Sunday, August 30, 2009

Destination Moscow - Check!

We made it to our second stop - Moscow!

We arrived in the wee hours of the morning (04:00 Eastern Time) but it was 11:00 am or so Moscow time. The flight over was as comfy as a 10 hour flight can be. Our original seats were not together (who do we know that that happened to too 8 ) ) but when we checked in for our flight, Stranger managed to get us seats together - in the emergency exit row in economy plus! We got all of the extra leg room that goes with the exit row plus five extra inches of leg room for being in economy plus. We each managed to sleep about 1.5 hours. But, the movies were pretty good so at least we were entertained......tired......but entertained.

We made it though passport control without incident and all 4 of our bags made it as well. Yay! We sailed through customs and our driver was waiting for us.

So far everything is going so perfectly! I keep pinching myself - I can't believe that we are here! I can't believe that we are going to see EasternStar in three days.

Tomorrow morning we have free time and then in the afternoon we do the (dreaded) 8 doctor medical exams.

Tonight we are off to do some more exploring and to have dinner. We're hoping the Dannon store is open this late on a Sunday. 8 )

Oh, and a bonus - we don't have to buy Stranger a new coat and mittens - it is a cloudy 70 degrees! 8 )

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chilling in DC

We made it to our first destination!

Stranger has declared this a "splendid" trip so far because:
1. We made it to the airport 2 hours early
2. We did some quick rearranging of our checked bags and saved ourselves $125. One of our bags was 7.5 lbs overweight and we thought that the charge would only be $25. $25 we were willing to part with. $125.....not so much!
3. He got to have meat stuffed pizza for breakfast
4. Our plane left on time ...... so that ....
5. We have a long layover instead of having to sprint through the airport again
6. They gave us the *entire* can of coke on the flight instead of just pouring us one glass
7. United serves "premium snack mix" with the little sesame sticks that he likes

He is a bit miffed though, that:
1. We did not do a Top Gun style flyover past the Washington Monument
2. is reporting that the weather in Moscow is 30F even though the weather has been in the 60s for the past few weeks. We figure that either
a) it is really 30C (82F) in which case he is annoyed because it will be hot
b) we are going to be really cold when we get there! 8 )
I told him that if it is cold, I'll buy him a hat and gloves but he has to wear them on the flight to Tyumen because our luggage is PACKED and nothing else will fit in it. Even if it is "wafer thin".

** side note to our awesome neighbors - TinyDancer will be staying at home and I'm sure that Grandma and Grandpa would love some help - thank you Heather. Grandma has threatened to post a white flag in the kitchen window when she needs help. 8 )


And we're off!

Sort of.

We're in the airport waiting for our fist plane to take off. We're off to Dulles and then we head to Moscow.

I can't believe that we are sitting here!

Monday, August 24, 2009

And we're packed!

My mom came over yesterday and packed all of our stuff. She is the words BEST packer and managed to cram everything into 4 suitcases!

Now that we're ready......can we leave yet? 8 )

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trip preparations!

Visas = Done!

Hotel reservations = Done!

Tickets = Done! (after some shenigans from the Russian airline that we are flying from Moscow to Tyumen!)

Packing = no where near done!! 8 )

Monday, August 17, 2009


I turned 31 on Saturday. To celebrate we went up to see my best friend and her husband and we had an awesome weekend. We were very busy - here is what we did in pictures:

First, TinyDancer put her hair in a ponytail:

Then we went garage sale-ing to look for a dresser for Aunt N's new baby. We didn't find any furniture but TinyDancer found this nightgown for EasternStar:

Then we went to the farmer's market to get some supplies for dinner. While Aunt N got healthy stuff like vegetables, TinyDancer found unhealthy stuff like cookies and this pretty sunflower:

After lunch, we went to the zoo. Here we are outside of the main entrance:

TinyDancer tried to sit on the dinosaur but she was scolded by the attendent by the gate. 8 )

My two favorite parts of our zoo visit were TinyDancer and Stranger riding the camel:

And watching the grizzly bear tear into a tent and take out a tub of peanut butter and eat it! The zoo was doing a demonstration on what happens when you leave food in your tent. They set up a small tent with food in it and then they set up a bear proof container to show that the bear can break into the tent and steal your food but it can't open the bear proof container. Here is the bear with his peanut butter:

Once we were tired, we went home and made chocolate ice cream:

And homemade salsa:

For dinner we had a Low Country Boil of corn on the cob, red potatoes, chicken, 2 kinds of sausages, and shrimp. It was delicious! TinyDancer helped clean to pot afterwards:

And then we had cookies and ice cream:
That is just *a little* bit of icing on those cookies!
Then TinyDancer got her first lesson on how to make a mint julip:
Here she is prepping the mint.
It was a great day!
I had a picture of TinyDancer with Aunt N and Uncle B, but it disappeared! 8 ( Check back later for the photo!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Girls gone shoppping!

TinyDancer and I could not hold out any longer and we succumbed to our urge to go shopping for EasternStar. Today we bought some onesies, pants, jammies, and a wind suit for EasternStar. We decided to go with the 18month size because there wasn't much difference between the 12 month and the 18 month size. It was so much fun! TinyDancer is a great shopper! TinyDancer was sad because we couldn't find any matching outfits for them. Give it time I told her - we'll find some. Or we can make some.

It's a good thing that we went shopping because this afternoon as I was doing laundry our agency called and WE HAVE A COURT DATE! We're frantically gathering some last minute paperwork for our agency (that has to be there on Monday (naturally!) and getting tickets and visas. Once we have a departure date I'll let you know. Court is on Sept. 3 - we see EasternStar again the day before. I can't wait to see my daughter again!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Clothes shopping

I really want to go clothes shopping for EasternStar! Come on court date! Get here! I need some retail therapy! 8 )

It's too bad that EasternStar is going to be a season off from TinyDancer. When TinyDancer was in 12 month clothes, we were in Texas and it was February - so we have lots of spring/summer clothes for 12 months. It looks like we are going to need fall/winter clothes. That's too bad. Really. I'm heartbroken.... I mean....having to go out an buy new clothes is hard work. hee hee hee

At least she'll be able to wear TinyDancers old diapers. We have lots of Fuzzi Bunz ( and prefolds and prowraps ( When we bought our cloth diapers, we bought them partially so that we never have to buy diapers again. (YAY!!) But now I see that fuzzi bunz now makes a purple one with daisies on it. I might need that. .... Er...I mean...EasternStar might need that! 8 )

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Today's artwork

Thursday seems to be our day to hang out at home and do art projects. Here are the two that we did today:

1. Sponge Balls - kind of like water balloons only you can reuse them! 8 ) I followed the directions in the August 2009 Family Fun magazine to make these. I also found directions at one of the blogs that I like -
TinyDancer had fun picking which colors we should use together.

Sponge Balls

2. A cardstock horse - TinyDancer's Aunt N. sent her a package and inside was a book called "I want to be a Princess" and inside were all kind of fun princess things (crowns, stickers, a sash!) and directions on how to make some princess crafts - a magic mirror, a horse, and a few other things. There is also a story. Today we made the horse and tomorrow we are making the magic mirror.

Horse - that is a long tail and a long mane! 8 )

And our craft from last week - paper flowers. I can't remember where we got this one from - I think from the back of one of her princess books -

Paper flowers

Paper flowers - closeup

We have a nursery

We finished EasternStar's room over the weekend. We have a few things left to do - decide if we want to hang a shelf for her stuffed animals, get out the cloth diapers from the diaper box in the basement, and get out her clothes. Other than that, it's all ready!

Her room from the doorway.

From the other side of the doorway.

The picture above the rocking chair.
We picked up this painting last fall at an auction for the International Adoption Clinic at the hospital where we work.
Her books and toys.
One of the many pictures TinyDancer has drawn.
I think that TinyDancer is the one of the left and EasternStar is the one of the right.
The nook with the dresser/changing table.
You can see the presents from my shower too! 8 )
Her hamper is already full of dirty clothes! 8 )
These are stuffed animals that need to get washed.
Some pictures that we (Stranger) made.
We had a boarder in TinyDancer's room in our house in Texas. We don't have enough of the boarder left to do another room and they don't sell it anymore. We settled for some framed art.

Her light switch.

The other side of the room.
The box is full of things for us to take on our trip (gifts, donations, etc).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I love this post

I love this post from a fellow mom to a baby in Heaven -

She sums up so much of how we feel.....

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Stranger and I don't talk about it - but I think that we both feel it. I sure feel it. It's nerves. We're nervous.

Nervous that something will go wrong with the adoption. Nervous that we'll lose EasternStar. I think that every adoptive parent feels this way and it's probably heightened for us because of the timing. Or maybe we just think that we're special because of the path that we've taken to get here.

We just started to feel comfortable enough to start working on her room. The same room. It's been difficult for Stranger to work up there. He painted that room for SleepingAngel. It's green - the perfect shade of green - not to dark - not to light - not too minty. Perfect. Even before she died, we had decided that if we ever got lucky enough to have another child that we would not paint the room. We can't. What color would we use? TinyDancer's room in purple, the bathroom up there is sky blue, the hallway is orange sherbert, the living room is a moss green, the dining room is red, the kitchen is brownish-tan, the office is also green, the downstairs bathroom is dark blue, our room is yellow. It sounds like we live inside a rainbow, huh? 8 ) Anyway, it's the perfect shade of green.

We are using the same bedding that TinyDancer used and that SleepingAngel used. There is comfort knowing that all of our girls will sleep on the same sheets.

We hung the curtains this week. That was like so many things on this path of grief.....odd.....painful.....comforting. My mom and I bought the material to make curtains for SleepingAngel. We had just started them on a Saturday and we found out that there was a problem the next Thursday. I was in the hospital so all attempts to work on them were halted. Then I was home, but mom was carting me to the doctor twice a week so it's not like we could work on them then. And then she was gone. Do you know how hard it is to work on something for your dead child? And so they sat for almost 2 years. Mom got them out a few weeks ago and the project started again. We worked on them and finished them last weekend. It was hard.

It is hard not to see parallels between what happened with SleepingAngel and where we are with the adoption. With SleepingAngel, we were still smarting from two very early miscarriages. We had an ultrasound toward the end of June showing that she was a girl and that she was healthy. Right. Both of her kidneys were there at that time and the placenta was doing all of the work so the cysts hadn't started killing them yet. It wasn't until the end of July that we let ourselves start to get excited. We had just bought the paint for the room. We had just started getting and I started on the curtains....Stranger was going to start painting the room..... and then .... It was 2 years ago today that we learned that there was a problem - that something wasn't right with SleepingAngel. It would be a week or so before we found out what the problem was - but 2 years ago.

And here we are again - hopeful - scared - getting a room ready - setting up a bed and hoping that there will be a child to fill it .....hopeful that EasternStar will be home soon. Maybe September?

If something goes wrong.......
How will we cope? How will we explain this to TinyDancer? I can't do that to her again. I feel as though we've made her a promise - the promise of a sibling - and as of yet we haven't delivered. How can you make a promise to your child and then not have it come true? And she is SO excited. She chatters about how they will grow up and be "best friends". And she has PLANS for them -
How when EasternStar gets home, she will show her where the butter goes (it is TinyDancer's job to set the silverware on the table and to put the butter on the table and then back in the fridge after dinner. TinyDancer will retain the table setting job (because EasternStar will be too little to walk with butter knives (her words)) and upgrade to bringing the plates from table to the counter after dinner).
How she'll sit next to her and pick up her fork if she drops it.
How she'll show her how to mix the pancake batter and give her a turn stirring.
She'll show her how to use all of her new toys.
She'll check on her at night when she cries and tell her that it is ok and then come and get us. She's already moved her stool into EasternStars room and put it right next to her crib.
How she'll hold the washcloth over her eyes so that the shampoo doesn't get in her hair in the bathtub.
The headbands and hair clips that she's going to give her because they are too small for her.
The books she's going to read to her.
The games that they'll play.
In all of her artwork there are 4 of us. With a letter over our heads to indicate who is who. SleepingAngel is never there anymore. It is EasternStar. She's started drawing pictures for her and hanging them up in her room.
How they'll live together when they are BIG PEOPLE and take turns driving the car.

Please don't think that I'm obsessing about this - or over thinking it. This IS a journal of sorts- and sometimes you need to write it out to let it go.....

We're probably just supersensitive because of the timing. But still... umm...... I don't think I'll be checking my email this week!