Thursday, February 25, 2010

The latest news and "The Plan"

Hello Everybody!

Well, we got some good news this week.  The boys will officially be free and clear on April 10th.  They've still got some time to serve, whether it's database related or related to some other legalese-y stuff is still up for debate.  Once they're clear, we sign the petition to adopt which has to be notarized (duh!), apostilled (but of course!) and Fedex'd to Russia.  Once they receive that, they can ask for our court date.  Our agency feels like we'll likely have court the second week or so of May, right after the holidays.  Lest ye forget, those Russians are a vacation-taking people.  They loves them some holidays!  We might do better as a country if WE had more holidays, you know?

Anyway, it's certainly not set in stone, but a good educated guess.  That would put us on the exact timeline we expected... bringing them home just before or during the Memorial Day holiday here.  It seems like forever, but it's something like 10-11 weeks away.  Not such a long time before your life changes forever.  BTW, can I tell you how many times I've heard THAT one?  Um, yes, I actually do realize that bringing home two children under the age of three that don't know us or really know each other will be a life altering experience!  LOL!!  People don't mean it that way, and that's not really how I'm taking it.  It's just funny to watch their looks of horror.  They sort of smile, then look a little pained and get kind of pale.  Like they are getting a wee bit nauseous just thinking of it!  Then comes the next line, "Better you than me!"

We're really getting excited.  We're getting back into the mode we were in when we were waiting to bring Jackson home.  We watched his video every night.  Sometimes I laughed at it, some nights I cried.  But it made me feel closer to him.  I would listen to every sappy, sentimental song out there and get all blubbered up.  The worst offender?  "Somewhere Out There - Fievel's Song" from An American Tale.  In case you're (cough, cough) too young to remember it, here's the lyrics.  You'd better grab a Kleenex.  Really, go ahead and get one...

Somewhere out there,
Beneath the pale blue night,
Someone's thinking of me,
And loving me tonight.
Somewhere out there,
Someone's saying a prayer,
Then we'll find one another,
In that big somewhere out there.
(Chorus 1)
And even though I know how very far apart we are,
It helps to think we might be wishing
On the same bright star,
And when the night will start to sing
A lonesome lullaby,
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the
Same big sky.
(Chorus 2)
Somewhere out there,
If love can see us through,
Then, we'll be together,
Somewhere out there, out where dreams, come true.
Well, I hope you're happy now!  I got all snotty and teary eyed just thinking about my boys.  They may not know or remember that we're out there, but we never forget them, even for one second.  I watch them laugh and smile on the video and my heart aches to hold them.  I see my beautiful nephew Ethan, I hold him and think about how little he is and how much he loves his Mommy and Daddy.  I think about how important and life-affirming that unconditional love is, and how that's all Ethan has ever known.... and how my boys haven't.  None of them.
Jackson knows we love him, at least I'm pretty sure he does (rotten child!).  But it took him a while to believe he deserved it.  I know it's going to take these little guys a while to believe that they deserve it as well.  And just when they're starting to believe... that's when it gets hard.  They all want to be loved, they NEED to be loved.  But so many of their life circumstances have shown them they're not worth it.  Jack was pretty easy until he'd been home for six months or so.  Then he really started to care about us and to believe we cared about him.  And he fought it... hard.  For a couple of weeks I got slapped, smacked and pinched.  I held him and rocked him and told him I loved him, no matter what.  Then one day... the very bad, horrible, no good day... he cried for almost an hour.  We rocked and rocked and rocked some more.  Then he stopped.  He feel asleep in my arms and when he woke up, it was over.  He looked at me, patted my face and said "Mama."  He finally started buying into the idea that our family was forever.
It kills me to hear his uncertainty now.  One day last week he was having a hard day and I asked him what was making him sad.  He replied, "Mommy, if Cooper and Carter love you it means that I can't love you anymore."  I asked him if he was afraid that I wouldn't love him anymore and he burst into tears.  "Yeah." was all he could say.  My poor, poor baby.  We've redoubled our efforts to ensure he understands that families are forever and NO ONE gets thrown away.  We've talked about how Mommies have room in their hearts for a hundred million babies and how I only have three.  He's getting more relaxed, and starting to talk a bit more freely and casually about his brothers.  When he sees a photo of them, he gets excited.  When he does something cool, or learns something new in school he can't wait to show them.  It's getting better, day by day.
So, here's "The Plan".  It must be capitalized, because... well, it must.  We were originally going to take Jackson on Trip Two, bop home and return to get the boys alone.  We've been given the gift of a little extra vacation time, so we've decided to make it a one trip deal.  We're going to go to Moscow, bring Jackson and stay until we can pick them up.  The two week wait will be spent with our oldest son. Loving him, enjoying his birth country and filling his little heart with a last bit of only child time.  We're planning on visiting our newest babies at least twice after court, more if we can afford it.  It will give Jackson more time to get to know them, and give them more time to know our family.  When we pick them up, hopefully it won't be such a huge shock.  
You may be right... we may be crazy (quick, name the artist and song title).  But we might as well get used to being a family of five.  And I really, really want my oldest son there from the beginning.  

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm so WHINY today...

We had a super busy weekend!  We hauled six boxes of clothing down from the attic and sorted according to size and season.  I busted out my old information on OAMC (Once a Month Cooking) and Freezer cooking to stock up on some meals.  Lance took Jack down to the basement and did more work on patching our 100+ year old foundation and sealing the walls.  Jack likes to use the Shop Vac to suck up little concrete crumbles.  The problem is making sure that's ALL he sucking up.  We've found an interesting array of objects in the Shop Vac upon emptying it in the past!

Working with Jack in the basement goes something like this..."Buddy, don't chase the cat!  No, he doesn't like getting his fur vacuumed.  Honey, please don't suck up the wet cement... Daddy just put that on the wall.  Jack, the cement bucket does NOT need to be "Febreezed", it smells just fine.  I know you think it smells yucky, but it's the way it's supposed to smell."  You get the picture?  I think Daddy deserves a drink and a medal!

I have the boys room all done with the exception of painting our Craigslist armoire.  I'm going to work on it during the day when Jack is in school.  I should be able to get one coat of primer/paint on each day and have it done in three or four days tops.  Now when I actually start painting is up for debate... I just can't get enthused about busting out my paintbrush lately.  I moved the wall decals from the original room the the new one and think I got most of them level.  Well, level-ish anyway.  Here's a couple of photos:

Updated photo with new shelves

I've always loved this toddler bed!

My $60 Craigslist armoire

BTW, don't use your cell-phone when you're in Russia.  Apparently I used it more than I thought I did... we just got the bill yesterday for $482.  Lance called me while I was out shopping and told me to put down whatever I was holding and leave the store.  I had just found the cutest matching outfits for all three boys to take our annual family photos in... bummer.  Hopefully I can buy them later after I pick up a couple of extra shifts at work.

I emailed the nice people at the FBI since they still haven't charged our account for our fingerprint clearances and they've had them for over a month.  That pretty much means they haven't even opened the envelope.  I told them when we needed them in April and made a very polite, but impassioned plea to have them returned by then.  We'll see if I hear back from them next week.

You know, I really am sympathetic to them.  They've got a horrible backlog, and I know they're getting over 100 requests a day to expedite prints.  It's an impossible situation.  Maybe we could all band together and write the Vice-President, or Hilary, or even Barack himself asking for some extra help for the fingerprint division.  What do you think?

For my final flight of ideas I would like to say "Thanks!" for the car seat suggestions.  The more commonly mentioned brand, Sunshine Kid's Radian has a base measurement of 17 inches.  Our current car seats measure 17 1/2 inches.  Perhaps they'll work?  I've got to get the second seat from Nana and see if I can squeeze them in.

If you finished this post, you are either very, very bored or very, very interested in Russian adoption.  Either way, thanks for sticking it out!!

Big Hugs to all of you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A sneak peek at they boys...

I feel peer pressured to post cute headless shots of the boys, so you can admire the chub and cuteness.  I've covered their faces since we can't legally post photos until "Gotcha day".  Unfortunately I'm not savvy enough to figure out how to lop off their heads, so I just blurred them out.  It really is sad when your computer is smarter than you are ~sigh~.

Here they are...

Go ahead... "Awwwww,  how cute!" You know you want to!!

At least one good thing is coming from the delayed court date.  I won't have to sweat the FBI clearances for another eight weeks or so.  Gotta find the silver lining in every cloud, right?  Listen up FBI people, you better get busy.  Don't make me call in my local Senator or Congressman!  (I'm just kidding FBI people, don't come after me or "lose" my application, okay?)

BTW, does anyone know if you can stuff two car seats and a booster in the back seat of a Toyota Highlander?  If you can't, how do you get a four and a half year old to buckle his own seat belt?  I ask because if I have to stuff him in the "way back" third row seating, how in the world am I supposed to reach to buckle him in?  There would definitely be some exposure of muffin top and underwear and my neighbors might complain.  I suppose I could always strap him to the top of the car, but that seems a bit extreme, don't you think?

Let me know what you do with your many small children.  And I don't want to hear anyone say the word "minivan".  It will NOT happen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To paint, or not to paint... that is the question.

When we found out we were bringing TWO home, I panicked.  I had the smaller room painted, decorated and ready for one little boy.  Then we had to come home, tear it apart, move the guest room and do some creative furniture re-arranging to make things fit.  We moved the boys into the much larger (relatively) guest room and squished the guest room into the old baby's room.

Now I have to repaint the "new" guest room, and really should paint the boys new room as well.  But I'm so laaaaazy!  I used to love to paint and rearrange, but with a child, all that home re-doing has lost its luster.    Kristyn just did this post about her little girls room.  It is so gorgeous and girly.  It makes me feel like a slacker.  Seriously ya'll, go take a look... I'll wait.  Isn't it pretty?

I'll try to get some good photos of the boys room and post them.  Perhaps some of you creative types can give me some ideas?  Keep in mind that we live in a 107 year old house with radiators, so furniture placement is a challenge to say the least!

I'll post photos later, I've gotta go get read for work!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Breathing a sigh of relief...

We got the official word today, it's a go!  I've been making myself sick the last couple of days waiting to hear from the office staff in Russia.

I've been debating whether or not I should've posted any of the struggle.  Once you put it out there on the internet, it's out there... in feed readers, in downloads and links.  It's not like I can take any of it back at this point.  Sometimes the process isn't perfect.  Sometimes you have to come home, get your head straight and figure out what to do.

While I'm not thrilled about this little segment of our journey, it's a part of it.  It's all a part of our adoption adventure!

Now on with the story...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Keeping quiet for the next couple of days...

Until we get the word that all is good on the Moscow side of things.  We made the commitment, now we need to make sure that they will still allow us to.  We left rather abruptly and with some tears, so hopefully they won't think we're total crackpots and let us proceed.

It seemed okay when we talked to the personnel on the US side of things.  When we left Russia they told us they were leaving all our paperwork in place because they weren't off the database anyway.  We'll find out tomorrow if everything is still a go.

Wouldn't it be ironic if we'd overcome our fears, made the mental and emotional commitment, only to find out that they said "No"?  Not funny at all, and quite frankly the thought of it makes me just ill.  I'll let you know how it goes....

Any prayers to the universe in general would be appreciated.

When we get resolution one way or the other regular posting will resume.  If anyone wants more of the story or to hear how we overcame our massive freak out, let us know.  Perhaps the story will help someone in the future.

A big shout out to my buddies Lisa and Justin who are there now waiting for court on Tuesday.  Good luck guys, we're thinking of you!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's been a hard week...

We came home early to do some serious thinking about the boys.  We decided today to make the commitment to move forward with them.  We'd signed the papers in Russia, but due to some information we received we put things on hold and came home on Thursday instead of Saturday... ergo the radio silence on this end.  We got home last night after 24 hours worth of travel.  We went straight to Jackson's room, scooped him up and took him to bed with us.  God we missed that baby!!

It's been a difficult week emotionally, lots of highs and lows and a couple of crying jags.  I am not a pretty crier; I get red and snotty, my eyes puff up and I get a sinus headache.  Not super fun at 32,000 feet!  Thankfully we had time to talk during the flight, then we talked some more this morning.  We think now that we can parent these little guys, but it's going to be challenging.

We hope that the fact that we've done this before, that Jackson is an AMAZING kid and that I only work part time means this is supposed to happen.  One child with a tough background is hard, two are downright scary!  We pray that their spirits are resilient and for the strength to help them know what joy and love can be found in a family.  We can see in their smiles the children they are meant to be, and we think we are the family to help them get there.

The hardest part is going to be waiting for them to come home.  They won't be off the database until the end of April, which means court sometime in May and home in June.  That's a LONG way away, but perhaps it's for the best.  It gives us time to set up any services they may need, get their room ready and save up some more money so I can be home for longer initially.

So... now we wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trip One... day two with the boys

I think I forgot to mention before... the boys are in one of the closer homes and takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes to get there, it can take several hours to get back with bad traffic.  And have you heard enough lately about how bad Moscow traffic is?  The director is out on holiday, so we met with the Deputy director instead.  She was lovely and gave us the boys social and family history.  She let us take and photograph the referral photos that we saw yesterday... they are so cute!  We will actually get the copies when we pick the boys up.

Today was absolutely wonderful!  Our oldest boy, who we've named Cooper, was very scared and standoffish yesterday, but as soon as he saw us today he started smiling.  He took us to the playroom and immediately sat in my lap.  He didn't want to play with anything, he just wanted to sit and rock.  Of course, I obliged him!  They brought in his baby brother, who we've named Carter, about 10 minutes later and he ran straight for Lance to play peek a boo.

Cooper is very quiet, he doesn't verbalize much at all.  Toward the end of the session today he was starting to talk more.  Even his caregivers say he doesn't really talk, he just jabbers and points with some single words thrown in.  Thankfully we have a wonderful speech therapist at home he can work with.  She's been seeing Jackson for the last two years and we love her.  He loves to throw balls, and he's a heck of a good catcher!  He likes books and trucks, just like big brother Jackson at home.  He made sure we were watching everything he did.  When we applauded and gave him a big "Mala-dyets!" he just beamed!

Carter is a little imp.  He has a look in his eyes that just warns of impending mayhem.  He's quite the snuggler as well, he hung out in my lap, sort of laid across it like a lounge chair for about 20 minutes.  He was just sucking his thumb, playing a little peek a boo and enjoying the festivities.  He eventually got up and wandered around some more, but stayed pretty close to us overall.  He enjoys running across the room into Lance's legs and giving them a hug, he must have done that at least 10 times!  He's already using some single words like "dai" which means "give it" and holding out his hand.  He can also blow a big wet raspberry like no one's business.

The boys are in different grupas, so they really don't understand that they are related.  I think Cooper might remember Carter as they were home together for six months before they came to the baby house.  I don't really know how much little kids get the whole sibling relationship anyway?  I think at first they just know that they live in the same house with the same people... right?  Cooper was about a year old when Carter was born, kind of young to understand what was going on.

The only unfortunate thing about the situation is that we will not be able to come back for court until April at least.  Carter was placed on the database immediately, so he is free now.  Cooper wasn't placed on the database until two months later because of a question of some family involvement, so he still has some time to serve.  We'll find out today when in April he comes off.  Svetlana says she will file for court the day after it happens and we should have court two weeks later.  Please pray that it's early April, not late!

Monday, February 8, 2010

And then there were.... FIVE?!?

Yessiree, you read that right.  Remember all that blather yesterday about becoming a family of four, yada, yada, yada?  Try five.  We accepted the referral of TWO little boys today.  They're biological brothers, the older one is 27 months old and the little one just turned 12 months old.  We are completely floored!

We got a little nervous when 'S' started off by asking us how we felt about siblings.  We nodded and smiled and laughed... then we realized she was serious.  I stuttered and stammered and said we definitely wanted to maintain the birth order and Jackson was only four and we'd never really thought about bringing two home and what in God's name were we going to call the second one and where would they sleep and we need a bigger car and.... YIKES!

So of course she smiled and said we should go to the MoE and let them give us the referral and then decide.  Off we went to the MoE where we saw the two prettiest little faces smiling up at us.  You know how they tell you that referral photos are hideous?  We are three for three guys.  Jack's photo was awesome, as you've seen, as were the boys.  The oldest one looks like an elf when he smiles and the youngest one has Jack's eyes.

The first visit went really well, the baby warmed up pretty quickly but the older boy took a good 20 minutes to actually look at us.  He sat on the bench and looked sad and scared until I whipped out the secret weapon... bubbles!  After that they were both playful and fun and we had a great time.  Dr. T gave them both a solid thumbs up, the oldest is in the 50th percentile on the growth chart and the baby is in the 75th percentile.  They both have toddler guts and fat rolls and are completely delicious!

I must go to sleep as it's after midnight here and we're in for another long day tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it goes and maybe post some photos of some chub for you to admire (without faces of course!).

Have a great day... we sure did!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We're here!!

Hello from freezing cold Moscow!!  The flights were fairly uneventful although the three hour layover in Rome was painful.  We were so ready to be here, and the waiting was awful.  Apparently we landed with a very large flight from somewhere in Asia, so passport control was a nightmare.  We were there for between 45 minutes to an hour.  There were only two lanes open for non-citizens, and three for Russian Nationals that were standing wide open.  An official came by and yelled something in Russian, which led to a minor stampede to the Citizens only lines.  Being good sheep we herded over with them, and lo and behold they put us through!  Hallelujah!  Cause baby I was starting to smell!!

We found our guide Violet waiting for us and she took us outside in the somewhat bracing night time air to wait for the driver.  Moscow traffic was typical... slow and painful, but we made it to the apartment safely.  The view from the apartment is just amazing, we can see two of the Stalin's Seven Sisters, and oh my gosh are they beautiful at night.  There's a building across the street that has the Russian flag in lights covering it's entire surface... too cool.  I'm including a couple of photos, they won't do it justice, but it's the thought that counts, right?

If you guys have ever doubted Peace Travel, DON'T!  The Wifi here is lightning fast, we've Skyped home with video and the quality was superb.  It's easy to tell that other families have been here.  There's leftover supplies like coffee and sugar, a Brita filter, a nice Conair hairdryer... all the comforts of home.  We ever spent Sunday night just like we would any other, watching Mythbusters on Discovery Channel.  Sweet!!

In a little less than 15 hours our lives are going to change once again.  We will go from a family of three to a family of four (in spirit anyway).  I'll let you know how it goes with everything, from the worlds smallest elevator at the MoE to meeting Dr. T at the baby house.

Wish us luck!!

Hugs to all... Kim and Lance

Friday, February 5, 2010

In less than 24 hours....

We'll be on our way to meet our newest family member.  It's been a busy week here, trying to get everything finalized while dealing with the creeping pulmonary rot and one nearly crazed pre-schooler.  It's all packed and secured, cleaned and folded, sparkly and shiny... the kitchen is anyway.

Jack has settled down somewhat.  He's still a little off the chain, but we've had no more body fluid incidents, thank heaven!!  He keeps saying over and over again, "I'm sure gonna miss you guys!" and we keep affirming that we're coming home and that we'll miss him too.

I'm sorry if I've been neglecting the blog and for the absence of any sparkling wit... I'm just tired and ready for this to be over.  It will feel better once we're in the air and our focus has shifted from the little one we have here to the one we have yet to meet over there.  Don't get me wrong.  We're thrilled about the trip!  It's just been harder than I thought dealing with Jack while getting ready for it.

We can't wait to see what our newest little one looks like and what sort of personality he has.  I hope we've got the bases covered with things to play with.  It's hard not knowing how old he going to be!  Do I bring teething rings or Tonka trucks?  Books or baby blankets?  I think we've brought enough variation to at least keep him entertained for a bit.

Well, I need to head off to bed and get ready for our big day tomorrow.  I'll be popping an Ambien to help me off to dreamland... better living through chemistry and all that!!

Next post from Moscow!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thanks guys...

Thanks to all of you that took the time to post support and suggestions as well as those that wrote me privately.

Some of the things we have planned... have some little gifts for him to open each day (nothing pricey), Skype video every day after school, make a DVD with us reading some of his favorite stories (we LOVE 'The Kissing Hand') and do a count-down paper chain.  It was great to have all those ideas validated except for Sinzi's bad experience with poor little Diego and Skype.  I hope Jack does okay with it, if not, we'll limit the calls as needed.  The last thing poor Nana needs is a hysterical pre-schooler on her hands!

You guys are all so creative!!  Treasure hunts, hiding little love hearts, daily "mail calls" and video run downs of the day... great stuff, guys, great stuff.  The biggest thing we have left to do is record some stories.  I was planning on doing it earlier this week, then we both got sick with the colds from hell.  I keep hoping I'll clear up so I don't sound so nasal, but I guess he can live with my Fran Drescher imitation!

I think we're still in denial that we're actually leaving to meet our son.  I know I've mentioned it before, but it seems so vague and unreal without a referral in hand.  It's hard to get our hopes up for a complete unknown, and there is a possibility that we may come home without accepting a child.  Remote, but possible.  Before we met Jackson, I  told everyone that unless the he had a third hand growing out of his forehead, we were bringing him home!  I'm sure once we've seen the little guy and squished on him, it'll be a foregone conclusion.

It's getting late and I've got a busy day tomorrow.  I'm getting my hair done, then taking Jack with me to get one last document apostilled.  Then we come home and start stuffing the final things into a suitcase and begin hyperventilating.

Anyone got a paper bag I can put over my head?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Living in a fairy tale...

Sneezy, wheezy, snotty and restless... along with hyper, sassy and anxious are the new names of the seven dwarves that are living at my house.  Lance and I are both sick with vicious colds that are amazingly drug resistant.  Honestly, I've never had a cold that laughed at the OTC meds I've thrown at it.  At least we should be over the worst of it when we fly out on Saturday... I hope!

Jackson is slowly melting down, he's getting more and more anxious about us leaving.  He's not eating well, and keeps telling me that his tummy hurts.  We've learned over the years that hurting tummy means anxiety, you know how you get an nervous knot in your stomach?  It doesn't take much to tip Jack over the edge on a good day, he's an anxious little guy at baseline.  We've had non-stop chatter, constant hyper-activity, poor eating, self-injury and my favorite, acting out with body fluids.

I've debated whether or not to write about this, but it might help other adoptive parents after they bring their kids home.  Jack potty trained quickly and easily at a little over 2 1/2 years old.  He's had the odd accident or two, mostly related to being stuck somewhere he didn't have access to a potty.  One day last summer, I went into the bathroom and there was urine EVERYWHERE.  It looked like he'd just hosed the place down.  I asked him about it, then had him help me clean it up.  I didn't know what to make of it.

Then it happened again... and this time I was aware of some ongoing stress in the household.  I was getting ready to have some surgery, we had out of town guests coming and we were in the middle of completing our homestudy.  This time I asked Jackson if he was feeling mad... "No",  sad... "No", scared... "Yes!" accompanied by heartfelt sobbing.  We talked through it and he was able to tell me what he was scared of (Mommy not coming home again) and how he could always tell us how he was feeling, etc. etc.  We discussed the fact that going pee-pee on everything was not an appropriate way to behave, even if he was upset.  Again, he helped me clean up the bathroom... no recriminations, no yelling.

Sunday morning I go into the downstairs bathroom and once again there is urine everywhere, the floor, the baseboards, all over the toilet.  You can call me a lot of things, but a slow learner isn't one of them.  We talked about how he was feeling... obviously he's upset about our upcoming trip.  But here's the thing he said that broke my heart... he said he's afraid we're going to bring baby brother home, like him more, then take him (Jackson) back to Russia and leave him there.  I reassured him that a family is forever, that includes him AND baby brother, no one is getting returned to Russia no matter what.  Once more I have him help clean up the bathroom in a very matter of fact way.

The last two days have been filled with all kinds of hitting, himself mostly, with toys and objects and his own hands.  I really don't know what to do with this behavior.  I just keep taking his hands, or whatever he's hitting himself with and saying "Nobody hurts my baby, and that includes you."  It's like he has this pile of unused energy and he's gotta use it or explode.  He's given daily opportunities to burn it off, but it's never enough.  He literally CANNOT be still for more than three or four seconds.  It's like this continuous gyration and flailing... it's enough to drive me to drink!  All the normal things we do to help him feel better aren't working, rocking, holding time, quiet time... none of it helps.  I'm really at a loss.

If there's anyone out there that has kids home and has experienced this sort of behavior, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  There may not be anything else to do except get the trip over with.  I sure would love some input on this...

Monday, February 1, 2010

I have some good news and some bad news....

The bad news is that I'm currently suffering one of the worst colds I've had in the last century.  The good news is that I'm suffering NOW instead of a week from now!  I really am thanking God for small favors.

When I can sit upright and type without mouth-breathing and dripping snot on the keyboard, I'll tell you all about how very, VERY excited we are to be traveling this weekend to meet little man.  In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves....

~sniff, snort, drip~