Saturday, February 28, 2009

Big Day!

Today is the big day we meet B. We won't be posting pictures to protect her privacy, but we will let everyone know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed :-)

We spoke with her last night and she said she's VERY uncomfortable and there is a lot of pressure. So we could be parents soon. We'll see!

In other news, a big THANK YOU to our friend Tom who is letting us stay at his place in Maryland for the duration of our stay. Ka-ching! Savings on hotels :-)

And also to our friend Cindy who squeezed us in to do our taxes and got them out before this week's IRS deadline for returns--our return was accepted and we should have our return in about 2 weeks! This will allow us to pay off the credit card bill we incurred paying for the attorneys. WOO HOO!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Busy and Productive Weekend

We spent a lot of time this weekend on adoption related matters. The big news is that our birthmom has moved back to the East Coast and is much closer to us now. Consequently, meeting her is going to be a lot easier, as is going to see her during the birth and to pick up Little Jack. When we got the news, we immediately had to re-think all the legal stuff and so we are waiting on our attorney here in Virginia to sort that out for us again.

We spoke with the agency out in Iowa and they spoke with the birthmom (I'll call her B. from now on--B. for birthmom!) and she gave her permission for us to have her phone number. We tried calling her on Saturday, but weren't able to get her. She did call us back and leave a message while we were at a game night at a friend's house, so we decided to call her back on Sunday afternoon. Surprise! She called us at 10:00am Sunday! We chatted for nearly 20 minutes and it was so great. She is such a fascinating person--we learned a lot about her and she learned a lot about us. It was fun to ask her questions like how she'd been feeling, what foods she's been craving (hot sauce, which her doctors have told her to quit eating. Ha!), etc. She told us that every morning at 3am, Jack starts kicking the heck out of her, and she said that he's such an active baby that a woman on the bus with her the other day asked her what she had hiding under her jacket! WOW! She told us we'd better be ready for a real busy body :-) She was also very happy to hear about our pet rabbit--she thinks it's great the baby will have a pet.

Anyway, we've made plans to meet up with her in early March to have lunch and get to know one another more. Thanks to everyone who has given me so many recommendations about where we should go for lunch! Sabatino's appears to be in the lead. I'm not sure how we'll keep still we're so excited, and we've been reading up on how to prepare for the meeting, which is a little nerve-wracking, but honestly the phone call was so great, that most of my nervousness has disappeared into pure excitement. She sounds very determined to go through with the adoption, and has filled out a hospital plan that includes us in every way. She verbally told us that we are welcome to be in the delivery room, in her words, "when all the action goes down", which is so reassuring and thrilling that we'll get to witness his first breaths in this world. It brings tears to my eyes.

Also big news: a great big huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought something from our Pampered Chef show! Together we managed to raise nearly $500 for the adoption!! This is huge, unbelievable, and unexpected. So many people passed the information along to friends and co-workers and family that we got orders from all over the place. I would get an email and think, "Who the heck is Ann Smith? Do I know Ann Smith?" and shortly thereafter get an email from a friend who'd say, "That's my mom/cousin/friend!" So thank you all! :-)

We decided that since it all looks pretty official, we need to get moving on the nursery! Sunday afternoon, TomTom vacated his room upstairs and moved into the basement. I wouldn't say he's unhappy about it, but I would say that he's rather confused. He keeps scurrying around the pen that we bought him wondering what the heck is going on. I cleaned his cage tonight, and I have to say, the house has not smelled the least bit rabbity, so I think thus far, after 48 hours, I am able to keep up with it. I do think we will wind up going through a lot more litter, as I plan to clean his box out every other day, but he's actually become much cleaner since moving into a smaller space. Hooray for TomTom! (Even if he hates it) As you can see from the picture, Michael decided to welcome him to the basement by making his ears stand straight up. Ha! This picture just cracks me up. TomTom LOVES having his ears stroked, so even though it looks crazy, you can tell by his eyes being closed that he's actually in hog heaven.

So this morning, we decided to tackle the baby's room, and had a ton of volunteers. My sister and brother-in-law came to lend a hand, and everything went so smoothly that we were able to call off the other volunteers and save them some free time!

Judy and Lucas divvied up the responsibilities--Judy helped me with the flooring, and Lucas was in charge of furniture building. We started with the floors--I'd spent yesterday sweeping and scraping and getting the floors into as good shape as they could be after having lived as a rabbit hutch for three years. Then we started putting the carpet tile down. I ordered carpet tile from I got two different colors so we could have a checkerboard design--green and what I thought was white but turned out to be beige. This is fine, though, I'd rather it be beige--hides the mess better :) I was a bit worried about all the cutting that would be required around things like heat vents and doorways, but it turns out my sister is a whiz (she claims all that playing Tetris paid off!), so she told me how to measure and cut and I did it. Only once did I totally screw up and it worked out anyway as I was able to cut the mistake off and still use the tile just fine. The tile has a light adhesive on the back, not really enough to do any good, so we wound up staple gunning the tiles to the floor once we were finished. This worked out really well and Lucas was able to vacuum with no problem whatsoever. There is one little section where the tiles are up just a little bit, but I think as we continue to walk on and over them, they'll settle in nicely.

After we finished the flooring, Judy and Lucas brought the crib upstairs and Lucas had it together in no time at all. I helped tighten a few screws, because really, that was all there was to it. It was an absolute snap. So we decided to put together Little Jack's bookshelf while we were at it--Lucas and I had built this exact model last Easter when I needed somewhere to house my "to be read" collection--sadly, it's outgrown the shelf, but oh well, it's still a great sized shelf! So we knocked that together in about 30 minutes and put everything where it belonged.

Well, of course, with the crib up, I wanted to put the bedding in, which I couldn't do without having a mattress, so I took a quick trip to Target and picked up the mattress, a touch lamp (cool!) and a garbage can to use as a diaper pail. After we got back and the sheets and blankets were done being Drefted in the washer and had dried, I ironed the curtain/blinds which had been washed to remove rabbit fur, I washed down the walls again, washed the windows, and cleaned the ceiling fan. Then it was time to put the room together, as much as we could with the few things we have. But actually, we're in good shape. I have a set of 2 shelves that need to be mounted to the wall, and then we need a rocking chair/glider and a dresser/changing table and the furniture is all done! Then we just have to make ourselves a working closet (there is no clothes bar or anything in there, and we will probably use the leftover carpet tiles on the floor in the closet) and the room will be in even greater shape.

So here's where we are with the room. If Jack came home tomorrow, we'd be ready for him.

Eeyore and Seahorse are ready for Jack to come home too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First Look at George Henry

This picture is kind of chipmunky, but maybe that's better than alien. :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Excitement!

The agency in Iowa called this morning. They mailed us a sonogram picture yesterday! Can't wait to see the little guy! :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Odds & Ends

Well, the Pampered Chef show invites went out. If you didn't get an email, it means I don't have your email address. If you'd like to come to the party next Monday night in Alexandria, we'd love to have you! If you can't but would like to order, you can visit and buy something. We get 30% of the sales, which is pretty good. We've only had 2 orders so far, but we've already earned $27. Thanks book club gals Cecily and Kate!

We've also started an Ebay account for the adoption. Michael has some computer gear that he wants to sell and I have some autographed books that I could get rid of. We'll be going through the house and hopefully coming up with some things that we can sell off that we don't want/need any more. I may try selling a few of my pictures too. It's a pretty cheap project, but could potentially make some money from photography lovers in Ebay-land.

That's about it, really. We've paid our Virginia attorney's fees and part of the birthmom's attorney's fees, and still have plenty of money to get by. We are anxiously awaiting our tax documents, because then we will be able to breathe a bit easier--we need that return! :-)

And everyone's been so helpful with the lodging situation. We found one posting on Craigslist Detroit for a woman who rents out her guest house for $40 per month. We are going to try calling her for more information. Lauren is on the quest with a friend of hers who works for a chain. My former boss is from Michigan and is checking with family and friends to see if they might know of someplace we could stay cheap.

We have a checklist from the Michigan attorney of paperwork we need to get in order, so we are busy finding all that. February 16th is "Nursery Day". We will be putting down the carpet tile, building the crib, hanging shelves, and hopefully putting the closet together. So much to do, and so much excitement in doing it. And then we will get to take a mini vacation courtesy of the Talmadge Glecks, NettieMacs and Mamorys in order to get a little down time/Mike and Susan and friends time before the real insanity hits.

Thanks to all who have been so generous and helpful with money, time, advice, connections, and affection. It's amazing the people who the people you know know. Ya know?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Extended Stay Suites

Our MI attorney sent us a bunch of places to look at staying in the county where we will finalize the adoption. I had looked at these extended stay places before, when the General was moving to DC and I had a bit of sticker shock then, which was 5 1/2 years ago. I was dreading what the price would add up to on a 3 week stay--the absolute worst case scenario if everything goes totally crazy.

Life outside the DC area is pretty nice. It's looking like the total hotel costs will be about $1500 if we have to stay the full time--hopefully we'll stay one week less than that, so it'll cost about $1000. That is definitely doable.

We are taking baby steps to ensure that we don't go crazy with waiting. Things like this give us something to keep our minds busy and active.

The great debate raging in my head is whether we should fly there and rent a car or if we should drive. Driving has advantages--we can take all our gear with us, don't have to pay extra to fly and then rent a car. It also has disadvantages--namely taking forever to get out there and forever to get back. And if I haven't been sleeping well with a newborn and I am the sole driver, that could spell big trouble. The debate rages on.