Yes sireeeeee!!! Christmas is almost here! :0) We are praying for no snow and clear roads on Wednesday--otherwise--we may just have to spend Christmas at home. Being that we have an extra day to play with, though, I'm sure things will work out. I'm not going to risk my babies lives (nor my own)--and I certainly don't want to travel if you can only drive 30 mph's! That would certainly be brutal!! (My husband would. . . but I think that is a guy thing.) There is still lots to do, but, I'm feeling like we are on track. Why is it that you pack a million katrillion things to go to your parent's house and then just wear the same pair of windpants the whole time anyway? You really need to pack a lot of stuff for a baby and a toddler--geesh! Good thing there is a Walmart right within 5 minutes of my parent's house now!! It took a lot of arguing and debating for our little redneck town to allow it to be built--but it sure is convenient for us when we visit!! I hope everyone's Christmas is extremely fantastic with safe travels and awesome good times with the people you love!! Remember to be patient and forgiving with all the things that don't go quite as we have planned. God bless!!
Have you ever seen that movie "The Money Pit"? The one with Tom Hanks and "Diane" from Cheers (I just cannot remember her real name). I love that movie! The premise is the happy couple buying their dream million dollar home that ends up needing to be totally revamped and destroying their relationship along the way. Their house is really cool, too, by the way. Well, our house isn't a million dollar home (not even close) and construction hasn't destroyed our relationship (yet) but what I can only laugh about is in the movie, they keep asking when the work is going to be done and the construction guys always say "two weeks" (and the work takes months and months to get done.)
I don't know why I feel stressed out about having a big hole in my house with all these Minnesota snow storms coming, a creepy construction guy (whom I am not giving access to my house while we are gone for Christmas--that is if we are able to even leave for Christmas--but I shouldn't have to worry because the "two day" job is supposed to be done today after only two weeks have actually gone by). It is annoying at the fact that my house wreaks like cigarettes after he leaves and that his pick-up truck looks like it is going to drop off the bed at any moment--oh yeah, let's not forget the strong aroma of gasoline that has leaked from his truck into our driveway--in the very spot he goes to have a cigarette break. I swear there is going to be an explosion! Maybe you will see me on the news!!! He has used all of my bubble wrap to insulate the hole (and Craig's Viking blanket--which is now nailed to the wall to keep the cold air out.) Seriously--all you can do is laugh. Wouldn't you ask somebody if it was okay to put nails through their blanket--and wouldn't you expect the construction guy to have his own "professional" supplies to complete a job correctly?
At least we know the window guy. . . . who knows when that chaos will start!
On that note. . . is anybody else feeling overwhelmed with Christmas right around the corner? I don't know why I feel that way. I think it is just the unknown if we will be able to drive home to WI. I love all this snow. . . I really do. . . but I will be praying for good roads on Christmas Eve day for sure!! I still have so much to do. Kaiti is coming over tomorrow. She has been moved to "we don't need to clean our house for you" status. There just isn't time--and I'm still living with the unknown--as in--will I need to leave the house while the creepy construction guy opens the big hole up and exposes our house directly to the outside freezing cold air forcing me and my babies to venture out into the snow storm to go somewhere warm. That status just shows how close we feel we are to her and no longer need to pretend to be somebody we are not. And right now. . . we are not a clean family! :0) I am waiting to clean our spit-up infested carpet until after the windows are done (and hopefully the creepy guy will be done by then too!)
It's time for me to start making my list of things NOT to forget IF we are able to go to parent's for Christmas and the list of things we need to get done before we go--and when we are supposed to get those things done (and shovel the driveway, and go to work, and spend some quality time with Kaiti, and cook a meal for my husband's boss whom just had a baby and deliver it during the next snowstorm on Sunday, and take care of my sweet and adoring children!) Hey, chaotic bliss--what more could you ask for. Despite all of this, we have found plenty of time to have fun--which is probably why the house is not even close to being presentable!
And, Jakob surprised all of us by marching right up to Santa and getting right on his lap. Who knows where that came from since he is terrified of pretty much everything. I guess I have the TV to thank for that since Santa has made some guest appearances on Go, Diego, Go! and Dora the Explorer. He didn't say anything--at all--but later told me all he wanted for Christmas was a sucker. That's an awful tall order, Santa! Merry Christmas everyone!
No, I'm not talking about Christmas. . . I'm all that and more organized than anyone when it comes time to Christmas! I'm talking about our home improvement projects!! Yes!! Our loan was approved and signed yesterday and as soon as the contractor has our windows--they are going in!! We are also getting our old well room removed, sealed, closed off--whatever--all I know is the arctic air will no longer flow in during winter when it is done. (Evidently they will be able to do that now and not have to wait until the Spring thaw.) We will also be getting a new driveway, sidewalk and front step when the weather allows. Can't forget about replacing some of the siding that the umbrella tore apart when a big gust of wind ripped it out of the stand and smashed it into the house--just missing our bay window by a few inches! Whew! I almost forgot about the rewiring that will be done in our kitchen so we will no longer be blowing fuses when we are cooking our gourmet meals and overloading the circuits with our microwave, stove and toaster! I did not think that we would be lucky enough to get the loan this year!!!! The city ran out of money last year before reaching us. And thanks to Jada for joining our family just in time or we would have not been in the required "low to moderate" income range to qualify. We eked in by about $100! I just cannot believe that we got in this year!! So many good things have happened to us!!
Onto more good things. Thanksgiving was wonderful. My mom and dad came up for the first time ever and I think they got enough food. (They were worried we wouldn't have enough to eat for some reason.) I do have to say that my turkey was picture perfect and very delicious. I'm not accustomed to taking pictures of food . . . so your going to have to take my word on it. It was nice to have some quality one on one time with them--no projects for my dad to work on--just a lot of sitting around and eating! Jakob just adores grandpa and followed him EVERYWHERE! He is still trying to play the games with the remote control that Grandpa created. Mom and I did some shopping at the MOA. It wasn't that busy on the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving. A good time to go. We were exhausted after only 2 hours. I didn't buy anything significant. . . but if I had money to burn--the LUCKY STORE had the most adoreable clothes for children/babies--yes! The jeans and sweatshirts are only around $80 each! haha! But--just way too cute!!
Jada also got baptized on Saturday which prompted another glutton feast! Good food, good friends, precious family! We are truly blessed beyond anything than I could have ever imagined! Now all I need is a good camera to capture all these beautiful moments. . . mine has been a bit disappointing lately!
I know it has been a long time since I have actually written anything. I have been reading and lurking and even a little bit of the checking out new people's blogs too. We have been busy over here--lots of good things--FANTASTIC ROCKIN' FANTILIASTIC GOOD THINGS!
Tomorrow we finalize Jada's adoption--YEAH!
My parent's are coming for Thanksgiving for the first time ever and for Jada's baptism (as long as it doesn't snow!)--YEAH!!
Jada gets baptized next weekend!!--YEAH!!
We are in the process of getting umpteen gazillion bids on some remodeling projects--no, we can't actually afford to do anything--but we qualified for the HRA home improvement loan and if we get our bids in soon enough, we will finally get some much needed things like: windows, a concrete step that isn't falling apart, driveway, get our well room sealed so it doesn't bring in 40 below zero air all winter long, some better electrical wiring so we don't keep blowing a fuse while cooking in our kitchen--and a few other minor details that were approved. It has been a process--and time consuming--and annoying right during all of our other busy stuff--but we have to get it done. The city will run out of money soon and the loans are given on a first come/first serve basis and there are about 10 people who started the process before us that still haven't turned their stuff in. If you know Craig and I--you know we aren't dinking around with it!
We have our outside of our house already decorated for Christmas! I love it! There are some things that we didn't put up yet because of the possible window construction starting soon--but it was fun to do. Jakob just loved helping this year!
This is silly, but I got Jada's stocking embroidered and I am so excited about it. For some reason it just made me really happy to get it back! It doesn't match Jakob's perfectly. . .but it still looks really good!
I am so excited for the holiday season this year--we have been so very blessed!
We are done with our Christmas shopping--yes--it is true! Maybe a couple of minor details need to be taken care of--but no running around in a frantic state!
My newest pictures are on the other computer so for now, I don't have any to post. You'll have to check back at another time!
I have a friend who's son has cancer. She is my son's nurse at our doctor's office. She is always at work with a smile. She always cares for each child with the extreme love that she has for her very own son. She is loving. She is kind. She is energetic. She works AND goes to school--and takes care of a son who has to endure chemotherapy and all the other stresses that cancer brings. She is also a wife. I know how difficult it is to be a good wife with all the "normal" things in life. I can only imagine how difficult things may be when you add cancer. She is amazing to me. I pray for her family every day. . . and maybe if you have a moment you can too. The have a caring bridge website and I wish everyone in the world could read her last update.
Here is part of the post:
A little girl with cancer woke up in the hospital today. Unaware of the election results. Her prayers were answered. She gets another day to live, another day to fight.
A parent anxiously waits for the phone to ring. They are not looking for stock market news. They are waiting to hear if new lungs are available for their child with cystic fibrosis. Time is running out.
Disease is not impacted by election results or financial situations. Some of you are celebrating after last night, others are not. Some of you are doing okay financially, others are hurting. Cancer doesn't care.
The sun came up this morning on children who are battling cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, and other life-threatening medical conditions. Despite the headlines, not much has changed for them.
If your candidate won last night, congratulations! If your candidate lost last night, I am sorry. Either way, remember... truth is still truth, grace is still grace, God is still God. Our answers, our joy, our peace, our healing, our hope is not found in politics or the stock market - they are found in God alone. ________________
I encourage you to visit their site through the link I left above--and maybe visit some more, if you have time. I hurt for their family. I pray that God channels their fears, hurt and pain through everybody else that is willing to take it on so that they may have the strength to deal with all the other stresses that cancer will bring. I pray that Tony heals.
What a glorious day here in Minnesota! It was an eventful day at our house. Our home was tested for lead levels as we will be getting new windows--yeah! Too bad they weren't installed today. . . We walked to the voting polls this morning and didn't wait too long to vote--it was a good thing--our double stroller didn't fit through the church door and we had to go a la cart with Jakob. Jada was in her car seat so that probably saved us--but it was heavy! There were no major tantrums and right when I was finishing up my ballot, Jakob got comfortable under the booth. He was so cute and he didn't want to leave. Too bad I couldn't take a picture! Then we came home and after Jada finally fell asleep for about an hour. . . Jakob and I enjoyed playing in the leaves. He just ABSOLUTELY LOVES the leaves! It doesn't get any better than a 70 degree day in November--in Minnesota! Jada's tum tum has been giving her problems today and has been needing to be held--the entire day. It was a miracle that she even slept for about an hour. Something must have been in the fall air because Jakob didn't take a nap either. I could have really used a nap myself. . . but I guess it wasn't meant to be. I will gladly take another day like today--anytime! What a blessing!
Yeah, I know--it's really Thursday, October 16th--what can I say? Tuesday marked another year of my life passing--yes, it was my birthday. I'm officially 38 now. Not many people would admit that, I guess, but I don't see any reason why I would need to hide it. I can also honestly say that I am perfectly content with my life and living it exactly as I envisioned it approximately 30 years ago! :0)
We celebrated my birthday in true Miskell style by eating Papa Murphy's pizza and topping off our sickly full stomachs with Baker's Square peanut butter cup pie. Truly disgusting I must say. . . . and we had the pleasure of sharing our nasty putrid eating habits with Jada's birthmother--who spent the afternoon/evening with us. It was a wonderful treat for my birthday!
We had an awesome time!! She stayed really late and Craig had to go to bed before she left around 11pm. I'm sure most of you may squack at that! All I could think is that it must have been very difficult for her to leave at all--AND--she had to have felt comfortable enough to even want to stay that late--so actually, I'm happy about it!! I do pray that our relationship continues to grow even though she is off to another state at the end of the month to work at the Ritz--following her dreams in the hospitality/travel business. I can assure you, she will make it big, especially with her drive and personality! PERFECT for the business!! I can also see that I truly think Jada has inherited her spirit and that is why she is soooooooooooo vocal and always smiling!
My favorite moment was when she walked through the door and Jada threw out the biggest and most beautiful smile for her. I fought the tears. . . but it was definitely a precious moment! I know you are dying to see pictures--but for now, we will respect her privacy and cherish them in our home. She is beautiful, fun, smart, funny, adventurous, outgoing, and has just a ton of energy! Jada was on the fussy side and she bounced her pretty much the entire time. I'll have to ask her if her arms and legs were sore the next day! :0)
I still sit in awe and wonder just how lucky can we really be--to be matched with two amazingly beautiful young ladies who happen to be the first mother's of our children. How I love them so!
We had the most FABULOUS weekend WAY up-north in Gooseberry Falls! You may think we are nuts to go on a vacation with a 2 3/4 year old and a 2 month old, but we haven't been ANYWHERE (except grandma and grandpa's) since Jakob was born!
MY FAVORITE MOMENTS:
Craig forgot the directions and we didn't even know the name of the place we were staying at--after a few second guesses and a turn around back to the nearest town for gas--we found it! (We didn't argue too much over that one--haha!)
You had to hip chuck our door to get in. . . and it was loud--not good while kids are napping.
On our second night, we realized that our microwave didn't work so I convinced Craig to go work his charm to get us a discount on our stay. (It actually worked in Alaska when the remote didn't work at the hotel with only 3 channels.) He came back with a microwave in his arms. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants!
It sounded like the walls were caving in every time the heat came on. I cracked up every single time!
The shower was barely big enough for me to fit into and once inside--you either got scalding hot or freezing cold water that came shooting out like a knife cutting your back.
I was so kindly blaming Craig for the odd smells in the room and when he took Jakob's diaper off (while Jakob was standing) his poo poo fell out all over the floor! hahahaha!
Jakob's temper tantrums were quite the show--having them when we had to leave the parks or other activities. I could hardly blame him--it was so beautiful everywhere who would want to leave?
The turn dial TV that got 2 channels of reception.
Our little Jada slept through both nights for 8 hours!!
The blueberry cream pie at Betty's Pies!!
Feeding the seagulls--that was SO MUCH FUN! Craig and I used to feed them all the time when we didn't have children, but to hear Jakob laugh so hard was simply amazing!
The old fashioned thunder/lightening storm on Saturday night--great for sleeping (and keeping Jakob in bed since he was a little bit frightened of the "boom boom in the sky."
We have a million pictures and I hope to finish a little digital scrapbook of our trip before Christmas. We are already planning our trip for next year!!
I just have to say hats off to all you moms out there who make things look so easy! I think about my struggles as a parent and wonder how my very own mother made our lives so magical, cooked all our meals, cleaned all our rooms, did all of our laundry, did a great portion of our homework (while I slept!), and still managed to keep the house in order and have friends and a social life. And I remind you that she was 10 years younger than me with three children.
My mother had my little sister at the age of 40--so it's not that I feel old--I just wonder when I will magically feel organized and able to keep the house clean, have some meals prepared for my husband (who has been working unGodly hours lately), and feel like I have people to socialize with other than through cyberspace. (Don't get me wrong--all I really have time for right now are cyber friends--and I love all of you with my whole heart--but there is something to be said about "live" interaction in a social setting other than with people at work.)
The only thing I feel that I am not lacking in as a person is making my childrens' lives magical--even if it is in a messy house with last minute dinners consisting of scrambled egg tortillas--which was my idea, but my husband actually cooked. We worked too darn hard to get these beautiful beings in our family--so I'm not going to miss out just to have a clean bedroom. I'm getting better. . . and have been pretty good about letting go of a lot of junk and then recompiling it by shopping on craigslist. But--here are some moments that make every minute of my life so completely worth it! :0)
I can't believe that Jada is already 2 months old! Tomorrow we go in for her 2 month check up and her immunizations--ICK! I have to get a shot myself--so it should be a fun family trip--minus Craig. Jakob still has to get his hepatitis shot--so he may even get one himself. I'm not sure, though, as I may wait on that one for him. His last visit to the doctor was very positive and I didn't want him to get it yet. I'll see what his pediatrician recommends. It will be interesting to see just how big Jada really is. I bet she is in the 100% for everything--which will be completely opposite of Jakob who averaged from the 10% - 50% range (and still does.) I fed her some prunes (baby food) yesterday--simply because I don't think she poops enough. I know they say babies can go several days--but her poop seems to be on the border line of constipation! :0) Just what you wanted to know! Anyway, she loved the prunes and ate them off a spoon, smiling and talking. She is definitely going to be a good eater!! It will also mark the last piece of paperwork that we need to turn in to finalize our adoption.
Jada's birthmom was going to come over last night and didn't show up. I can't even describe how we were feeling. I was so sad and both Craig and I cried a little bit. She seemed so excited to finally meet everyone in her emails. My heart just broke for her and Jada. I just figured when the time came--it was too overwhelming for her. I didn't sleep very well. . . thinking about the future and how it would turn out if she never wanted to be involved with Jada's life. I pretty much held Jada for most of the night--praying that things would change.
We got an email from her birthmom this morning--apologizing--stating that she got sick and since she didn't go to school--she didn't have access to her email and couldn't get a hold of us. She said she still wants to get together. I still can't imagine how difficult it must be to think about meeting us in person and how stressful it may be for her. She is moving out of state for awhile at the end of October--so she maybe feels pressured a bit. I also hope that once she meets us she will want to continue seeing us when she can. It really made me sad to think about her not being in our lives--when we didn't know if she would even ever contact us again. I'm just thankful that she still wants to get together!
Well, I must be going. . . our house was clean yesterday--for our visit. I just don't understand how it can get so messy so fast. I'm off to clean the kitchen--AGAIN--and maybe get some more junk together for the garage sale that our neighbor is having. It would be nice to unload some stuff, recover some much needed space in our house, and have some extra cash for some fun snacks while we are in Duluth next weekend. (Or even just to pay for our hotel.) We are finally all paid up with all of our adoption costs--so it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders (actually out of our now depleted bank account), but we will be able to start our savings over quickly this time as tax season is almost upon us. I think we are the only people that are ever excited about doing our taxes! Too bad we can't get our entire adoption tax credit back all in the same year. We are still collecting on Jakob. . . . at least we know we won't owe anything for awhile--like probably 6 more years! :0)
That's what my husband will tell you--that he made it 22 hours without the DISH! But, in all reality, about 20 of those hours were spent sleeping and at work. I was gone Monday night to teach kickbox and returned about 2 1/2 hours later around 9 pm--finding my husband and Jakob eating dinner (yes, at 9pm). He told me he didn't have any time to eat any earlier (not that I care--I've never been a "schedule" kind of person anyway.) I then turned around and saw Monday night football on. Thank goodness he found some time to get our DISH in service again!! And, since we are "special" customers--we also got the Skinemax, oops, I mean Cinemax movie channels free for a whole year! Looks like our house will remain noisy and chaotic!
My husband decided that paying $70 a month for TV is ridiculous--and I do agree--so he cancelled it all (I like cancelled with two l's rather than just one). We have no TV--no local channels, nothing. Couldn't he at least have just downgraded a bit? I don't watch that much TV, but I'm thinking about my few addictions like: Intervention, The Cleaner, True Life, American Idol, The Nick Jr. shows that buy me some time to get the dishes done, all the home channels that you can have on with a toddler in the room and get some adult tv with no swearing, Jon and Kate plus 8, The Deadliest Catch, and all my cheesy movies on LMN. Ahhhhh, I will survive. Unfortunately, all the shows I happen to watch are most likely not on the internet. I guess we will be reading more in this house. . . wait, that means having an extra moment to sit with some peace and quiet--well, maybe the paper will actually get read now--instead of going right into the recycling. We will most likely be digging out all our old VCR tapes for some entertainment. I'm counting on all my blog buddies to keep me updated on all the current pop culture happenings--as if I wasn't already in the dark. I'm off to go do something. . . probably outside. (Hubby should have cancelled TV during the summer--not when winter is coming!)
We desperately need more cloth diapers. We are using the Bum Genius 3.0 and I absolutely love them. So does Jakob and as of late--has decided that he doesn't want to pee pee on the potty anymore. So, we need enough to get us through another day so I don't have to wash every day. I purchased my first bunch online and got 10% off my entire order and free shipping--AND--got customer points to take money off my next order.
So, I was bummed that I didn't order more the first time--to take advantage of that awesome sale. Today, I emailed the company and asked when their next sale was going to be and they called me back stating they would give me 10% off my order and I could pick them up to save on shipping. I'm so excited!! So, I saved another $38 off my second order and will not have to wash diapers almost every day! Yeah!!
Oh yeah, even though I don't want to divulge my new favorite online store--it is http://www.comfybummy.com. Let me know if you would like to make a purchase. . . and get me referral points in the process. I would have to email you the link on the page. If not, order up and enjoy!!
In case you were wondering where I have been, the squirrels decided to chew through our phone line--leaving it exposed to the elements of nature--making it full of static with the humidity and rain last week--meaning we were getting bumped off the internet making it nearly impossible to post anything online or send emails and what not. As far as I know, Qwest still hasn't been out to fix the line. . . but the humidity is gone--so, for now, we have a connection.
Also, our little princess Jada seems to be having bouts of colic keeping all of us very busy and virtually unable to type anything on the computer as she is in desperate need of being held--pretty much all the time. She has been a sleeping machine today--so I have gotten quite a bit done and I may even go make some cupcakes after this. I'm sure she will start her colic just about the time I need to leave for work.
We had a super fun weekend partaking in the Fall Festival at St. Boni's church by our house and then a lovely trip to the zoo on Sunday! We got up early and left unshowered--but it was worth it to FINALLY have a chance to get up close to the grizzly bears! Our whole family does not fair well with the big crowds that have been there all summer! We also met a couple who just brought their 2 1/2 year old daughter home from Ethiopia in April. It was wonderful to hear their story--and Jakob seemed to totally adore her!
For some reason, I just love this picture of Jakob at the Tiger Camp! He was totally getting into playing with the computer and when I told him to smile, he put his hand on the coffee cup and tried to pull it off the table to drink it. He is such a ham!!
A boy and his sucker. . . Jakob was falling asleep with his treat!
Jada loves the outside air and has yet to be awake during any of our activities during the day. She is so sweet! We have almost all of our paperwork done to proceed with the court portion of the adoption. We are still waiting on a cooperative agreement proposal and the social/medical form. We continue to email Jada's birthmom on a weekly basis. I never thought that emailing would be difficult on a weekly basis--but we sometimes struggle with the time aspect--nothing else about it is difficult and we still pray that our relationship continues to grow with Jada's birthfamily. Things are going as well as you could expect them to be when you are sleep deprived to the max. We can't wait for our first family (of 4) get-away to Duluth in October. It should be interesting!!
Our newest pet. . . . just kidding--it's fake, really!
We have been the busiest people ever! Well, maybe not the busiest. . .but it sure feels like it. We finally got our (used, but new to us) hE washer and dryer installed last weekend! They have been sitting in our garage for three weeks!! They are really really really awesome and great for washing diapers! We moved Jakob into his new bedroom and he is officially in his toddler bed now. We sold our guest bed in less than 30 minutes on good ole craigslist. The computer is now in our bedroom so we can use it when Jakob is sleeping. Jada's room still needs a little organizing. We have been submerged with clothes for from friends for when she is 6 months to 2 years old! They are all beautiful!!!!!!! We are so blessed to have all these wonderful people in our lives. We have packed up about 4 big garbage bags full of goods for the goodwill. We just need to purge--we are overflowing with love here!!
We are now out of legal risk as of yesterday at 4:30pm. We had our first home visit today and another one in about a month. We have to find some time to get our paperwork done so we can get all the necessary things completed for court. Hopefully, we will be able to finalize this year. I guess it all depends on how busy Hennipen County is during November and December! Our relationship with Jada's birthmom has been developing in such a beautiful manner through email. We hope it keeps growing and that we get a chance to have her in our lives a little bit more in the future (as in seeing her in person.) Well, I have a billion more things to talk about and no time. Desperately seeking sleep. . . . Everyone is the same in this house and nobody wants to miss a thing--including Jada--she is the most awake baby ever! We all seem to be doing a bit better with the acid reflux. There are good days and bad days. I can't believe that she will have been with us for four weeks this Friday! We love her so much and honestly. . . can't really remember what life was like without her. We are truly blessed!! We pray that we can make both Kaiti's (Jakob's birthmom) and Jada's birthmom's hopes and dreams that they have for their children come true. After all--we are big dreamers here. . . and look where it got us! :0)