Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Big Day for Shannon tomorrow

Tomorrow is Shannon's first day of chemo. She will have to have it every 21 days for 12 weeks. I'm really nervous for her. I don't think I would be able to sleep. I know lots of people have had to have this treatment but this is the first time someone very close to me is facing chemo. She's taken it like a trooper and has the best attitude about it. We went looking for wigs yesterday and she found one that looked very natural on her. We started laughing because one of them made her look like that guy from the old imperial margarine commercials that blew that trumpet thing (you know the floppy pageboy cut!). I wish I had my camera because it would have kept us laughing to look at the picture. I think that's what helps the both of us is because we are always silly and always laughing. She found this shirt on Cafe Press that said "Save Second Base" and it had a base with the pink ribbon (for those of you who don't know what second base means it's a term that means feeling a person up when making out). I think I may get it for her. So, I'm saying my prayers for her that it won't be horrible and that she won't feel like she has been run over by an 18 wheeler.

On a brighter note, I was checking the RQ site and the rumor is that they will be getting to Dec 27th. That would be awesome and give us all a little something to hold onto. Hope does spring eternal.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Proud Doggy Mama and Ladybug Sighting

I am doing so proud of my dog, Hope. We are working on walking well on a leash. Hope is used to walking me so now we're unlearning that. She is doing so well. Each day it gets better.

I also saw two ladybugs yesterday. One has decided to take up residence in my downstairs bathroom. Referrals must be coming soon. Let's pray for a miracle and they finish December 05.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Dog Whisperer

Today, I am taking back leadership of the pack from my dog Hope with the help of my own dog whisperer, Anna. She's my vet's wife and can I just say that she rocks! I decided that even though Hope went through Puppy Kinder, she really needs better manners before Grace comes home so today is the first day of the rest of her life. We are working on not bombarding people when they come over by licking and jumping on them as well as walking behind me instead of in front of me. Hope and I learned quite a bit but we both realized that it's going to take time and patience to fix two years of letting Hope be the leader of the pack. So, wish us both good luck and patience with each other. I have to say though, she's one smart doggie.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Middle School Angst

I think I hated middle school when I was a middle schooler. However, I love working in a middle school (I know, I'm sick!). There is so much more drama than any soap opera. I like to call my school, The Young and Some Breastless (The Young and the Restless would work too!). Case in point...the PE coach comes to me saying that there's a young girl who won't stop crying and has asked for me. "Me?" I thought to myself. I looked over and saw one of my library aides who is extremely shy, painfully and awkwardly shy. I was really surprised that she wanted to talk to me because I made her cry her first day by explaining what sorts of things she'll be responsible for in the library. She tells me that her crush's little sister (and the crush is also one of my student aides during the same class period as my shy library aide) told him she liked him and he apparently didn't reciprocate the feelings (actually he didn't react because honestly, he's not at the point where the girls are the focus). She was devestated and humiliated and sick to her stomach to come to my class (library aide) where she will have to face him. So, I told her that I thought her crush just wasn't interested in her but girls right now in general. I also told her how I understood being totally humiliated and I related my middle school story of a cute 8th grader that I liked as a 7th grader and when my friends said something to him, I was soooo embarassed. I would almost throw up before PE because we had that same class. I told her that I did get over it eventually and found another cute boy to like. I also said that now that I look back at it, he really wasn't all that cute and looked more like Ronald McDonald so it was a good thing it didn't work out back then. I don't know if this was sage advice. All I know is that instead of coming to the library to be an aide, I've sent her to the counseling office until she can face him. I may never get her back as an aide. Oh well, I guess all is fair in love and war. I just felt so bad for her.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Yep, month #20, enough said.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Got My Renewal Today

It's offiicial...I have another 18 months approval from USCIS...that gives me until July of 2009. Let's pray that I don't have to renew again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cleopatra...Queen of DeNile!

Yeah, that's me Cleopatra. I just got my hair done and well, I have a Cleopatra hairdo. So, now, I can live in Denial and be happy. I actually like it...the color is great but I haven't had bangs in a long time. I was going for Catherine Bell's hair in that Hallmark movie, "The Good Witch" but I got the Egyptian Queen.

Today we found out that Shannon will indeed be having chemotherapy. It was higher on the test than her oncologist expected. She has a 20% chance of recurrance right now but it will be reduced to 10% after chemo. She will have to go 4 times (every 3 weeks for 12 weeks), followed by radiation and hormone therapy. Once she starts chemo, we're both going to start eating healthy. She already cut her hair last week (and it looks super cute) in preparation for chemo.

Only 3 more days to go this week. The weather here is getting yucky. The good thing is that I am meeting with my 6th/7th grade book club and we're drinking hot cocoa while we discuss Everlost by Neal Shusterman.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dateline NBC

I don't know if anybody saw tonight's episode of Dateline NBC which covered International Adoption in Guatemala. I knew as soon as the show started, I would start getting calls and sure enough I did. It made me sad seeing the pain on the parents' faces when they were unable to bring home their children. Some of these children were stolen from their parents. It also broke my heart to see how it affected the children. My friend, D and I talked at length about adoption and we pondered whether this went on in domestic adoption. I don't know if any country is immune from corruption...which makes it even worse because the lives of innocent children were involved. We talked about how some parents who used the same broker guy to find their child would feel if they were watching that program and saw him and found out the possibility that their child may have been stolen. How scary and horrible. She asked me what I would do if I were in that situation and I was torn. That was my child, but I owed it to her to find out the truth. She brought up the idea of life being better with me than in poverty over there, but I was still torn. It's almost like that story from the Old Testament when the two women were fighting over the son each saying he was hers and then the real mother letting go when the compromise was cutting him in half. I just hope I don't ever have to cross that particular bridge. I have to say though, I was glad they were talking about Guatemalan adoption rather than China adoption. We've already had enough bad press lately. I am praying for all those parents who are stuck in limbo in their Guatemalan adoptions. May they bring their children home soon.

On a brighter note...YEA to TK and Rachel who won the Amazing Race (my fave reality show). Actually, I loved all 3 teams left and my favorite player was Christina. But, I'm glad that TK and Rachel won.

I also have to post a couple of pictures from my niece's birthday last weekend. My youngest nephew Brennan did a lot of the picture taking and he was shooting some interesting pictures like his webkins in different poses and places around my parents' house.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Wrap Up of the Week

It has been on interesting week. We were busier than a one legged man in a kicking contest in the library. I absolutely loved it because the days went by super fast. I made myself laugh when one of my students asked me if I had fifty cents and I said, "I'm sorry sweetie, but I'm broke right now." He gave me this weird look and I realized he wanted the book on the rapper 50 Cent! We both laughed when I went to look for the book for him. I'm glad it had just been returned.

The waiting list came out this week. Unfortunately for me, I didn't see a good match for me. But there will be more and I will continue to wait and be patient.

Shannon cut her hair short to prepare for chemo. We still don't know how much yet. They are waiting for test results. Speaking of test results, I think I am going to give my dog, Hope a DNA test that they've developed. She's my rescue pup and my furry baby right now. I think it would be interesting to see what kinds of breeds she has in her. I also think it might help to know what health issues she might have later on down the line. I'm noticing now that she's having some rear leg/hip issues. Sometimes she just plops herself down in the middle of our walk because it bothers her so much.

Last night, I went to this great jazz club called Luna and this band from Austin, Torch performed. They totally rocked (in a jazz way). I loved the girl's voice. It was almost Norah Jones/Eartha Kittish...I am going to post the link to their myspace page in my links. We went to eat before and because it was so mellow, I started feeling VERY sleepy. I had a great time even though it was nasty weather which has now lead to me feeling a little yucky with a scratchy throat and hardly a voice. OH WELL.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happiness is...

I watched Friday's 20/20 episode of how to be happy and places where people are happy and I found what I got to see extremely fascinating. I realized that I'm probably one of those annoying people because I tend to be pretty happy go lucky and I'm always laughing. I can find most anything humorous and I'm usually laughing at myself. I am a goofball. My students will tell you that you can hear me laughing down the hall. So, I am planning on working on laughing and not focusing on the wait. I'm going to go to more funny movies.

So, right now, my happiness that I'm focusing on is that the bone scan and organ scan of my assistant Shannon revealed that her cancer hadn't spread. We should find out this week what kind of treatment she will be having. She's accepted that she's probably going to have to have chemo. She's going to cut her head shorter this week. She said her greatest fear is that she's going to have a lumpy bald head! That's my friend Shannon!

Friday, January 11, 2008

100th Post & TGIF

Can't believe this is my 100th post. Can't believe I'm still waiting for my daughter, but I am even though it has been 19 months and 2 weeks. I decided to call my agency this week to get some clarity on some things. I had to call twice and I finally got a call back today. Can I just tell you that talking to an actual live person makes it so much better? I think I had had it up to my eyeballs with those "lovely" impersonal group e-mails I get every couple of weeks. When I read those e-mails, this is how I interpreted it: yadda, yadda,'s almost like Charlie Brown's teacher, "wha, wha, wha, wha!". I wish that they would understand that we need to hear their voices, not just get their e-mails to help us out during this wait. A little check in of, "Hey Jamie, it's me so and so from your agency. How are you doing? Are you hanging in there? I want to assure you that this wait will be worth it. I think it will get better." It's that sort of personalization that we need. I have learned though in this process that you cannot totally count on something that had been predictable in the past. Nothing in life is guaranteed.

I'm still being hopeful that this is our year to get our children. It's my year, the year of the rat. I know in the end the wait will pay off when we have our kiddos. I will not give up.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gonna Breeze Into the Windy City for Spring Break

My friend, D. and I are going to go to Chicago for a few days during Spring Break. I'm so excited because neither of us have been. It'll be an adventure. It'll be good to get out of town and have something to look forward to. I'm looking forward to the great museums (I'm a librarian...go figure!) and the shopping...oh and the food! Mike and Ed, two of our guy friends were making fun of us for being spring break nerds! They said we should go to Cancun or Vegas...yeah, don't think so. Actually we went to Vegas last Spring Break but wanted to do something different this year. So, Chicago, here we come.

On a a not so bright note, I was reading on RQ about the letter the Joint Council wants to send and yadda, yadda, yadda. The information really didn't bother me. What alarms me is the panic I read in people's responses. People are upset and stressed and rightly so. Ususally when I read the responses, I start a mini freak out myself, but this time, I'm okay. The wait sucks...I think we can all agree with this. What sucks even worse is that the word out on the street isn't consistent across the board (people are being told different things by their agencies) and even worse than that, the information is scarce and vague. I really don't know the solution to this problem. Panic is not a sane solution. It only depresses me. So, I can only take a deep breath, take it a day at a time, and have great faith that I will be getting my daughter from China. That's all I can do.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Back to School

I just realized that tomorrow, I go back to work! How come that when you are on vacation for two weeks, it goes by soooo fast and when you are actually working for two weeks, it seems like it crawls? Actually, I really do love my job. I have the best gig on campus as a school librarian. I have to finish up Tears of a Tiger by tomorrow because one of my teachers wants to teach it in the spring and in order to do so, I have to sign off on the form. It's a fast read and very good. It's about the consequences of teen drinking and driving. I wanted to read more during this break, but I got a lot lazy! I got two books from my assistant principal for Christmas that look good, but somehow I got hooked on various shows on TV. So, even though the CCAA didn't get very far on referrals it's going to be a great week. I can't believe we're going to have 80 degree weather here...I thought it was supposed to be winter!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ladybug landing and trial run of a sick "child"

Early this morning, around 2 a.m. I was awakened to the sound of a serious sneezing fit by my dog Hope. I have never heard her sneeze that much or that deeply. I got up, checked on her, invited her to sleep with me but she refused. She plopped herself down on the floor with a little sigh and ignored me. Fast forward to 7:30 a.m. Hope has had several more sneezing attacks followed by drinking a whole bowlful of water. She looked at me pitifully so I decided I would call the vet at 8 and make an appointment for her. Dr. Lord (who is the BEST vet ever) diagnosed my furry child with a sinus infection (how appropriate since my whole family constantly suffers from them). She had a slight fever and a red throat. She is now on antibiotics and bendadryl. She also got a steroid shot. She seems to be feeling a little better and is sprawled out crashed by my feet as I write this entry. Now I have had a little preview of having to get up with a sick child. I was pretty tired early this afternoon but like a little train, I gathered some steam.

I also had a little visitor while I was outside watering my trees (we're in a rain drought right now) that I planted in the spring. It came out me quickly and landed on my arm and yep, you guessed was a ladybug. I let it crawl on me for a little bit before it flew away. It was a nice little reminder and sign that this is going to be the year I get my daughter.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

This is the year that we May 2006ers get our children! It has to be. I'm out of my funk and am feeling strangely optimistic. I went to Mass yesterday (it was a holiday of obligation) and it was in celebration of Mary. A strange, calming feeling came over me when I knelt down to pray and I heard a little whisper in my heart that reassured me that my Grace is coming soon and that I would be okay.

I played chickenfoot dominoes with one of my best friends and her family for the New Years. I had so much fun even though I was threated of disownment by my friend's mom because I won the first game. The one thing I was upset about was the popping of the fireworks that gave my poor Hope serious distress. I had to sedate her earlier and it didn't really work. She was a little freaked when I got home right after the new year.

I also know this is going to be a great year because I found some great shopping deals. I got a $90 dress for $11 at Dillards...400 count sheets for $20.00 and today at Pottery Barn, I found the exact shower curtain I didn't know that I had wanted for $6.00. Yippee.

So, I am praying again for us all. We will be getting our children. We will make it!