moving

Moving North & Revisiting Adoption

Hello!

Thought I’d pop back in and share an updated photo. I’ve now lost over 165lbs. Also, this handsome little nugget is my amazing 16 month old nephew. The photo on the right was taken at his mama’s baby shower for baby brother due in 2 months.

Also ready for a crazy life update… Ready?
* I ran my first 10K in Disney World for the Princess Weekend. It was amazingly fun except that I got violently ill and spent 2 days seemingly on death’s door..
* We ran the Star Wars 10K also in Disney World for my 2nd 10K and his 1st. I shaved 10 minutes off my time from Princess and he finished about 40 minutes before me.
* We are moving! Getting out of Miami and heading about 80 miles north to Boynton Beach as I have accepted a position in Boca Raton.
* We have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get pregnant for a few months now since my body seems to be working for the first time in.. ever? This was definitely a result of my losing so much weight. Apparently my RE knew what he was talking about with weight and PCOS.
* There’s a lot more, but at this point, does it matter?
* As an offshoot of our moving away from Miami, we will be attempting to adopt again. We are both hoping that Palm Beach County has their shit together unlike Miami.
*Tonight I contacted the lead agency in Palm Beach and started looking again at the available children on AdoptFlorida.org. I am beyond disgusted that I recognized several children with updated photos from 3-4 years ago still listed and still looking for families. Children that we requested information about.

I’m not entirely certain if we are ready for this heartbreak again, but we want a family. We want a child or 2. We don’t know if I will be able to get pregnant and don’t want to miss out on being parents. We agree we’d love any child we bring into our family by any means. I always said if we didn’t get pregnant in X years, we would revisit adoption. Apparently it was more of, “if we get out of Miami, we will revisit adoption.”

So here we go again… adoption.

spacer

It’s Been A While….

Hey friends!

I am still around. Things are crazy busy between my MPA (I ended my first semester with 2 A’s!!), working 2 jobs, freelancing, volunteering with my board and trying to keep my head above water. Husband graduated with his MBA in December and started his Doctorate this month. Needless to say, we’ve been keeping very busy since we have no children still.

To be fair, we did stop the foster license process back in August when I was beginning my Master’s classes. We do have a contingency plan in the instance of getting the opportunity to parent.

What we’ve been up to since the last post (I know, I always do these..)

  • We celebrated 5 years married on 10-10-10!
  • We found out we are having a NEPHEW(!!) in February from my baby brother and his girlfriend. For our longtime readers, they came to Vegas with us for our wedding.
  • I got a new laptop – only a big deal to my techies, but it’s lighter and smaller which means I can throw it in my bag and carry it with me everywhere to do homework and freelance work.
  • My Foster association created a petition to help foster children and within the 1st day we got over 1,000 signatures! We have surpassed 5,600 to date.
  • I became active in the Miami Geek Girls Brunch chapter and made awesome new geeky friends.
  • Puppykins developed a horrible ulcer in her eye and had to wear a cone for a month. She hated it and slept the best in her life the day we removed the cone.
  • Met. Richelle. Mead. Only one of my all time authors on the planet!
  • Decided to leave Miami. Like for real this time. There may be a slight bump in the plans, but I can’t discuss it at the moment.
  • Met Peter Davidson.
  • Met Jenna Coleman.
  • Met Billie Piper.
  • Meeting Matt Smith tonight!

I feel bad saying I’ll post more and then not. But I will try

 

spacer

It’s Been A While…

Hi my lovely bloggy readers,

I know it’s been really quiet around here for the last 6 weeks 3 months. Yes, I started an update post 6 weeks ago and never finished it.

My life in a nutshell these days…

  • Celebrated my 38th birthday!
  • Our 4th wedding anniversary!
  • Paid off 3 credit cards
  • Started a Fiber and Fandoms podcast with my friend Kate – Muggle Yarns!
  • Successfully completed my Kickstarter campaign thanks to my 19 truly amazing backers
  • Dropped to half time – 20 hours – at my full time job
  • Took on 2nd part time job – 25+ hours – back in the development/ fundraising and event planning world at a non-profit
  • Half-heartedly searching for children on several nationwide sites – family-match.orgadoptuskids.org
  • House hunting like crazy – we lost the cutest little house in North Miami Beach bc we took too long deciding
  • Getting over laryngitis that I’ve had for 10 days

Coming up…

  • Getting my knitting out – 2 more projects to try to finish this week
  • Shipping all my Kickstarter projects out
  • Going back to the customers that wanted commissions once this knitting was finished
  • House hunting and hopefully moving north and much closer to my jobs. My current commute time is 1.5-2 hours
  • Paying down and off all my other debts – goal for total payoff is 3 years
  • Still trying to get over and past our failed placement
  • Parenting?

heart bandaidBut what about parenting? Yeah… no idea.

I still attend the meetings and events, but my whole heart isn’t in it anymore. It’s more about hanging out with my friends than hoping there will be a foster parent there to talk to if her foster kids get TPRd. Husband even commented recently about my no longer showing him kid profiles or telling him about more kids. I’m a little down on the whole subject even though I know I could never be truly happy without being a mother. We have recently spent more time looking for houses than at children.

So, yeah, I’m sorta back, just down. Trying to get my life on track and get back in the mindset of focusing on long term goals.

Sooo…. how are you? What’s been happening in your lives in the last 3 months?

spacer

Brief Non-Adoption Update

There is literally nothing at all happening at the moment with our adoption. Of all the kids I requested info on, I’ve received 4 case studies and are awaiting about half a dozen others. We’re reviewing them, but it’s difficult since the majority or them are out of Florida. The logistics of traveling several times to meet a potential child of ours is crazy expensive and we don’t have the time off from work and school to even begin to plan said trips.


We both knew foster care adoption wouldn’t be easy. But we’re dealing with a whole new set of issues that neither of us anticipated. It’s giving us time to reflect and evaluate if we want to get our foster care license as well.

But in the meantime, we are keeping busy by house hunting. Yes, something I swore I’d never do – looking to buy in South Florida. Right now it’s just dreaming as we clean up our (my) credit enough to qualify for a lower interest rate. As much as I love and adore the snow, the older I get and the more friends we make, the more I’m realizing that this little piece of hell on earth isn’t so bad.

Also, Husband is in school for his MBA so time is tight.

On the other hand, since he is now on a daylight schedule, we are getting used to each other again. For 4+ years of our life together (nearly half!), we saw each other at most 2 hours a day and partial weekends. He worked the night shift (9p-9a) and while I was at work, he was sleeping. I’d race home to make dinner, spend some time together then he’d go off to work.

The last month or so, it seems like a vacation. I’ve been slacking on the stuff I’d normally do at night after he’s leave for work – dishes, laundry, knitting – since we now spend a lot of time together… watching TV. We just finished Orange is the New Black (OMG!) and just started Weeds. Separately, he is watching House of Cards.

I hope you’re all well! If you missed any posts, just keep scrolling…


Kiwi Crate

spacer

Mother’s Day and the Timeline to Adoption

I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

Next year I will be celebrating Mother’s Day with my own child. *shivers*

To which, amongst others, received this comment:

How quickly will you guys have your little one?

To which I responded and also thought.. what a great blog post!

This is the timeline that we’re working with at the moment:

  • Our orientation class is June 20th.
  • From there, we will sign up for our 10 weeks of PRIDE classes (PDF link) which should end right around my birthday in August/September.
  • After that, we will have our home study done – I was told it had to be completed within 90 days of completion of our classes – so by the end of November.
  • While that home study is being completed, we will be looking at all the photolistings of children.
  • Once our home study is approved for adoption, we will select children we want more information about based on their limited online profiles and our social worker will reach out to their social worker and see if we’re a match. If we are, we will get their file and arrange to meet him/her/them.
  • The timeframe from here on is a little shaky as we really don’t know how long this can take.
  • After we spend time with him/her/them, we will have a few sleepovers, then they will move in.
  • If all goes well, 6 months later, we will finalize the adoption in court and apply for new birth certificates.

There are hundred of thousands of children in US foster care. Roughly 40% of them are legally free and available for adoption. The term “special needs” refers to children due to specific factors or conditions such as being over 8, having a particular racial or ethnic background, being part of a sibling group needing to be placed together, medical conditions, and physical, mental, or emotional handicaps.

Now, why do I keep saying “him/her/them” – we have not fully decided boy or girl or one of each. If we can move into a 3-4 bedroom home, we can open our home and lives up to more children. 2 is our max sibling group size at the moment. I do still want a boy and a girl, but we’ve been told that they need their own rooms. So, master, boy room, girl room, office = 4 bedrooms. Unless we can find a super huge master bedroom or a closet-less den to use for an office, we can go to a 3 bedroom.

Anyone know of 3-4 bedroom 2-3 bathroom homes in the Palmetto Bay/ Cutler Bay, West Kendall area for under $1,400 a month? Our current lease is up in August so we’re on the hunt for new digs!

spacer

Accountability.

image

Last night, I made a one-year plan. I sorta wrote it in the dark so the mega huge Sharpie helped me be able to read it.

Why am I posting it here on this blog that I’ve virtually ignored for months? Accountability. I’m putting it out there into the universe. I want to accomplish all these things.

Some are obvious (lose weight, join a gym, pay off cards) but some aren’t so much.

– Publish 3 more patterns – 2 days ago, i published a pattern on Ravelry for a Cabled Owls Hat I made. The hat was super easy, everyone raved about it, requests have been made for different colors, so I write up the pattern and published it. Within 12 hours, I had 4 sales. Needless to say, I was stoked!

– Push RSCS! – did you know that I’m a web and graphic designer? Of course you do! No really, do you? Steve and I own RS Creative Solutions and it is my goal to push it as hard as I can so that we turn a profit. I even have business cards and car magnets. Woo!

– Dump crappy friends – OK, this one is kinda obvious too. We all have those friends (or family members) that are more dead weight then beneficial. When someone drags you down, cut the rope and let the anchor sink.

– Cultivate awesome friends – you know, those ones you meet and have tons in common with and can laugh and giggle for hours? Or those that have been with you through thick and thin for practically your whole life but you have no time for. Yeah those. They need to be cherished and brought more front and center.

– Teach a knitting class – I was in Joann’s Fabric yesterday and picked up their class schedule. I have wanted to learn to quilt for some time and figured this would be a good starting point. Apparently unless I wanted to take several hours off in the middle of the work day, I’m never learning through them. All their classes save a few are before 5pm. I am going to take some of my more awesome pieces and convince them to let me teach kids, teens and adults.

– Get a better paying job with a non-assistant title – I won’t tell you how much I make (it would probably depress you), but I need to make more. A lot more. After all, I have been working since I was 12, in the “real” work arena for 15 years (holy smokes!) and have an MBA. A freakin MBA. And it’s sitting dormant and not working for me at all. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boss. I really have lucked out having a boss that appreciates me and tries to help as much as she can. And not just bc she got Steve and I tickets to see Bon Jovi!!! But being someone’s assistant is getting me no where. Sure, the experience is phenomenal as I do want to work in development and fundraising, but…. I need a change.

– Research FL and OH adoption classes – there’s a lot more to this one than meets the eye. We want kids. We likely will never have biological kids, but that is OK as there are thousands of children out there without families in foster care. Since we have no idea where we will be living when the stars align, I’m researching both states and downloading both states home study applications. We aren’t getting any younger. We want a family. If I don’t get off my butt and do the work, this will be something else that passes me by in life.

– Have a dinner party at least 6 times – I hate cleaning. Do I need to elaborate? OK fine. Having dinner parties and friends over requires a clean house and an organized kitchen for my crazy recipe hoarding. This will push me to not only clean regularly, but keep things clean.

– Organize, clean and make office into guest room or craft space – in our “next apartment” I have all these dreams for our clean and new space. Um, we live here now. We just signed through August. Why keep dreaming of a pretty craft space with a day bed/ couch when I can do it now?

What are your plans for the next year?

spacer

Our New House!

image

Just had to post this quickly… even the heavens are shining down on the next step on our journey.

spacer

Movin’ on up… to the East Side… I mean Palmetto Bay

Y’all want to hear some exciting news?

We found a place to live! Well, pending a successful background and credit check by the HOA. It’s ours!

That’s right, we looked at a place Saturday morning and signed a lease. Then Sunday morning, we dropped off our deposit check with our new landlord. Muy exciting!

I did find this place on Craigslist and it made me quite nervous until I was able to Google her, found her other Miami properties, spoke to her several times, met her and got a good vibe from her. Yeah, this is awesome. She actually brought the paperwork from her last tenant with her so I snuck a peek at it. Shhh. 😉

We will be living in a huge complex of 10 or so duplex buildings and several 2 or 3 story condo buildings (formerly an apartment complex). Our place is a duplex and we briefly met the other half’s tenants when we were looking at the place. They were moving in. (Note to self: make friends with them.)

The rooms are both about the same size, but we’re taking the back one due to it having 2 closets and a lot of daytime shade. The shade part is imperative since hubby sleeps during the day and works at night. The landlord pays the monthly HOA fees. The big electric gate to get into the complex gets hooked to our phones so people can call and we buzz them in. We have use of the pool and fitness center over at the condo building.

There’s like a 6′ wall around the entire property and each yard has a 7′ wood fence. We do need to put some wood around the bottom due to the unevenness of the ground and there are Lola-sized big gaps that she could slip through if she really wanted to get out. Also, we’re like 2 miles from this big Pinecrest/ Palmetto Bay dog park with all kinds of fountains that we can take her to if she needs a change of scenery.

But you don’t care about this stuff, right? You want to see the pictures, don’t you?

Tough noogies. I don’t have any. 😉 You’re going to have to wait until we get the keys and do the walk through on Sunday. I promise to take pictures then. (I did find a couple sites with pictures online, but they clearly have the address listed. If you’d like to see them and swear you won’t stalk me, comment with your email address.)

Aaaaaaaand, I will shave off at least 15 miles from my trek to Miami Beach each way. My car loves that part. As does my wallet bc gas is expensive as hell! And I’m sure my body will grow to love the whole not needing to wake up at 4:30am part as well. So now, instead of 44 miles, I’ll only be driving 27 miles each way.

spacer

Insane in the Membrane or Wow, I Really Need a Normal Sleep Schedule

My life is insane these days. For the last 2 weeks I have been alternating between jobs. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ve been going to my current job as usual. Which means leaving the house around 11, meeting my dad and driving into Coral Gables. Tuesday and Thursday, I’ve been getting up at the ass crack of dawn, leaving the house by 5:45am and getting to my new job before the sun even rises. Then sleeping in the car for 20-25 minutes until work time at 7am.

Tuesday and Thursday, I am also seriously dead to the world by about 8pm. Tonight I am fighting to stay awake until at least 10pm. Normally I stay awake until 1-2am with no problems. Well, except for in the morning when I don’t want to get out of bed! This morning I slept late (4:50am) and still managed to get out on time.

Perhaps my body is aware of the fact that in just a few short days, this will be my new schedule Monday through Friday. A girl can hope, right?

The good news is that I will get out of work around 2:30-3pm. The bad news is I am unbelievably exhausted and have zero energy to do anything but sleep.

On the flip side, I absolutely adore my new boss R and my new job. She is about my age (possibly younger) and a big bundle of energy. She’s like the Energizer Bunny. We seem to be a really good fit with my extreme [office] organization skills. Just the few days I’ve been working there, comments have been made about the differences with past employees. Hey, I can’t help it. I’m not trying to make anyone look bad, that’s just how I am.

We really do need to find a closer place to live. I currently have a 45 mile/ 1 hour trek from Homestead to Miami Beach whereas hubby drives about 4 miles. No, I don’t begrudge him a short drive bc the tables were turned in NC. I drove 5-6 miles to the YMCA and he drove 30-35 miles into Raleigh every day. Plus, my car is a lot newer and in better shape. I’ve been looking at the Cutler Bay and South Kendall area for us, but without a good realtor helping us out, I don’t know that I’ll be able to find anything good. It seems as though only about 20% of apartment complexes are posted online and Zillow hasn’t been much help either.

So, if you live in a good neighborhood in Miami – Kendall/ Cutler Bay preferably – I would seriously appreciate it if you could check around your neighborhood for For Rent signs and shoot me the phone numbers. Yes, that warranted being bolded.

spacer

Catch Up Post & a Pumpkin Cranberry Biscuit Recipe

So, um, hi there. I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I’ve been here. Lots been happening in my time away. Such as, in chronological order…

  • I ditched my iPhone for a Samsung Infuse 4G. Yep, I went Android. And I freakin L-O-V-E it! 
  • I designed a knitting pattern for a Checkered Ribs Cowl. And had it tested by a great group of ladies on Ravelry that loved it so much, they each knit 2 versions of it.
  • Discovered Texts From Bennett which turned out to be a fake blog, but that doesn’t stop me from laughing until there are tears streaming down my face.
  • Hubby got back into twitter bc he finally upgraded to a smart phone. His. Mine.
  • And then he joined FourSquare. His. Mine.
  • I cooked a lot. Potato soup.
  • And baked.
  • Re-read the whole Hunger Games trilogy. Mmm love.
  • Found some old friends of Facebook.
  • I interviewed for a job – which required lots of shopping for “modest” clothing due to the religious nature of the position.
  • And then I got that job. What what..! (I will actually do a full post on this once I begin on January 2nd.)
  • Thanks to Facebook, I saw a friend get engaged. Another give birth. And another get married.
  • Looked for a new place to live. After all, driving from Homestead to Miami Beach and sitting in traffic for 2 hours each way every day does not sound like a fun plan to me.
  • Lola got worms. Eww, I know, but they’re being handled.
  • We toured Babies R Us one evening and picked out the nursery furniture and crib bedding for out future kids. No, I’m not pregnant. They had the nearest bathroom and then we didn’t leave for another 45 minutes. If you’re wondering, dark wood and monkeys.
  • Hubby found out he has a nasty respiratory problem – inherited from his father and could pass it to our kids. Well, if we have biological ones, that is.

And all this is courtesy of the new timeline on Facebook. Damn, that thing is helpful!

And now a recipe… Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Biscuits
(Snagged from Dig This Chick. She adapted it from this recipe.)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used fresh cranberries, chopped into pieces.)

Preheat oven to 375*.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, or your stand mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Or, you know, don’t sift it. I sure didn’t.
  4. Stir cranberries into mixture until well blended.
  5. Spoon heaping spoonfuls of batter on a prepared cookie sheet. (This means parchment paper… until I ran out of trays and used muffin tins.)
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

They will be soft and moist and divine! I made these for my aunts 60th birthday party and had to walk out of the kitchen to avoid eating more than one of them. Oh yes, I probably could’ve eaten the whole batch. So good!

spacer

Adoption Progress through the Foster System

Saturday night at a friends birthday bash, we spoke to one of her co-workers that specializes in placing foster children into homes. SCORE! Unfortunately she only works in Broward county, but we were still able to get some great info. Seeing as we aren’t certain what state we will be living in, we aren’t planning on starting anything in the next couple of months.

She said the home study and other approval processes can take anywhere from 4-9 months. Considering we want a sibling group of 2, we would likely receive placement quicker than parents wanting a single child. Sibling groups fall into the “Special Needs” groups as they don’t want to be split up and can often be more difficult to place.

She offered to be our contact if we ever needed any help even after we move. I love nice people. They’re completely awesome!

Also, every state has different benefits for their children. Florida offers Medicaid for the children until the age of either 18 or 21 depending on circumstances, free college tuition up to age 28 (though maybe it’s age 23; it was loud in the bar) to any public FL university, community college or vocational school, as much therapy as the children (and family) requires, and a great support system. I had to look some of that stuff up on AdoptFlorida.org.

Texas offers the right to inherit (from both adoptive parents and birth parents), adoption reimbursement fees, Medicaid coverage up to age 18 or 21 again depending, counseling/ therapy/ other services for the children (and family), state college tuition assistance. All this (and more) came from the Texas DFPS website.

Great foster adoption resources:
http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/
http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/foster/
http://www.theadoptionguide.com/options/foster/

Lots to think about and research now.

spacer

No Dice… Moving On

Well, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now due to the lack of ecstatic posts stating otherwise, I didn’t get the job in Gainesville.

However, being up there surrounded by so many amazing friends that were excited at the prospect of us moving back was a truly fantastic experience. It was pretty eye opening for both of us. Even the people that had never met hubby and only saw pictures on my FB/Twitter pages welcomed him.

It made us realize that we belonged somewhere else where we could be surrounded by friends – our chosen family – in order to be truly happy. So, while the Gainesville trip didn’t yield a new career, it did help us out immensely.

…The search continues…

spacer