Sunday, November 29, 2009

and now, I am Truly Thankful

So maybe you want to see some snaps of my family on Thanksgiving? Well, there won't be any..I woke up and saw this lovely gal from across the room. So instead of sharing the traditional pictures I had to introduce you to my new friend. She is Kate. She is a Knightsbridge Quinn. And she is fabulous. Yes, we were at the mall with my lovely babies in the double stroller at 4 am in order to get online to get into Mrs. Spade's store in order for me to get my new purse at a discount, so worth it.
And the pink wallet. SPLENDID.
And this cute little pencil case, perfect for Anna's teacher from last year.
One more little hobo bag completed our stop at Mrs. Spade's store.

Don't Judge.
The day was actually wonderful. The girls had a great time, and couldn't get over that we were shopping in the dark. We shopped until mid morning, and then had a great breakfast at IHOP...
I am sure Mrs. Spade wouldn't approve.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This weekend, among the happiness and thankfulness of some, my oldest and dearest friend from my childhood said goodbye to her beloved cat
CoCo
This deserves it's own post, since this is a cat that has been a part of my life since it was a kitty. I sat for this cat when it was just a little guy and he and my dog played together like old friends. This cat was like an old dog. He laid on you, constantly came to you for some scratching and lovin, and helped my daughter develop a love for cats..We have talked about this cat since we met it, and now at close to 20 years old, he passed away.
The end of an era.
Sad.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful, But



First, I want to share that I realize when you say "BUT" it negates everything prior, but I don't want it to come across that way.
I AM THANKFUL, I AM GRATEFUL
The settlement for my condo has been set 3 times thus far. I have taken off two separate half days thinking it was going to happen, only to find out hours before that it wasn't going to occur. I have been to the settlement office, signed my name, left the keys, and filled out the wire transfer information for the funds to be placed into my account. But as of this very Thanksgiving Day, nothing has happened. It has gotten so ugly, that my real estate agent doesn't want to say or ask anything in fear that some hot head may back out. And in this transaction, there are many hot heads, me included.
The problem could be blamed on all of us really. The original closing was set up for last Friday. The buyer's lender wasn't ready with his paperwork and although my agent called several times, he assured us it would be ready. Funny, the appraiser only showed up days before settlement. Anyway, that day was scrapped, without a walk through. The buyer decided not to do it, since he didn't want to face traffic to the burbs if we weren't going to the table. The day after our first settlement he did the walk through and found that we hadn't fixed a window that he wanted repaired. I never knew of this, and my agent didn't realize it was in the contract. (neither did the buyers agent) So we agreed to throw money at the problem and get a glass company to come over, write an estimate, and have a check ready for him at our second settlement day which was on the following Monday. With lots of back and forth about this window, and my agent running around and faxing estimates, copies of the check, and contacting the settlement company, we finally arrived at "the table."
But the buyer didn't.
We called his agent and it got ugly fast. She was convinced that it was our error, and she didn't know if her client was okay with everything surrounded the window. People, a window. At this point we had offered about 2 hunj to get the window fixed, and we all know that a new window would cost what? 3hunj??
So I left the table, with nothing...
The settlement was supposed to happen on Tuesday..But once again, his lender couldn't get it done that fast. The lender's documents must be date stamped for the day OF settlement, not the day before or after...It wasn't until mid-morning did I know it wasn't going. And I was devastated. Actually, I cried.
This is the money I need to catch up from the move, and I am in the hole right now. I needed to get this into my account..You know the story, we all can tell how our finances aren't as pretty as they could be..
So now, it should happen on Monday. Fingers crossed. But,
I AM THANKFUL, I AM GRATEFUL
that is only the beginning of the back story to the BUT..There is more.
Normally, I am in Manhattan for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I started going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when I was married. My X had an auto repair shop, and only had the actual day off, so we would leave on the night before, drive up, find a parking spot on the parade route, and sleep in his truck. We had the whole thing set up really well, with blankets to cover the front, snacks, and all the necessities. I can remember one year, we were sleeping in the truck and we heard a group of people, and then one of these thugs tried the door handle, then we opened the "curtain" and he had a tool out to break in...When he saw that we were in the car, there was lots of "Ohhh man, I'm sorry, wrong car." Yeah right..
We would sit on the roof of his car, watch the parade, then eat in Little Italy, and then do a quick tour, then drive back home.
When I started with my girls, we clearly did it the right way. Train or bus to the city and then 3 nights, 4 days in a Hilton...All paid for with my dad's miles.
Well, dad retired, so there are not enough miles to cover the whole trip and when I tried to find out how much it would cost, it was over 4 hunj per night, and I just can't do it..But,
I AM THANKFUL, I AM GRATEFUL
So my heart is a little sad today because,
I am also awkwardly emotionally about this being the day that I got custody of AugustRose. I had expected to be in Russia for a month, and planned it in my mind that way, so when the judge waived my ten days, I was somewhat sad. I can't tell you how much I love a Russian Winter, so knowing I wouldn't see much of it was a let down. For me, that time in Russia is the time to bond without having to share your new baby with family and friends. Some tell you to keep their world small, but honey, my family is from the South, and they will tell you
" kiss my grits and lemme give that baby some sugar." There is no small. It's granny and dadoo, and auntie and of course, Martha Stewart isn't letting you come home without a sign welcoming you to America.
So our time in Novosibirsk was
Pick up AugustRose, pick up adoption decree.(Which took a call to Moscow since her name was too long to fit, so we have a HANDWRITTEN adoption decree)
Call the lady from the birth certificate office at her home, have her come open the office and prepare birth certificate. Yes, my coordinator had serious pull..
Go to Aeroflot and change our tickets to Moscow, not all the way home, the international change would have to happen in Moscow.
The next day, we would pick up the passport in the morning and have the rest of that day to enjoy the town. Yes, a half day of to see the town, in a blizzard, with a backache. The next morning we flew to Moscow and met my sister. We dropped our document off at the embassy on the way to our apartment. The next morning, the doctor came to our apartment, and that afternoon, we were at the embassy. We came home the next morning. The whole trip was 11 days total. And for some reason, that makes me sad. But,
I AM THANKFUL, I AM GRATEFUL
I know that some of you are in the "waiting" stage, with nothing to envision, nothing to hold, nothing to plan for, and my advice to you is to hold on, and don't feel overwhelmed if your ten days doesn't get waived. Some of my friends are a bit overwhelmed by being home and dealing with their kiddos. Some of my friends are sad, as this is one more holiday without a parent who may have passed away. Some of my parents are alone. So truly,
I AM THANKFUL, I AM GRATEFUL
Lee, Jetson and Al and J, you are my family and I adore you. If I had my way, we would see each other everyday! Lee, I know you are hurting and missing your mom. I can only say, I love you and pray that your heart finds strength.
Jen S, Hillary, My Expat Friends and their mommas, (Tina)my school mates who fill my heart with comfort. (Staci,Heather and Margaret I love you 3)
Stacey, my waiting blogger friend, my heart is right there with you, Bernadette and her kiddos, Jenny and her family, Stephanie and the SHHHHHleyers,
and my favorite real estate agent Tina, I love you all to bits, you have special places in my heart and I am with you in spirit. With you. And Martha, my dear Martha, I love you. I don't ever tell you, but I do. Your kids are my babies, and Dave, well,he has to realize I am his other wife. He might not like it, but he has to accept it. Tell him to watch BigLove, I am the sisterwife!
To my momma and daddy, and my sister, you know how much I love you. I can never never, never, ever, thank you enough for how supportive and wonderful you make my life. I can never thank you 3 for giving my girls the love you give. I am truly a blessed girl..The Lord has blessed me, and for this
I AM THANKFUL, I AM GRATEFUL

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Terrible Day

I had so many things I wanted to do on Saturday. But none of it happened.
Anna had a meltdown that I couldn't understand, and it was epic.
I share all of our good times here, so I might as well share the awful days too. And it was awful.
It started when she woke up, and carried all the way through the night.

AugustRose has been sleeping with me lately. She comes to me and says she wants me to snuggle, and I ask her why, and she says, "because I love you." This is big, So we snuggle, and she wants me to tickle and scratch her back, and love on her. This is how it was with Anna until the night before she started kindergarten. I tell Anna that I did this with her so it is important that AugustRose needs that time too. It has been fine, but on the weekends, Anna will come in with me and want to snuggle too. And this makes AugustRose very jealous. The argue and fuss about Who Gets In The Middle... So that argument started, and I got irritated with it, and then to diffuse the situation, I encouraged the girls to take a morning tubbie.
All seemed a bit better and then an argument between the girls happened and I said those magic mother words, "If you don't stop arguing, I am coming in there and taking you out." At that point Auggie said I want to get out. I normally get their clothes ready and take them to the bathroom and hand them a towel, and they take cared of drying themselves off and getting dressed..Auggie needs some help, but she likes to do it on her own. Anyway, yesterday I wasn't ready with the clothes, so I went in, bundled her up in a towel, and took her to her room to dress. And Anna got very sad that I don't pick her up and take her to her room to dress..
We got through that, but it was only after lots of crying and explaining.
Then we go to Ikea to look for dining room chairs. And when I tell you Anna lost her mind, she LOST HER MIND. Why?
Because I used the cart she was playing on to load some heavy shelves. And she began crying, and wouldn't stop. Then she began demanding:
IceCream
Go To TOYsRUs
TAKE ME TO THE MALL
YOU HAVE RUINED THE DAY
YOU ARE VERY RUDE
I AM VERY MAD
TAKE ME TO SOME STORES, TOYSRUS OR THE MALL!

and all of this while crying, screaming, kicking, and generally losing her mind in the car. I was so upset. We came home and I put her in her room and she went to sleep for the day. She got up and I told her we were going to talk about her behavior. She asked me when, and I told her after I had a chance to think about it...
And I have thought about it, and feel very uneasy about the whole day. It was so upsetting for me, that I too slept in the afternoon. I woke up feeling drained and tired.
Today I am going to Church and praying for some clarity on this. It was much more awful than I can explain.
I am sure this has happened to some of you, so I know I am not alone. It is just very unsettling.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We were supposed to close on the condo today, but the buyers lender couldn't get the paperwork together, so we put it off until Monday.
We are so blessed to have a quick closing anyway, so I can wait a couple more days.

After settlement, I will be "adoption debt" free. I know that in reality, not many people could/would spend around 40K on an adoption and considering I am single and a teacher, I feel a very lucky to have been able to complete two adoptions. Once everything goes through I should be in a better financial position, and should be able to start saving.
I haven't been "into" blogging lately. I am feeling a bit tired too often, and have miraculously lost ten pounds. I have had lots of tests so there isn't a concern about a problem. I think I am just holding a lot of stress about my job..And my computer broke, so I am blogging using my school computer and I don't really like to use it for my personal stuff. So there has been a little unintended break.
School is much better this year, we had to open a new kindergarten since we had so many
little ones in our classes. The stress comes with the addition of new processes, new testing programs, and another year of being told, "You won't be getting a raise next year."
I have given up going to Russia to teach. At least for the next 4 years. I can actually retire after that, and then I will make a decision about what I am going to do. I will only be 45 years old, with 2o years into my county so I obviously need to start something new!!
I love my new townhouse. It is really big and the three levels, probably has something to do with my weight loss. It is so open and the light. There are these great windows and the creek behind our house can be seen from all of the windows in the back...

So not much excitement..

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Referral..

It wasn't a good medical report. But stop by Stacey's Blog and lend some support.
She (click link)
has a referral...
When a friend has been waiting, and longing for a child, it brightens the world to know she is just a bit closer to having that little child in her arms..The best part is she is going to KHABAROVSK! Congrats Stacey!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ratified

So I am still in HIGH demolition mode at the new townhouse. Dad has been here since September 18th and we are definitely gettin on each other's nerves, but it would be much worse if I hadn't just........

Ratified a Contract On My Old Condo!!
And to celebrate, I brought this puppy home. A perfect match to the table lamps I am still looking for.



I am losing a ton of money on the condo, but that money was money I made on my first townhouse. So really, it is not money I owe, it is money that I "coulda" made if the market wasn't so terrible. I bought the old condo while I still owned my first townhouse, so my dad had to put a boatload of money down. My sad little teacher salary wasn't enough to allow me to qualify for a second loan without a big down payment. So, dad is losing that down payment. We knew the chances of us getting our money out of the house were slim to none. I was afraid I would actually have to come to settlement with money, but thankfully, I am walking away with enough to pay off some things I am behind on, and even put a little away for my new furniture. I need to start saving, so a little will go to that too!
I am just so shocked that in less than 3 weeks I have a contract! God is good to me.


Monday, November 02, 2009

A Halloween Recap













In our family we celebrate Halloween and Easter with our God Family, headed up of course, by the matriarch of the family, Martha Stewart, also known as Missi.. This year the festivities were top notch. There were about 7 families there, too many little ones to count, and lots of great food. There were enough adults to keep up with the growing number of kiddies we take along for the "trick or treating." I usually hang back and poke fun at everyone with Debra, but AugustRose's cupcake was cumbersome so we were slow. It was all good. She did a lot of singing. She is picking up one of her big sister's best qualities. She is started to show her gratitude while in the moment. So, while we are walking in the dark, with tons of glow necklaces, she is saying,"Mommy, I love trick-or-treating. Thank you for taking me." " I love my cupcake costume. Thank you for making it." It is nice that she understands that we should be grateful in the moments of goodness. My big girl has always been a good one to share her appreciation for anything I do that brings her joy.

I have been very busy with school conferences, DRA testing, cleaning and organizing my class room for the 2nd quarter, and planning for our activities.
We were lucky enough to get a fourth kindergarten teacher, so I have been preparing the 7 children who will go to the new class. I have gathered their materials and sent them to their new room for tomorrow. I have some parents who blew off their conference, and have made no mention about their child going to the new room. Oh well, I can only teach them. I cannot be their mother.

I had Anna's teacher conference tonight. She is reading on a level 12. This is very good. The end of the year benchmark is 16 (18) so she should be in good shape to hit the mark. The books get increasingly more difficult as the year goes on, so she will not just breeze through. It will be tough, but she will do it. She is starting to read more at home jut for fun, so I am confident she is prepared to make it. AugustRose is also doing well, and I have a phone conference with her teacher tomorrow. I worry about her a little since she tends to react wildly, when she doesn't get her way, or the toy she wants.

Life is good.