Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Call To Action (Yes! You, too!)

A few weeks back, my friend Holly, another Lighthouse "Grad" posted this link on Facebook. Click me!

In a nutshell, there is some talk in Congress of severely limiting the current tax credits available for adoption. This plan would take the credit down from approximately $12K now to $5 after 2010. YIPES! The link walks you through a suggested call to action. It's simple, really - send a note to your Senators and Representatives. They even practically write the letter FOR you!

I know I am preaching to the choir to a majority of the people who read my blog. But for those of you who haven't adopted (or haven't adopted YET!) you may not be aware that most families/people that adopt honestly spend around $50K. Yes, you read that right. FIVE OH THOUSAND $$. Reducing this tax credit will knock out a LOT of families who could adopt children in the future.

Seriously. Look at this face and think about having to say NO because you simply can't afford it. I sent my letters this weekend, complete with picture.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Update

Even though the weather was just so-so this weekend, T has fun as usual. On Saturday we joined my friend Krista over in Marlette, MI for their county fair days. We went to the parade and enjoyed some great people watching. We're hoping to see Krista again this weekend if we go on the girls weekend jaunt to Ohio...

Sunday we hung out in the back yard and also went to see Aunt Jenni here in town at the ball fields. Cros-Lex (the blend of my two little towns) is hosting this years Girls Little League State Finals this week - so we went to check out some of the action. Aunt Jenni is the Secretary of the Little League so she's out there pretty much sun up to sun down these days. Unfortunately, we missed game time - we arrived when one set of games was just winding down and the next one wasn't due to start until 1pm - naptime! Maybe later this week we'll catch the finals.

Here's some pics of the action...
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Have a great week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting Into The Swim of Things

As you can see, this girl LOVES the water. As suspected, after one or two trips to the pool, she's now jumping in! She jumps from the steps, from the sides and YES - even from the diving board (that one requires mom's hand). She LOVES to go swimming!!

On pool trip #3 we invited over her cousins - that's all it took was to see them jumping in and swimming and like everything else - she copied it and she's good to go. She "kicks" and even paddles her arms and scoots through the entire pool with no issues! The combo floaty suit AND arm floaties help a lot but she's a regular little fish now!

The weather here is supposed to stink this weekend... so it doesn't look like we'll make it to the pool the next couple days. RATS!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't You Wish Your Backpack Was Hot Like Mine?

Want this super cool backpack or something like it?? I stumbled upon this great company called Initials, Inc. that makes great bags (and other cool things) that are totally personal and PERSONALIZED. With a daughter named Tatiana, my chances of finding custom items in a store are slim and none. I ordered a couple items and LOVE them.

My good friend Tamara also got bit by the Initials, Inc. bug. Only she got bit harder! She's decided to become a consultant for them. With that she had a FABULOUS idea to have a "sale" in July & August with all of the profits (typically 20% of the items price) going directly to orphanages in Russia. Here are the details:

We’re excited to announce the first of two months of fundraising to benefit those children that remain in Russian baby homes awaiting their forever families. All money raised will go directly to Russian orphanages to support projects that make the lives of the children that live there better.

For every item purchased, all of the profit will go towards this effort. Each item is created, designed and personalized by you! You pick the fabric, trim (where applicable) and the personalization (font and color).

Please check out our catalog of FABULOUS items at:

To purchase any item, please contact Tamara @ The July order will be submitted on July 25. The August order will be submitted on August 25.

Great items, GREAT cause - COOL STUFF!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Then & Now

Then: March 20, 2009
Now: 3.5 Months home!

I was looking through some old photos today because is having a great sale on prints: 50 prints for 50 pennies - who can beat that? I found some pictures that my friend Lisa and Andrew took on Tatiana's first dinner out of the baby home in Artem. Holy tiny baby, Batman! She looks so little! The top picture above is from their set. It also gives a GREAT view of the wonderful hair-cutting skills in Artem and you'll see what we been cleaning up!

In some ways I can't believe we've already been home for 3.5 months. Being in Vladivostok seems like yesterday to me at some moments and at other times she feels like she's been here forever. Doesn't she look different?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tati Weighs In...

Hi Everyone!!

This is my first official blog entry! Mama says that since I am getting so smart and learning so much that it's time for me to tell everyone what I have been up to.

This week was fun!! Mama was super busy at work and pulling her hair out with some major changes and having to give some customers BAD news, so Thursday evening it was time to go "blow off some steam" she said and GO TO THE FAIR!!!

The fair was about the coolest thing I have seen yet to date. Don't get me wrong, shopping is fun, and I have liked the birthday parties I have been to; love my swing and the pool - but let's face it - the fair pretty much rocks. Do you know what they have there? ANIMALS!!! Gramma and mama decided since I like animal noises and telling everyone what animals say, that it was time for me to go MEET some animals. Like with dogs, I was super nervous (ok, I'll admit it: scared to death!) at first, but I warmed up and really had fun. I still squealed a lot but you'll see in a minute that I was ok. There were cows, a pony, donkeys, goats, sheep, ducks, rabbits, chickens, roosters - OH MY!

Then I got to ride on a big plastic horsey (I LOVE horses) on something mama called the Merry-Go-Round. We ran into Co-Co and Ashley at the rides, which was nice because Ashley went on some rides with me. I had to do the Merry-Go-Round twice because I just had that much fun. I didn't cry at ALL when it was time to get off (and if you believe me I have a bridge to sell you!!). After the plastic horse, we rode in some little trucks - and *I* got to drive! Woo hoo! Mama always drives me everywhere - so now it was my turn.

Finally, the BEST part of the day was getting to ride on A REAL horse!! They had horse rides! Mama wasn't going to"let" me do this, because she thought I'd be super scared, but I showed her!! The nice man who ran the ride let me go around once to see if I was ok before mama had to pay. And I LOVED it. In fact, I'll admit, I did have a bit of a meltdown when it was all done. Now mama is SUPER tired from her long week, the heat today at the fair and watching me have so much fun!! She says it's time for seepy-night night. Bye-bye!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Pictures on Parade

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There are just TOO many pictures to share from this weekend - so here is another slideshow of pics of Tatiana in her fun, fun weekend!

A change has been happening in my little girl over the past week or so. Something all of a sudden clicked and her strides in development have been HUGE. She's taught herself how to swing - and I mean really SWING. She pumps her feet and pulls back with her arms to keep going. My best guess is that she learned by watching the older kids at daycare. It's an amazing transformation - no more baby swing!! She wants the big kid swing!

She's always been a HUGE copy cat but it seems like all that copying has paid off. Her language is growing leaps and bounds. She getting more opinionated everyday too - and even added a new phrase last week that is NOT mama's favorite, "stop-it". And she uses it A LOT. This little baby girl is growing up!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Boom Boom Pow!

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Happy Independence Day to all! It's been a great, wonderful weekend so far - enjoying Tatiana's first 4th of July as an American citizen.

Friday daytime we got haircut #3 and are pleased to report that we are 1 haircut away from normal hair now! The mullet is basically gone and the curls continue to shine. We had a late, long nap in order to prep for the big evening! Quick geography lesson - the more north you head, the later it stays light out in the summer, so our fireworks don't happen until around 10pm. Where I live there are two little cities 4 miles apart that make a decent size school district: Croswell-Lexington. Lexington is right on Lake Huron - and for 4th of July the fireworks are done in the Lexington harbor over the water. Very cool. (Croswell does fireworks that will rival or better most cities July 4th during it's city festival in August) T not only made it to fireworks still awake, but honestly she was in pretty good spirits too! It didn't hurt that two of her favorite cousins: Katie and Emma were there to keep her company! Plus we were far enough away and the air was super damp from all the week's rain that we really didn't hear much of the BOOM.

Saturday morning was the July 4th parade in Lexington. Because it's a lakeside town, it's very touristy in the summertime, so the parade there was especially good! We had a military flyover complete with parachuters dropping down to the town, bagpipes, lots of horses, military vehicles etc. The parade was over an hour long! It was AWESOME - until the end when the firetruck got us all SOAKED! T has a blast - and even put her hand over her heart for the national anthem!

Saturday night we went out to my cousin Gary and his wife Rena's house. We had a cook out and lit cheapo backyard fireworks that I got at Wallyworld. The adults seemed to like the show more than the kids -- who were super busy running, chasing and swinging. Another great night.

The weather is awesome today and we're just kicking back having fun. Hope you all enjoyed the weekend!