Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not the outcome we were all hoping for, but at least the family will know what happened and can hopefully get some closure:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

413 days: stepping away

We had the home visit to update our home study and after talking with the social worker, we've decided to step away from adoption for the moment. Not take it off the table completely or anything, just take a break.

There are a few things that led to this decision.

We had a possible situation recently that I didn't post about. I wanted to wait and talk to the birthmom about everything before I even mentioned it on here. Sadly, it's a no-go and our thoughts and prayers are with her.

However, that situation made us pause and think some things through.

From as far as we can figure, we believe she was due around the same time as me. That made us hesitant to move forward with it because there's no way I could travel out of state at the end of my pregnancy or shortly after giving birth (most likely by c-section, no less). I don't know the laws of her state, but some require that you stay in state with the adopted child for a certain period of time. This would have meant living in a hotel room with a toddler and two newborns after basically having abdominal surgery. Can you imagine?

Also, everyone says going from one child to two is the hardest. Neal is worried about how I will handle the transition and wants to make sure we are all adjusted to that change before adding another baby to our family.

So, we made the decision to put everything on hold. If someone were to call within the next couple of months with a newborn ready to be picked up, I think we might still consider it. But otherwise, I think we are going to just take a break from worrying about it, prepare for this baby's arrival and take time to settle into that.

The money from the fundraiser will continue to sit and earn interest and we'll revisit adoption in a year or so. If for some reason we decide two children are enough, we'll find some adoption-related organization or adoptive family to donate it to.

I am so, so grateful for... well, everything in my life. My daily "problems" are nothing compared to what so many others are dealing with and while I've known this for a long time, it became exceptionally clear today when my dad and I volunteered to help search for three missing people near where we live.

If you are in Ohio and can spare the time, please go volunteer. It's been a week since anyone has heard anything from them and everyone is starting to fear the worse. They need more people to help search the woods/lakes for clues. I hope to go back again this weekend if my nausea/exhaustion holds off as it did today.

Here's a link to the Facebook page they have set up with details about volunteering and a map about where has already been searched:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

395 days

We're getting our home study updated and just need a few things: New walk through by the court, physicals and background checks

The physicals are done and the lady from the court will be here next week. The background checks though... they are proving to be something of a problem because this pregnancy is vastly different from my pregnancy with Kasen and I have barely left the house.

I need to call them and find out if they can just rerun our fingerprints since they should have them on file from last year or if we need to actually come down to the police station again and get re-fingerprinted.

Trust me I am very, VERY grateful and realize every day how blessed we are, but that does not make constant nausea any easier to deal with. And I know even that could be worse... I could be vomiting so much that I have to be hospitalized or on an IV drip of medicine.

My past two weeks have looked like this

woah - almost passed out.
hey, my blood pressure says I'm dead.
Zofran to the rescue! yay!
less nausea.
sore throat.
flu. AHHH! (thankfully - the worst of it only lasted 24 hours.)
Sweet relief of codeine. Thank you, Lord!
Hey let's scare the living daylights out of everyone in my house by almost passing out while just sitting there watching a movie. Could barely even drink my orange juice because my hands were shaking so bad. That was fun.
still running a slight fever a week post-flu.

You get the idea. I have barely left the house (and the couch for that matter) for over a week. I'm getting at least 10 hours of sleep at night (usually more like 12), plus a 2-3 hour nap around 11 a.m. and am still ready for bed at 6 p.m. and am actually in bed around 7:30/8, after Kasen goes down.

I keep thinking that this can't just be pregnancy tiredness. It can't. This is insane.

But then this morning, my slow and foggy brain put two and two together and I reread the Zofran label: "May cause dizziness, headaches and drowsiness."

So... I've skipped the past three doses and guess what? I'm awake. I'm not too dizzy and I don't have a headache. But the nausea is back worse than it was before.

So which is better? Deal with constant nausea or be a bump on the log and sleep all the time while trying to take care of a toddler?

(For the record, the nausea never went completely away with the Zofran - it just helped calm it down some.)

I'm considering settling for half and half. Take a Zofran at night because I'll be sleeping anyway and take another one in the morning, because it's naptime three hours after we get up and I can sleep then, too. Then deal with the nausea in the afternoon, but actually get stuff done and do more with my child then put a video on for him.

Please let this pass soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

telling my parents

I just realized I never posted the picture of my parents finding out we were pregnant.

We sat them down with Kasen, telling them that we wanted a more recent photo of the three of them, and then said, "1, 2, 3... Carrie's pregnant!" waited a beat and took the picture.

This is the result:

Mom's saying, "Wha...?" and Dad's expression needs no explanation.

They were shocked, then didn't believe us, then started crying. It was so awesome! I also got it all on video without them knowing ;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And the winners are...

Yesterday was very busy, so I'm a day late doing the drawing.

Kasen helped by pulling the papers with the entries out of a bowl. Luckily, he did not eat them but instead handed them directly to me. He's a pro.

Oddly enough, I had just enough items so that everyone who entered actually gets something!

Foxy Popcorn: #1 tree necklace
April: #2 stained glass necklace
Sarah: #5 pigeon necklace
Melissa: consolation prize if you want it! - #4 patchwork quilt necklace
Shenais: #3 red bird necklace
Hill: consolation prize if you want it! - #6 sliced bread necklace
Micaela6955: #7 shades of blue necklace
Thifia: #8 spa gift basket
Wehaf: #9 men's emergency kit
Tahearn: #10 wedding emergency kit

Congrats! I'll be getting in touch with you to get your mailing addresses!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One day left to enter the giveaway!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

372 days: Big news!

The one year anniversary of us being approached about the first adoption situation has passed. It feels like ages ago that all of that happened. Actually, sometimes it feels like it didn't happen at all. Sometimes I imagine what life would have been like if the birthmom hadn't changed her mind. We'd have a 16-month-old and a just-turned-1-year-old. Life would be insane, that's for sure.

One good thing about that situation not working out was that it made us aware that we were definitely ready for more kids - sooner rather than later.

See, the thing is, even though I don't talk about religion much or go to church, I feel like I have a very close relationship with God. I believe that He knows our hearts and what we want and what's best for us.

That being said, I also know that he won't (can't) do all of the work for you. What's that saying? Something along the lines of "You can't pray to God to win the lottery without buying lottery tickets."

The only reason I have been so zen about how we are handling the private adoption process is because I'm turning it over to Him. We have done everything that we can do within our comfort zone to make it happen and I fully believe that if/when the time is right, we will cross paths with the right birthfamily.

While we are waiting and hoping for those paths to cross... we decided to start trying to get pregnant again.

Thanks to Metformin, my PCOS is under control and we had gotten good news about Neal's sperm. My OB said he thought we may even be able to get pregnant on our own so we decided to start trying.

And trying.

And trying.

After six months of that, we went back to the OB and let him know that I was ovulating but we still weren't pregnant. He suggested that for the next cycle, we try an IUI (where they inject the sperm directly into your uterus). We agreed because it is a very simple procedure and since I was ovulating we wouldn't even need any medications, which I really wanted to avoid.

And it worked on the first try.

I'm due on Kasen's 2nd birthday.

The lottery ticket analogy? That's kind of how I feel about us trying to get pregnant again and adopting at the same time. We can't pray that we'll have more kids if we don't do something to make it a possibility. We're not going to get pregnant on our own and adopting doesn't just happen over night. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with having multiple irons in the fire, so to speak. Though I know some agencies will not let you adopt if you are trying to get pregnant/are pregnant/just had a baby because they think it somehow means that you aren't in it 100% or don't want the adopted baby as much or something. I assure you - we could not feel any differently.

What does this mean for the adoption? Nothing. If someone called us right now and told us to come to the hospital, we'd be in the car in a flash - with a quick stop at the store to pick up newborn diapers.

After the negative comments we got in the newspaper about our adoption fundraiser, I also know that some will think we are evil for trying both at the same time or that we don't truly want to adopt. There's nothing I can say to change their minds, so I won't bother. I know how we feel and that's all that truly matters.

I also know this fuels the "adopt and you'll get pregnant!" myth. There have been studies done that show that the number of people who get pregnant after adoption is no different from the normal amount of pregnancies in the population. If all it took to get pregnant was to adopt, there would be thousands of more pregnancies each year. Infertility is a medical condition - it's not wished away by relaxing or adopting or taking cough syrup any more than any other disease is.

We feel incredibly blessed and beyond lucky to be pregnant again. I was very nervous about announcing it on Facebook and on here because I know that this news may cause some hurt for some people. I hate that and pray that anyone who is waiting to adopt or trying to get pregnant can find some ounce of hope in our story and not just pain for themselves. Trust me - I understand because I have been there.


3 more days to enter the giveaway! There are still items that haven't even been called for yet so you have a very good chance at winning!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One week left to enter the giveaway!

Monday, September 20, 2010

355 days: my first giveaway!

So, I have 3 items left over from the raffle that I had to nix plus some handmade Scrabble tile necklaces that had been donated. I've been staring at them for weeks now wondering what to do with them and this morning, it hit me: I'll do a giveaway as a thank you to everyone for their support!

The Items!

The Scrabble Tile Necklaces, made by The Great and Wonderful Mrs. Gibby

Item #1
Tree necklace

Item #2
Stained Glass necklace

Item #3
Red Bird necklace

Item #4
Patchwork Quilt necklace

Item #5
Pigeon necklace

Item #6
Best Thing Since Sliced Bread necklace

Item #7
Shades of Blue necklace

Item #8
Spa Gift Basket

-10 oz and 2 oz bottles of Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash (Lavender Vanilla - Sleep)
-Vibrating Sponge with batteries included
-hair clip
-rolly massager thing
-nail buffer/shiner
-Aveeno oatmeal bath
-pumice stone
-self-heating red clay mask
-1 oz Victoria's Secret illuminating body lotion
-Mary Kay Timewise cellu-Shape body moisturizer (1.7 oz daytime and 1 oz nighttime)
-.17 oz Aura Science eye recovery cream
-cute little basket :)

Item #9
Emergency Travel Case for Men

-carrying case
-Old Spice anti-perspirant and deodorant
-1.7 oz Gillette shampoo
-1.8 oz Dove body and face wash
-Gilette razor
-grooming kit (nail file, tweezers, finger nail clippers, scissors and cuticle thing)
-Scope mouthwash (not pictured)
-nick stick to stop bleeding (not pictured)
-Aveeno lotion (not pictured)

Item #10
Wedding Emergency Kit

My maid of honor put some of this kit together for me for my wedding day and it was a blessing to have it on hand! It's filled with lots of little things you may forget on that big day that you'll find yourself needing! Would make a great bridal shower gift or just be nice to keep in your car for random other uses!

- carrying case
- protein bar
- matches
- toothpaste and toothbrush
- 4 Shout wipes
- 2 maxi pads and 3 tampons
- comb
- hairspray
- static guard
- sewing kit
- bandaids/alcohol wipes
- nick stick to stop bleeding (not pictured)
- tissues
- Tums
- ponytail holders
- bobby pins
- Aveeno lotion
- tweezers
- superglue
- clear nail polish (stops runs in pantyhose!)
- clear tape
- contact case
- saline solution
- nail file
- nick stick to stop bleeding
- small mirror
- hand sanitizer
- scissors

(The Scope mouthwash and one of the nick sticks pictured have been swiped from here and put it in the man's emergency kit, so they're not included.)

The Rules

The contest begins immediatley and will end 10/10/10. (Because that's a fun date!) I'll post the winners on 10/11/10.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me with your mailing address, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Enter up to 4 times!

1. Leave a comment telling me which item you'd like to win along with your e-mail address.

2. Blog about it, leaving a separate comment letting me know you did so along with the item you'd like to win and your e-mail address. (You do not need to leave a link to your blog. We'll go on the honor system. ;)

3. Post it on your Facebook page, leaving a separate comment letting me know you did so along with the item you'd like to win and your e-mail address.

4. Twitter it, leaving a separate comment letting me know you did so along with the item you'd like to win and your e-mail address.

For each separate entry/comment you leave, you can list a different item you'd like to win or the same one 4 times - it's up to you! However, only list one item per comment.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I had a friend who lives across the country from me e-mail saying that since she couldn't be here to support our garage sale, she wanted to donate the $67 difference to make our total for the weekend an even $1k.

I am... humbled.

And get teary-eyed every time I think about what a sweet gesture that was.

Monday, September 6, 2010

341 days: The Garage Sale

The garage sale was a huge success!!!

My hope was that we'd raise around $500 but our grand total was $936! We have a TON of stuff left plus we got more donations, so we're going to reopen it next weekend - Friday and Saturday from 10-4. I have no doubt we'll break the $1k mark!! That's crazy!

We also had ice cream sundaes, pop, water, coffee, hot chocolate, chips, brownies and cookies. I will definitely have food at all yard sales I do in the future. We probably made about $60 on hotdogs alone!

I loved meeting all the people who stopped by who had adopted. We met foster families, people who had adopted from China and Russia, those who had done private and agency adoptions, special needs adoptions... all of it. Seeing their families and hearing their stories was just so awesome. It also made up for all the negative nancies who left comments on the paper's article online about us being lazy for holding this "so-called fundraiser" and not being appreciative of Kasen because we want more kids. I was expecting that because I've read it all before on other blogs, but I should have warned my family. They were definitely blindsided. :(

I only sold one of the raffle items, so I still have those left. If anyone is interested in buying one, go here to see what's left and e-mail me at

I did sell 10 of the necklaces donated by my friend! Thank you, Lauren!!! They were very popular and are adorable! She sells them online at her Etsy shop if you're interested!

Also, my roommate is now selling Lia Sophia jewelry so we opened a book show with 10% of the profits going towards our adoption fund. Just go to to see their gorgeous stuff and e-mail me at with your name, address, order and payment information. I'll pass the info onto her, she'll place the order and your stuff will arrive in the mail in a couple weeks!


Our garage the day before the sale. It took me a week to get everything set up.
packed garage

The first morning:
set up garage

Tons of clothes:

All the stuff had to spill out into the driveway:
set up driveway


Lauren's necklaces:
lauren's necklaces

Kasen had fun spending so much time outside all day long with Poppy:
poppy and kasen

Reading an enclyclopedia that was donated to us:
kasen reading encyclopedia

Matching Daddy and Kasen:
daddy and kasen matching

Sidewalk chalk!
sidewalk chalk

So. Exhausting, yes, but totally worth it! After next week's sale, I'll be going through all the kid/baby stuff and putting it in a consignment sale to see if I can sell any more of it. Everything else is being donated to my friend whose company is holding a fundraising garage sale for the Walk for Autism!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

328 Days: 10 days left!

10 days until the yardsale.

Today, I'm going to take fliers to all the local businesses to see if I can hang them up in their windows. I also need to get stakes because I have some signs that need to go up on Friday.

Neal got some shelves up in the basement, so we can move stuff from the shelves in the garage down there, which will clear up room for the sale stuff. Next up is cleaning the garage (fun!) then setting everything up! I want to have all of that done by Aug. 30 because I'm having a Lia Sophia party on Sept. 1 to help out my new roommate who just became a distributor. (If you'd like to place an order, I'm sure you can do so online! E-mail me and I'll get the info to you, as I don't have it yet.) Anyway, that'll leave that Thursday free to deal with last minute drop offs and random things I forgot about before the sale on Friday!

Tomorrow, I'm picking donations up from a friend and heading to another house to clear out their garage from their recent garage sale. They had said we could have their leftovers after their sale about a month ago but we haven't gotten to it yet.

Busy times but it's coming together!
"What healthy foods do you pack in your lunch?" Answer to be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

no more raffle :(

Had to nix the raffle idea... apparently it's illegal in my state. See previous post for more info - the baskets are still available!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Raffle items!!! OR NOT :(

EDIT: Well, poop.

My uncle pointed out that he thought it was illegal to sell raffle tickets, so I did some research online - which led to a massive headache caused by trying to decipher all the legalease.

Unfortunately, he's right. Apparently in the state of Ohio, selling raffle tickets is illegal, unless you are a non-profit and obtain a license. (And pay a hefty fee.)

If I continue with my raffle and get caught, it's a misdemeanor of the first degree.


So, what do I do with my raffle items? :(

(I just got the necklaces in the mail this morning, too. They're very pretty!)

I guess I could just put set prices on everything... first come, first serve for The Internets and what doesn't sell will go in the yardsale.

I am sad.

I have 4 weekends left until our fundraiser/garage sale and I am starting to feel the pressure of getting everything ready. Add to that the fact that we are helping out some family friends so now have temporary new roommates and the garden needs harvested and life is i-n-s-a-n-e lately.

Item #1
Spa Gift Basket valued at over $40. Selling for $15.


-10 oz and 2 oz bottles of Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash (Lavender Vanilla - Sleep)
-Vibrating Sponge with batteries included
-hair clip
-rolly massager thing
-nail buffer/shiner
-Aveeno oatmeal bath
-pumice stone
-self-heating red clay mask
-1 oz Victoria's Secret illuminating body lotion
-Mary Kay Timewise cellu-Shape body moisturizer (1.7 oz daytime and 1 oz nighttime)
-.17 oz Aura Science eye recovery cream
-cute little basket :)

Item #2
Kitty Gift Basket - $20 value. Sold!


-Whisker Lickins cat treats
-cat brush
-cat nip
-two matching food/water bowls (1 blue and 1 white - not pictured)
-4 mouse toys and 1 ball
-food scoop
-collar w/ bell
-3/4 bottle mink oil cat shampoo
-1/2 bottle Pro Pet stress relief calming spray
-6 Fresh Step litter box wipes

Item #3
Emergency Travel Case for Men - $18 value. Selling for $7.


Perfect to keep in the car or throw in your carry on bag for trips!

-carrying case
-Old Spice anti-perspirant and deodorant
-1.7 oz Gillette shampoo
-1.8 oz Dove body and face wash
-Gilette razor
-grooming kit (nail file, tweezers, finger nail clippers, scissors and cuticle thing)
-Scope mouthwash (not pictured)
-nick stick to stop bleeding (not pictured)
-Aveeno lotion (not pictured)

Item #4
Wind chimes - $25 value. Selling for $10.


I really like these and almost want to keep them for myself. The chimes are not loud and obnoxious like some can be - they are very muted sounding and pretty!

Item #5
Wedding Emergency Kit - $40 value. Selling for $15.


My maid of honor put some of this kit together for me for my wedding day and it was a blessing to have it on hand! It's filled with lots of little things you may forget on that big day that you'll find yourself needing! Would make a great bridal shower gift or just be nice to keep in your car for random other uses!

- carrying case
- protein bar
- matches
- toothpaste and toothbrush
- 4 Shout wipes
- 2 maxi pads and 3 tampons
- comb
- hairspray
- static guard
- sewing kit
- bandaids/alcohol wipes
- nick stick to stop bleeding (not pictured)
- tissues
- Tums
- ponytail holders
- bobby pins
- Aveeno lotion
- tweezers
- superglue
- clear nail polish (stops runs in pantyhose!)
- clear tape
- contact case
- saline solution
- nail file
- nick stick to stop bleeding
- small mirror
- hand sanitizer
- scissors

(The Scope mouthwash and one of the nick sticks pictured have been swiped from here and put it in the man's emergency kit so they're not included.)

Monday, July 12, 2010


Just passing this along...

Print a $2 off coupon on any First Response (pregnancy, fertility or ovulation) test.

Monday, July 5, 2010

how do you wear your jeans?

GAP, Blogher and Suz are asking "How do you wear your jeans?" Click over and leave a comment to be entered to win a $100 GAP gift card!

279 Days

I feel like I don't have much to say here right now because nothing is going on besides me preparing for the yardsale.

I'm anxious for it because I'm feeling like I've kind of put out all the feelers that I can on my own for adoption situations. It's not just an opportunity to raise some money to help cover the costs, but it's also a whole new platform to get the word out about us wanting to adopt.

Ideas I have for yard sale:

- Contact the local paper to have them do a human interest story. (They in turn are affiliated with a local tv news station who may pick the story up as well.)

- Big, colorful signs at multiple intersections announcing fundraising yard sale. I'll get these put up the weekend before the actual sale so more people will see them and hopefully make a mental note to come check it out.

- Putting our adoption "business card" in each bag of things sold.

- Have a sign near the "entrance" explaining what we're doing so people can stop and read it at their own pace without me having to explain it to every single person for three days.

- Have a jug for donations with a note on it explaining what we're doing.

- Post on Craigslist.

- Sell raffle tickets for themed gift baskets.

- Bake sale/drinks.

- Your idea? Anything else I haven't thought of yet?

Maybe we'll meet the birthmom that weekend. Maybe we'll meet the person who will put us in touch with the birthmom. Who knows?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

273 Days

I am alive.

The tornado we hid from on vacation did not get us. (Though it was only a few miles away, it was an F1.)

We got back from vacation and our computer crashed, so for the majority of June, I have been sans internet.

Kasen and the little girl I babysit are both napping so I thought I'd take a moment to do a quick update, though it's nothing exciting.

I successfully pulled off my Grandma's surprise birthday party here last weekend and now have nothing time-consuming on my plate besides the yard sale stuff. The area in the basement I set aside for all of it is overflowing and I've almost got the most recent wave of donations cleaned and sorted. A few more boxes to go plus a couch to shampoo and I'll be caught up. A friend is coming this Friday and we are going to start working on pricing the stuff I do have. I've also gotten some nice things that I'm going to list on Craigslist. I'll post links for those who might be interested once I get them all up.

Kasen is officially 1-year-old and can walk but is a bit afraid to do it on his own. (He's a very cautious child.) He loves to hold your finger and have you walk him all over the place or walk back and forth between two people. Yesterday, he stood up in the middle of the floor on his own and then took a few steps to me... he was very proud. :) He can say about 15 words/phrases, too, which is amazing to hear. He also has started "singing" or humming when he's eating or playing. It's very cute!

Here is a video of him helping me with laundry:

And a picture of us and my parents at Mount Rushmore:

Monday, May 31, 2010

243 days

Kasen was not too keen on this idea...

Click to play this Smilebox collage: kasens smash cake
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

228 Days

Life is busy lately and my blogs are suffering because of it.

-Kasen had roseola then after that went away, he got an eye infection which scared the crap out of me. Red, swollen eye ball. Saw a pediatric ophthalmologist. Got eye drops (antibiotics/steroids and antihistimine). No clue what caused it - he probably got something in it. All is better now. If nothing comes back we'll know it was something in it. I don't even want to think about what it means if it comes back again though.

-Getting new cell phones tomorrow. Finally we will have good service out here... we will also be saving $30 a month!

-Kasen is almost one. Yikes! We're going to be in Nebraska visiting Neal's family on his birthday and will be having an open house/birthday party for everyone who hasn't met him yet to finally get to see him! We're also going to be spending a few days at Neal's grandparent's 4,000-acre farm and going to Mount Rushmore!

-Yard sale stuff has taken over my life lately so that's been keeping me busy. Sorting, washing, pricing - only to start over again when I get more donations. Yay! I'm definitely going to have to borrow some tables for all this stuff. I just got a big batch of donations that need cleaned up (they've been in storage for years) and am picking up more donations tomorrow. Between babysitting, taking care of the house and Kasen, and working on that stuff, I seem to have no free time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

197 Days: Donations welcome!

It's a gorgeous day outside and I'm getting ready to sequester myself to the basement to work on organizing and tagging items for a garage sale we are going to do this fall. Our hope is to get donations from people we know to sell while simultaneously taking advantage of an increase in traffic to our area during a particular weekend and raise a good chunk of change to put towards our adoption expenses.

We are welcoming donations and if you are in the Central Ohio area, please think of us when you are doing your Spring cleaning this year! Instead of dropping things off at Goodwill or the Salvation Army, give me a call instead!

I also plan on having baked goods/drinks at the sale and if I get any bigger ticket items, I will be selling raffle tickets for them to be won!

Monday, April 12, 2010

194 days: vans and kids

I cried as we pulled out of the dealership a few days ago driving our new-to-us minivan.

Many times I've heard people saying how depressed they were when they had to get a minivan or how they would never get a minivan because it'd be like a part of themselves dying... apparently because it's just that uncool.

That totally wasn't me.

I was crying tears of joy because the minivan is the ultimate Mom status and that's what I fought for for three years and coveted all of my life. I'm ecstatic about my beautiful (and more luxurious than my car!*) red minivan and I can't wait to have excuses to drive it around town.**

I also can't wait to fill it up with more children.

While driving to pick up my niece from school the other day, we passed a foster care/adoption treatment center that has a sign out front that said, "We had to turn away 4 children today because we didn't have anyone to call." I, of course, got teary-eyed immediately and when I pointed it out to Neal, he got sad as well.***

I would really like to do foster care some day, especially if years from now private adoption has never panned out. My cousin and his wife are fostering two boys right now and I just think it's so awesome. Ups and downs and heartbreak, absolutely, but totally worth it in the end.

*especialy more luxurious than my car since mine is currently scattered in bits and pieces all over our garage while Neal rebuilds the engine. Yes, he's so cool he can do that kind of stuff.

**I actually ran errands today with two 10-month-olds during nap time. They ended up doing great, though at first I wasn't sure if I was being adventurous and brave or just stupid!

***When something touches Neal emotionally, the hair on his arms stand up. It's so friggin' cute. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

173 Days

The pastor never called us back about the 3-week-old baby. After hearing some of the details, I knew it was a long shot, but a return phone call would have been nice anyway. Oh, well. At least he's aware of us and knows how to get ahold of us now. Private adoption really is all about networking!

I really have no other news on the adoption front. I've given out our cards to everyone I know and even some I don't. I've been too busy with babysitting and chasing around little ones and fighting a cold that I haven't been reading blogs or looking into more networking possibilities. We're definitely in a "wait and see" mode right now.

Babysitting is going well. We're getting to know each other and H's cues and I think it's going to work out great. Her parents got me an extra car seat so with the weather getting better we'll be able to go to the park and bike trail this summer... once I get up the nerve to venture out of the house with the two of them. (And on the rare occassion that they are both up from their afternoon naps with time left to do anything before she gets picked up!) I'm considering going to laptime at the library on Wednesday...

Kasen had someone flip a switch on in him the other day. He just all of a sudden started cruising on furniture, waving, saying "hi" and "uh oh," and I think he signed "eat" to me. Today I saw him rolling his ball down the hallway and crawling after it and caught him standing on the back of his walker... he's a climber!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

158 Days

I suck at ICLW. Every time I join, it's during a time when I have a little free time to update and read and comment and then by the time ICLW actually rolls around, I don't even have time to update. I'm lame.

I have been a social butterfly lately which translates into no time to update. Just this week on top of Kasen care, housework and my gym schedule, I had two playdates, trips to Cosi, Dawes Arboretum, the bike trail, the dog park, the grocery store, and a job interview. (Can you tell the weather is getting better?!)

All fun times, but the biggest news of them all is the job interview. Starting tomorrow, I'm babysitting a little girl who is 11 days younger than Kasen! I will have her Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week. I had considered babysitting in the past but it was out of the question during our three years of trying to get pregnant.*

Babysitting crossed my mind again during pregnancy and I thought maybe I could start doing it at some point once I got settled into mommyhood. I didn't actively start looking for anything and figured if the right situation presented itself, I'd think about it more seriously. When I received an e-mail from a friend last week about someone she knew who was looking for a part-time babysitter, I thought, "Hmm..." The situation seems perfect: It's only part-time so I can still stick to my gym schedule; I'll have Friday/Saturdays off which is Neal's weekends and still leaves Thursdays for errands; she's the same age as Kasen so I have all age-appropriate toys and he'll have a playmate. The extra money is going to go into my "I Will Get A Minivan This Year" fund so I'm stoked about that! We're very excited to watch her, too... her parents seem very sweet and she seems laid back like Kasen so hopefully I won't have my hands too full!

*It was way too heartbreaking to really be around kids during our TTC years. A co-worker (who knew we were struggling to get pregnant) practically shoved her newborn grandson into my arms at work one day. It took everything in me not to throw up and start crying right there. It literally hurt to touch him and I distinctly remembering wanting him out of my arms like right now. I cried in the bathroom after they left.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

144 Days: ICLW!

Hello ICLWers!

-I'm 31, married to Neal for almost 5 years.

-PCOS w/ insulin resistance and severe male factor. 3 years of TTC, 4 failed IUIs, 5 rounds of Clomid, IVF w/ ICSI turned into our son, Kasen, who was born in June 2009. He's awesome and we are totally ready to add more to our family!

-Co-worker of Neal's knew we were talking about adopting in the future and put us in touch with someone he knew who was considering adoption for her baby. (aka Situation #1) Though she decided to parent, this got us started on the private adoption path and showed us that home studies can be done in two weeks for $300.

-Started networking on our own and were called this month about a Situation #2: Newborn girl in Texas. Currently waiting for more news but not feeling very hopeful that it's all going to work out at this time.

For those who don't know what ICLW is, it stands for International Comment Leaving Week and was started in the Infertility/Adoption/Loss blogging community as a way to get to know one another and lend support. It happens once a month and anybody can join in! (See link in sidebar!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

142 Days: beautiful blogger award

No new news on the adoption... I still haven't received a call back so, um, yeah. More waiting and seeing!

But - thank you, Baby Interrupted, who nominated me for The Beautiful Blogger award! How fun!

The rules of this award are:

•Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
•Copy the award and place it in your blog.
•Link the person who nominated you for this award.
•Tell us 7 interesting things about you.
•Nominate 7 bloggers.
•Post the links to the 7 bloggers you nominate.

1. I can't do accents. No matter which ones I try to do, they all come off sounding slightly Southern, and even that sucks. Heck, I can barely speak English sometimes. My words come out all jumbled... luckily, my husband totally knows what I mean. At least he claims to...

2. I'm one of those people who is terrified of the dentist. As in, I have to have valium before I go in to chill me out thanks to a few really bad and painful experiences. I even called my insurance company recently to find out if they would cover anesthesia and was very bummed to find out they will only cover it for surgeries. So - valium it is!

3. I got Neal into the Twilight series. He fell in love with it and was always all randomly, "Every time I look at our dog, I think of Jacob." or "When I see Kasen doing -fill in the blank- I imagine Renesmee doing that." Just today he pointed out that the lady fitting us for our new glasses had very Alice-like qualities... and he was so right! I love my husband. He's got a girlish bone in his body somewhere and he's not ashamed of it!

4. I love The X-Files. Me and my friend were even extras and ended up on one of the episodes! Yeah, totally awesome.

Here's a shot from our scene. That's the back of David Duchovny's head taking up the left part of the shot. I'm the blonde right next to his head and my friend is next to me!

xf carrie ann

5. I love reading and have already read 6 books this year. I'm so thrilled that we live within 5-10 minutes of two separate library systems. If one doesn't have something I want, the other one usually does! I'm also excited to start going back to story time... Kasen really liked it but we stopped going during flu season because he wasn't old enough to be vaccinated.

6. I've started liking going to the gym. It really is addictive if you stick to it! I've been going three times a week to Zumba, yoga and Body Pump but am now working on adding another Body Pump into my routine. My parents come 2-3 times a week to watch Kasen so I can go... and so they can get their Kasen fix!

7. I can't wait for the weather to get better because we have really nice parks around here as well as a bike trail. Poor Max misses his walks and hasn't been for a bike ride in almost 2 years. (Yes, we taught him to heel to a bike - he loves it!) For Christmas, my parents got us a bike trailer to pull kids in, so once it warms up, we are all hitting the trail for a ride and a picnic!

And the nominations are...

Egg Drop Post (private adoption)
Losing the Baby Wait (agency adoption - just matched!)
Heart Cries (parenting after adoption)
Life According to Leah (international adoption)
Birth Mom Missions (birth mom)
Full Circle (foster adoption)
No End in Sight Except Heaven (childhood cancer)

Monday, February 15, 2010

138 Days: Cryptic

So I'm going to be kind of cryptic because I want to respect the privacy of those involved and not come off as talking about their business... especially when what I'm going on is heresay at this point. Needless to say, I may come back and edit this post if I say something that turns out to be completely wrong.

I'm still waiting for a return call from my contact, a pastor in Columbus (we'll call him Pastor T), but I did talk to my neighbor after he talked to him the other day.

Baby J is in emergency foster care in Texas because both of her parents are in jail and her grandparents cannot take her. I believe Baby J is now at the point that they are looking for extended family to take her.

Having foster care already involved definitely throws up a red flag for us... we are not approved to adopt from the foster care system. I don't know when "emergency foster care" goes from being a temporary thing to actually being in the foster care system. Because her parents are in jail, they may have automatically terminated their parental rights... I have no idea how that works with those incarcerated. (I do know that if they will be in jail for two years or more, then their rights can be involuntarily terminated.) If their rights haven't been terminated, I believe there's a chance that we could do private adoption between us and them, again depending on what the laws are for inmates. My attorney suggested that I contact an attorney in the county she is in to get basic things answered,* but I don't know where she is yet. Anyone have any insight to this type of stuff?

I don't know how Pastor T knows this family, but there are other things going on that he is looking into so even if we can't get Baby J, something else may work out. I hope to hear from him today, but if I don't, I'm going to call him again tomorrow.

*I know, you're thinking "isn't that something your attorney should be doing...?" Not necessarily. With private adoption, the adoptive parents (APs) do the majority of the footwork, especially with basic things like getting questions answered. The more we do, the less fees the attorney has to take out of the retainer. So far all advice and stuff he's given us has been free!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

134 Days: a possible situation...?

So I got a call a little while ago from my neighbor about a 2-week-old baby who needs a home. He left a message with the birth family so now we wait to see if they call.

Yes - a 2-week-old. As in already born.

I'm going to call the attorney tomorrow just to triple check that everything is in order as this could happen very fast.


It's a girl and she is 3-weeks-old now.

Friday, February 5, 2010

128 Days: hair

I haven't had my hair cut since July. Partly because I'm cheap frugal, but mostly because I just haven't gotten around to setting up an appointment and getting a babysitter.

Needless to say, my hair was becoming quite difficult - even in a pony tail - so I planned on just going to one of the walk-in places this morning and getting it trimmed and thinned out. They couldn't do a worse job than the last time I got it cut and I just wanted it done with.

Long story short, one thing after another happened and I didn't get out of the house in time before it started snowing.

And snowing.

And snowing.

Within two hours we were under a Level 1 snow emergency. It took Neal 30 minutes to get to the Kroger that is literally five minutes away from here. Getting my hair cut is not worth the hassel of dealing with panicking people facing snOMG 2010!*

Instead, I puttered around the house while lamenting over my highly annoying hair.

Then it hit me.

I'll just do it myself, darn it!

Kasen wasn't so sure when I told him of my plans:

my hair!
"You're going to do what!?"

I've cut other people's hair forever and have spent years watching different techniques and was confident that I understood the process. I hopped online to see if I could glean any tips, broke out my scissors and went to town.

I brushed. I flipped. I trimmed. I thinned.

(Note to self: When using thinning shears, make sure you actually grab the thinning shears and not the regular scissors BEFORE you start cutting a big chunk out of the middle of your head.)

And in the end...

cut my hair

It turned out great! And I saved $30!

(I guess we know where Kasen gets his blue eyes from!)

(Where did all those wrinkles come from? Stupid aging.)

(Speaking of aging, my birthday is Sunday. More wrinkles!)

*totally stolen from someone on twitter. cracked me up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

112 Days: adoption choices

So I was watching the new Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice crossover last week and cringed at the following conversation:

Addison: If you want to consider adoption, I can help you.
Sloan: What, like pick a family out of "The Pennysaver"?
Addison, kind of chuckling: No, that's just in the movie "Juno." :::proceeds to tell her all about adoption agencies making it sound like that's the only way to go about adoption.:::

Actually, you *can* "pick a family" out of Pennysaver-type publications. It's called private adoption.

While agencies can be helpful, they are not the only way.

There are tons of choices for people who are considering adoption for their child. When we were approached by a birthfamily in October, they didn't know anything about adoption so I did a bunch of research for them so that they would know what all of their options are. Here's what I wrote up:


-Whatever option you choose, there is no cost to you.
-It is suggested that you seek counseling, to help you sort through your feelings and make sure you are absolutely comfortable with your choice. (The agency or couple you choose pays for this.)
-Until you sign over your parental rights, which depends on the laws of the state you live in, you make all of the decisions for the baby and yourself. You can change your mind at any time up to the point that you sign those documents.

To get started, the first thing you have to do is choose how you want to proceed:

1. Contact an adoption agency or adoption attorney that matches.
-They have waiting families who are ready to adopt that you can choose from and they take care of the legal side of everything.

If you call before the baby is born, you can meet with an agency or attorney and they will show you scrapbooks that the families have put together to help you choose. You can choose more than one and meet with them to get to know them better before making your final choice.

If you wait until the baby is born to contact an agency or attorney, let them know what kind of couple you are hoping for and they can choose one for you. (Though if you want an open adoption with visitation, it is probably best to call sooner rather than later so you have the time to get to know the couple beforehand to make sure it's a good match.)

If you decide to have a closed adoption, you can call an agency or attorney at any time - before the birth, after the birth or when you are being discharged from the hospital - and they will find one of their waiting families to come get the baby from the hospital.

If you do not have insurance or Medicaid, medical care can be arranged at no charge for you. This is paid for through the fees the adoptive families pay to the agency or attorney.

2. Find a couple who is interested in adopting on your own. (This is private adoption.)
-Their attorney will take care of the legal side of everything. They will also pay for you to have your own attorney so that there are no conflicts of interest.
a. look in the classified sections of publications under "Adoption." (Not all states allow this - Ohio does not.)
b. look online for blogs created by waiting families. :::waves!:::
c. ask friends/family if they know anyone who wants to adopt.

The couple you choose can pay for certain expenses relating to the pregnancy depending on the laws of your state.

3. Inform the hospital at the birth that you will not be leaving the with the baby.
-They will contact the state and the baby will go into foster care until a family can be located to take him/her. You would have no contact and would not know what happens to the baby.

The downside with this option is that there are hospital staff that will pressure you to keep the baby or look down on you for your decision. Obviously not all hospital staff are like that, but from what I've read, it's more likely to happen than not.

4. If you decide to parent and change your mind, you can do any of the above things at any time.
-In addition, all states now have a Safe Haven law, which allows a birth parent to leave a baby (up to 30 days old) with a medical worker at a hospital, a medical worker at a fire department or other emergency service organization or a peace officer at a law enforcement agency - no questions asked. You would not have to give your name or anything, but they will ask you to fill out a form with basic info like the baby's date of birth, if it was full term, any known medical issues for the baby, if you had any medications/drugs/alcohol during the pregnancy, and whatever you know about your own and the birthfather's health backgrounds. You would have no contact.


So, as you can see, there are many choices with adoption. It bothers me that a lot of people only know things based on what they see represented on tv and in movies. (And I'm not just talking about adoption - I'm talking about, well, everything in life.) TV/movies are for entertainment and therefore not always accurate... there are usually stretches made so things are more exciting to draw people in to watch.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

104 Days: my MIA-ness

I truly did not intend to go this long between posts.

The holidays started it. We had my family's Christmas early and waited to put up a tree and stuff for when Neal's parents, sister and youngest brother came out to visit. Kasen made out like a bandit and of course enjoyed playing in a box the most. (Though the John Deere tractor toy was a huge hit as well.)

The following weekend, I had my nieces over. They are my late fiance's nieces, but have only known me as Aunt Carrie and I don't ever see that changing. We played the game of LIFE about a billion times and had a good time. Unfortunately, that weekend will also forever be the weekend that Grandma was dying. All of their family came in from out of town and we all spent time together at the nursing home. We all got to say our goodbyes while she was still able to speak and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do so. She truly was an amazing person and I am so glad that I not only knew her but was able to consider my grandma as well.

New Year's was hilariously lame. Neal had the weekend off so we made a bunch of our favorite appetizers and Sangria de Cava and planned on staying up watching movies to celebrate. After one movie we looked at each other and said, "Sleep?" We were in bed by 9 p.m.

We did not make any resolutions. I usually don't... I figure why should a specific date spur me on to make changes in my life that need to be done? Though, I do really want to get wills, guardianship, life insurance, etc. in order this year. Those things are just way too important to ignore.

I had a cold that has either been passed on to Kasen or he's started teething. Poor little guy is sneezy and snotty and can't breathe, so he's pretty miserable. Though if I keep on top of his medicine, he's still in a pretty good mood. Until I break out the bulb syringe to suction his nose out. I was hoping it would come and go quickly like mine did, but I think it might be getting worse. I elevated the head of his mattress, broke out the vaporizer, am keeping his nose as clean as possible and vasolined so it doesn't get raw from all the wiping and hoping it doesn't progress to a sinus infection.

We are currently researching minivans. My car is starting to groan and wheeze and squeal so it's about time. It's got 113,000 miles on it and has been a great car. Now that we finally have a baby and are hoping to expand our family by at least 2 more, I am looking forward to having more space! Right now I'm leaning towards a Chrylser Town & Country. Pros/cons, suggestions, etc. are welcome!

Anyway, all of that to say I have been a busy lady! I did start Twittering and added my feed to this site so people will still know I'm alive even if I don't get around to actually updating with a post. :)

In adoption news, I did manage to get 100 Christmas cards/letters out letting all of our family and friends know to please spread the word that we want to adopt and keep us in mind if they overhear anything. I included "busines cards" with this website address on it for people to keep on themselves so they have quick reference in case they are out and about and find someone who would be interested in learning more about us. I've got about 300 more cards that I can pass out and/or post around, but I'm not sure how I feel about doing so. I've passed out a few to random people who have crossed my path, but I worry that if I post them on bulletin boards and stuff that it'll just open us up for scams.

Anyway, we'll see where things lead. If we aren't talking to any birthfamilies come October when the home study expires, we'll rediscuss things at that time. It would only be about $100 to update it each year so we'll probably do that just so it is always ready in case the networking we are doing now pans out years from now.

Okay, this post was incredibly boring. Sorry! I am tired (sick baby = no sleep) and don't feel like I'm thinking completely straight. :)