Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Letter to EasternStar

My sweet little EasternStar,

Today is another milestone for you! How we wish that you were home so that we could celebrate the milestones together. It has been a little over a month since we held you and kissed you. We miss you so much!

We've been busy getting our house ready for you. We can't wait to bring you home. I check my email about a hundred times a day....even on the weekends (just in case!) .... waiting for word of the day when we will see you again and get to bring you home.

Your big sister is very excited and can't wait to meet you. She is also very excited to go shopping for new clothes and new toys for you. She has put some of her favorite books in your room with promises to read them to you when you come home.

Enjoy the day my sweet baby!

Love and Kisses,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Baby shower invites

I'm working on the invitataions for my sister's baby shower (July 25th if you are interested - she's having another boy) and somehow I stumbled onto a website with baby quotes and jokes. My favorite:

"People are giving birth underwater now. They say it's less traumatic for the baby because it's in water. But certainly more traumatic for the other people in the pool."
-Elayne Boosler, comedian

from this website: http://www.cutest-baby-shower-ideas.com/baby-quotes.html

Hee hee hee. Not inviation worthy....but still funny!!

Team Mac and Cheese

On Sunday, Stranger and TinyDancer were hanging out in the basement before church. Here is an excerpt from their conversation:

"Daddy, do you want to join Team Mac and Cheese? I'm the teacher."
"Sure. What are we going to do?"
"We dance. Here, sign this."
... Stranger signs his name on a piece of paper
"Now you are signed up."
"What kind of dance are we going to do?"
"A macaroni dance."
"I don't know how macaroni dances."
"I'll show you. Trust me Daddy, soon, you will be dancing like pasta"
"Umm... ok." (tries to conceal laughter)
"How does pasta dance?"
"Lie down."
"Like this?"
"Yes. Put your feet in the air."
"Like this?"
"Now kick your feet."

I checked out the dancing macaroni.....and it was pretty funny. Too bad I forgot the camera!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Congrats to ...... US!!

We did it!! Today was Strangers last day as a resident!

The last three years have been so much harder than we ever imagined that they would be. And we did it! We knew that residency would be hard - but we vastly underestimated the strain that it would on our lives...our marriage...everything. Add the hardship of this job and it's huge lifestyle impact with losing four children in three years and holy cow the last three years have been rough. But, we made it and the three of us are still together.

Stranger celebrated the day by wearing his favorite pearl snap shirt to work with his super cool new belt buckle:
(Yes, those are rhinestones!) Can you even imagine what the patients think of that? What a way to instill confidence, right? 8 ) (And, Yes, it was a gag gift but he keeps wearing it to work!)

We celebrated at home with a nice home cooked meal and a treat for dessert - ice cream with sprinkles from the local dairy bar. Yum!

What's next for Stranger? A three year fellowship. Some have asked what is the differece between residency and fellowship and what he will be doing. Here it is:

You can think of medical school as learning a little bit about everything. The students rotate through all branches of medicine - peds, internal medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, family medicine, psychiatry, etc. Then the students can figure out which branch of medicine they like the most so they can specialize in one field. When they finish medical school, they are a doctor (MD), but they have to do a residency to learn how to actually treat patients and become licensed.

In comes residency - residency is picking one discipline and learning about all aspects of just that one field - be it peds or surgery or ob/gyn. Different residencies take different amounts of time - from two to three years to six or seven years! For the last three years, Stranger has done all aspects of pediatrics - general peds (like going to the pediatrician), working in the ED, working in the ICU, cardiology, nephrology, etc. He has rotated through almost every department in the hospital. Some of them two or three times.

Now that he is done, he could go out and get a real job - and become a neighborhood pediatrician, but what's the fun in that? Seriously, it's not like we have any debt to pay off....or an adoption to pay for. 8 ) Instead, he will be doing a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine. So, for the next three years he will work mostly in a pediatric emergency room. He'll do some months in the ICU and some months working in an adult ED (why in an adult ED I have no idea) but he will mostly be in the pediatric ED. Then in three years he will FINALLY be done and go on to get a REAL JOB!!! I'm sure that if he wanted to, he could do another fellowship and further specialize within peds EM ..... but he won't. 8 ) I'm just sayin'.....

The most exciting thing about fellowship is that there is very little call. For most of the past three years, Stranger has been on call every four days. As in, go to work at 5 or 6 am on Monday morning and stay there until noon on Tuesday. Go to work on Wed around 5 or 6 am and come home around 5 or 6 pm. Same for Thursday. Friday, go to work around 5 or 6 am and stay there until noon on Saturday. Repeat that over and over and over - staying at work for 30 hours every 4 days. It's REALLY FUN! Seriously. You should try it! 8 ) So, for fellowship there is very little call. Yay!! Unfortunaly, when there is, it is call every three days. Boo hiss! So for the next three years (and beyond) he will be doing mostly shift work.

Seven years down - only three more years of training to go!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Getting older.....according to TinyDancer

TinyDancer has a birthday party today - which she is very excited about. Her take on getting older:

Right now S (the birthday boy) is 5. And when we sing Happy Birthday to him, he will be 6.

Does that mean if I forbid everyone to sing to me, I can stay 30 forever? 8 )

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The things we do for dreams.....

How much would you pay to make a dream come true?

How much would you pay to make your daughters dream of a "baby wearing a bathing suit that can get wet" come true?

Would you pay a whopping $51.10??? I did.......and here's why......

This morning at breakfast, I was reviewing our schedule for the day - get the car washed (and then it rained - I know you are laughing at me God!), go to Meijer, go to JcPenny, and then go to Kroger. As I review the list, TinyDancer pipes in with:
"One time, after my violin recital, Daddy and Granny and Paw Paw and I went to Meijer, and I saw a baby wearing a bathing suit. But I didn't get her. Maybe today when we go to Meijer I can get her. I've always wanted a baby wearing a bathing suit!"

To which I responded, "Maybe." Which to a four year old means " Yes!! Absolutely! Let's go right now!!"

So, we are at "Grandma's Meijer" - aka - the Meijer closest to Grandma's house - and we look on the doll aisle - and there is no baby. She is slightly disappointed, but thinks perhaps they will have the baby at JcPenny. To which I respond, "Maybe."

We get to JcPenny - which was closed at 9:20 in the morning. Ummm....hello!!! We have shopping to do!! So, we went to Kohl's which is virtually right next door. We got the shirts for Stranger and the shorts for TinyDancer that we needed. But no baby. "Maybe they will have it at Kroger?" "Maybe."

And we drove all the way home and went to Kroger for our groceries. But no baby. And now she is getting upset.

"Can we go to OUR meijer? I know they will have it here. I need her Mommy. I need her!!"

Seriously? It is starting to rain....and we need to get home and make lunch....and the milk is going to spoil....ok fine. It is only 10 minutes out of the way. And we are using your birthday money (which - how is it that we still have this - haven't you spent this already?).

So we go to our Meijer. And there is NO BABY! And now she is really upset. Eyes tearing....lip quivering....upset.

So, I say .... "Ok. Let's go look at the toy store. They might have a baby wearing a bathing suit. But if they don't then maybe there are no babies with bathing suits for sale right now."

Upon hearing this, she starts dancing and singing "Yay! The toy store! I KNOW that they will have a baby wearing a bathing suit at the toy store. The toy store has EVERYTHING that children want. EVERYTHING! There is NOTHING that they don't have that children want."

OMG! Seriously???? You are killing me here! Now, not only do I have to go to yet another store to look for this baby - but I have to buy it now - no matter how much it costs!!

There is only one thing that I have prayed so hard about (and we know how *that* turned out)! Please God! Let Toys R Us have a baby wearing a bathing suit. Please!!

So we enter the store ("See Mommy - they have everything that children want here!") and go the doll aisle. The first one - nothing......
The second one - nothing.....
Ok - "Let's look at the baby clothes. Maybe we can find a bathing suit by itself and we can take it home and put it on one of your babies at home.".....
The clothes - nothing.....
Oh God! Please God....she had so much disappointment in her tiny life. Please don't let her learn today that the toy store doesn't have everything that children want...... There is only one more aisle......
AND .....
Success!!!! For $36.99 you can buy a baby wearing a bathing suit that swims. Seriously??? 36.99!!!! This baby had better swim like Michael Phelps!!

So, how did we get to $51.10??

After we found the baby - I found and endcap with more babies and more baby clothes. Of course, after finding the $37 baby - there was no convincing her that we could get just the bathing suit and that was just as good. So somehow we ended up with a new baby AND a seperate bathing suit "for one of my other babies. They can swim together just like EasternStar and I will swim together when she comes home."

And I wonder.....does she know that she is hitting below the belt.....or is it accidental?? 8 )

Ahh..... the price of dreams!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's on the way!

All of our documents were supposed to be sent to Russia yesterday. I haven't received confirmation from our agency that they went out. I emailed yesterday afternoon to confirm but I haven't heard back yet.

Now I must refrain from emailing our coordinator every day asking "Have you heard anything yet???" Maybe I'll shoot for once a week...... ha ha ha

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dossier # 2 B = DONE!

Well, the paperchase continues.......

So on Thursday TinyDancer and I went downtown to get our documents certified and then we drove all the way to the capital and got them apostilled. (As a side thought - what is up with courthouses and hot dog stands? I thought that this was just a Law & Order made up on TV thing - but - it is true. Every courthouse and government building has a hot dog stand outside of it. Sometimes two. What gives?) We came home and I was making the copies and getting ready to FedEx our stuff. And the phone rings....

And it's Stranger......and this is a blurb from our conversation:
"Are you sitting down?"
"You won't believe this."
"Don't say it!"
"We got an email for J (our coordinator at our agency)."
"And it starts out 'I know you won't like this!'...."
So, our employment letters and our financial statements didn't match. I knew this. I asked about this. I did what I was told to do!

So, on Friday, TinyDancer spent the day with Grandma (I was not about to make her spend another day in the car) and Stranger (who had Friday afternoon off since he was on call on Thursday) and I drove back to the state capital to get the last few documents apostilled. And the FedEx man came today to take them on their way. (Another side note - When our agency first told us to set up our own FedEx account so that we could send documents and stuff, I thought it was dumb. Can't we just use the post office I thought? Now I see the light!! It is so nice to just put the documents in a folder on our porch and have the FedEx man come and take them away.)

Hopefully, now we are done........for a while anyways.

If not.....there will be some cursing.....and then some laughing.....and then we'll just do it (that's what she said!).

Saturday, June 6, 2009


As soon as the FedEx man picked up my box yesterday, I checked my email.......

And....... our coordinator emailed me an updated dossier list for Tyumen......

And........there were three new documents on it......

And.....our employment letters need to be redone.........

Now you get the title of my blog, right? 8 )

It looks like pretty easy stuff - photocopy tax return - get a different letter from our doctor's office that says that they are indeed licensed to diagnose things like TB and psychological issues....blah blah blah.

Hopefully we'll have another productive week and get these signed and apostilled this week.

Hang on EasternStar! We're working as fast as we can! 8 )

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dossier # 2 = DONE!

Whew! I just finished boxing up dossier # 2. Each copy (we have to send 3 - 1 original and 2 photocopies) is 106 pages!!

I had hoped to finish it up earlier in the week, but you can't control everything I guess. And, we've only been home for two weeks - we only met EastenStar 18 days ago. So, I guess, all in all, a turn around time of two weeks isn't too bad!

It feels good to get this done. I hope that the judge likes everything and doesn't ask for any more documents.

Come on Mr. FedEx man - pick up my box!