Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today I am weary

Do you ever feel weary? I don't feel weary often but today, I feel weary. There are many things that are causing me to feel this way; a difficult contractor, no electricity in the front half of our house, the "perfect" school for Igor may not be so perfect, Igor is having trouble regulating his emotions, I have a stomach bug.....

Matthew 11:28-30:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I am looking forward to rest....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Earth Day

Today we attended our town's Earth Day fair. There was music, kids crafts, and all the "Green" exhibits you could imagine. Igor had a wonderful time. He painted, made a sand scape, colored, etc.

For the last year our state has been in a drought and under mandatory water restrictions. We met with the water company for a mini audit and we were rated excellent. YA! We talked to some alternative energy folks, learned about worm composting (we'll stick to the backyard composting for now) and so on. The fire department had an exhibit. Rob and Igor went over to say hi since Igor and I go to the fire station everyday after nursery school. Our local grocery stores were handing out reusable grocery bags so we picked up two more. We also enjoyed very yummy Italian Ice and Popsicles.

We came across an exhibit tent with used bicycles. We decided to check it out since Rob has talked about getting a used bike for a year. They were not selling the bikes, they were selling bike co-op memberships. A $10 annual fee allows members to check out a bike at 12 co-op locations around town for free. The bike must be returned within 24 hours. Rob signed up for the program. It's a very inexpensive way to determine if bike ownership is right for him. We went to the bike shop and purchased an awesome helmet on clearance for $13!

Rob checked out his first bike this afternoon. This specific co-op location is closed on Sundays so he is allowed to return the bike Monday morning. Rob's plan is to ride to the co-op location each morning to turn in the bike. He can check out another bike, walk or take the bus to work.

To finish out our Earth Day festivities we decided to have a picnic dinner by the river. It was a great idea but there were too many bugs. Plan B- We went to a local farm that has picnic tables. We had a lovely bug-free picnic with cows, donkeys and goats in the background. We took a walk after dinner and ran through a field of tall grass. After a few minutes I looked down, my legs were dotted with duck poo-poo. The field must be a fly over spot for ducks and geese- ugh... all we could do was laugh. Happy Belated Earth Day!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Referral Friday

Wonderful news- there were referrals today!

Congratulations to the following families: Roger & Kari and Shawn & Tisha, Laura & Craig (baby girl) and Sarah & Bob (toddler boy)! It's a great way to end the week. It sounds like K.P. will be getting a referral soon!

Four families are picking up their children this weekend. Two of the families have blogs so check out Apryl & Seth's blog and the Coen's blog.

We could be in the next batch of referrals. Only time will tell.

While we wait, I am reading books, caring for Igor and doing a little gardening. The weather has been great this week. My irises are in bloom. I planted them 18 months ago. This is the first time they have bloomed. I think they are so beautiful! My spring daisies are blooming and so are my violets!

I planted basil in this pot but it looks like a little boy has claimed this pot for his own...

My blackberry bushes are in bloom - YIPPEEE! Can you see the tiny yellow bud on my patio tomato plant?? I have several tomato plants but this is the first one with a bud. I cannot wait for home grown tomatoes!

On our small hill, I planted (from seed) sunflowers and wildflowers. They are starting to come up! I haven't decided if I will plant cantaloupes and pumpkins. Last year the bunnies ate my cantaloupes.... I still have a few weeks to decide.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Books, books, books

You know you are reading too many books when your husband says, "Did you get another book today?" and your answer is, "Well, yes, yes I did!"

I have been reading a lot of books lately. Our mini-vacation allowed me to read for several hours a day!
I have finished reading:

I'm currently reading:

Don't worry, I know the alphabet. Igor and I are going through the Pre-K workbook together.
The AWAA book club is reading- Real Parents Real Children so I thought I would read it. I'm not enjoying the book. I think it's a hard book to read because it's written in a clinical and sterile way.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What books would you recommend once I finish up my current list?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm back!

I survived the great tooth extraction. I am trying not to take pain medication today so I can drive tomorrow. I should be able to eat crunchy foods tomorrow! I cannot wait.

NY trip update

We had a great time traveling to New York. We took many forms of transportation during our trip. We drove, took the train, the subway and ferry! Igor loved it all, especially the train and ferry rides. We went to the zoo, the children's museum and hung out with Rob's sister. A good time was had by all.

The zoo in Staten Island is small but perfect for our family. Igor is always asking to go to the zoo so he was very excited. We've been reading books about porcupines, peacocks, peahens, bears and so on. We were able to see almost every animal we have been reading about. When we walked into the zoo we saw peacocks and peahens walking around the grounds.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The great extraction

We had a great time in New York. I will upload photos and details soon.

I'm a little distracted, I am dealing with the pesky tooth again! Yep, it is up to its old tricks. They have moved up my surgery to Thursday afternoon because it needs to come out now. The surgery should take about 2 hours-ugh. Please say a prayer for Rob, Igor and me. There are a ton of little details that need to come together before the surgery. I know that Rob can manage the household for several days but I feel the urge to make him lists. So, I have started several lists- What to pack in Igor's lunch, a list of the pre-made meals in the refrig & freezer, my medication times, and so on.... If you are a list maker, you know what I am talking about. If you know Rob, do you think he will read my lists?
I hope to be back in Blog-land soon!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Going private

I've been thinking a lot about our blog, the information on it and who stops by to visit. We have tried to be careful by limiting the information we post. We don't list our last names, the city/state we live in or other personal items that might disclose our location or very personal issues as it relates to Igor's development.

In many ways, I am not concerned about who reads our blog. I want to be transparent so people who are considering adoption have a place to read about an adoptive family. I also want people to know that adoption is God's desire for many.

I read Melodie's blog last night and I knew that I needed to deal with the issue. My friend, Carine's voice was whispering in my ear all night... protect your little ones for they cannot protect themselves.
I want to protect Igor and BOC. I don't want people to download their pictures and do creepy things with their photos. I don't want strangers who are dangerous to have information about our beloved sons.

I can go two ways... I can delete all the photos and videos of Igor and in the future not post pictures of BOC or we can go private, restricting the access to our blog. I am leaning towards restricting access. I want friends and family to be able to pop in and see Igor and our future son in action. We'll want to share pictures of son #2 when he all ours. But if we restrict access, will we also be closing ourselves off from families who are researching adoption? For me, it's a tricky balance. We've met some wonderful families researching adoption through our blog.
Please stay tuned for our decision.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Baby chicks, ducklings and a wagon

Igor's nursery school has baby chicks again this year! They also have ducklings. They are all so cute. Igor and his friends at nursery school, feed, water and care for the new additions. It's so sweet to see the children caring for each chick and duckling. Caring for the ducklings and chicks is teaching the children responsibility, gentleness, and respect for nature and other living beings. Igor has been asking to have chickens in the back yard for a while now. I am waiting for the duckling request.

At nursery school Igor loves to load up a wagon with sand, bricks, logs or children and pulls them across the property. Yep, he is really strong enough to haul all I have listed. The first time I saw him hauling around two kiddos, I was in awe.
We thought Igor would enjoy a wagon here at home. I found a brand new wagon on CraigsList that was in our price range so we bought it. I thought Igor would load the wagon up with large landscaping rocks. I was wrong. He grabbed the compost shovel and started to dig up the mulch... hmmmm... that wasn't what I had in mind. I like the mulch where it is. So, I suggested he pick up the weeds I was pulling and haul them them to the street for the yard waste pick up. Here's Igor digging up the mulch and taking the first load of weeds to the street.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Old fashion play, school interviews, NY, dentist

Last week Igor's nursery school teacher handed out an NPR article for us to read about old fashion play. I was fascinated by how play has changed over the last 40 years. I'm also interested to see how long Igor can stand without moving (a self regulation test). Check it out!

This weekend I had the stomach flu so I'm really behind in just about everything. (I think tomorrow I will be in freak out mode). In a few days we will be going to New York to visit Rob's sister. We will drive half way and take the train the rest of the way. Igor is sooo excited about taking the train. He is sharing the news with anyone who will listen.

Today I went to an open house for a private school just outside of town. Yes, I know we bought a house in town for the wonderful and highly rated school district.... but I have been thinking about Igor and what he really needs to be successful in school. The more time I spend at the elementary school on speech days, the more I wonder if the school is the best place for Igor. So, I am on the fence. Rob is awesome about my exploration of schools and fence sitting. He listens and lets me sit on the fence looking at the different grass on each side. This is a process for me so he is letting me process it in my mind before we talk about it. I'm sure the decision is set in his mind but he knows I need to think about it for a while. Okay, no time to ponder this any further today, I need to start working on my list of things to do!

I have a consult with another dentist this week. I hope this will be the dentist I will have a long term relationship with (you know, a tooth relationship)! I really want to cross this off my list.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fundraiser, adoption timeline, bear, the boy's room & paintings

Last night our church hosted a fundraising dinner for our adoption! It was so sweet to see so many come out to support our adoption. A BIG thanks to Faye for making the event happen and for a wonderful meal.
I made caramel corn for each person to take home as a favor. We also printed up cards with adoption prayer requests and Ethiopian statistics. Here are the statics we shared:
Total population: 77 million

The average income in Ethiopia is US$100 a year. Almost 82% of the population lives on less than $1 a day.

Malnutrition levels are among the highest in the world.

The average life expectancy is 43 years.

Ethiopia is home to 4 million orphans, or 12% of all children. More than half a million of these were orphaned as a result of AIDS.

Literacy rate: 42.7% age 15 and over can read and write.

Only 18 percent of children reach grade five.

Ethiopia's neonatal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world - 49/1000 births with tetanus infection being the second major cause of infant/neonatal death.

Statistics are from the CIA, Save the children, WHO and UNICEF websites

Adoption timeline
Our Family Coordinator and I were able to touch base this week. She was able to clear up our questions that resulted from the conference call. The only restriction we fall under is our Ethiopian child most be 2 years younger than Igor. Duni encouraged us to think outside our age range of 22-48 months since there are fewer children in this age range. She stated the wait is longer for a toddler than an infant. The toddler wait is 7-9 months. Rob and I agree that we will stay with a toddler request for now. We are entering our 6th month of waiting so we have more waiting to do!

Bear & the boy's room
Igor and I found this adorable bear for $2.50. (I LOVE a great sale.) We thought it would be a perfect stuffed animal to send to BOC (Igor's name for his brother) when we receive his referral. We are taking turns sleeping with bear so it will smell like us.

Bear is sitting on the new bedspread purchased for Igor and BOC's bunk beds. Igor did some paintings to help tie the colors of his dresser, walls, curtains and bedspreads together. I need to touch up the wall paint in the boy's room and we'll be done!

Nana and Babushka requested paintings. Babushka's painting (left) is simple and bright. Nana's painting (right) is deep and moody.