Sunday, September 27, 2009

oops and wow

we can't find our camera so there were no pictures of my amazing candy creations for the bake sale today...but they were amazing. The only thing that made it home were my chocolate chip scones and one tin of bark candy...lucky me....yummm!

We may about $1500 can you believe that?! Almost all of it will go towards sponsoring orphans in Sudan with Makeway Partners. Who knew bake sales were so profitable?!

The remaining bake sale items will be at at Garage Sale this coming weekend. I won't be there because Keith and I are going to a small conference in Tennesee and because garage sales are like my kryptonite.

I had a garage sale once right before I moved to Az to go to medical school and someone started haggling with me over paying a dollar for one of the Harry Potter books...she said that she would only pay 10 cents for a paperback book. So I stood up, grabbed the book out of her hand and started shouting...Garage sale is over put down my junk and get out of my yard. I kicked that bitty out of my yard and donated everything to good will....and swore I would never have another garage sale...and I won't.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Random Rant

When I adopted Zeb, he became my son...legally...when the court in Kyrgyzstan issued the adoption decree. It is totally messed up that he had to pass a visa medical exam to come home. My insurance company treats him like my biological child...but my country treats him like some random immigrant. I hope the FACE act passes someday....and by someday I mean like soon.

To round out my being irked at the unfairness of the US organizations arguing for the public option in health care are saying that if the government ran health care it would be fair and that insurance companies now are corrupt and unfair. Insurance companies may be corrupt but we know what a public option would look like....have any of these people been to the DMV?!

My messy house

I have had the easiest work month....and have just sputtered it away doing unplanned - non-board studying things and now it is over. I am soooo sad. Monday I start working for real on a rotation where I have to take call. I sooooo don't miss call.

I was up late last night trying to make candy for the first time ever for a bake sale on Sunday. I will definitely take pictures of the final products if I can find a camera. It is not as easy to make candy as it looks...and I bought all of the stuff that is supposed to make it me.

My house is a mess and there are dirty candy molds everywhere...I can't bear to start the cleaning I thought I would type up a little bloggy blog post. Nothing really to say.

I was thinking today how different the entire waiting adoption process is this time around. With Zeb's adoption my waiting days were filled with emails to Shannon (ok that hasn't changed!) and Tina (who is too crafty to hang out with me online now! - hahaha), and 20 posts a day to the yahoo forum about shopping and the minute details of everyone's waiting and moving etc. Now I really don't have anything to post about during the whole waiting know we are just waiting. During Zeb's adoption...I had a lot more to say. Now I am just a wisened old hand at international adoptions I supposed ( I can say wisened because I have some gray hair on the left front side of my head).

I took Benjamin to the Dr's today and he is 14 months and weighs 19.8 pounds...I am pretty sure that is still small although he is turning into a little chubmeister. He is cruising but not yet walking and not saying more than mama, dada, bye, and he says 3. MOstly he says three because we always count before we do something fun like spin him around, throw him up in the air or tickle know and he is excited to get to the fun part. He is officially .2 pounds from forward facing.....ummm....someone feed him something quick!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Today we went to the travel clinic and got our Yellow Fever vaccines...ouch...and found out everything else we had to get and how much it would cost at the travel clinic (bigger ouch). We have decided to try to get the rest of the shots elsewhere.

The second big ouch this week is that apparently we will have a lot of time to figure out where to get our shots. Because we switched homestudy agencies, DHR wants us to redo all of our child abuse/neglect clearances which can take up to 2 months to get back. one phone call I went from being a nesting PAP with travel stars in my eyes to a paperchasing fool with no hope for claiming the adoption tax credit this year...darn. That is not true...there is always hope! I just prefer the approach where you plan for the longest possible time that paperwork can take and then be pleasantly surprised if it arrives sooner.

I am sure whenever the pieces fall into place...will be the right time! I was depressed for about an hour yesterday..but optimism prevails.

In other news, I purchased my very own laminator and am laminating everything I can get my hands on...well...that may be an exageration. But they are pretty cool.

Monday, September 21, 2009

the super cool moonwalk

this is the super cool moonwalk

Camping and a Halloween party!

Yes...we went camping again. A 14 month old, a 2yr old, a 6 yr old, a 9 yr old, and a mom that hates all bugs....we went camping. Dad was a little smarter this time and rented us a nice KOA cabin - which was AWESOME. It had A/C and lights...bunk beds in a separate room and a queen in the front room. There was a little porch with a porch swing. It rained all weekend...except for the 2 hours or so we were bike riding on Sunday.

By this time you probably know I don't have any pictures because I am terrible at taking pictures or downloading them. This weekend we totally forgot the camera all together!

We went on a 7.7 mile bike ride and I still have some part of my knee that is intermittently shooting pain up my leg in retaliation.

Keith pulled th boys in their little trailer and Lilianna has a little wee rider co-pilot that hooks onto the back of my it looks kind of like a tandem bike only the back part is half size. O is a big boy and was all on his own. It was very fun.

Lilianna is so apprehensive about new things she was virtually in tears when we started and about 40 seconds later she was "can we do this every day?!"

My father taught me many very important Lilianna got to experience my favorite thing that my dad taught me...the bankers holiday. Lilianna stayed home with me and we hung out today. We went shopping for her halloween party and for the bake sale I am baking for this Sunday. Then we had some starbucks and went to burger king play area for lunch.

Now I am making her Halloween party invitations (at least the back half). They are foam pumpkins that come with glitter and black and green stickers to decorate. She is decorating them and I am putting the party info on the back and tying a black spider ring on the stem with green ribbon.

I also rented a supercool moonwalk for the party....
Lilianna didn't get a birthday party I am overcompensating with the Halloween party. I am going to make it a party for everyone though...Lilianna's friends, neighborhood kids, people from work and church and O's friends if his mom will let him! I figure there will be a lot of different things going on since Halloween is on a Saturday...but if we invite a lot of people and have a moonwalk...hopefully someone will come!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Miss Emma

I don't usually do this...but OMG what a gorgeous little girl.
I-Miss EMMA is a sweet 1 year old baby girl who is doing wonderful. She is developing well and is a delightful baby girl (caucasin, hazel/brown eyes, brown hair). Emma has tested positive for HIV from her birthmother. All Married couples should inquire.
You can find out more about Emma from emailing or
How cute is she?! Had to do a little advocating... Maybe someone out there will be moved by those hazel/brown eyes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Next step...

Tomorrow is the day we figure out exactly what shots we are going to need to get. I have seen the lists on websites..but I am just going to go to the travel clinic at UAB and figure out what Keith and I need to get. I know the ones we definitely need to get, but I don't know the timing and there are some we might need to get but I am not 100% sure we need to get....I have too much on my mind to figure it out right off we go to the travel clinic.
I think I like the shopping for bunk beds and clothes more than the shopping for shots.....just my take on it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

buying in bulk

I have had a couple of weeks of a really light work has been nice. One afternoon I went to costco and did some shopping...I always spend too much....but I really enjoy buying in bulk. As I was pulling my minivan into the parking lot of costco...I saw all of the other minivans in the parking lot and realized that very soon...we were probably going to need a bigger car.

As I was shopping..I had to stop myself from buying too much in the frozen foods section because we don't have one of these freezers .... yet.

My favorite part of going to costco is coming home and filling up the pantry with the dry is like an entire closet of canned food and dry goods. Pretty soon we will have a freezer to fill up too.

We had our home visit last Tuesday for our homestudy update...we have to wait for that and then submit it to DHR...get their approval...and then get USCIS to update our I797...and then our dossier will be in the mail.

I had a very interesting conversation with Lilianna yesterday too....she asked how come Keith was Zeb's real dad and Ben's real dad...but not her real dad. It is much easier to talk to kids about biologic mothers than it is biologic fathers. She doesn't ever remember a time when her dad was even in the same city as her so I am sure it doesn't make much sense to a 6 year old. I think I handled it ok ...Suggestions?!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11 and chocolate cake

I don't think I have ever done a special September 11th post..I am, however, too lazy to go back and any case...I know I have never done THIS September 11th post.

In 2001, I was working nights at a casino. I went to bed around 5 or 6 am the morning of September 11th and was deep asleep when my now ex-husband called and woke me up from Ohio where his band was on tour. He kept saying to me a plane hit the twin towers. He kept saying twin towers and I kept saying what twin towers and he didn't know their name...OK...I was groggy and the only twin towers that came to mind was a set of dorms on the campus of Emporia State University in beautiful downtown Emporia, KS. So I drug myself out of bed and turned on the news.

I was watching the news as they were talking about the plane and other things and then all of a sudden there was a second plane. I wonder how many people, like me, saw the second plane hit.

When you hear people talk about what impact this day had on their lives....I hear people say things about feeling scared, feeling disbelief that this could happen, feeling patriotism, feeling anger. When I was sitting home alone and saw, before my eyes, buildings collapse and saw...right in front of me...that many people die at one time I felt the greatest sorrow. I wonder how many people, like me, witnessed the death of so many people in one minute.

I was listening to the radio as I drove around today and they had people call in and say how their lives were changed by witnessing this day. I heard a lot of personal stories and a lot of general stories that almost sound like canned responses....for years and still today there is canned rhetoric surrounding that event...most of which start with "in the wake of 9/11". Just listening to that made me remember more about my life 8 years ago.

In addition to working full time at the casino as a table games supervisor....I was also working on my MBA and I was supposed to go to class on the night of September 11th - it was cancelled....not as a memorial to the people who died...but because we met in a really tall building in New Orleans and that day - everyone was afraid of what could come next.

So, instead of class, I went to CC's (community coffee) and sat down to write a novel. Yes....periodically I will decide that I am going to write a novel and make a million dollars...blah....blah...blah. However, this novel was going to fund my adoption. I had decided to adopt from Kazahkstan around this time and was following the Kaz forums...there were families getting ready to travel..families who were travelling and everyone was freaking out...majorly.
Obviously, I didn't adopt from Kaz at that time...I went to medical school instead!

What you may ask was my novel going to be about? Well, I had forgotten this part of the story until today on the way home and the plot and impetus for my plot came flooding back as I listened to people talk about September 11. One woman today talked about how the rest of the world became a very scary place to her and she swore she would never travel abroad and would never let her kids leave the country because she was sure that the rest of the world wanted to just kill us. For me, it kind of had the opposite effect - I felt more like we were part of the rest of the world...I wanted to go out and be a part of the rest of the world and make a difference. I had never been outside of the country - and was, quite frankly, afraid to go somewhere by myself. I wanted to go help orphans...I had read through a lot of the Orphan Ranger stuff which was super new in 2001...but I had a dog, I had bills, I had a job with health insurance, and then I had plans to go to medical school ( my second interview exactly one week away). So I sat down to write a work of fiction where a character left to do all of the crazy things I couldn't.....escapism at it's best.

Brandi (named after a super insane red-haired craps dealer I worked with) was a super-insane craps dealer who was living a mildly depraved life in New Orleans - lots of details....I was going to include all of the crazy things I saw at the casino and around town in the 5 years I lived there. She reads one day that a person she knew in college had died. This person had been a very peripheral part of her college experience....she barely knew her but had always been impressed by her and meant to get to know her better. She had been a quiet woman who was always, unsuccessfully, trying to get people involved in projects to improve the world....recycling efforts, getting the dorm house to sponsor a child for save-the-children. The clearest memory of her is her sitting out in front of the library on campus, alone, in the rain with it seemed like hundreds of brightly decorated signs, sagging balloons and a skimpy, soggy assortment of baked goods for a bakesale fundraiser....with a huge smile on her face and talkng to anyone who paused to put down their umbrella about the orphans in Romania. yadda, yadda, yadda....conflict builds...yadda, yadda, yadda... Brandi leaves everything behind and flies to China to work in an orphanage. is a little formulaic...but I was totally convinced I could write this would be witty, funny, philosphical, moving, etc....and I would make enough money to fund my adoption. Also, the crazy character could do the things I wanted to do but was too chicken!

I have started to write no fewer than 4 novels in my life and never written more than about 5 pages. Maybe some day one will actually come out! I read somewhere that everyone thinks they have one great American novel inside them just waiting to come out! Maybe I will do the blog write a novel thing some day....or better yet...maybe I should just do the things I dream of doing and then I will have no reason to create a work of fiction with a character who can do the things I dream about!

So, in a very circuitious way, September 11 opened up the world to me and reminded me that we only have a very short time here to make a difference in other people's lives....whether it is orphans in Kazakhstan, orphan sex slaves and child soldiers in Sudan, the pesky 12 year old down the street, or the family who is sitting by the hospital bed of their dying father. No matter what you believe happens after you die....there will not be another chance to help others once you are dead...this is it is our only chance to meaningfully help others (and eat chocolate cake...but again...completely beside the point).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is for you Keith....

This BLog links to what my husband would eat everyday of the year.

We are in....

We have officially been accepted into the Beacon House Ghana program...Yeah! Now we have to get one home visit and our homestudy updated. I called our new social worker today and she said...I am open next week...I usually do home visits between 9am and 3 pm what would be good for you....ummm....does she do home visits when noone is home? If that is the case...well then anytime!

I have never had a social worker even suggest doing a home visit in the middle of the day....parents working, kids at school. I was a little taken aback by it.

A couple of days ago I got the rest of the dossier totally organized...just in folder and everything! We need the new homestudy, a new medical filled out and we have everything else.

Oh yes...there is one more thing we are missing....a referral or two. I will be honest....I think we just wait for a referral like every other adoption program....but I am not 100% sure.

Now that we have been accepted, we got access to a special forum and blog. The forum had a document about communicating with the volunteer coordinator's...evidently you are supposed to contact them every other week...oops...I already messed that one up....Sorry Kelly! I will be an every other week kind of girl from here on out though!

After we get our referral(s) we would really like to travel to meet them and to be present for court. I am really excited about the travelling part.

Unfortunately, the news today came on a day where we were having lots of I wasn't able to celebrate as much as I really would have has been a kind of tense week around here for lots of unrelated reasons. One of which is Zeb's new found sleeping problems. He was such a good sleeper...her would go to sleep early, sleep all night, wake up happy. Now he fights sleep like a stubborn little 2 year old...oh wait...he IS a stubborn little 2 year old! Wouldn't it be great if we could just freeze 2 year olds and then thaw them out when they are 4 and 1/2? just a thought (or thawt...oh so bad).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Court day....

We finally took care of it...yeah us! Zeb is officially Zebastian Almaz Byrne-Cox and so Keith is legally Z's dad as of August 24th. Although he has really been his dad since way before that...
I am thinking two standing next to Lilianna a little to my right by Ben's feet and one on in front of O a little to his left...both of them just about Lilianna's height. I think all families should be expanded to make aesthetically pleasing photos (that is kind of a joke there people)....although 3 would fit too....add a little guy who could stand in front of 2 and lilianna....I am liking that too.

ok first picture is at the railroad museum in was a fun day was hot though. After seeing a bunch of old decrepit trains (with much climbing) we went on a very nice train ride (full size train...not some wussy zoo train) and it started to pour down rain which was also very nice (seriously...the breeze was great)
Second picture is the new trailor the babies ride in behind Keith's bike...they had sooo much fun...although you can't really tell by this picture! Zeb was singing at the top of his lungs and Benjamin was just howling with laughter...the loudest kids on the bike trail for sure.
Last picture is at an outdoor concert we went to in Pell city where they had bunches of free junk food....yay. All of these were on different days...I am just trying to catch up!

Cool park in Pell City

Yes I took that awesome picture of Benjamin and the swing was totally moving and he was chillin like a villain. This is at a really cool park in Pell City near some lake we don't seem to know the name of...

Lilianna's birthday pics

Here it is....the 18 hour princess castle cake....hold your applause really did exist and only 5 weeks are the pictures that prove it.
Also you will see above that a pink nintendo ds is the secret handshake into the big kid club as the 9 yr old and 11 yr old show lilianna how to use it.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power