Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Blizzard & The Nursery

First, the blizzard of '09...
In Kai's hometown, a.k.a. our nation's capital, there was an impromptu community snowball fight. How absolutely amazing is that? A clip from the news...
A snowball fight took over the intersection of 14th and U Streets during a snow storm in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009. The event was organized by a Twitter group calling for people to gather and participate and more than 200 people showed up.

A shot from NYC...

And while all of that business was going on, a nursery was being wrapped up. A few things still linger, like the storage cubes/bench which is near completion and next month we'll have the little bookshelf. The twin nephews are arriving on Saturday, armed with loads of artwork for the walls. In a nutshell, we are there.

I used this rocking chair when I was a little girl and repainted it this morning for Niko. Kai had to restrain me from painting a big "N" on the seat with black polka dots. I think that really would have added some P-zazz. However, it's not my chair anymore so I compromised and went with the minimalist look.

The wing chair below is an easy-peezy trick. I've had the hardest time finding a rocker that we liked. They're all a bit cheesy. This is a simple wing-chair from our local market. I found a "rocking chair adaptor" that is sold online and in most big hardware stores that anyone can do. If you're unsure, you can YouTube it and see it done. That being said, this is soon to be a rocker/swivel.

This is the blank wall awaiting the magic touch of the twins' artwork. Current pieces include a few things from Barcelona and a gift from a local NYC painter of The NY Dolls.

The crib. This crib is beyond beautiful. It was a very generous gift from our friend, Lynn. It's perfect (almost).

The "(almost) perfect" part is the fact it doesn't matter what colors, brands, fabrics, toys and so on are in this room. The little person it's furnished for is not here! Once that happens, it will be perfect.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

#3 and Pooped

This will probably be the worst post ever, but stick with me...

We are beyond exhausted that we're purely punchy and silly at this point.

Friday afternoon at work we found out we're unofficially #3. Saturday by 6am we were up and organizing. The ZipCar was in motion by 10am - one stop in the city to pick up nursery supplies; next stop was Long Island for crib, changing table and many, many more supplies. Our thanks to Lynn cannot be put into words. (you are the best!)

Today was spent putting the whole lot together - fun with drilling, jigsawing, hammering and wiring was had by all.

Macaroni & cheese and fresh spinach (our favorite) is cooking right now with Tivo about to be enjoyed, if we stay awake that long.

We have a nursery! Wow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#4!!!! and....Month 5

Today was a big day in the Gittens' home. Not too long ago we were #15 on the unofficial wait list, moving at an expected pace straight through #8. It was at #8 we picked up some silly momentum that bustled us straight through to #5 with heads-a-spinning. Well, since then we've been a bit stagnant. Stagnant is an expected yet "ech" state.

Today we are unofficially #4...*cheering*

Also, the other big date which I must mention today because it's doubtful I'll have a minute to blog tomorrow, is that 12/10/09 marks our 5th month on the wait list. There is nothing unofficial about that number. It's fact!

The current average wait time for an infant referral is 7 months, which has steadily decreased. Only 5 months ago when we were put on wait list, the average wait was 9 months. I'm not speculating here, just stating what's going on.

In any event, I think we're in good shape. We're not yet viewing this with a skewed view, thinking it's right around the corner. We are however, picking up the crib this weekend and plowing forward with our room swaps to prepare a proper room for the little guy. It will give us such piece of mind when the room is completed. When baby items start arriving at your house for the baby you know is coming, yet you have no room for said baby, it's just not good!

We'll be 'good' at the end of this weekend.

And the icing on the cake? Our twin nephews (7 yrs old) are making their annual holiday trek up from Atlanta and will be the first to see (and assist with) the new layout. The opinions, questions and statements made of a seven year old are the most honest, intelligent and raw you'll ever get. They're much more insightful than one would think. It's worth listening to.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flight Planning Tip

I've scored so many great tips from the blog world that I thought it was about time I offered something in return.

If you're a frequent traveler, you may already be aware of this little tool. I NEVER book a flight without checking with them first. It's and is a reference for flight costs across the board. It is not a booking tool. The concept is similar to the programs used by travel agents.

1. Choose "Search Fares"
2. Sign in as a guest
3. Plug in your info - as detailed or open as you choose'll see the costs, various airlines, flight numbers, stopovers, dates, times, etc for your cities. You then take that information and book through your preferred outlet or the airline directly. This way, you have the flight numbers and connections that create the lowest priced fare available.

The screenshot below is a search I did using the "month long" search to find the cheapest dates to fly in April. Flying on a Monday in April (vs. a Tuesday) saves close to $1k a pop per person. Crazy.
p.s. Not that anyone is taking JetBlue to Addis, but in case you want to use ITA for domestic travel - JetBlue is not in their system. I think they may be eventually.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Through the Eyes of the Dining Room Table

Ever wonder what your dining room table would say about you, given the opportunity? It has the inside scoop on your ups & downs and most intimate workings of your family.

Not too long ago, our dining room table looked like this. Ugh....those were the meds for our final round of IVF, with 75% of them being injected. Ouch is the only word coming to mind as I look back on that. For months, our table served as a mini-chem lab as we tried to keep things straight - including our minds!
Fast forward a year+ and it now looks like this...

Thank you Teresa & Matt!!!

And within that year our table was the hub for nephews creating their little Picasso-like masterpieces, card games, dinner with friends/family, gift wrapping station, fabric cutting table and on & on. However, it rarely served as the place Kai and I would congregate for nightly dinner. We still opt for the tray-in-front-of-TV style we've lived with for the past 15 years in our NYC shoebox apartments.

Today the table will move. Dun. Dun. DUN.

We are making room for baby. No so long from now, our multi-purpose table will become a proper dining table. Kai and I will put our TV trays away. A high chair (gasp) will be placed next to our dining chairs and a family will sit down to dinner and talk about their day. (Seinfeld fans?)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nursery Ideas

The adoption packet does not come with a timeline of when to start thinking about a nursery. I think we all just follow the other's lead on this one. Cross your fingers that you have a proactive mom-to-be in your newfound sisterhood of the adoptive bloggers! It's not uncommon to receive your referral and have nothing prepared.

It's also something you don't want to rush; seeming over anxious or the horrible feeling of jinxing something. Ours is more of a practical decision at this point. Referrals are flying around like crazy right now. We have family coming in for Christmas. We live in a condo where maximizing the use of space is crucial. So, our plan is to begin the nursery this weekend with a 12/26 eta for completion. "Completion" really means = enough floor space cleared away to throw down an air mattress. (our twin nephews are coming in and want to assist with the final touches)

I'm staying away from a themed nursery and am leaning in the direction of color & pattern. Mixing colors that will stimulate his mind, yet hopefully not keep him awake! Bold patterns to grab his attention will be used in the fabrics. I have an idea of the outcome in my head, but that's never the end result. The little surprises along the way usually work in your favor, changing the final style to one even better than imagined. Here's to hoping that's the case!!!

Our starting point is the black & white bedding and then throwing in some bold patterned fabrics I've picked up along the way. I also saw this great fixture for the ceiling that includes different sized balls in contrasting color and texture. This is perfect for a ceiling focal point for him while in the crib or playing on the floor. I'm definitely looking into recreating this in some way.

In case anyone else needs some inspiration, there are some great bits here...
DesignDazzle and ApartmentTherapy

So many things can be recreated to fit within your own style. Sometimes the hardest bit is the starting point.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving...

It's been awhile since my last post. So long in fact, that many important dates have passed that would have otherwise been addressed...Thanksgiving, World Aids Day, court dates, referrals and recent updates to name a few.

I'll keep it simple by wishing everyone a belated Thanksgiving and give a little recap of our holiday. I say holiday because we took the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving away as our pre-adoption vacation. You all know the one...the one that has more significance than any trip you've ever taken because the next time you board a plane with your passport, it will be to pick up your child(ren).

At the beginning of our paperwork phase, someone (I forget who, but I thank them from the bottom of my heart) suggested planning a trip that would fall in the middle of the "wait list" period. It would serve as a very attractive alternative point of focus from the ritual of stalking blogs and watching the unofficial wait list creep along. They said a getaway would also do wonders for your thought process for the transition and ups & downs that come with international adoption.

hmmm....okay. Who am I to turn down a trip suggestion, considering the benefits we'll reap afterwards? Done. In February, I booked an apartment in Barcelona for Thanksgiving. We only needed to use 3.5 vacation days, yet 10 days of vacation time were ours! Woohoo!

And the best part? Kai's family are big travelers and joined us the second we mentioned it. There may not have been turkey on our table, but there was plenty of family, fun and paella to go around!

Now, as someone who has made it a ritual to blog-stalk and continually press refresh on the unofficial FBI list a bazillion times daily, this trip was therapeutic on many levels. No computers, no blogging and the obvious distractions to real-life when being on vacation made for a wonderful, refreshing break.

It doesn't matter where you go, but a break is a good thing at this stage in the game.

p.s. My friend, Heidi, had the most wonderful post on World Aids Day. I couldn't say it better. Please check it out here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saving Lives with Music...our little album is complete & released this Tues., 11/17

I still can't believe this is done and is already generating such interest from press and radio prior to release date.

A friend I work with takes the same train home as me. About six months ago, she approached me on the platform as I was reading The Blue Sweater.

It was one of those awkward moments when you tell someone outside of your inner-circle that you're adopting. Mainly because there is no time to slide it in conversation, so whatever time you choose will 9 out of 10 times, knock the listener for a loop.

When someone asks "How'd you find that book?", they don't expect to hear, "You see, we're adopting from Ethiopia and I needed a break from the child psychology books and wanted to learn more about Africa. This book came up in my B&N 'Africa' search."

That was the beginning of a wonderfully productive conversation that led to the creation of this album. We chatted until our train arrived and the entire way home, realizing how strongly we both felt about humanitarian aide. Our ideas were the same and we decided right then to do something.

We didn't know what, but we knew it would be through our job. We love our jobs but what are we doing? Music. It's a sexy job. It's not saving lives. And that's what we wanted it to do.

Rather than using our connections for great seats and backstage access, let's use them in a way that will impact many, many others in a positive light for years to come.

I've always been a fan of Malaria No More (thanks to the boys at FC Barcelona for bringing them on my radar!) and decided to reach out to them with our idea. They loved it, the artists loved it, and now press and radio are supporting it.

We secured exclusive tracks from Third Eye Blind and Peter Bjorn & John, who are all over the project. Stephan Jenkins has been beyond supportive and spreading the word. Other artists include, Juliette Lewis, The Walkmen, Youssou N'Dour and more.

And the best bit...100% of the proceeds go directly to Malaria No More. Neither Sony/RED nor the artists are keeping a dime!

p.s. On a personal note...the album artwork is a painting I did for Niko's nursery. It's a bit altered, but is an image of the journey from Africa to Jersey City/NYC.

To purchase the digital-only album, (available on 11/17)

Press release is below with all the details. Please repost and/or pass along.
Release date is this Tuesday, 11/17.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Unofficially #5

There were more squeals in the house this week as we read about a family who received their referral for a beautiful 7 week old son. Wow. Seven. Weeks. Old. Amazing!
When I read about a referral I continue to react as if it's the first referral I've EVER read. It's just this amazing thing that is very, very difficult to put into words.

I guess it would be like giving natural childbirth and instead of your chosen 'designated other' in the delivery room with you, you have all of us -the entire international adoption blogging community. That's a pretty poor explanation, but whatever. :)

So, because of the above mentioned referral, the Gittens' household has moved up, now holding the lovely number five position. Woohoo!

In other news, we've officially registered and sent the list to the moms. As I mentioned before, we were on the fence with this and in the end we opted in. Our family is all over the place, so I doubt we'll do a full-on shower but will plan an after-event; one that happens long after we're all settled in. For some reason I've always felt funny about registries. I have no idea why. I actually prefer when someone else registers because you know you're helping out and you're choosing exactly what they want/need. When the shoe is on the other foot with this though...hmmm.

In any event, things are a happening and we are READY!!!! (well, not really but we WILL be!)

Happy Saturday to all!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wait, The Girls, The Gifts and The Gab

Four topics. Can you tell today is a scattered day?

I've read it's part of The Wait. My mind is all over the place. If there was a word holding a stronger meaning than stalker, it would apply to me. The only constant in my scatteredness is the FBI list. I'm now checking multiple times a day to see who is getting court dates, who is passing court and who is getting referrals. That of course segways straight to checking every blog to get updates on all the families. Oh boy.

My heart goes out to the families who have not passed, but I'm hopeful since new dates have been scheduled already. Sometimes when I read these families' posts, I realize how strong they are. It's all of us yet to reach their stage who sound so heartbroken in our comments to them. I think as you reach each stage in this process, you're becoming more and more prepared for your stage, knowing it will all come together. Your eyes are open to the fact there are bumps and nobody is immune to them.

I've mentioned the strong bond of the Gladney Girls (and I don't mean to disregard the men in this equation). It just happens that the majority of those writing are the women. We're all going through such a unique experience together. These are now bonds that will always exist (and all you men will meet each other on the inevitable playdates!).

Another thing during The Wait is you're never really sure what you should be doing. Reading? Decorating? Redecorating? Moving things? Buying things?

Today, I'll address buying things. My mother & sister sent us so much clothing, shoes, bibs, sheets and things along those lines that we decided we're fine. The crib will be in our possession in February. That does it then - we're absolutely fine! We'll just ask for books.

Bad move. You know why? We don't have ANYTHING!!! People kept telling us to register and apparently there is a reason. I've received sample lists from friends trying to gently guide us. Well, I can tell you that after looking at all these things, we are headed for a registry asap. Who knew all this stuff existed? And I'm not talking "stuff" for the sake of having "stuff". (I despise excess) Books are very important and we're not neglecting that thought, but there have been some major developments in the children's department that we will happily be partaking in.

In the meantime, I wait by reading about Ethiopia, Africa and adoption.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Crazies are Back

I believe when a dream hits a recurring stage (2x in my book) it's time to let it out and set it free. And you lucky readers are the recipients of my full-on crazies.

The dream: multiplying babies at various locations throughout my work day; all waiting for me to bring them home.

Dream One: Two babies are sitting all alone in the shuttle seat adjacent to me. They succeed in getting my attention by waving and giggling to me. I wave back, wondering how they got there and why are these infants commuting? Where exactly are they going?

As I exit the bus, the driver won't let me off, telling me "You're not leaving them here." Who is he talking about?

Driver: "Miss, please take your babies. Now."

I am now awake and vow to never close my eyes again.

Dream Two: A meeting at work is underway and my mind is drifting. Something in the corner of the conference room catches my eye. It's a mini-pyramid of diaper-clad infants (two on bottom, one on their shoulders - all seated on top of one another). They're all smiling with pacifiers.

I LOL and look around the room. Does nobody else see this? By the time I look back in the corner, the babies have brought in three friends. It's now a 3-2-1 pyramid of babies!

I stop looking in the corner and simply excuse myself from the meeting, head down with eyes focused on the floor.

The president abruptly stops speaking and says: "Tamara, please take your babies. Now."

There will not be a Dream Three, because now I really will never, ever close my eyes again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Anniversaries of Note...

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

Even Google is in on the madness leading up to November 10, 2009.

On 11/10/1969 we were introduced to Bert & Ernie's gang. Cookie, Big Bird, Mr. Hooper, The Count (who I always found a bit frightening), Oscar, Mr. SnuffleUpaGus (sp), Grover (who shares a birthday with our nephew), Elmo, Zoe and all the other little furry creatures who helped us along through the early years are all gearing up for the big day. There is an amazing SS documentary out there, that is worth a NetFlix, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET. I highly recommend it.

20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 11/9/1989

"Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall!" Former President, Ronald Reagan

"I, I will begin again. I will be with you again." U2

Wind of Change, The Scorpions performance

The Wall - Live in Berlin...a live concert performance of the Roger Waters rock opera celebrating the destruction of the Berlin wall.

Beethoven's 9th symphony with the word "Joy" changed to "Freedom", Leonard Bernstein's concert

The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier, more than 87 miles long, built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (East Germany) that completely enclosed the city of West Berlin, separating it from East Germany, including East Berlin. The Wall included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. source: Wiki

4th Month Anniversary on the Wait List!!!

The most personal of all the big ones happening right now.

We are four months in and more excited everyday! The big redecorating moves are about to happen very soon, with each room moving down a room to serve a new purpose. Dining table moves to open area; office moves to dining room; office becomes the nursery. Whew. Yes, lots to do.

And do you know how we celebrated our final fabulous dinner in our official dining room? With one big fat snafu.

I'm a baker, not a cook. So, when I come across a simple, creative recipe that I know I can master, I'm all-in. The short story of this very long saga is that when I attempted to replicate the fabulous ham I made last Easter I didn't realize that what I was basting, prepping, and counting on to make our final dining room experience unforgettable was in fact, not a ham at all. I had purchased a side of pork!

Yup, plain ole pork that I have no simple, yet creative recipes for. The same pork that I have no intention of ever ordering again. Our guests drove over an hour for the ham I raved about, to end up sitting at our table with four adults staring blankly at "ham" that was not pink, not spicy, had no skin and had less flavor. And did I mention that 15 minutes per pound doesn't cut it when you're cooking PORK? Thankfully we all had enough after a few bites and didn't dig too deep where IT WAS RAW! ha! If you can't laugh....

and laugh we did, with some very fabulous chocolate cake. Thanks Aim!

A sign that it's okay to give up the privileges of a separate dining room and get on with the move.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baby Training 101

At 14 years old I was required to take Drivers Ed as part of my college prep curriculum, for the obvious reason that I was about to turn 15 and apply for my learner's permit, followed by the sought-after driver's license at 16.

At 15 years old I was required (by the 'rents) to take the PSAT course in hopes of boosting my SAT scores to those suitable for a fine institution and in turn, leading to a successful career.

At 16 I signed to a modeling agency and was thrown into a very rigorous "runway walking" training in order to land my first job. (yes, you read that correctly)

At each stage in our lives we are prepped, trained and officially certified. You all know where I'm going with this....
At what point are we certified to properly care for a child? NEVER. EVER.
(unless you count creepy Baby Alive, who taught us if you crank the baby's arm she'll pee her pants) brother. He had the genius idea of "Baby 101 Weekend". When he had his second son in April, he asked us the expected age of our son when we bring him home. I estimated the earliest would be six months, most likely older. In April, my brother picked a date in October (making his son six months) and said "You guys are coming down that weekend and are on full-duty. We'll stay home in case you need anything, but we're acting as if we're not there. You're doing the feedings, the burping, figuring out why he's crying, entertaining him, changing him, the whole shebang."

At 8:05pm on Friday, 10/24, we bounced off the train in a flurry of excitement for our upcoming training. Fast forward to the scene on Sunday, 10/26: drooling on each other while slumped over bracing one another up in our respective seats.

I highly recommend this for anyone becoming a first time parent. We are more ready than ever.

Thank you Amy, Scott, Jack and Theo for the most valuable life training EVER.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gladney &

Have I mentioned how pleased we are with our agency? They're at it again.

A local Children’s Hospital recently donated several infant incubators to Gladney which are being sent to Addis Ababa. Gladney has secured free shipping on multiple crates to ship these incubators. They would like to fill the remainder of the crates with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, and baby carriers from They deliver diapers, wipes, and other baby necessities at great prices with fast free shipping (if you order $49 or more).

If you would like to help by donating items, you can enter the Referral Code “Gladney” on the shopping cart screen and you'll get an extra $10 off your first order of diapers with a $49 minimum purchase. And Gladney gets a $1 credit each time you order. Remember the Referral Code: Gladney

When ordering items, please have them shipped directly to Gladney at this
address by November 15th:

Gladney Center for Adoption
Attn: Scott Brown
6300 John Ryan Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76132

Here is a list of the products the children and in-country caregivers need which you can find by clicking on the links below:

Babyganics Germinator Hand Sanitizer - 250 ml -

Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers - Extra Large Case - (sizes needed size 1 through size 3) -

Huggies Natural Care Fragrance Free Baby Wipes - 360 Count Refill -

Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Original - City Black -

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

15 years ago last night, Kai and I went on our first date....awwww.

So, when I got the list for October shows at work, I saw that Living Colour was playing on 10/30 and immediately put our names on the list. Little did I know that this past week was going to be one of the most exhausting ones EVAH and I would be completely worn out by Wednesday.

It seems everyone in the tri-state area is in bed with the flu and it's knocking them down for a minimum of three days. Oof. I'm popping vitamins and taking preventative measures like you wouldn't believe, including slathering hand sanitizer on all exposed skin each morning after my germ-infested commute and then again before heading home. I think it's working.

We had an amazing time at the show last night, but I awoke realizing my body had finally had it. I slept 12 hours last night and then took a two hour nap this afternoon. This is unheard of. This being said, there will be no Halloween parties in our future this evening. We're soaking in the cozy rainy evening at home and the orangy glow of the Empire State Building. The warm & fuzziest bit of all is that next year at this time, we'll be out and about trick or treating with our little guy in full costume!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hold on to your hats...We are #6

Running late and must jump in the shower but had to post this. I just received a message from one of my new adoption-blogging-BFFs. They got their referral!!!! After a quick scream, outburst of laughter and tears, Kai came running in to see what was happening. I told him. His response..."and now we're six?" That's when I screamed again, since it hadn't crossed my mind initially. Woohooo!!!!

A Gladney humanitarian aide video. Our agency rocks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Wow. Wow. Wow.

Another referral has been issued, which pops us up yet another spot on the unofficial list.

This is happening at warp speed, considering what we had imagined. My guess is that because the courts have reopened, cases are being heard and this may have caused a little dam to have opened. This is purely hypothetical, but seems feasible, no?

A few have mentioned 'a Christmas baby'. That is a near impossible scenario, but something to address so everyone is in the loop on our remaining steps in the process.
  • get The Call, aka The Referral: the phone call from our caseworker stating they have matched a baby boy with our family (that's what we are #7 in line for)
  • receive pix & medical records of referred infant and forward to international adoption specialist to guide and advise us with decision and (most certainly) accept the referral...yay!!!
  • wait for our court date in Ethiopia (approx 1-2 months from accepting referral)
  • once we pass court (not uncommon to have multiple court attempts) we'll receive a travel date from our agency (2-3 weeks from passing court)

So what does all this mean? It means we must GET BUSY. So much to do.

Yes, the stroller. If anyone has any suggestions for a one-handed operational model, please forward your info. We don't have a car and have no plans of getting one, considering where we live a car tends to be more of a pain in the neck than it does a luxury. This stroller will be our car and taken very seriously when making this purchase. Any city mom out there who has shlepped up & down the train stations and in & out of the subways with baby in one arm and stroller in the other, knows what I'm talking about.

I've been doing loads of research on this and keep coming back to the Inglesina. They even have a clip on YouTube, demonstrating the one-hand function. At first, I was prepared to plunk down the ridiculous dollars needed for a Bugaboo. Thinking, if a manufacturer is asking this much for a stroller, it MUST do everything I need. That was a hot minute of insanity and when I came back to my senses, I found the lovely Zippy Inglesina. Turns out the Bugaboo isn't that fabulous in the one-hand collapsing function. It is a beautiful stroller, just not for us.

So, the requirements for a commuter baby's wheels? One hand function and all terrain build (for city sidewalks, potholes), lightweight with loads of storage.

We are open to suggestions.

Thanks all! And a huge congratulations to everyone receiving their referrals. Our thoughts go out for a peaceful final wait. Come on court dates!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We are now #8...hmmm

Unofficially. (I must always state that)

Becoming number eight seemed a bit different somehow. I didn't yell to Kai immediately as I opened up the list at 6am, as I do every morning (and then open it as soon as I get to work and click refresh throughout the day). I think this is my obsession until travel date.

Anyway, something was different. I think I'm entering whatever stage follows the 'everything is bliss and I can be as naive as I wanna be' stage. My first thought was for a woman I've never met and who lives a world away from us. In that world, she is experiencing great hardship right now with drought and famine. She is also nearing a decision that will result in separation from her newborn son.

So, as I sit here geniunely pleased to be this much closer to forming our new family, these now become bittersweet steps we're taking. Because with each one we make, someone else is a step closer to losing a part of their family.

Well, now this has become a complete downer of a post which was not my intention at all. The next post will be about strollers, much lighter.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bibs during the Nor'easter

The weather folks are in a frenzy reporting on our current nor'easter and I don't think NYC is listening. It's rainy and dreary but there's not a whole lot happening out there to justify one to stock up on milk, eggs and hunker down.

In any event, we made no plans for today due to the impending storm - which has resulted in a very productive day. I got a jump on my "things to do before baby comes home" list. First task was to take stock of all items in our downstairs storage area in preparation for reorganizing to make room for necessary baby-gear. This was done with husband in tow in case any creepy crawlers decided to set up shop in my boxes. (upon moving in last year, I threw a ton of bags of fabric & sewing supplies down there which haven't been touched since)

I was very impressed to find out that not one bag was damp or infested. I saw one spider which was no big deal. Not really sure what I was expecting, but you think a dark little storage space running under the stairs has potential for a plethora of nastiness.

Hauling all these bags of fabric upstairs had my brain on overdrive, with at least a handful of new designs in mind before reaching the top of the stairs. The first being bibs. What a perfect way to utilize so many remnants.

And what better way to spend a rainy day? All those PAPs out there know that any little thing you do that makes you feel more connected to bringing your child/ren home, is a fabulous use of time.

Take a peek...(the insets are a shot of the reverse side; strap is elastic lace)

The Business Baby: men's pinstripe suiting with a black lace smile

The Dinner Party Baby

Punk Rock Baby: pleather snakeskin with "Niko"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cashmere & The Crusty Cheerio

Pretty self-explanatory, no?

Our nephews are the perfect little guinea pigs as we begin to dip our toes into the unknown; this new world called parenthood. Everytime we're with one of them, I walk away with a bit more insight into what this new world holds for us.

The latest? Bringing a little remnant from our weekend toddler-extravaganza to the office. I had just finished presenting my portion of the project to approximately ten others in the conference room. As I glance down at my notes to make sure I covered everything, I notice a shriveled up, crusty Cheerio dangling (by what is some sticky substance that only a 4-year-old can create) to my cashmere hoodie. OMG. This has been here ALL day. Because it's a hoodie (and did I mention it's cashmere?) I certainly wear it more than once before it hits the dry-cleaner.

For those who don't know me, I am not a fancy-schmancy label-whore. In fact, I find much more pleasure in styling pieces from the local thrift shop with ones I've made myself, so this isn't a snob-thing. It's that this sweater was a gift and one I've had for YEARS. It's my go-to piece for making my own creations look a little more "serious". And now there is a crusty Cheerio stuck to it and I can't stop laughing! This is my new life.

And if I ever write a book, I think I found the title...Cashmere & The Crusty Cheerio.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Month 3 on the Wait List

Yes, more numbers. Unfortunately, I think all posts from now until travel time will include some form of a count down.

And today's number children, is the number three. We were officially placed on the Wait List three months ago today, on 7/10/09. I say officially because it was documented on paper with our agency on that day.

All this recent bumping up to the next place in line is UNofficial because it has nothing to do with our agency's wait list records. The unofficial numbers are all calculcated by us, the blogging adoption world. And this great database is maintained by an amazing woman who maintains the FBI (Forensic Blogging Initiative); all for the sole purpose of our need to know what everyone else is doing, what position we're currently holding and how we're each handling our current status. It is a wonderful thing!

Tam recently referred to us as The Gladney Girls, which I personally think should stick. Gladney is our agency and we're all following every move the other one makes. Of course there are families without blogs because they want to remain a bit more private. How dare they! (just kidding)

So for the rest of the Gladney Girls letting it all hang out and spilling every neuroses to the world wide web, I tip my hat to you and thank you for making the first three months of our wait that much more bearable.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Accessorizing #9

What else is a girl to do?

We currently have a high class problem on our hands and I'm not about to complain, just express my shock-ed-ness. It wasn't long ago that we moved from 15 to 12 on the unofficial list, at which point my brother jokingly said, "..better get that nursery ready because there is a baby on the way!" That's when I repeated the whole schpeel about a 9 month wait, rainy season, unpredictability, unknown hurdles, etc. and I'm not taking anything too seriously until we hit the single digits.

Well, after posting our #10 move on Monday and then quickly updating it with our bump to #9 yesterday...drumroll....we're in single digits folks. No more messing around. Operation Nursery is beginning this weekend.

Things are moving too smoothly, too quickly and we MUST keep up. We will combat this with what we know best...accessorizing. We're pulling out the bedding and the stuffed animals. The painting I did will be hung. Curtains will be sewn. And then we will look for more accessories...the much needed urban stroller (key for city dwellers w/out a car), the rain shield for the stroller, the perfect diapers for the flight home, the rug for his room and we may even hang the wooden blinds still in the office corner that were purchased so he can sleep a bit sounder. And the list will go on as long as we wish. This is the attitude we've decided to take.

We've heard some very unpleasant Waiting stories and are not dismissing them by any means. For some reason, to this point our wait is simply that...a wait. It's not dragging and it's not close to unbearable (yet). We're also only three months in (this Saturday). So at this very surreal moment, we are happy to no longer be #10 while pleasantly satisfied to bask in the moment of #9, not yet rushing to #8 while we take a moment to accessorize.

The only sense I can make of this stage is that, you can have fun with it. You don't have the stress of being next in line and taking your eye off the phone for fright of missing The Call, yet your dependence on the notary & fingerprinting is behind you because your paperwork is now complete. My advice to any new families is enjoy this time. Take advantage of being able to prepare for the biggest thing EVER that is about to happen within a matter of months. And don't lose your sense of humor.

My mother in law gave me the best advice when we were at the beginning stages of IVF. After giving her full support (as always), she said we must always remember to maintain our sense of humor. It's a stong part of our relationship and she knows that. Her advice is the same advice I would give to anyone in the Waiting Stage (or any stage).

Unofficially #9

Tesiatu, ዘጠኝ Neuve, Neuf, Neun, תשע, Nove, девять, níu, 九つ

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Family Hoopla...The Sis' Wedding

A whole lot can happen in a few days.

I boarded a plane last Thursday (Kai came Friday) for my sister's wedding reception in GA, very content to be sitting in the #12 position on the unofficial Wait List. I must note that a few days prior to that we were at #15, so all in all there was much excitement yet a teeny bit of "oh my, this is picking up rather quickly".

Fast forward two days. I take a break early Saturday morning from my reception to-do list to check the computer. (aren't we all Wait-List-checking-addicts at this point?) I scream, "MOOOMMMMMM!!!" I ask her to please double check my counting skills. (she's a retired teacher) It's official. There have been two more referrals posted on the unofficial list and we are now #10. An utter state of confusion takes over. Is this how it works? Will we now wait two-three months with no movement on the list? How else will this take eight/nine months? Are four referrals a week normal????

I quickly move into to-do list mode - and it's not for the reception on hand that is taking place in a matter of hours. My head is spinning with a brand new to-do list; one that only a natural born control freak can understand. Back to sister is celebrating her wedding reception this weekend, following a bride/groom only ceremony that took place in Jamaica last month. I MUST focus. This pace must simply be a rare little surge.

So enough about my hysteria...on to my sister's. Ha! It was a huge success. She was a beautiful bride and we're so happy to welcome Brian to the family!
Unfortunately, our dad couldn't make it but the majority of the family attended which was wonderful! Such a GREAT time. Our family is amazing and did I mention a bit on the large side? My mother (3 bio kids) remarried Glen (4 bio kids), producing quite an ecclectic blended crew that will make for an amazing new family for our newest little addition.
And those characters are...

(They requested Aunt Tam do their hair)

and then of course, there is US

and then me and The Nana (note the blow-up jumping machine in the background that was brought in for the kiddies)

Monday, October 5, 2009