Saturday, September 26, 2009


I am taking a little break from this site and will focus on 3moms mission for a bit..
Don't worry, I will be back to share house stuff, and ooooh that's good, but I am all over the place and want to spend my thoughts on RUSSIA! Summer, 2010 BABY~!!!!

For a While, Please check out:

It means the world to have this one approval letter. It is the Go, in the phrase, Ready, Set, Go!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Am A Mother

I was in court five years ago, becoming a mother through the magical, mystical, wonderfully painful, delightfully delicious process of adoption.

I had already met my BFF Martha, who was cheering me on from Virginia. I had met my yahoo friends Hillary and Jordy, and the Gurta family and my father had all but lost his mind to his love for my dear sweet Anna.

Anna Vladimirovna Solovyova, who she will be when I remember her before she was mine, my dear sweet girl. The child who will sit firmly in my heart as

the first.

I am a bit misty today. I went to Anni's Open House to hear about her class, and how things are done this year. I can almost not believe how time has moved on. I actually teared up again in her tiny little chair. Her teacher made a comment about wanting the class to behave like a family. She went on to say she would stand up for her students, and then she said, "I will fight for your children." And like the big ole sap that I am, that made me cry..
Why am I still doing that? Why do I feel a slight bit more greatful about other people loving on, and standing up for my girlz? Maybe every mother tears up like a fool everytime something soft and smooshy comes up.
I think I am misty on one hand, that I can't adopt again, and it be just like it was with Anni. I am sad that it was so good in Khabarovsk, and I am not sure it is like that now. Now that I have two, and it is all starting to settle in, I would love a 3rd. I can do the day to day thing, but the upfront costs associated with adoption is OUT OF THE QUESTION...
On the other hand, I am misty at the blessings that God has given me. I never knew love like the love a mother has for a child. I thought I loved my family, but this is way different. This is the,
I will tear the world apart, to protect my girlz kind of love.

I wish I was a millionaire. I would NEVER buy a fancy car. I would NEVER quit my job. I would never travel in different social circles. I would simply adopt again.
(but I might do a little nip nip tuck tuck)

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm A Real Estate Mogul

As of today, this single mom of two is the official owner of 2 homes. YEP, two. Eat our heart out Donald Trump, it doesn't take BAD Hair and tons of money to live large!!! As of next week, not only will I own two homes, but I will have one of these bad boys:

Sweet, sweet maker of pizza's and cookies. Sweet, sweet box of metal who will not heat up my entire kitchen to a sauna's level of warmth. I can't wait to have a scratch free surface...Oh how I long to boil eggs on your upper level, while baking brownies on the lower level...I can't say if I will go with white, or brushed the BFF, Martha suggested. Will see.

One thing is for sure. I am getting started on the girlz playroom. The colors have been chosen, and we went with Everglade Glen and Pink Taffy. The floor is currently yellow linoleum tiles of golden yellow..Ugh. But flooring can't start, until I figure out what color will go best. I am planning to live with the yellow ugliness, until I decide what will go best. I already love the neighborhood. Two families actually came over to introduce themselves. What? I didn't know that was done...That's the beauty of living in the burbs. People are nice. What a great day. My girls went to a Build A Bear party, and I painted. Two walls down. The Everglade Glen brightened the room up already. It already feels like home.

We also got our little package from Tina. And we love it!! Thank you so much for thinking of us. I am saving it for Anna. I am sure she will do something treat worthy soon! You are awesome for thinking of us!!

I haven't said much about my job lately, since I have come home every night and worked til eleven getting it all together. On the day of Open House, I gained two students. The first week of school, I lost one, and on Friday, I got 2 more. We officially hit the mark for adding a new kindergarten. I have NO IDEA how this will work, since we added two trailers to our school this year, and we are completely maxed out. We have NO room for new students. Every grade is at its limit, yet there is no where for anyone to go. Thank goodness, I am in love with this group of kids. Although I have many, many four year olds, I like the vibe in my class. I had to fuss at them one day and told them that the reason I was so tough on them is because they are the best kindergarten, and that people expect more from the "smart class." Maybe I shouldn't say things like this, but I don't want them to think I am just mean, I want them to know that I expect greatness, and this year, I really think they are full of greatness. I wish I could show you one of my little four year olds. She is chubby and follows me around like a cat's tail. She wears a plastic rosary, and on Friday, the Cross broke off at recess. She ran around the playground crying, "I lost my necklace," over and over. She was pitiful. We had to go in, and she was pulling on my assistant telling her to "HELP me find my necklace." We wanted to cry. We spent a good part of our planning time walking the playground until we found that little plastic cross. She was so pleased when we showed her. Don't you wish we all had two people following us around finding our lost items, and cleaning our messes, tying our shoes, and wiping our tears away. It's good to be a kindergartner sometimes..

Say a prayer for a blogger friend. She needs our love, as does a child she loves. I hope she is strong, and I hope she knows I care so much about her!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Five years ago I was packing, getting ready to fly around the world, literally, to become a mother. I have to add the schedule since no one beleives it.
Fly Direct To Moscow (10 Hours)
Wait for Flight To Khabarovsk (7 hours)
Fly to Khabarovsk (9 Hours)
Wait for night train to Komsomolsk (About 12 hours)
*Luckily we got to check into our hotel, and shower.
Night train to Komsomolsk (overnight) Visit the baby Night Train back to Khabarovsk (overnight)
Go to COURT Afternoon in Khabarovsk to back a bag and shower.
Night Train to Komsomolsk (overnight)
Visit the Baby, Pick up baby on 2nd Visit
Night Train to Khabarovsk (overnight)
SOOOoo for over a week, we didn't stop moving, or sleep in a bed..It was awesome!! Because I love to remember these precious times, I am including the Yahoo posts I sent from Russia in 2004. I was typing them with Anna on my lap at times...
This is my girl. Just like momma! We loved the Lobby at the Intourist in Khabarovsk! Shopping in the market, notice the one missing shoe!
Again, just like momma, we even eat in sync!

I have to put this one in...Anna had screamed and cried for TWO HOURS straight!! We were in first class, and they moved everyone away from us, please notice the pills in front of my sister! She is only slightly more stressed than she looks!!!
Notice I had been crying for TWO HOURS!!

Because I love to remember these precious times, I am including the Yahoo posts I sent from Russia in 2004. I was typing them with Anna on my lap at times...

written on the day we left (september 18th 2004)

Hey All~
Dadushka and I will be flying out in a bit and I wanted to post a
quick prayer request. If you don't pray, don't want to offend, but I
ask that you pray that Anna will make this transition without too
much fear, anxiety, and trauma. (For mommy too!) I cannot wait to
squeeze her and kiss her punkin head!!

All of my travel plans were updated and it seems that the new plan
will be favorable for the judge. Start planning Komsomolsk
families...I will try to see if our babies can be brought to court so
that we don't make the 2nd trip, I don't mind, because I actually
loved the train!! Just keep an open couple of days BEFORE COurt, even
your agency hasn't told you this yet!!

I will see you Hilary...I may not see you until after my court date
due to the changes, but if you want to eat at the INTOURIST on monday
evening we will probably do that before the train..Maybe 7:00-ish! If
I don't see you then we will be back on the 22nd for court!

BEst Wishes to you wait-ers!!
I will dig up as much info as I can!!
Melissa and Janet, my sister may call you!

Oh and Melissa, the shoe count went UP!!


(written the day before court 2004)
Okay, I got all of your photos!!

Bogdan and Trifon were together(I think) and my dad talked and
played a bit with them. The others were in my Anna's group so they
took pictures with my Anna. My Anna of course hated it! She is still
very fussy with strangers but is warming up nicely. All families
from Komsomolsk may end up doing the 10 days in Komsomolk...I won't
know until I come back here after court!!
Gotta go to catcht the train, but ALL of your little ones were told
that "your family" is coming very soon!! Dr. Irina is on vacation so
her stand in, was there! Shouldn't slow anything down!!

Haven't slept in a bed since I left DC!! Count 'em that;s four days!!

It's all worth it!!

Sending my best from a chilly Komsomolsk!!


(written during the ten day wait, several days before going to Moscow, 2004)
Okay, I still have not read the old posts, so I gather from the
titles that only a few court dates have been given. I am still here
and can tell you it is now cold. Windy, very windy and about 35-40
degrees. If you are getting babies get a snow suit for them here! I
did at the central outdoor market and it was less than 15 bucks!
I am sorry but I can't posts those pics for you Komsomolsk families.
No CD rom drive here! Can you beleive it?
The baby is still as rotten and silly and spoiled and chubby as ever!~
She gives big wet OPEN mouth kisses still. We are working on getting
her mouth closed!!
She loves her walks and really loves to eat, everything! Pellmeny,
borsch, breads of all kinds, yogurt, rice and even halibut!
She is a tough one to fill up! God this is a good life! I really
can't beleive I will be leaving here in a few days and want to share
the keys to this for my family! Just remember, it's getting

I will be home soon!!

Julianne and Anna Bannannaa

(written October 2004, after coming home)

Sleepy jetlagged but happy! Anna is so precious and wiggly and wild!
She loves to eat, and loves her toes! She is going to be a shoe girl
like her momma!

I have some photos I need to email to komsomolsk families! Boni I
sent your just now! If I took photos of your little ones, could you
email me and let me know your address, I am struggling to get to the
photos for far east site!
COULD YOU SEND IT to my email, I check that the most!!

THere were about 5 other children that I have, and boy are they all

I am sorry that my coordinator had no news about court dates, but
said everything is moving on along!
When I am more awake I will write again!!!ANd share!

Julianne and ANna Bannannna

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I joined Project 2296 to remember the victims of 9-11. I have been praying for this family for weeks now. I think about what Fran said about her mother having a special bond with her only grandchild and it makes me cry.
Say a prayer for all the families who lost a loved one.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First Day Of School

It's after nine and I am whipped.
Teaching kindergarten at my school is like trying to catch minnows with two fingers.
While wearing a blindfold, on crutches, with heals....
Today was sooo much better than last year, but we have a long way to go. The English is not as strong as I wish, and some parents sent their babies with no supplies, and without indicating how they would go home...
The beautiful part was several girls and one boy took their shoes off after lunch,
"CAUSE MY FEET HURT." How precious to see brand new shiny tennis shoes on the floor, knowing those brand new suckers aren't broken in yet, and causing baby blisters on tiny feet! So we broke the golden rule, and let 'em keep their shoes off. I KNOW all about hurting feet so I could feel for them!
Not one child cried today, but all 24 of them must have asked 40 times when they could eat! (And when is it play time?)

My own daughter started 1st grade today. She also rode the bus for the first time.
(Yes, my mother followed it)
She was over the moon excited that she got to do this.
We dressed in our bestest Ralph Lauren outfit, on sale for 30% percent off, (free shipping) and Twinkle Toe tennis shoes. Shoes that were NOT on sale, and who hurt my babies feet! My gal's teacher is lovely, and she has several friends from last year's class with her. We are thrilled.
Oh, and something so typical happened when we went to the "Meet-n-Greet" last week.
After meeting Anna's teacher we went to visit Mrs. Hall from last year. She walked in and hugged her very tight! When Anna pulled back she was bawling her eyes out. She said, "I have missed you so much." Then Mrs. Hall got misty, which made me get misty, and then my mom too! It was crazy. I have always known about my Anna's deep connections to people who she gets to know well. These are all parts of her empathy and ability to really care for people, that will serve her well when she grows up. BUT Lordy Mercy, I felt like such a sap standing there crying!!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What I Have Just Realized.

Car insurance is a racket.
I got a ticket two years ago, and then one last year. My rate went up by....wait for it....

Cable TV is a waste.
I have a gagillion channels, and I am watching none of them. I am a Nancy Grace fan, and torture myself by watching all of the horrible things people do to each other on that show What can I say? I am an emotional cutter. (You win a Dollar if you know where that came from)

McDonald's Happy Meals ROCK
American Girl books in each one. Now I eat them so we can have a chance at getting Kit K. over and over again!!!

Earaches make me bitchy. Very Bitchy.
Now I understand the crying children in the waiting room at KidsDocs.

Life cereal with cinnamon is better than any candy.

Finally, I found a video that made me laugh outloud several years ago when it happened..It is unfortunate for all involved. But after seeing it on RT a million times that year, I started getting the giggles each time I watched it!

Friday, September 04, 2009

So today, Friday, was our open house. At 11:00 am my two lovely teammates and I met to have lunch and actually talk about our plan for Tuesday. When I tell you that the first day of kindergarten can be chaotic, I am understating it by a million. Our goal on that first day, is just to get the children through the day. Most will struggle tremendously. Today as the Kindie Team talked about our strategy, we got a call, that each of us had gotten new students. 11:00 am. Our Open House was at 12:00. We panicked and let the office know that we were eating, and still needed to change clothes and freshen up, but our faithful office staff let us know that they told the parents of those very late arrivers that the classrooms would not reflect their recent registration, and that a prepared laminated name card, a cute little desktop necklace, or little packet of school info would not be ready for them.
Bummer for the children. And of course I blame the idiot parents for registering their child on the day we have Open House...BUT that is the icky part. The not so great part is that I now have 24 students, and no more space for anymore. Now if a child arrives, I have to squeeze them at the end of a table, where there really isn't space. But if we all get 25 or 26 students, we are required to open up a new class. But I won't hold my breath.
So now onto the wonderful part.
Out of 24 students, 20 families showed up for our meet and greet. Of all of those children, I was able to communicate with all of them. Some did not speak English, but could easily take my direction when I took them to the side of the class to take their photo. I have many little brothers and sisters, and several cousins of other students I have had in the past. Today was like old home week in El Salvador. Lots of families came to visit, including my little gal from last year who reminded me of my own daughter. One family stayed for the two hours, just talking about their family. They stayed in "Salba-door" and little F had lots to share about his time in his country. This little guy had on a tie. He will one day be someone special.(although he is darling now)
Everyone in my school knows him because he is about 2 foot tall, no teeth in the front, is known to wear a suit and tie on special days, and says words like,
ashually (actually)
son tines (sometimes)
a bittle bit (a little bit)
jello (yellow)
hat mess (hot mess) *He learned that from me!
Today I didn't feel like a school teacher. Today I felt like an auntie. I know that this year, I will be able to speak honestly to these parents about their children, and not have to constantly remind parents about what they need to be doing. This group seems very ready.
So now, it's almost 8:00 pm and I am beat. I have aches and pains in body parts and joints that I didn't know I had. Thank you for all of your well wishes, and it looks like the potty won't be an issue this year!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This One is For You Martha...

This post is for my dear BFF Known On This Site, as Martha...
It has happened again......So what to do I do now? Are you kidding me???

And by the way, I am looking for the THANK YOU NOTE, from Fibi.....;) It has been a few weeks since her birthday the REAL Martha would have already sent some sort of engraved, fancy, crafty, home made loveliness by now. OK, I can't check FB at work, but I can read this at lunch, so please respond!~

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Day Two

I have been back at work for two days, and my back is KILLING ME...I take a muscle relaxer as soon as I get home, and then about an hour later, I take a Tylenol. (or two) I am wearing my tennis shoes, since I thought they would give me the best support, but my feet (and the back) are hurting. Not the whole foot, just the bottom of my feet and the inside of my ankles..Weird, huh?
My class is already coming together. I cleaned out A LOT of stuff last year, so everything is ready to unpack and put in its spot. I rearranged my room, since we know we will have high numbers and I need more floor and table space. I have a SmartBoard that is so poorly placed, and ill planned for that I have a long set of cords that runs from said SmartBoard to the wall. This hazard has to be taped down then covered with a rug. The rug I used last year, is small and doesn't cover the new layout. So, I am going to actually ask the school or the PTA for one. Since we didn't get a COLA, or a step increase, I really cannot afford to spend the money I normally do. I am limiting my spending to $100.oo for September. I am already halfway there, so a rug won't fit into the plan..
I already have 23 students in my class. This is not good. That means we only need 9 students to register and we would get a new class. It could happen, but the way the neighborhood families come and go, we could lose as many as we gain. I have one hope. Just one. I hope they are all independent in their toileting. I can handle that most of them won't speak any English, I can handle that they will not have any school experience, I can handle that some will run to the door to get out, some will cry and want me to actually pick them up, but I cannot handle when they go to the "potty"and can't do it alone. Last year, one child, well, let's just say he had a horrible time trying to finish up, so he took matters into his own hands, and then those hands made their way to the bathroom wall, then to his pants, then to the sink, get the drift. Last year, 2 came into class in pull ups. And many, many, wet their pants while IN the bathroom. Bless their hearts, please let them be ready in this one way.
I am beyond happy to be starting fresh. I adore my teammates. One is a few years younger than me, she's married with the most precious baby I have seen since my own. The other is in her late 20's and is a true life hippy. The hippy has a heart of gold, and is recently married. We all have full time assistants, but mine is the best! "Mags" and I work so well together. We laugh at the same things, and both of us burst into tears when our poor little children bring us presents from 'their country.' It's good to be happy. Even if I complain next week, I know at the heart of it, I love teaching with the crowd of women on my team.
We close on the house on the 18th, and then I will be a crazy person, living 1/2 way between two places. But I love organized chaos. Hey, I teach kindergarten, I have to!