Thursday, November 30, 2006

Would anyone blame me??

We live next door to a drummer.

More specifically, a 16 year old boy who plays the drums for his high school marching band and for his own (alleged) rock band.

For quite some time he played the drums about 7 hours a day, until both Husband and myself were losing our minds. LOSING THEM.

We have had several conversations with our neighbors about this, and each time the situation has improved somewhat, and then gets worse again. Most recently we requested that they stop playing by 6:00 PM.

But, honestly, when one is suffering from the cold from hell, having one's house invaded by the banging and smashing and banging from next door - it's a special kind of torture. I'm having fantasies of rocket propelled grenades...would anyone blame me? I'm sure there is some kind of defense to blowing up a house that involves having been subjected to two straight hours of drumming while suffering from the splitting headache that accompanies this cold from hell...


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tomorrow will be 2 Weeks

I've been lousy at posting lately, and I apologize. I've been a little insane for the past few days. ('ve reached Lawmommy. She's unavailable to take your call right now because she's lost her mind and is out looking for it. Please leave a message. If you find her mind, please return it to her ASAP. She needs it.)

Tomorrow will be two weeks since our agency called to tell us we are waiting for a travel call.

Two families from our agency adopting from our province have gotten that travel call on the 14th day of waiting. Others have waited 3 weeks, or 4 weeks. One family waited 35 days.

I have no idea when our call will come, or, if it does come, when, considering the holidays, they will ask us to be in DaNang. It's the not knowing that is making me a little bit more insane than usual. Also, Husband's employer is not going to allow him to use any sick time to care for Lana when we bring her home - if we go in January, he will take 6 weeks of unpaid time. That is going to be a rather large hardship on us. The employer has agreed to spread the lost pay out of the rest of the school year (i.e. January to August), so, he will get SOME pay, it's just that the pay he gets for the months of January to August will be significantly reduced. If we are able to travel over the holidays, he would only need to take 3 or 4 weeks of unpaid time, which would be so much better. But, I just don't see it happening. Also, the tickets to travel over the holidays are outrageously expensive, and, since they are in high demand, involve more plane changes, transfers and layovers. On the bright side, we would be able to take the adoption tax credit for this year instead of waiting until next year.

All of this is pure speculation on my part. We will go to Vietnam when our agency tells us to go to Vietnam - there's no real negotiation to be done.

Adding to my stress over trying to pack, trying to decide what hotels to stay at, what to take, what not to take - I have gotten a heinous head/chest cold. I'm coughing up a lung and my voice is almost gone. I had a hearing today in housing court and the court reporter kept saying, "I'm sorry, I cannot hear you, please speak up." Sorry, no can do! My voice is gone. I came home from work today at 3:00 and laid on the couch and watched two episodes of Gilmore Girls and I think I am going to take some cough syrup and go to bed.

Oh, I also this morning sent a nasty email to the Nyquil people because their product, now without the benefit of a decongestent, SUCKS. Oh sure, it will make you SLEEPY, but, since you cannot actually BREATHE, you cannot SLEEP, so, you are just tired and miserable. I doubt that the Nyquil people will actually respond to my email, since it included the phrase, "you are SO NOT the nightime SNIFFLING STUFFY HEAD fever so you can rest medicine ANYMORE" and ended with the words "you suck" and "I cannot believe I spent $5.99 on your useless product." Oh well, it made me feel better to write it.

More later,

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Gah and Argh

I had a big long post ready to go about Thanksgiving and the aftermath, and I tried to use the Blogger spellcheck, and GAH! and ARGH! BLOGGER ATE MY POST. Darn blogger. Bad bad blogger. Grrr.

Suffice it to say, turkey was consumed in vast quantities. Also mashed and sweet potatoes, dressing, biscuits, and the like. Parade-watching occurred. Mocking of parade-watching occurred (Husband does not enjoy watching the parade - I don't understand! Who doesn't love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade??) Shopping happened. LOTS of shopping happened.

Shoes were purchased for Lana. At 60% off, no less. So, Lana is now the proud owner of a pair of size 9.5 (narrow) Mary Janes from Stride Rite for only $14.99. The sales clerk at Stride Rite was very helpful with measuring the outlines of Lana's feet for me. Another mother in the Stride Rite store overheard my conversation with the clerk and came over and squeezed my arm and said, "We adopted our daughter from the Ukraine several years ago. It's the most wonderful decision we ever made. Good luck to you!" Her eyes got all teared up and she said, 'I'm gonna cry, I have to go."

We are back at home after three days away, and I need to make some semblance of sanity of my house, so, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Little Footprints

Yesterday evening, we got a FedEx package from our agency. Inside was a piece of paper with an outline of Lan's feet. Her feet are about 16.5 cm long from the tip of her big toe to the back of her heel. I have no idea what size the correllates to - I'm going to take the outline of her feet with me shopping next weekend. To buy a pair of shoes. For Lan.

Let me say that again:

I am buying a pair of shoes. For Lan.

This is real. There is a REAL child with REAL feet on the other side of the world and I am going to go out next weekend and BUY SHOES FOR THOSE FEET.

I'm not sure why this makes this seem so much more real, but, it does.

The piece of paper also contains new measurements. She is 107 cm tall (42 inches, roughly). This puts her at the 87 percentile in height for a child - making her only about half a head shorter than her big brother. She has lost some weight since her last measurement, and is only weighing in at 15 kilos. That's 33 pounds. Which puts her at the 34 percentile for weight. I worry about the weight loss - is it an actual loss, or has their been some other issue - perhaps she was weighed with more or fewer clothes on, perhaps she was weighed on a different scale. Nonetheless, it worries me. A half a kilo is a lot of weight, when you only weigh 15 kilos.

I am overwhelmed by the things that I need to take care of, before travel can occur. Overwhelmed that travel could happen at "any time" or weeks and weeks from now. OVER WHELMED. Excited. Terrified. Nervous. But, mostly, overwhelmed. Tempted to crawl under my desk and hide from the world, a la George Costanza in the napping episode of Seinfeld.

Resisting the urge to do so, and going off to take care of some things,


Monday, November 20, 2006


We thank you for this bread
And give bread to those who are hungry
And hunger for justice to those who are fed
We thank you for this bread
~Prayer of thankfulness from Argentina

Following the example of Jenn (, a post of that which I am thankful for:

I am thankful for my husband, who is my best friend, my confident, my better half, yin to my yang, the love of my life, a light when it feels dark.

I am thankful for my son, Gabriel, for the sparkle in his eyes, for the questions he endlessly asks, for the kisses he blows to me each morning when he gets ready to get on the bus.

I am thankful for my mother, who made me the person I am today.

Despite our differences, I am thankful for my father.

And thankful for my step-father, who never tried to replace my father, but was a father to me inasmuch as I let him be.

I am thankful for my five brothers and sisters, and for their children.

I am thankful for my Girlfriends, who have hugged me close when I needed comfort, who have jumped up and down with me when I needed to rejoice.

I am thankful for my job, and for my husband's job.

I am thankful for this community of adoption bloggers, who provide me with a sympathetic ear and an endless supply of information and support.

I am thankful for baklava, and also chocolate. And rum with pineapple juice. And for warm ocean breezes and expanses of sugary white sand to escape to. (Is it okay to be thankful for one's vices?)

I am thankful to be offered the opportunity to love a little girl who is waiting for me even as I type this. And I promise her now, I will choose to love her, and I will choose to mother her, even though, at first, I suspect she will want neither of these things from me.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

It really isn't the most wonderful time of the year just yet

Perhaps I am pointing out the obvious here, but, it is the 18th of November. The EIGHTEENTH of NOVEMBER. It is not, as a point of fact, the the eighteenth of December. It's not. I checked. Trust me on this.

The reason I had to check was because the radio stations started playing Christmas music yesterday. On the 17th of November. THE SEVENTEENTH OF NOVEMBER. And one station in town has vowed to continue playing nothing but Christmas music from now until December 26. No, I am not making this up. Not even a little.

This bothers me on two levels. One, as mentioned previously, it is only the 18th of November. And TWO, they STOP playing Christmas music on 26th. I am personally of the opinion that the "Christmas Season" does not end until the 6th of January, or the Feast of the Epiphany (it's the old world ritualistic Anglican in me.) (Go here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Okay, so, anyway, my point being, that I am having the Christmas season thrust upon me when I am NOT READY FOR IT, and having the Christmas season abrubtly ended, just when it should be reaching it's peak.

Furthermore, in this part of the country, this weekend is practically a holiday in and of itself, known simply as THE GAME.

THE GAME is a BIG DEAL. THE GAME is the Ohio State v. Univ. of Michigan football game, and believe me when I tell you that one (even one who is not a football fan) cannot escape the festivities associated with THE GAME. (For example, yesterday morning, in divorce court, the judge had a blinking red and gray light up buckeye* pin attached to her robes, and her clerk was decked out in a blue suit with bright yellow accessories, that included a hair clip in the shape of an "M.") My point is, the festival of THE GAME poured over even into the somber chamber of the court of broken dreams (aka divorce court.) In my office, where two of the attorneys are undergraduate alumni of OSU, everyone was decked out in red and gray. (I was actually depressed, yesterday morning, to find I was too fat to comfortably wear a red suit that I had forgotten about but recently rediscovered in the back of my closet - it is, a pre-Gabriel suit, so, it's not like I should be surprised that I could not fit my post-Gabriel waist into a 8 year old suit, but, it meant I had to wear a gray suit with red accessories - not really as stunning a red suit with gray accessories...I digress.)

The point is, there are festivities to enjoy in November, that are UNIQUE to November: THE GAME, followed by THANKSGIVING. I love Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving - the turkey, the dressing, the corn pudding, the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the green bean casserole ( bean casserole, heaven in a dish...), the pecan pie, the family, the silly traditions that just involve being with people we both love and want to strangle...I love this holiday. And I hate, truly hate, that it seems like the last few years it has just gotten brushed under the rug in the rush to make Christmas come sooner (and the subsequent rush to put Christmas away on December 26.)

So, as I was driving this evening to pick up my Kung Pao Chicken and Pork Lo Mein from the Yum Yum Palace (Husband is actually sick, so, we have forgone the festivities of THE GAME this year), I was serenaded with "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - and I argued with THE RADIO.

Please, please, retailers and marketers, give me ONE MORE WEEK. Give me ONE MORE WEEK to enjoy this uniquely American festival of Thanksgiving, beforing bombarding me with White Christmas.

That is all,


*if you are wondering what a buckeye is, it is a the nut of the buckeye tree. It looks, the eye from a deer's head, hence, "buckeye". For most Ohioians, however, a "buckeye" is a confection made of peanut butter rolled with powdered sugar into a large-marble sized ball, and then dipped into melted chocolate and allowed to dry. Hence, you have a ball of peanut butter and powdered sugar, peeking out from a chocolate covering. Very tasty.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Phone Finally Rang

The phone finally rang with our agency on the other end, calling to tell me that Lan's dossier has finally been approved by the provincial authorities in DaNang. We are officially waiting for a travel call. A travel call that could come, "any time". In reality, most families from our agency have received a travel call 30 days after the call about their child's dossier being approved. So, in all likelyhood, we will get a call on December 15, telling us to be there on 31st. After I got off the phone with my agency I sat in my office chair for a full five minutes, shaking like crazy.

The bad news is, we will not be able to file our I600 petition at the USCIS office in Cleveland. (Our agency had been having families file the I600 in the US, but, they have switched, and now we will file in Vietnam. The downside to this is that I need to file an I824 form in Cleveland, and pay them $225, to process this request and send our pre-approval to Hanoi. I am pretty sure I could overnight a FedEx envelope to Hanoi for less than $225, but, I don't have any choice but to send the US government more of our money.) The upside to this, according to Mrs. Broccoli Guy, is that we will be able to get Lan's passport issued in the name "Lana W~" instead of her Vietnamese name (N~T~Bich Lan), which will save us having to have her name changed on her certificate of citizenship back here in the US. Considering that I am contemplating taking the kids to Mexico (Cozumel) for a family vacation next June, whatever keeps us up to date with Lan's citizenship papers is a good thing.

Happy, nervous, excited and generally freaking out,

PS - Oh, I survived the Tiger Cub meeting. It was touch and go, but, we pulled through. By the way, in case you are ever in a position to make such decision, THIRTY is too many tiger cubs for a single tiger cub den. Just something to file away for future reference.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Heaven Help Me...or...Dear Lord WHATWAS I THINKING??

I am about to go host a cub scout den meeting for 30 six-year-old boys.

I am armed only with a leaf rubbing project and teddy grahams and juice.

Cross your fingers that no mutiny occurs.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Lazy Weekend

It was a lazy sort of weekend….

Not much to report in terms of excitement.

Friday morning I had a conference with Gabriel’s teacher about his 1st grade progress. Bottom line, his math skills are very good, he reads well, he is polite and friendly and plays and cooperates with the other children. His writing and spelling skills need work. Honestly, I am baffled by this, because he is such a good reader. It’s like he has a disconnect between knowing how to read a word and being able to remember how to write it – this is a disconnect that I have trouble understanding.

Last night I tried to get him to close his eyes and visualize words on a page, but, he was tired and frustrated and it didn’t go very well. Considering that all three of us just wanted to veg on the couch and watch Iron Chef (it was a match-up between Racheal Ray and Giadda DeLaurentis (sp?)) – I didn’t push the spelling issue. He finished the homework in a mediocre way, and I hope to try this whole “visualization” exercise again. (This was not his teacher’s suggestion, it’s just the way that I think about spelling and writing. My spelling DOES leave something to be desired, but, at least it is functional and thank god for my assistant and also for Spell Check in Microsoft Word.)

Saturday morning, Husband took Gabriel to the children’s science museum that is across the street from my office building, while I went into the office to get some work done. Thereafter we picked up my niece, T~, and practiced parenting two children for the rest of the weekend. (My brother had plans, so, we agreed to watch T~ overnight.) I very nearly flunked “dressing the five year old girl” – I was at my wit’s end with trying to get T~ into a pair of tights. Eventually, I hauled her onto my lap and bunched the tights up and then rolled them back up her legs one at a time. I guess it is going to take some practice – Little Girl Dressing 101. I also attempted to pin T~’s long thick wavy hair back with some Hello Kitty barrettes I had purchased for Lana. It was…not effective. So, I just brushed it out and let her wear it down. From her pictures, Lana’s hair is very straight, stick straight, so, I am holding out hope that the barrettes will work in her hair.

We met our friends M~ and R~ for dinner last night, and just had a relaxing evening with them. (M~ and I watched last Tuesday’s episode of Gilmore Girls and Husband and Gabriel and R~ played XBOX golf.)

Speaking of Gilmore Girls, the promo for THIS week’s episode says Christopher is going to propose to Lorelei in Paris – I say we have a poll – will Lorelei say yes????????

That’s all for now,

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dear Anoymous Poster

Dear Anonymous Poster with the big long list of books,

I think I love you.


PS - big love to everyone with book suggestions. I have put them all on a list and printed it out and I am headed to the library in the morning to get my fix.


This caused me to have a small breakdown at Target last night:

I am not normally the type to get teared up over a pink toddler girl's dress, but, honestly, it was in a display of "holiday dresses" and I just felt like I would come undone. (I'm not suggesting that I cried or freaked or called attention to myself in anyway - it was just inside that I was completely dying and I had to leave the girl's clothing for fear that the tears welling up in my eyes would spill out and ruin my mascara.)

My mini-meltdown at Target was followed by another mini-meltdown at home - regarding, of all things, our tea kettle. Which I hate. The funny/stupid thing about our tea kettle is that I bought it four years ago to give as a wedding gift to my friend Anya, and then I decided that it was not nice enough to give to Anya, so, I decided to take it back, and I chose something else to give to her and her husband for their wedding (forgive me, Anya, I cannot at this moment remember what it was. I hope it was nicer than this stupid tea kettle). For two years, I kept the tea kettle in a cupboard still in the package with the intention of taking it back to Kohl's, until it got too late to do that, and then my red-tomato-shaped tea kettle wore out and got some rust on the bottom, so, Husband threw it away. Which was fine until I wanted some tea (which was probably less than 24 hours after the red tomato tea kettle got thrown away, because I am a tea-drinker, I must confess), so I opened the plain black tea kettle and used it, thinking I would just get a new tea kettle that I liked, and in the meantime, I would use the one I hadn't liked enough to give to someone I care about. And two years later, I have yet to replace it.

Anyway, when we got home from Target, I made some tea because we had baklava - (and really, who can eat baklava without tea?) - and as I was making the tea I got teary eyed about the damn tea kettle, and I cannot really express what my precise sadness was, but, I kept thinking that for two years I have not cared enough about myself to buy a tea kettle that I liked, and continued to use a tea kettle that I didn't like enough to give to my friend, and shouldn't my own needs be important enough to me that I would care enough about myself to buy a damn tea kettle that doesn't make me feel sad and at the same time inadequate because I have clearly procrastinated the whole tea kettle matter? Or something along those lines. I'm not sure that anything happening in my head makes a huge amount of sense right now, because all I seem to be able to think about is this child who is not coming home this month. And evidently not next month either.

It's incredibly hard, as each hour slips away without our hearing a word from our agency, to know this child will not be home for Christmas. It's incredibly hard to know that I have a closet full of frilly holiday dresses (thank you Beth, for having a daughter 2 years older than Lana and for loving to lavish her with beautiful clothing and for subsequently turning those dresses over to me) with no little girl to wear them.

I broke down and emailed my agency this afternoon, but, they still have no news about our situation and tell me "no news is good news" and "we will call as soon as the paperwork has final approval."

I just want to beat my head against a wall. Or possibly against the plain-jane mediocre tea kettle.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A blog challenge

I am bored, driving myself freaking crazy with the waiting for news about Lana, and


Those of you who know me in real life probably know that I am difficult to live with when I am between books. I wander aimlessly, pestering my family to amuse me, and watch mindless television like, 'The Twenty Most Horrifying Hollywood Murders" on the E! network.

Okay, so my challenge is: Blog about a book or books you have recently read that you enjoyed! (One of my real life friends who has a new blog (ahem, CR, you KNOW who you are) is actually an English teacher, so, I am expecting great things from this!! :-))

If you don't have a blog, comment here on my blog with book recommendations!

Here are my recommendations for you, dear readers, things I have read or re-read recently that I enjoyed:

  1. Sophie Metropolis and Dirty Laundry: A Sophie Metopolis Mystery by Tori Carrington. These are two lighthearted mysteries that I couldn't put down. I will paraphrase a quote from the back of the books for a sum-up - "if you liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the Stephanie Plum mysteries, these books are for you."
  2. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster - this is a bitter but funny memoir with a subtitle of something like, "why you shouldn't take a Prada bag to the unemployment office". You can check out the author's blog at
  3. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore - and pretty much anything by Christopher Moore - he is a genius. He does drop the F*bomb a lot. Don't let that keep you from loving him like I do, baby. His website is
  4. The Sookie Stackhouse series and the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris - supernatural mysteries with a pinch of romance.
  5. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. This is a mammoth story, by a first time author. The books weaves a dialogue across several decades, a mystery, a coming of age story, a Dracula story. Incredibly well written.

Okay, your turn. This girl needs a good book, FAST.



Go. NOW. Vote.

Our democracy requires your informed participation. So go to the polls and vote!


Monday, November 06, 2006

What Men Talk About

I overheard a conversation on Saturday (at the triple birthday party for two of my nieces and one nephew), that amused me so much I have to share it.

My sister-in-law (the mother of all three kids with the November birthdays) is quite an amazing baker, so, there were three kinds of cake at the party - chocolate, banana and carrot. Each cake was brightly decorated with her homemade frosting. Her husband, my brother-in-law, J, had assisted in the frosting of the cakes, just as my Husband assists me in the frosting of baked goods in OUR house. (My sister-in-law has more talent in the area of decorating - her cakes look better than mine, hands down. But, mine still taste good and are usually nicely decorated.) (My step-dad is also a pretty good cake decorator assistant, as he assists my mom whenever she does a wedding cake or a christening cake. I have a theory that men married to cake bakers have no choice but to become decent cake decorators themselves.)

One of the other dads, at the party, a man we shall refer to as Paul (not his real name) is quite a cake decorator in his own right, and does his kids cakes by HIMSELF, without the assistance of their mom.

So, as we were sitting around a table, digging into three kinds of fabulous cake, the conversation at one end of the table (made up of my brother-in-law J, Husband, and Paul, and my father-in-law) turned to cake frosting. They were each drinking a Molson, and the conversation went something like this:

Paul: I really think the Wilton parchment papers for making bags are superior to any other parchment paper bags that I have tried, but, I like the tips from [store I never heard of]. They are good tips at half the price.

Brother-in-law: Well, I just did the writing on the cake with a small slit in the bag, I didn't use a tip. Of course, I practiced a bunch of times, on a plate, 'til I got the writing to look the way I wanted, before I actually did the writing on the cake.

Husband: We need to get some bags and tips because right now we are using this really horrible product from Tupperware that is next to impossible to use and impossible to clean.

Paul: Did she (meaning sister-in-law) put some Almond Extract in this frosting?

At this point, my father-in-law, looking at each of them in turn like they were completely insane, slapped his hand on the table and said, "BOYS!!! We are MEN!! MEN!! We talk about BEER and TURKEY HUNTING and POKER and WOMEN WITHOUT ENOUGH CLOTHES ON! We do not talk about cake decorating and almond extract!!" Then he looked at the waitress and told her to bring some Budweiser before his sons had a tupperware party.

It was really kind of darn funny. :-)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Lana

Today is Lan's birthday, and she is four years old. Four years. She's a whole person, with a whole personality and preferences and opinions and likes and dislikes. And I have NO IDEA what that little person is all about, and I wonder how long it will take for me to know her. Really know her. (Then again, isn' t it an age old conflict, of mothers and daughters and how well they REALLY know one another?)

For three and a half of her four years, Lan has lived with a foster mother, and I wonder if that foster mother has celebrated this day with her. I've read conflicting information about the celebration of birthdays in Vietnam - most of what I have read says that birthdays are not celebrated by the Vietnamese people.

Some part of me feels like a failure for not being able to ensure that she has a cake, a present, a song in celebration. I realize it is irrational of me to feel this way - if birthdays are not celebrated, certainly she doesn't know she missing anything. Certainly I do not have the power to make these things happen, no matter how much I would like to.

Lan shares her birthday with our niece Jo-jo. (A nickname, not her real name). Jo-jo turned 5 today, and we had a big birthday party for her yesterday, at a place called Joe Dumar's FieldHouse in a suburb of Detroit. They have lazer tag and bunjee trampolines and a gigantic, enormous (like 25 feet tall) inflatable slide, and skeeball and rock-climbing and video games. It was a triple birthday party, for Jo-jo, her brother M~, and her older sister, B~. All three of my brother-in-law's children have birthdays in November, within 2 weeks of eachother. Now, with Lan's birthday also in November (and the same day as Jo-jos) my in-laws will have 5 grandchildren - four of them with November birthdays, two of them sharing the same birthday. (Here is an unusual thing about my husband's family - of the thirteen people who now make up Husband's immediate family, there are now (counting Lan) eight people who share birthdays with one other family member. I think that is freaking weird. I am one of the ones who shares - my sister-in-law and I have the same birthday.) There are so many shared birthdays in my husband's family, that one of the ways I felt sure that Lan was destined to be ours was the fact that she shares Jo-jo's birthday, while I share Jo-jo's mother's birthday. (Does that make a lick of sense?)

We had a really nice time at the birthday party - we played lazer tag and jumped on the bunjee trampoline (this is where you are attached to bunjee cords on both sides of your body, and strapped in a harness, and jump on the trampoline - you can jump really high and do flips and stuff. Gabe loved this. I did it once and it was SO MUCH FUN. It was a lot of work, though, so, I didn't have the energy to do more than one three minute session.) I also made a fool of myself attempting to do Dance Dance Revolution Extreme. Oh well, such is my life as a rythymless white girl. My efforts amused my 13 year old niece, B~, in the extreme.

But, my fun was somewhat overshadowed by the feeling that Lan should be having a birthday party, that Lan should be jumping on the trampoline and sliding down the slide with her cousins and her big brother. I understand that patience is important, and that this delay between referral of a child and bringing that child home is necessary in order to insure ethical adoptions in Vietnam - it's just really, really hard. Especially today, on that child's birthday.

So, for now I am going to sign off by saying, Happy Birthday, my not-so-Baby Girl.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Guess Who's Back, Back Again

Huzzah and Hurrah and Hurray! We have a working computer at home once again! So, now that I have internet access all the time (instead of just a work), I'm going to try to do a post every single day of November. I've heard other bloggers blogging about this - blog all November long - there's a catchy phrase for it - NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). So, I'll give it a try.

Anyway, Husband's laptop from 2001 has been upgraded by his school's tech guy, so, here I am, blogging on a laptop. We went out last night to look at new desktop options, and we may, in fact, end up getting a second laptop instead of a desktop. This would enable us to clean up some space in our den, which is becoming quite cluttered.

Wow, what a dull post this has been so far.

Hmm...what to say, what to say?? I could relay a funny story about this laptop that I am now using, that has essentially sat dormant since I graduated from law school in 2003. Here goes:

The story of the day I caused a terror alert at a midwestern law school.

(Keep in mind that this was September of 2002, and, in general, we were still pretty freaked out by 9-11 and the anthrax letter scare.)

During first semester of 3L (that's the last year of law school), on a Thursday afternoon, I got out of my Ethics class, and I wanted to get a cup of coffee from the Starbucks cart in the law student lounge. I didn't want to drag my lap top and books all the way to the lounge, so, I left them in the "mock" courtroom (which looks like a courtroom, but is in the middle of the law school), which was empty, but, where my next class (Trial Practice), would start about 40 minutes later. I went and got some coffee, and then remembered that I needed to print something for law review, so, I went upstairs to the law review office. I came back about 25 minutes later, to find the Associate Dean of the Law School, my Ethics professor, my trial practice professor, two city police officers, a german shephard, and my friend Brian huddled around the door to the mock court room! I thought to myself, "What's going on?!?"
Turns out, the Associate Dean's secretary had needed something out of the mock courtroom, and when she came in the dark courtroom, she heard a distinct ticking noise, and saw that the only bags in the room were MINE. She got freaked out by the ticking noise and the unattended bags, and called campus security, who called the POLICE because they went into bomb scare mode. The german shephard was an incendiary sniffing dog, who, needless to say, found no bombs in my lap top or book bag, but, OH THE HUMILITY!! Word got law school in a flash (there are only about 300 students), and they called me "Gretchen Bin Laden" for several weeks afterward.
I apologized profusely to everyone - I think the police were more amused than anything else, and the dog seemed to enjoy having a reason to come out and do some work. (And as I sit here, typing on this 5 year old lap top, I count myself as very lucky that someone didn't steal my bookbag and this laptop!)

The ticking, by the way, was coming from a burnt out canister lamp in the ceiling of the mock courtroom...

That's all for now,

Friday, November 03, 2006

A bit of steam to blow off

I had been hoping to hear from our adoption agency this morning. Hoping to hear that Lana’s documents have been approved and that we are waiting for Travel Approval. It’s been 7 weeks and 3 days.

No such luck. Not a word from the agency.

My hopes of having this child before January 1 are being dashed as each hour passes.

Gabriel wants to know when his sister is coming home. I would like to know this as well.
I’m cranky and ornery.

I’m deeply annoyed that certain spouses of certain clients of mine are incapable of leaving their children out of the enormous disasters that their divorces have become. I offer this bit of free advice:

If you must get divorced, for the sake of all that is good and right and holy, DO NOT F**K UP YOUR CHILDREN in the process. For example:

Do not tell them that you are going to put their mom in jail (especially when you do not have the power to do this and it scares the ever living crap out of them - which is pretty much ALWAYS, by the way).

Do not tell them that their dad is a no good slimy cheating bastard (even if he is).

Do not tell them that they cannot take dance lessons because their Dad is too broke or cheap to pay for them.

Do not tell them that their mom is a whore (even if she is).

JUST DON’T. For f**k’s sake. Get a grip on your own life. Remember that your kids love your soon-to-be-ex-spouse as much as they love you. It’s not a goddamn contest for the kid’s affection. Put your big kid underpants on and deal with it.

(I realize that the people who need to hear this advice are not reading…it makes me feel better to say it anyway.)


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