Monday, August 30, 2010

Grandpa Skip

My Grandpa Skip died yesterday.

(I told you guys it was the summer of suck, do you believe me yet?)

I decided to share a few pictures with all of you.

My Mom's Dad died when she was a child. My Grandma got married again when I was 4. This picture is from their wedding day. I was very proud to be the ring bearer.

My first memory of Grandpa Skip was when he lived two houses down from my Grandma. We all lived in the same neighborhood. I had one of the ribbons from my hair in my mouth and he asked me what flavor it was. When you are 3 or 4, that is a fascinating question to be asked. I think he even made a few guesses- Strawberry? Vanilla?

Just Married

wedding cake

My Grandma and Grandpa spent winters down in Florida. We went down to visit them for Christmas a couple times.

Grandpa Skip loved the Boy Scouts. He worked at a Boy Scout camp every summer.

Grandpa, Grandma, and my younger brother Eric on his 1st day of school

My mom, me, Grandma, and Grandpa

He was stubborn. He smelled like cigars. He tried teaching my little sister and brother about the stock market when they were in elementary school. He had a secret cupboard filled with candy bars that my Grandma would always tell me to go into and take what I want. He was Grandpa Skip.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Home Visit, Some Dead Fish, and a Squirrel

I thought I would feel a huge sense of relief after our social worker visit yesterday, but I really didn't.

I think I just felt sadness that we are still waiting with no end in sight.

While she was here, she said she has met with many couples who had to renew their homestudy a second time and they all got there babies within six months later. She said something like- if it doesn't happen within six months, I am sure it will be in the seventh or eighth month, hang in there. I know this was meant to reassure me and make me feel better, but all I could think about was how absolutely crushing it would be to live through another holiday season with no baby.

It made me think about Christmas in 2003 when I thought I was ovulating and was going to get pregnant on Christmas day. Every single Christmas from then on I was convinced we would have a baby the next year. Do you have any idea how many times I have gotten teary in hallmark looking at the Baby's 1st Christmas ornaments? It's 2010. I can't do it another year. This has to be it.

I also had a general feeling of shame and embarrassment that we are still waiting. It's hard to not feel bad about yourself when you wait a lot longer than the average waiting time. It's humiliating. The adoption process looks so easy for some people.

Of course I was feeling all these different emotions and Adam was just happy it was over and was getting ready to go to the Bills/Bengals football game with my uncle.

Before Adam left, I made him go over to the house of horrors to check on the fish. I have been having nightmares about it and could not bring myself to go over again. He came back and said another fish was dead and the water is a lot more murky than the day before. There are way too many fish in there and it's a really bad situation. They come home today and I am freaking out about their reaction. I did not sleep well last night. It's going to be so awkward.

After flushing another fish, Adam then came across a squirrel stuck in a volleyball net that was on the ground in another neighbor's yard. The poor little guy was all wrapped up in it and could not get out. He ran and got me and we were both watching as the squirrel tried over and over again to run away. I went in the house and got scissors and Adam put on gardening gloves so he could try and cut it out. He got it free, but the squirrel still had that part of the net wrapped around his tail and legs. We feel so bad for him and keep wondering if he is okay. I hope he was able to get himself free. Also, there is the issue of us cutting a neighbor's volleyball net. They weren't home so we couldn't ask them first. We didn't know what to do.

Basically, we might need to move after this week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Checklist Complete

Summer of Suck Checklist:

Family Reunion
My parents 2 week long vacation (take care of cats & house)
Change our profile
Homestudy Paperwork
Garage Sale
New kids for before/after school program
Social Worker Home Visit

Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer of Suck

We had a great time at the family dinner and the drive-in. I loved Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. We ended up staying to watch Dinner for Schmucks. We were going to leave, but I convinced Adam that we should stay and give it a chance. I was surprised at how much we ended up liking it. Whoever was responsible for making the commercials for that movie should be fired.

We got home around 1:30 AM. We are taking care of our neighbor's fish and getting their mail all week while they are on vacation. We had left for the dinner right after I finished work so I hadn't had a chance to go over there yet. I went when we got home and walked into a horror show. I won't share what I saw, but it was bad. I had nightmares about it all night.
The water is starting to look murky and let's just say they can't get home soon enough. I am scared to walk in that house again. It's really awkward because we don't know them that well and we have killed at least two fish. Maybe more depending on what I find at 5:30 today.

Anyway, after we dealt with the fish situation yesterday, we finally left for the waterpark. As we drove closer, the sky got darker.

When we got there, it was 68 degrees out and dark skies. We debated on whether it would be worth spending $40 to go in. We decided this was our only chance for the rest of the summer so we would go and make the best of it.

You may recall in my last post I said my favorite part about the waterpark was the deep end of the wave pool. We headed straight there and saw a sign saying: Deep End Closed. Uhm....WHAT? What do you mean closed? It's not like a ride that broke down. Why is it closed? We got in and as we went deeper we saw a rope going across so nobody could go into the deep end. I was pissed. We stood there with some of the most obnoxious unsupervised middle-school aged children for about a half hour and then decided to go to the lazy river. We went around it three times and then went home.

On the way home, I got a tweet sent to my phone that my sister wrote. It said my grandpa was starting hospice care. That was news to me.

We stopped at Best Buy so Adam could use a gift card he got for this birthday. A fire started. Two fire trucks, a couple ambulances, and a bunch of police cars came. I told Adam we needed to go home because clearly some bad luck was following us around.

My mom went to the nursing home and signed DNR paperwork for my grandpa this morning.

I do have to give this summer credit, it continues to find new and interesting ways to suck.

We have our home visit from our social worker tomorrow. Fingers crossed for no disasters.

Is it Fall yet?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vacation Day, Take 2

Last week's attempt at enjoying a vacation day was a disaster. I spent the day crying.

This week we are going to try again.

After work today Adam and I are having dinner at my parents' house. My sister-in-law, who is in town from Portland, Oregon for a few days, will be there so I am excited to see her. (I wish my brother was able to come home with her.) My Aunt and Uncle will also be there.

After dinner Adam and I are going to the drive-in to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The second movie is Dinner for Schmucks, but I doubt we will end up staying for that one. We both had to get up very early for work this morning and if we stayed for two movies we wouldn't get home until after 1:30 AM. Also, based on the commercials, it does not look funny, which is sad because I typically enjoy Paul Rudd. (If you have seen it and it is funny, let me know. Maybe we will buy something with caffeine during intermission and try to stay up.)

Then tomorrow we are going to a water park!! It's not supposed to be very warm but I am determined to go since we missed out last week. There is nothing more fun for me than a day in water.

My favorite place in the park is the deep end of the wave pool. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Friday, August 20, 2010

Missing You Today

I am having one of those days where I miss my grandma so much it feels unbearable.

Every once in a while I get the urge to just jump in the car and drive over to her place and visit her. Then I remember I can't. Today was one of those days.

I can picture every single detail about her home like I was there yesterday, but it has been years. Even before she died, she was in a nursing home because she had a stroke. The place I want to go only exists in my mind. That living room I want to go sit in right now is only a memory.

This is picture of my grandma holding me when I was a baby. It's blurry but I like it because she looks so happy and proud to be holding her first grandchild. I hope to see that look on my Mom's face someday soon.

Sometimes my parents would have to work late nights on the weekend so I would stay overnight at my grandma's house. This is an example of how spoiled I was. Propped up with tons of pillows and bowls in the bed from the breakfast that was served to me. This picture makes Adam laugh and he says, "Oh, this is where she gets it from." I sometimes eat dinner like this now :)

This is a picture of my grandma and I from a few years before she passed away.

After my hysterectomy surgery, I started sleeping with a blanket she made me.

She made it when I went away to college so I had something warm that matched my new college bedding.

I honestly don't know why I started sleeping with it. It just made me feel safe. Like everything would be okay.

Even Brinkley knows it's special.

I think a lot of my feelings today come from a few things that I have been trying to keep buried inside. One of them is that a couple days ago I found out that someone who means a lot to me is very sick. I'm not ready to write about it yet, but I have just been ignoring it and not dealing with my feelings and I think they're coming through in other ways.

I have been feeling like this all day.

Then I talked to my mom and she said the last of the things from the garage sale have been picked up. We had made arrangements so that all the left-over items from the garage sale were donated to different places. Today it was a bag of stuffed animals that were picked up. I had arranged for them to be picked up, but I had no idea where they were going. My mom called to tell me that coincidentally they were going to the nursing home my grandma lived in after her stroke. 

I found a way to get off the phone with my mom and then immediately started sobbing. All day I was missing my grandma and then I find out the last of the things from our fundraiser for our adoption are going to that nursing home.

Everytime I would go visit her there she would tell me that she wanted me to have a baby. (She didn't really understand how hard we were trying.) I wish she could have lived long enough to see us bring our baby home. I miss her so much.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Truth Is.....

The truth is that nothing about this 24 hour period feels like a vacation.

I tried so hard, but my brain won.

The agency called us yesterday about an out of state baby boy who was born that morning. Let's just say it's south of here and would take about 16 hours to get there...depending on where in the state the baby actually is. (Yes, I looked it up.)

The price for this situation is VERY high.

I am frustrated with the cost because I feel like it's not fair. For a few reasons. I won't get into them now.

It's absolutely more money than we can afford. When she told me, I had a voice inside screaming, "Tell her no now. Don't even get details. That is way too much."

I told her we would think about it. She said an answer by the end of the day would be good, but they could wait until the next morning.

5 PM came and went and I never called so I knew I had to make a decision by this morning.

I obsessed and obsessed. Talked to people. Obsessed more.

We ended up only staying for one of the movies at the drive-in last night. Adam wasn't feeling well and I was exhausted and distracted.

We saw Despicable Me by the way. It was very cute, but I did cry.

I got up around 4:30 this morning because I was feeling really sick. I had some quiet time in the living room by myself until about 6 when I finally went back to sleep.

When I woke up, I called the agency to say no. The money is too much and how will we ever be able to adopt again if we do this now? Plus, I am scared to put us in a position of being that much in debt.

Somehow when I called, the word "no" never actually came out of my mouth.

Instead I asked if there was a way to find out more about the possible medical problem the baby is having. She said they are doing tests and they might have some more answers later today.

I did tell her how much of an issue the price is for us. But, I went ahead and asked for the update later.

I don't even know if we are going to the water park today. We should probably save the money instead.

My head is killing me.

Oh, and while I had her on the phone I asked about the last case with the unknown birth father and it turns out it doesn't really matter which birth father it is because the expectant mother did not choose us anyway. :/

That's the other thing- even if we say yes and go ahead and be profiled for this case, it doesn't mean they will pick us. The odds are a lot better because there are less people, but we could go through all this agony and not be picked anyway.

If I am being completely honest with myself, unless the medical information is something very serious, we will probably move forward. I can't bring myself to say no. Everytime I pick up the phone to say no, I just can't do it.

Adam and I just had a conversation about boy names.


As I was about to hit publish post, the agency called and said the baby just passed away.

I can barely see the screen through my tears.

I have no words.

I can't imagine the pain his family is feeling right now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Birthday Extravaganza

I never get a day off. Ever.

So, it was pretty exciting when I realized I only had one child scheduled on Adam's birthday and could work it out so I had the day off. (The child will be spending the day with her grandma.)

Starting at 5:30 today we are officially on vacation until Friday morning at 5:45 AM. (That's what time the kids arrive Friday mornings.)


We are going to the drive-in tonight.

Then a waterpark tomorrow!!

Then dinner at Adam's favorite restaurant tomorrow night.

I have been feeling burnt out from all the long work hours this summer. (Not to mention homestudy renewal.) I really need this mini vacation!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Profiled...but it's nothing to get excited about

I got an e-mail from my case worker today saying she is going on vacation for the next week and a half. That made me nervous so I called the agency right away.  I have been wondering why I still haven't heard from the social worker about setting up an appointment for the home study renewal home visit. I figured I better call and ask her before her vacation. She wasn't there so I left a message. I got a call back from one of the people that will be covering for her while she is gone.

I asked about the social worker never calling me and it looks like they never contacted her to let her know my paperwork is in and I am ready for a visit. That's very frustrating because I really rushed to get all my paperwork in. It's been done since August 6.

She promised me she would take care of it.

Then I asked whether I have been profiled at all this summer. She said she knows without looking that the answer is yes because my profile went out to an expectant mother today.


They didn't call me about it because there is still a lot up in the air. There is a good chance the adoption will not happen at all.

There are two possible birth fathers. One of them wants to parent the child so if he is it, the adoption will not happen. The other possible birth father does want to make the adoption plan and so does the expectant mother.

The baby is due in two days.

This is the first time my new profile is being shown!!
(And again the person on the phone told me how much everyone there likes my new profile.)

BUT, I absolutely do not have my hopes up at all about this. There is a good chance I will never even hear an answer to this situation.

Speaking of which, I was told every situation I was profiled for this summer was one they never heard an answer about. She said that's why they didn't even bother calling me. They knew they were probably going to be ones they never hear back from. Why does summer suck so much anyway? Is it Fall yet? I have always wanted a Fall baby  :)

Despite not getting excited about this AT is nice to have that little feeling of hope again. It's been months since we've been told about a profiling. Everytime a situation like this happens you can't help but think about how amazing it would be to have a baby at home in a couple days.

Another Thing Checked Off My Summer Stress List

I got a call from the parent who came for the tour yesterday and she wants her kids to come here!! YAY! So, I can officially relax about not having enough kids in my before and after school program this Fall. I was looking to fill about 3 spots and with this one family two spots are now filled. It's a huge relief.

Almost every family that comes to my house for a tour ends up choosing to send their child here for childcare. Only two families have ever chosen somewhere else instead. One time it was because they wanted a religious program and that is not me. The other time it was because they wanted me to agree to watch their baby if they got pregnant again and I said no. hit me today how funny it is that a lot of families want to send their children here for childcare, but no expectant mothers ever pick us!!! I should start giving tours of my house to expectant mothers! haha

Now I just need to find out why our social worker still has not called to set up an appointment for our renewal home visit. All our paperwork has been in since August 6. Our homestudy expired August 12.

It would be nice to have the visit while the house is still clean from the tour ;)

Summer Stress Checklist:

Family Reunion
My parents long vacation (take care of cats & house)
Change our profile
Homestudy Paperwork
Garage Sale
New kids for before/after school program
Social Worker Home Visit

Monday, August 16, 2010

Before and After School Program

I have an ad in the newspaper right now because I need to get more children for my before and after school program this fall. I have not had to do an ad in two years.

Recently two families moved out of the district so they will not be able to come any longer once school starts. Another child is going into 7th grade so her mom wants to give her a chance to try staying at home by herself in the mornings. So, I am in need of new children.

I paid for my ad to be in the paper for a month and last night I was freaking out that half the time is over and I still had not gotten a single call. Adam and my Mom both reminded me that parents in this area always wait until the last minute. I went through the same thing two years ago.

Then this morning I got a call from a mom with two school-age children. She set up a time to come talk to me and have a tour.

She came at 5:30 and stayed for about fifteen minutes. I think it went well, but it's hard to tell for sure. Since she left I have been going over everything in my head and thinking of things I forgot to say. I hate that I always do that. I obsess and worry. What I should be doing is reminding myself that I have a very good record of parents signing their children up to come here after tours.

I gave her all the paperwork and she said she would let me know tomorrow either way.

I am so nervous. I really need this.

Summer Stress Checklist:

Family Reunion
My parents long vacation
Change our profile
Homestudy Paperwork
Garage Sale
Social Worker Home Visit
Get new kids for child care program

I can't wait to put this summer of stress behind me!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I have been meaning to thank Christa from Fearlessly Infertile for her post about our garage sale fundraiser. Thank you, Christa!

Both Christa and Katie from from IF to when have encouraged me to extend our raffle to online. Since the raffle drawing will not be until August 21st, I decided to go ahead and do it.

The prizes are:

$25 toysRus Gift Card

A membership to the Seneca Park Zoo

A gift basket from Bath & Body Works
(Everything in it is warm vanilla sugar scented.)

One night stay at Comfort Inn West on Ridge Road in Rochester, NY
(Breakfast the next morning is included.)

Mary Kay Gift Basket

$20 Gift Card for AMC theaters

The raffle tickets are $2 each, 3 for $5.

If you are interested, you can pay using the chip in on the side of my blog, then just let me know which raffle(s) you would like to put your ticket(s) in. You can let me know in this comment section, send me a direct message on twitter, or leave me a note in the comment section that you would like me to e-mail you.

Thank you!! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My weekend was so exhausting I have been too tired to even blog about it!

We had our big garage sale/bake sale/raffle adoption fundraiser over the weekend. It was a lot of work, but absolutely worth it.

Going into this fundraiser, there was an amount that I secretly hoped we would reach, but never really thought we would. Let's just say we exceeded that amount...on the first day!! The fundraiser was a huge success.

As amazing as the financial success was, the love and support we received blew me away.

Some people came that I have not seen since high school. They knew about it from facebook and made the effort to come and support us.

There were families that saw our ad in the newspaper so they knew it was an adoption fundraiser and took the time to come and share their own adoption stories. I met one woman who has eleven children, five of them adopted. A birth mother in an open adoption also came. I met so many amazing people.

There were even families from our own adoption agency who came. Someone who waited two years and two months with our agency gave me a pep talk that was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. Another woman who adopted from our agency three times came with her five year old daughter. She told her daughter that I have been waiting two years and she said, "Her baby must be very special." We all had tears in our eyes after hearing that.

Overall it was one of the best weekends of my life.

Yes, we received much needed money for our homestudy renewal, but it was so much more than that.

I have a list a mile long of thank you cards to write. People who baked things to sell, people who donated items to sell in the garage sale, people who donated money and bought raffle tickets, people who bought items to be raffled off, people who bought newspaper ads for us...the list goes on and on.

Then there are the core people who we literally could not have done this without. The people who did the physical work and put in the long hours. My family was awesome- my Mom, my Dad, my sister and brother in law (who drove all the way home from Boston to help.) Then there was @melachrino and @creepygroovy who worked so incredibly hard and spent a crazy number of hours there. I am forever grateful for their help. I absolutely do not know what I would have done without them.

A special thank you goes to @nicoleella10 who has been my friend for twenty years and played a major role in making our fundraiser as big as it was. She is the one who came up with the raffle idea and donated a zoo membership to raffle off. Her father baked cakes, her mother put information about our fundraiser in their church bulletin, which led to other donations. Nicole and her family made this bigger than just your average garage sale adoption fundraiser.

Adam and I are both so grateful for everything.

We have an amazing story to tell our baby someday.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Just a very quick post to let you all know I survived today. It sucked, but it's over. We are officially done with all our homestudy renewal paperwork. We just need to wait until next week to be sure all our paperwork is approved, then we make our appointment with the social worker so she can come meet with us at our house again.

Thank you so much for all your love and support.

I spent all night at my parents' house getting ready for our big fundraiser this weekend!! My sister got in from Boston around 7. I love it when my sister is home. She has already been a huge help with everything.

I can't wait to tell you all about our fundraiser when it's over!

In the meantime, go check out this post from my friend Katie. I love it. (And I love her.)

I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Just Need to Survive this Week

I went to the doctor for my TB shot yesterday. I was nervous because my doctor moved to a new building so I have never been there before. Also, because I get crazy nervous whenever I go to the doctor. I've always been like that. It's when my anxiety disorder hits full force. I have even had times where I have went and my blood pressure is high, and then they take it again at the end of the appointment and it's normal. I just get so freaked out.

I have to go back tomorrow afternoon at 2 for them to check my arm and have my much dreaded physical.
If I can make it through my physical on Friday and our garage sale fundraiser this weekend, I will be feeling so much better. I am a complete mess this week.

Bookmark from the Library

I only have one child today so I took her to the library. The woman working at the counter gave her a bookmark that said:

The more you read,

the more you know.

The more you know,

the smarter you grow.

The smarter you grow,

the stronger your voice,

when speaking your mind

or making your choice.

I really liked it and decided to share. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Progress: Garage Sale Preparation, Homestudy Paperwork, & Adoption Profile

This past weekend was intense. Both physically and emotionally.

We picked up many donations for our garage sale fundraiser, which often involved moving furniture or carrying heavy boxes. Thankfully one friend offered to help us move things with her truck Friday night and another friend helped us move things with her truck Saturday afternoon. Adam and I have small cars so that was a huge help.

I spent a lot of time putting prices on baby clothes on Saturday. I kept trying to stay positive and not let it bother me, but it definitely contributed to a lot of feelings coming up.

In general the garage sale has brought up a lot of feelings. There has been a lot of adoption and babies talk. My mom has talked a lot about being a grandma. Preparing for the sale has been an immense amount of work and I think everyone wants to keep reminding themselves why they are working so hard. Kind of "keeping their eye on the prize."

Saturday night I had a complete breakdown and cried for an hour. I didn't even really know why I was  crying. I think it was just a build up of a lot of emotions.

The amount of donations from people has been amazing. My parents' garage is completely full and so are many rooms of their house. There are donations everywhere. My poor Mom. She finally gets things cleaned, priced and organized and then another car load of stuff comes over. She is working from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep. I feel so guilty. She is working harder than anyone should have to work in order to become a grandma.

The fact that so many people care and are willing to help is overwhelming. Friday night I was in the driveway at my parents' house looking at all the donations and I tweeted: "Dear Baby, So many people love you already." Just sending that message to twitter gave me tears in my eyes. The feeling is so intense. I have always been uncomfortable with people doing things for me and this past week it's been nonstop. I have had to force myself to just relax and accept everyone's help. I don't know how I will ever be able to thank everyone for their generousity.

On top of garage sale preparation I was also working on our adoption profile changes. That comes with it's own set of emotions. I want so badly for this version of our book to be the one that gets us chosen to be parents. I really think we did a good job. I woke up early this morning to finish putting the books together so Adam can mail them on his lunch break today. I also finished all our renewal paperwork to send along with the books. The only thing left now is my physical. *gulp*