband is a lawyer with the District Attorney's office. I'm tempted to see if they can do a little legal moonlighting if I do the majority of the paperwork. I have no problem paying people for a job well done, but honestly - I can do all but ONE STEP on my own!

I'll let you know what I find out. In the meantime, I've got to get back to the Water Cube!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Go World!


I'm a huge Olympics junkie. If I'm scarce for the next two weeks... well, at least you'll know I'm not robbing a bank or anything.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

She's Gonna Be The Death Of Me

I had this post in my head. I was going to tell you all about P's early intervention assessment today and how proud I was of her for being brave and interacting with the therapist and showing off for a complete stranger in a strange setting. I was going to tell you about the tears I had in my eyes when P reached out and took the baby doll from the therapist and proceeded to feed the baby with a bottle, following the verbal instructions perfectly. Oh, this was going to be a mushy post!

Instead, I got distracted when we took P to the emergency room for her first (of what I'm sure will be many) visit.

We have chairs in our dining room that have wheels. Well, we did. As of approximately 7:30 this evening, the chairs are in the basement and I don't have any way to sit at my dining room table. But anywho... earlier today I had chairs with wheels in my dining room. P has been climbing onto the chairs to sit for weeks now, but she's a daredevil and so she's taken to standing while on the chairs. Her father and I have repeatedly told her to GET DOWN and to SIT DOWN and we have warned her of the dire consequences of NOT LISTENING. Today, she got a first hand lesson in 'dire consequences' when she fell and hit her chin on her way down. The cut is less than an inch long but it was deep so we took her to the emergency room, where it took three adults to hold her down long enough for the doctor to apply the liquid stitches. By the time we got home, P was playing and laughing. The first thing she did when we walked in the door? Ran to the chairs and started to climb. Hence their removal to the basement. Sigh.

But back to the assessment. We met the therapist and all of us got cozy on a classroom rug. P was asked to hold a baby doll, feed the baby, find the baby's eyes, stack some blocks, pick up cheerios, figure out how to get cheerios out of a bottle, throw a ball, fetch the ball, kick the ball, and a few other follow-the-directions type of things. The amazing part is that P followed the directions! The therapist was terrific and P slowly warmed up to her, even tossing some smiles her direction. P was incredibly cautious at first, as expected, and I literally had tears in my eyes when P reached out to take the baby doll from the therapist's hand. By the end of the evaluation, P was eating out of her hand... literally... taking Cheerios from the therapist's palm.

There were a lot of questions about behavior patterns and learning cues. P's hearing and vision were tested as well. In the end, the result is that P tests exactly in her age group (18 months) for all physical and behavioral categories except speech - which we knew. Her language development falls in the 'caution' zone though, not the 'delay' zone. The therapist is confident that with a little additional work on our parts, Pcan be caught up to her age group in 6 months. Whoo! The therapist will be coming out to our house every 6 weeks to spend time with P and to teach us the best ways to work with her.

Early intervention services are available for free through your local school district, so don't be afraid to call and ask for an evaluation. However, emergency room services are not free... so remove all the chairs in your house with wheels right away.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Summer Is Almost Gone

School starts in 8 days... EIGHT days. We figured we needed to get at least one more pool day in before summer is gone, gone, gone. I'm ready for fall and football and chili and all the great things that come with a change in seasons, but I'll miss the lazy pool days with my girls.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Final Batch of Paperwork

Now that we've finished our post-placement visits, we can jump into the last bit of adoption paperwork for Miss P. After making a few phone calls, I've discovered that our state is a wonderful place to live! Forget the 100 freakin' degree temps we've been experiencing over the last several days... when it comes to adoption, our state is a gem!

Since P's adoption was finalized in Vietnam, we must take her adoption documents down to the courthouse, whereupon we will fill out one piece of paper and pay the clerk $14.

That's it.

Seriously. That's all we have to do. That little tiny visit to our county courthouse will accomplish the following:
  1. P's adoption will be legally recognized in the U.S.
  2. We will legally change her name.
  3. She will automatically receive a state birth certificate.

So that's obviously on my agenda for the week. Then we can pay a call on our local Social Security Office, which we all know will not be nearly as joyful.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Brand New Child

Last night, P was baptised. There has been a bit of turmoil in our church in regards to a new pastor and we had wanted to wait until things had settled down a little. However, the turmoil doesn't seem to be settling and we were up against a deadline. P's godfather is leaving in a couple of weeks to teach English as a second language in Korea and will be gone for up to two years. Sooooo... we called up the church, did some finagling to get both godparents here from out of state, and Ta Da! According to our pastor, we have a brand new child... theologically speaking :)

Both N and A were baptised during Sunday morning church service. With P, we chose to have a private ceremony on a late Friday afternoon. It was perfect for her because there were no strange people to stress her out (other than the minister, who was already not her favorite person after he poured water onto her head).

P's godparents are our best friends from college - my old roommate, Melanie, and the husband's fraternity pledge father, Earl. We are so glad they were able to take time from their own crazy lives to be here for P's baptism, and that they agreed to be her godparents. From the first when we were discussing adoption, we knew Mel and Earl would be perfect. Melanie will teach our daughter all about compassion, love, and faith and Earl can teach her the intricacies of the Wishbone and Cover 2. Now THAT'S a well-rounded kid.

After the kids were in bed, Mel and I retreated to the family room with some wine and chocolate for a good gossip (or, as Earl said, we talked about boys and fixed each other's hair), while the guys stayed upstairs to relive the glory days of Nebraska football. I'd say it was a successful evening in many respects :)