Thursday, September 27, 2007

No news is...well...no news.

Wish I had some news on the babysitter front.....here are some pictures instead!





Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Houston, we have a problem"

In my perfect little world I was going to care for my daughter during the day and Ryan would take over at 4:45pm so I could jaunt off to work. For those who don't know, I work in emergency medicine. This was going to go on 3 days a week. Sooo dreamy, I know.

Well, my dream has just been shattered.

Ryan took a new job outside the realm of dog training. The money is alright but it will be a great experience for him. The problem? He works until 5pm.
I work at 6pm.
45 minutes away.
Not going to work.

So, I am scrambling. Scrambling to find a sitter, a daycare, someone to care for Nora during the overlap. Are you aware that most daycare only take in "full-time" students? They want some crazy amount of $$ to watch her "full-time," even if I only need to use them for 2 hours, 3 days a week. It's craziness!

I do have a lead on a sitter.
We'll see how it pans out, I'll let you know.
My leave is quickly coming to an end!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcome Party

My family had a little get-together for Nora, sort of a meet-n-greet the baby party.

Family came from California, North Carolina & Wisconsin!


The food was fantastic and my cousin (the fabulous, should-be-famous-baker) made a 16 pound, 6 layer coconut cake AND a flourless chocolate cake covered in ganache. I woke up this morning really craving some cake!


2 of Nora's 4 Grandpa's were there-one even came from Los Angeles to meet her for the 1st time!
It was a great day!

Old Friends

Earlier this week Nora met up with an old buddy from Ethiopia.



It's like baby wrestle-mania!

Good-Bye Summer




Friday, September 21, 2007

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stomach malfunction

Since I became violently ill (again) on Wednesday, I have been afraid to eat. Absolutely terrified. Nothing sounded good to me, everything was blech!
We had plans to go out for BBQ & mojitos for my birthday but I decided that probably wasn't the best idea.


Ryan decided that I could no longer live on ginger-ale alone anymore so he presented me with this on Sunday
A Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake!!! Mmmmm, my favorite! Please ignore how horrific I look in the photo & how messy my family room is. That man knows what I like.
So, that was the 1st real (I did have 2 pieces of pepper & an apple slice at Nancy's on Friday but that didn't really count, if you know what I mean) solid food I had in almost 4 days and Mmm..mmm..mmm..
Just in case you were wondering, so far so good ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

30 tid-bits about me since I am now 30

1. Most of my life I wanted to be a police officer. Seriously. I even studied Criminal Justice in college. I still have dreams of becoming a homicide detective.

2. My all time favorite ice cream is, hands down, Baskin-Robbins Peanut Butter & Chocolate. There is no better ice cream.

3. I am very passionate about animals and their rights & well-being. I believe in standing up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

4. I was a vegetarian for almost 10 years. I wish I could be again, we don't eat very much meat at home and when we do, it is free-range, grass fed. I know, it doesn't make sense given my answer to #3.

5. I am stubborn. Really stubborn.

6. I love to read and I wish I had more time for it. I am a huge fan of Stephen King, the Dark Tower series was the best ever. I am also a huge fan of Bret Easton Ellis, I like anything a little "off"

7. Speaking of books, I also love audio books! Ryan makes fun of me, but I love listening to them on my way to/from work! Again, The Dark Tower series was fantastic on audio book.


8. Ryan & I met through our dogs. We were living in the same apartment building-I had Yale, my 1st dog & Ryan just got a cute little puppy. I noticed the puppy, our dogs played together and the rest is history!


9. Mac n' cheese is the best food on the planet. If we go to a restaurant and they have it on the menu, I have to order it.



10. The 1st concert I went to was Tina Turner and The Beach Boys at Summerfest. I was maybe 5 or 6...I don't remember anything about it. The 1st concert Ryan took me to was Tom Petty and it was for my 22nd birthday. Tom was a little inebriated during that show.



11. Halloween is by far, my favorite holiday. We usually don't do much but I love decorating the house & greeting the Trick or Treaters. Plus, I just loove the way that autumn smells!



12. Meeting my daughter for the 1st time was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. Meeting her birth mom was the other.



13. My 1st car was a red 1988 Honda Civic. It lasted 3 days before the engine died :( After that I drove a red Dodge Shadow that had the bumper duct taped on.



14. I love to dance...in my kitchen. I make up crazy moves and do this weird pseudo-Irish jig thing. Ryan hates it because he is sure that the neighbors are watching. I don't care. Oh, and I don't need any music-I'll just break out into a jig for no reason.



15. But I hate going out to clubs to dance. I need to have a couple of drinks in me before I will even consider embarrassing myself like that in public.



16. I wore torn fishnet stockings & combat boots through most of high school.



17. I got my 1st tattoo at age 14. It was supposed to be the symbol for the punk band the Dead Kennedys but the guy who tattooed me did it backwards. Never let your friends tattoo you unless you are over 21 and they are professionals. I now have 6 tattoos.



18. I always said that I wanted to be a mom by the time I hit 30. Whew, just in time :)



19. I have 3 dads :) And all 3 were at our wedding, it was fantastic.



20. I love college football. My favorite team is the Tennessee Volunteers. No, I didn't go to school there, I just love their uniforms (orange & white!).



21. I have a serious shopping obsession. Sometimes I just have to go out and buy something.



22. Hearing my daughter laugh is truly the best thing. She has the best laugh!



23. I love Chai tea lattes from Starbucks. I crave them. I get a headache if I can't have one.



24. I asked Ryan out on our 1st date. He was too chicken to ask me! I figured my lease was almost up so if he said no I could always move. I told him that my friend was supposed to come over to have a beer & watch a movie but she blew me off, so I was stuck with a six pack and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. It was a very weird 1st date movie. We moved in 3 months later and have been together ever since...9 years :)

25. I'm allergic to animals, especially cats, rabbits & guinea pigs!

26. My first job in an animal hospital was in 1996 and I haven't looked back! I went from working in a day practice as an assistant to working my way up to a large emergency & critical care hospital, getting my license as a Veterinary Technician and working where I am now for the past 5 1/2 yrs. Oh, and I'm still allergic to animals! ;)

27. I used to ride horses when I was a kid and I was pretty good at it. I keep saying I want to ride again but never get around to it. Maybe Nora will ride horses one day.

28. I will watch anything on t.v that involves true crime. I love CourtTv & American Justice, I could seriously watch that all day long...and believe me, I have. I once spent an entire summer indoors watching a trial on CourtTv, I couldn't help it, I am easily sucked in.

29. Carmen Electra was at my 21st bday party. Ok, she wasn't there to see me but she was at the club we were that night and when I was sick in the bathroom from too many shots, she came over to my stall and asked if I was ok. Of course, I didn't know who she was at the time but a male friend that was with me kept saying "Do you know who that was in the bathroom with you??!! It was Carmen Electra!" Hmmm, one of my few brushes with fame.

30. A few years ago for my birthday I traveled all of the way to Los Angeles to see the Supersuckers play at The Roxy. My best friend from San Francisco met me and we had a fantastic time! Plus, we were right on the stage AND I was able to meet Eddie Spaghetti!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ethiopia part I



Our trip. Wow. I feel like I still haven't processed the sheer magnitude of it all, it was incredible, fun, exciting, sad, heartbreaking, it was everything.

We were exhausted upon landing in Addis since neither of us could sleep. The seats were small & cramped, our legs & backs ached but most of all we were just too anxious to get much rest!



The sun rising somewhere over Africa was beautiful...


Landing in Addis, the mountain views were breathtaking


We met a good portion of our travel group at the airport. Everyone in our group was fabulous-we were really lucky to have such a great group & we all really had fun together. We are planning to have a yearly reunion since all of us are from the Midwest (IL, WI, IA, MN)


Massi picked us up from the airport where we all crowded into 1 van and all of our luggage crowded into another. Our 1st stop was the guest house-it is such a beautiful building. It is surrounded by other beautiful homes, all with razor wire above the gates and each with it's own guard. It was hard to swallow the drastic difference between the haves & the have-nots in Addis. We saw so much poverty everywhere, yet turn down one muddy, unpaved road and there are these HUGE homes with fancy Land Rovers in the driveways. It didn't sit right with me.
It was very weird to drive through the streets of Addis, to see goats available for sale & slaughter on the corner in front of the Home Depot (yes, you heard me correctly a Home Depot), down the muddy hill from where we would be staying.
But there was beauty everywhere. Ethiopia is truly a breathtakingly beautiful country.


The view from the roof was incredible


Massi gave each of us a packet containing pictures and info. on our little ones. It was a little overwhelming, looking at the pictures of Nora, pictures we wished we had while we waited. She looked so different and so smiley! The packet contained her "schedule" and some likes/dislikes. It was very weird to be looking at that packet and knowing that she was less than a mile away!


They took us all over to the building where the infants live and we waited in a room for a social worker to call our names. When she came in and said "Tigist?" I thought I was going to faint. As we walked over, someone was filming the entire thing-it was very surreal. They took us into her little room in the Mussie building, which she shared with 6 or so others and there she was! Smiling away & playing with her hands! That is all I remember from that moment-thankfully, it is all on film! We were only able to spend about 15 minutes with her before we were ushered away:(

Part II to follow shortly..........

Sorry!

I'm sorry to say but there will be no more anonymous postings on my blog.
I apologize to all of my friends (Donna, Zooms, you know who you are!) who choose to post anonymously so as not to have to register with Blogspot.
There have been people out there in cyberspace who choose to make judgments about my family & our choices as parents, but who do so hiding behind their anonymity... You know who I am, so I may as well know who is commenting on my blog.
Fair is fair.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We don't like our new chair.....

but we like our puppy!



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

HAPPY ENKUTATASH EVERYONE!!!!!!!

I hope that this new year finds everyone with plenty of happiness & love!

Two of my favorite things....

are a yummy hot dog...Mmmm...
and really cool art
and I got to experience both yesterday!
The hot dog was heavenly and the art exhibit was totally cool. We swung on over to The College of Lake County yesterday afternoon to check out the "When I Grow Up I Want To Be.." exhibit. The work that these kids are creating is phenomenal-everyone should check it out!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

GO BEARS!!!!




This is what happens when Papa dresses you.....



It's a Flashdance flashback!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our day downtown

Yesterday, Ryan & I drove into Lincoln Park and hopped on the "L" to The Daley Center. There was supposed to be a big celebration to kick off Enkutatash (the Ethiopian New Year) but, it ended up not being so big after all. They had a flag raising ceremony, some speeches and some music. Not as wild as I thought it would be but we still had a great time.
We met up with Jayme & The Twins and took a walk over to Millennium Park (can you believe I've never been there?!)
It is such a beautiful space and my favorite was the interactive fountain....and The Bean was pretty cool too!
Since we were near our old neighborhood, we decided to grab an early dinner at
The Northside (oh, those were the days...)
Nora slept through the entire meal and most of our trip back home (stuck in horrendous Friday traffic!)
All in all, in was a fantastic Friday :)

Check out some photos from our day below!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Independence Grove

Jayme & I met at Independence Grove for a little picnic & some park time


The twins seemed to be enjoying themselves


And Nora liked the green, green grass......


and Elijah!
Afterwards, everyone was pooped


Including me!