Friday, May 29, 2009

Fotos On Friday...

Hanging With Grampa - drinking some juice
Gramma and Grampa Repp
"Ready" Gramma - Gimme a Push!

My new office assistant
Happy Girl

Look Mom! New Wheels!!
The Other Girls of the house -- getting along!!! Two calico peas in a pod....
I know it's supposed to be "Favorite Foto Friday" but there was too much going on this week to have just ONE favorite!!

T met Grampa and Gramma Repp this week finally! They came up from Florida to meet Miss T. Everyone had a blast - especially gramma and grampa! I warned them that they'd laugh a lot. She's a real stitch. And she LOVED showing off for extra people this week (gramma, grampa, gramma GG - Great Gramma!!, and more of mom's aunts and uncles!).

It's hard to believe that today officially marks two months that we've been home. She's adjusting AMAZINGLY!! Seems like she's been here for so much longer...

Have a great weekend all...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parents Needed!!!

Ok you great networking adopters....

I have a situation AGAIN that I want to pass along. My agency has 4 "WAITING" referrals that they are looking for paper ready families for... here's the list!

Sibling group of 3: 4yo girl, 3yo boy and 2yo girl
Sibling group of 3: 8yo girl, 7yo boy and 5 1/2 yo girl
Little boy born Sept 07
5 yo boy

We were successful in placing the last 3 yr old girl with a potential new mommy - can we do it again??? :)
Please holler if you know ANYONE who might be interested. Even if it's just some one's blog you read!! These kids need homes...

(enter comment from Ondrea here about cats AND kids!!)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tatiana's First Memorial Day

Don't you just LOVE long weekends?

We started the weekend out with a bang - Jenni (my cousin) and I had our 2nd annual garage sale on Friday and Saturday. Last year during this time, I had just told my family about my intent to adopt a little one. In the "slow" periods of our sale, I was reading "The Russian Adoption Handbook". This year's sale was another hit. I cleared over $325 in profit -- BONUS!!

Sunday was a catch up day after the busy craziness of setting up, having and taking down the garage sale. After Wednesday and Thursday fantastic weather the private pool in the neighborhood opened this weekend - I bought out some one's membership this year (there can only be 10 families as members) because T is a little fish in the tub. I am hoping she loves the pool just as much. And luckily it's almost right across the road from my house - so it's SUPER handy.

Today T experienced her FIRST Memorial Day and her FIRST parade. It was a short one, but a good one - so it was a good first parade. Someone was handing out balloons - which she LOVES. All in all it was a great weekend. Last, a thank you to all the veterans - including those close to my heart - family: my dad, my Great-Uncle Lyle (see below) and my cousin Thad.
T's first parade and big red balloon!!!
Great Uncle Lyle - a Veteran & my grandpa's brother!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's In a Name?

Quick updates for the week. Please meet CASEY!! Thank you for ALL your great suggestions! I had thought of koshka, but it's rather a mouthful when calling a kitty. I love all the G's and P's you sent.... especially Ondrea, who I think should publish a name suggestion book! Too funny!

The other night in my half asleep delusional state, I thought, "why not rhyme with Gracie"? (my other calico). So it came to me - Casey, Lacy or Macy. Casey is the easiest for Tatiana to say - although she calls her "new new" because I kept calling her "new kitty".

She's SUCH a sweet girl. She LOVES attention and cuddling and even let's a two year pet her with no nerves! We visited the vet on Monday and she has NO ear mites, NO parasites, and passed both blood tests. WOW! Talk about a healthy girl!

Speaking of girls -- I can't post again with out an updated picture of T. She's been sporting a partial hair pigtail the last couple days and of course is super cute (although I may be a little prejudiced!) I'll have to snap a picture of it - but we've been crazy busy getting ready for this weekend's garage sale and fully enjoying this great weather. Have a great weekend all!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Need Help With a Name

I have another mouth to feed. Can you believe this gorgeous girl was a stray? I went and got her from the "bad" shelter in my county this morning - they are NOT a no-kill shelter. Because I have adopted from there before (my Gracie is from there as well), I am basically pre-approved and didn't even have to pay the fees. With that type of deal, how can I NOT save another life?

This makes my feline headcount stable at THREE again. For those of you that remember Sunny - the little kitten my mom and I first saved and then had to re save from the good shelter in the county, she never left mom's house after Russia as I suspected. She and Chloe, my mom's calico (yes we have an affinity for the calico's), are bestest buddies and could NOT be separated.

Now, I need your help. I need a good name for her. I currently have Gracie and Roo. My last calico was Gertie, so I do have a "G" thing going. I like Gabby, but my mom poo-pooed it. My first calico was Prissy -- and I just can't think of something close enough to that. So -- suggestions being taken!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Non-Puke Related Post

I swear I won't talk about puke this time... other than to mention that T seems fine. No remaining effects of last night's "incident".

She's totally enthralled with the "ABC" song these days. It's a sure fire way to get her to settle down for a minute. She tries to sing it back -- but it's all A's and C's right now. She's also loving counting to 5 - but her version is "2" and "5" and that's it.

Tatiana also wanted me to tell you all "LET'S GO RED WINGS". After all, she's Russian, hockey is in her blood, right?

Let's Go Red Wings!!!!
Playing at cousin Mary's birthday party

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stinky Car

Well it's confirmed. I must be completely in love with this little child that came into my life because I passed a HUGE test tonight for the 2nd time.

Tonight on the way home from dinner out with a friend, T was SUPER crabby. In fact, the crabbies started at the restaurant, which isn't really like her. Crabby to the point that I asked the waitress for the bill - STAT!

Suddenly from the backseat I hear it. PUKE. VOMIT. You get the picture. Well maybe not, and that's probably best!! Needless to say I had winner, winner, chicken dinner ALL over my darling sweet girl AND her clean car-seat! Awww man.

I pull over at a Wendy's stripped her down to the onesie and took the car-seat out to wipe down with the wipes from her diaper bag. And I am proud to say that I didn't even gag once. I was horrified, disgusted and seriously grossed out by touching puke, mind you. But I didn't gag once!

Those of you parent-types reading this may say "Yeah? So what? That's no biggie!". It is for me! See, I am a sympathetic puker. I don't even have to smell it sometimes -- just the noise will get me going. And this incident in the car is actually puke #2. Go mom!!

So my car is being fumigated tonight in the garage with a 2nd wipe down of the seat, febr**ze party on the seat and windows down. Laundry is running and my hands have been washed - thrice ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memories on Mother's Day

Swinging in her Favorite "Weeeeeee"

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. My friend Sue said this morning on facebook "To All Who Mother - whether by birth (or adoption!), by job or by personality!" I LOVE it. And a special Happy Mother's Day to all you "waiting mom's". Days like today can be hard when you are waiting for your little one...

Thinking of those waiting mom's made me look back a little bit today at my own wait. My wait was torturous, like everyone else's. However, honestly in retrospect I have to be very thankful that my wait really wasn't all that bad. It was within the next couple weeks last year that I really started getting serious about adoption. And like anything I do, when I put my mind on something I want to do it NOW. I have told you that I have the patience of a knat. So all told, including finding an agency, homestudy etc. my journey was basically 10 months start to finish. I have NOTHING to complain about.

And that's what made me think. Hindsight is 20/20 vision.

I think back to how impatient I was and how much harder I made it on myself. When people would tell me "enjoy your last ______ alone". "Get some sleep now while you can". "When it's your time it will happen". I wanted to kick people in the teeth when they said it. Seriously. Which is why I WON'T say it now here to all my waiting friends. But I WILL say... I hate admitting this. They were right.

I made my journey so much harder on myself than it had to be. My impatience often got the best of me. I loved reading everyone's blog and following other families journeys. But sometimes I'd compare my journey to theirs and you CAN'T. Each road is a little different. I am overjoyed at how my journey progressed. It's amazing to me how things changed along the way. When I joined my agency there were a lot of families ahead of me waiting for girls. I ALWAYS wanted a girl - she would be named Elizabeth after my gramma. I knew the wait was long for a girl in Moscow City - and I knew if I was giving birth, the gender of the child would be out of my hands - so I moved forward with boy-ville. I shopped for boy stuff, and started prepping for a little boy. While waiting for my clearance from Homeland Security to bring a child into the states, a new region opened up with my agency. Vladivostok. But - I wanted to go to Moscow City. We decided we'd start with Vlad because you didn't need the clearance papers upfront to get registered. And then Moscow City closed to singles. Oh NO! But a short 4 weeks after I was registered in my NEW region - bam! There he was. 2 days after my birthday.

Even after being told that he was "above avg risk" by a great IA doc, I agreed to travel to meet him. Most of the questions the doc had about him needed to be answered in person. I knew the second I saw him that I wasn't the mom for him. I was told there was a little girl -- wait? a girl? But her mom was a drinker... oh no. She's got to be bad, right? While we were waiting for super-secret clearance to see the little girl, I spied a little cutie on the playground. Most of you know my story that the little cutie is now my little girl. And her name is Tatiana Elizabeth... but I know that my gramma is still THRILLED.

I had this journey planned out in my head. I was going to Moscow City for a boy. I ended up in Vladivostok with a little girl. And I wouldn't change a moment of it.

Friday, May 8, 2009


We've had a major milestone this week! T finally started drinking some milk!! Coming from a family where my grandfather's family owned a dairy - selling milk myself... this is a big deal!!

Say what you want about milk - but the girl needs it! She needs some calcium for her growing bones and some milk fat to add some pounds. I had tried chocolate -- strawberry -- adding juice to it -- watering it down -- letting it warm a little so it isn't so cold. She'll eat yogurt, pudding, ice cream, cottage cheese, but milk was a big fat NYET. So what was the break through moment? Gramma gave her milk in a big girl cup at her house. So now we do milk in a big girl cup at meals only and everything else is still good to go in a sippy cup!

Tomorrow we are off to a birthday party for T's cousin Miss Mary Mack. Have a great weekend all!
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday and The "What The?" Look

Happy Hump Day all! I am pleased to report my formerly VERY sick desktop computer is home from the computer hospital with a clean bill of health. WHEW. The guys at Croswell Computers 'N Vacuums fixed Bessy up nice. They even saved my pictures and music files etc. I DID have the pictures backed up on my external hard drive - just nice to know that I am not missing anything :)

Some quick Russia updates. Congrats to my new blogger friends Ken and Gloria who have safely arrived in Vlad to meet their new duo. They are traveling to meet a sibling set (boy AND girl!) north of Vladivostok. In a FUNNY turn of events, they reported on their blog yesterday that Little T's photo montage card is hanging on the wall in Scary Tatiana's office in the MOE. More on "Scary Tatiana" here (for those that may not remember her!!). Too funny! For trip #2 I brought some gifts for the folks who "helped" along the way including some chocolates for Scary T. My other thought was to help future Lighthouse/LSS families!! Apparently she liked it! I also made picture thank you cards at Shutterfly and added (in Cyrillic) inside "Thank you for taking such good care of my daughter" for the baby home workers and "Thank you for helping me find my daughter" for the LSS team/Scary T.

Finally congrats to another new friend Pam who will be headed to Vladivostok to meet a special little girl. I am not sure if Pam blogs, but I'll have to find out. And FINALLY, Joanne and Roger who are headed to Moscow to meet their future two kidlets! I am super excited for both of you. Some people have asked if after "completing" T's journey home and the official part of the adoption if I experienced "post-adoption depression". I don't think I have. She's kept me so busy and I really enjoy being part of other families journeys, so right now I am living vicariously through Joanne & Roger, Pam, The Ross's and the Knight's!

Last, I would be shirking my responsibilities if I didn't provide a T update. She's a total stitch. Her swing set is up and she LOVES it. She's also a huge "face-maker" and makes the best faces. I think this partially started in Vladivostok with Aunt Rhonda and mom, but Gramma also has encouraged this game and honestly it's too funny! Her newest face is what I am calling her "WHAT THE?" face. She makes it typically when she's eating and something new surprises her. I can't really say "something she doesn't like" because she basically eats everything. But if something shocks her she makes the funniest face.

The "What The?!" Face...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Waiting for the Other Shoe To Drop...

I think I am starting to sound like a broken record. People ask me all the time "how is SHE doing?" (meaning Little T). The Truth is... she's doing really well! I am extremely blessed to have such a happy little girl on my hands (enter knock on wood HERE!).

Sometimes I think I am going to jinx myself. I hate to admit it, but I *AM* superstitious. I really, really hate admitting that. I don't even read emails if I think they are "chain" type letters. Seriously. I delete them. Don't send them to me... I'll start thinking nasty thoughts about you! Just kidding -- but don't send them to me :)

But back to the jinxing. I am sure that there will be issues to come. And no, she's NOT perfect. She's two. Two year olds regardless of birth country, and living situation are a handful and she's no exception. I need to be more patient with her as she continues to learn her boundaries. And like many two year olds she whines when she's not getting what she wants (and has a meltdown when it's time to come in off her new swing! More to come on that later!) But she's honestly a JOY.

I am greeted in the morning with giggles and I get a "hi!" anytime I open the car door to get her out of her car seat. And she just wants to be with me and play which she reminds me of if I am not giving her the appropriate level of attention. Sometimes I think "OH! Just let me finish making dinner" (or whatever) and then I think - wow! This girl just wants to be with her mom - what a HUGE step for her.

Her smile will melt your heart. When we eat out she likes to say hi to everyone, smile at them and wave. And if she sees someone leaving -- "bye bye" is headed their way. She's a GOOD girl!

My friend Tamara and I were talking and have identified 3 common "baby home" personalities. We are armchair "experts" of course hahaha! But it's an interesting topic - so I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts. The 3 common personalities we saw were:

1) The "Introvert": Categorized by the super shy child who when faced with any variety of stressful situation tends to draw into him/herself. Not ALWAYS shy, but to the "public" appears quiet, shy and somewhat withdrawn.

2) The "Charmer": This child tends to smile, giggle and laugh a lot to please those around him/her. Their dynamic personality probably got them what they wanted in the baby home and it follows them now too.

3) The "Town Crier": Learned that tears got a reaction and usually a quick one in the baby home - so this child uses their tears to get what they want. Not always crying - but knows the response.

T is a combination of a "Charmer" and a "Town Crier". Back in Vladivostok she was more of the crier - but she's also learning the ways of charming people as well!! For those of you who have adopted internationally, let me know if you saw this as well!