Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Pronounced Va-noch-ka is the Czechoslovakian Christmas bread that my family makes every year. Its a sweetbread with a touch of orange and/or lemon flavor, sweetened with golden raisins or cranberries. So good at breakfast Christmas morning. Mmmm....can you smell the yummy goodness coming outta Grandma's kitchen?

Monday, December 7, 2009

What is Zumba?!?!?

Wow, I got a lot of questions about what Zumba was-well let me tell you it is the newest fitness sensation to hit Canada!!! Why do I love it? It is great exercise disguised as FUN! The motto is "Ditch the Workout,Join the Party!". You DO NOT need to be a good dancer to do Zumba. (It does help if you plan to be the instructor). Zumba is appropriate for all ages, fitness levels, and physical capabilities. In fact, the class I will take in February is to help focus myself on accommodating elderly, "differently abled", and people that are significantly out of shape.

The concept is that it should feel like a party. There is supposed to be a 70% emphasis on Latin musical rhythms, and the other 30% are various world/international including belly dance, bollywood, rock and roll etc. The Latin rhythms include merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, cha cha, samba, and flamenco.

So, if you have two left feet but would love to do a dance workout its OK to go to Zumba, it is not a dance class so noone cares if you trip over your feet as long as you have fun doing it! Check out the Zumba website for a class near you!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust and ZUMBA!!!!

Months that is. We've hit 17 finally. I can remember when our DTC was first sent out that some people were FREAKING OUT because they had hit 17 months and hadn't had a referral yet, now its pretty much the norm to expect to wait 24 months, its funny what a person can get used to. I REFUSE to let myself be depressed about this at Christmas time. I have a Christmas concert to put on, dancing lessons to prep for, and am truly blessed in many ways...

So in the spirit of being positive let me tell you about my own NEW PERSONAL PASSION. You may have heard of it: ZUMBA!!!

I LOVE ZUMBA. I love it so much I went out and got certified to teach it! And I am going back in February for another level of certification. Now you have to imagine that I am NOT a size 2, 4,6,8,10, 12,14,16....oh yeah just keep going. So there I am in this class full of petite personal trainers all taking this training, and then me. THANK GOODNESS for my dance background- i was able to pull it off! In fact, I found out that just being a personal trainer does NOT mean that you know how to dance at all!!! Thank you to all the lovely latino men that taught me how to dance when I lived in Arizona..... yum uh I mean....that was great.

And, since I have been practicing so hard at getting my Zumba materials perfected (I start teaching a class in January) I have lost almost 20 pounds!!!! Now doesn't that make a girl happy?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

16 Months Down...

5-8 more months to go. I finally worked up the courage to contact our agency. These are the numbers we have been given (not a big surprise). I just needed to feel as though they knew that we were still here. As always they were gracious.

SO, April at the earliest July at the latest for that ever elusive referral.

Anyone know where I can get a poll to put up here? I think we need some kind of pool going here...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking A BIG Leap of Faith

Ok folks, I'm gonna do it. I am putting up the infamous "COUNTDOWN TO REFERRAL TICKER" do you hear the dramatic voice in that statement? We are at 16 months DTC next week, and I need less counting up, a little more counting down. I am setting the little guy for June 30/2010 which would be the 23 month mark for us. Seriously, if it goes any longer than that I WILL mutiny!!! Notice the slight bit of strain to my zenness...

Oh well, we all knew it couldn't last forever...but I'm still trying. Ommmmmm Ommmmmm Ommmmmmm ahhhhhh medication uh I mean um meditation yeahhhhhh :).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Too Cool Not to Share!

Check out this link-these girls are amazing!

They are performing at the Army Navy game in Ohio as the half time show. I have never seen jumproping look so COOOOOL! Wish I could do it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

15 Months and Counting

Still holding onto my "zenness". With all the talk lately of another 6-8 month wait it COULD be depressing if I let myself wallow-which I refuse to do. The reality for me is that another 6-8 months would mean a referral between April and June- ok I can live with that. Likely will NOT make it through court before closures (lets be realistic) therefore won't be doing any traveling until hmmmm....winter 2011? Which puts us at traveling WAYYYYYY to close to my husbands retirement which means he wouldn't be allowed to travel with I am simply going to "will it into being" that we get through court and have fast times on medicals and everything else and can travel before Dec. 2010. Perhaps wishful thinking but....HEY PEOPLE I AM TRYING TO MAINTAIN MY ZEN HERE!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moving Day!

Wow, I can hardly believe it, the majority of the renovations are finished and we are moving in on Saturday! We have all new flooring, new tub,shower surround, toilet, sink,vanity, all paint finished (except hallways), new furnace which we used to replace baseboard heaters, all new electrical outlets and lights...I think that's it. Still work to be done but it is things we can just work at slowly over time. I can hardly wait to get some "after" pictures up here. Stay tuned for the "big reveal".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feeling Peaceful in my Heart

I can't really explain it but I truly do feel very peaceful and unstressed about the whole adoption process. My new "Zen" perspective on everything has just manifested in the last month or so. We've been through so much, and seen other people go through far worse(ahem...CBC fiasco, Imagine etc) that I just have realized that stressing about it doesn't make it happen faster. When I stop and look around at my life I am very blessed: great husband, great family, good job, all things that I never thought I would have. The adoption WILL happen, when it is meant to, and I am trusting in that, and it feels good!

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Escape the Baby Waiting Blues....Buy a House!

Yes folks that's right we have bought our first home. It takes me 20 seconds to walk from my front door to the edge of the lake! This house is a "minor" fixer upper, needs the bathroom overhauled, new flooring, some paint and then we are good to go! We hadn't intended to buy until after the baby was home but sheesh that's been taking so long we actually were able to manage this. The main floor is around 1400 sq. ft plus about 600-700 sq.ft. of basement. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath...and did I mention the lake :)? yes, I am in love with my home.

I was looking for a project to keep me busy in the coming months-guess I found it!

This is our view of the marina from the front yard, looking up the street.

This is our lake view from the driveway/yard.

The yucky bathroom.

Basement, also to be redone-but not until winter.

The kitchen is small but functional.

Looking into the masterbedroom-you can see the "ensuite office".

Our open concept living/dining rooms which I love!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So Unexpected

My heart is breaking for all of the families struggling right now with the news from Imagine. I don't know what I would do were I in your shoes. My thoughts are with all of you as you battle through YET ANOTHER hurdle. As if adoption isn't tough enough...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ticker Baby Fell Off...

What can I say folks, we hit 12 months "officially" waiting this week. Of course anyone that knows me or understands adoption knows that we have been hoping, planning, saving, and working towards this adoption for the last four years. I imagine that it will be quite a while yet before we have our baby home. :(

So the ticker baby has returned to the front end...lets pray she doesn't have to fall off again before we can be a forever family.

I seriously need a quality project to keep me busy over the next few months....hmmmm what kind of trouble can I create?????

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fun Tonight!

I can hardly wait. Tonight is the staff party to celebrate the end of our work year. It's going to be so much fun. People, we are having a CAR RALLY! A scavenger hunt with our vehicles. No one is allowed to go insane but it will be competitive and fun. No way is the boy team going to beat my team! Of course all of this crazy fun is followed by a fabulous steak dinner BBQ at the end. Whew-we made it. One more year down!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OOOOO.....Ahhhhhh....IT's..... A Brand New Car!

For you non car people out there this is a 2009 Kia Sportage LX V6 Luxury model. Does it sound like I'm bragging??? Hellyaaaaa! I have NEVER bought new, and it felt soooo good! We don't get it until Friday because it hadn't even been taken out of the plastic yet!!! Ours is "Black Cherry" in colour with black leather interior and heated seats!

Now for those of you thinking this doesn't seem like much to get excited over you have to understand what I have been dealing with. All winter long I have driven my 1996 sedan (Chrysler Condorde) over snow packed gravel roads with one hand on the wheel and the other gripping an ice scraper; So that I can scrape the inside of the windshield when it is too hard to see out of. No matter what we did the heater just couldn't keep up with the cold. The seals were all shot so I literally froze EVERY SINGLE DAY on my way to work.

Of course with the kidlet on the way in the next year we also needed a bigger vehicle as I am pretty sure the kid won't want this on their lap:

OK, our girl is not quite that big but you get the idea! Now we have space for both of our loves!

Have a great day everyone, or not, the choice is yours.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As Promised....

Many of my friends not "experiencing" the adoption world have a great many questions about the process, attachment and bonding, and any "issues" otherwise associated with adoption. I think its great that my loved ones want to be more informed of the process and I am happy to oblige them in providing information as best I can. I am no expert, rather I am a Mom-in-Waiting who reads a lot. My latest bit of reading is entitled Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child by Kathy Lancaster Ph.D. The information is quite good but it reads like a textbook so I'll try to paraphrase the info.

Strengths of Adoptive Families:
Adoptive families have a great many strengths. Most adoptive parents were required to examine their motives for parenting before placement. Determined to become parents and to provide healthy, nurturing families for their children, they tend to enjoy parenting and to work hard at it. Without genetic connections to their children, they tend to accept each child for who he is rather that to bring preconceived expectations to the parent child-relationship. They believe that adoption is a wonderful enriching experience.

Seriously folks, there can be no safer person on the planet to have babysit you own child than an adoptive parent. They have been inspected, interviewed, approved at a variety of governmental levels, fingerprinted, medically checked, psychologically checked...we go through a lot for the amazing privilege of being entrusted with another life. Having to go through this extreme process really leaves its mark on us too. Kind of makes me wonder why bio parents don't have to go through it. I mean, does the ability to copulate qualify a person for parenthood? Just something to think about.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where You At, Baby?

I love the double entendre of this title. I am in fact thinking both in terms of where my baby is in the world these days as well as trying to figure out my own mind about this whole adoption adventure.

Sometimes I lay awake at night trying to process the fact that my baby might be out there somewhere. Out there with a birth mom and dad and a family, and here I am waiting for something to go wrong so that I can have the chance to be their mom instead. Man what a head trip!

Some nights I just try to imagine what it would be like to hold a child in my arms and not have to give them back to someone else...

Anyway, I heard this song the other day and it just totally summed up how I feel, go ahead, have a good cry if you need to...I did!

You can imagine that I don't sleep much or well lately.

Knowing now that our wait times are longer I...well I mostly just try not to think about it too much. Sometimes I succeed for whole hours at a time!

Oh yeah, and yet another baby shower to attend on Friday. I will go and I will smile and I will cuddle. But in the end I must remember that it is very wrong to smuggle a baby home in my purse :) ! Just kidding of course, but man, I am really starting to hate baby showers. Of course I also have to deal with teh fact that this particular new mother (while I am very happy for her) had been in the middle of the domestic adoption process and then just "popped" up pregnant. Just like ALL those mythical stories people always tell me about. You know the ones, "Oh honey, I knew a woman who got pregnant as soon as they started the paperwork." Yeah, because I chose adoption as the magical cure to my fertility issues. Sheesh!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm Not as Smart as I Used To Be

Recently I purchased Jane Eyre, a favorite book from when I was a teen. Holy Cow, the language is more complicated than I remember! Obviously reading trashy romance novels(however fabulous and fun they are) has allowed my brain to rot. I still love the story though...

Anybody else noticed such issues? Maybe its just me?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Double Anniversaries!

Yep, we hit the 11 month mark and our 5th Wedding Anniversary can you believe it? I love him more now than the day we married, which I didn't think was possible. I guess with all that we have been through together it has really helped us to appreciate each other. So, in the spirit of appreciation I decided to list 5 things I love about my DH:

1. He never complains about how messy I am even though he likes things neat.
2. He supports me in every new endeavor-and usually believes in me more than I do!
3. He reads Barbie stories in a Yoda voice to the little nieces in our life.
4. He is willing to workout with me every night and keeps me going even when I want to quit.
5. He is always kind to my friends and doesn't mind being the only guy in the group!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book of Secrets

One of my students handed me a book today with a passage marked. He said to me, "Mrs. E., I thought of you when I saw this page and thought you might want to read it." The book is called Book of Secrets and the page he had marked is the secret of successful parenting. Here is what the book had to say:

Parents can only advise their children or point them in the right direction. Ultimately people shape their own characters. ~Anne Frank

There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you.~Peter DeVries

Children aren't happy without something to ignore, and that's what parents were created for. ~Ogden Nash, Poet

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise the to do it. ~Harry S. Truman

Hmmmmmm, I wonder what message this child is trying to give me about being a parent? I THINK that knowing how I am waiting to be a Mom he was genuinely trying to help me out. Still, I thought it was pretty cute that he even took the time to share it with me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adoption Talk

I presented to a class of high school students this week about adoption. I was surprised at their insightful questions and the amount of attention that they gave to me. Having taught for about 10 years now I generally know what to expect in a classroom but this was a wonderful treat for me. I only had about 30 minutes so you can imagine how hard it was to cover everything. I really tried to stress that while adoption may not have been the initial road many people expect to travel, it is also not a "second best". It is simply another way of making a family.

Many of them only know about adoption through news on celebrities so the first thing I did was to straighten out some of those misconceptions. Secondly, we had a very honest talk about the different avenues for adoption domestic vs. international etc. and why people may choose one over the other. This was very important to them as, being all knowing high schoolers :) some thought that it would only be right to stick to adopting within Canada domestically as the "right" thing to do. I tried, and believe I was successful, in opening their eyes to the world of adoption and the very difficult decisions that we have all had to make in this journey.

I told them that for my family the most difficult and at times heated part of our decision were during the homestudy process when we had to really examine what we were looking for in a child. Age, sex, health etc. and what we had to do to reach an understanding. I also shared how valuable and necessary those conversations were in helping us understand each other.

All in all I wish I had had more time but I think I pulled it off! Next time I get asked to do that I want to have some show and maybe have some guests come who have been to Ethio. and back. Or maybe jsut bring in my own kiddo....ahhhh that would be awesome!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lengthened Timelines...Again

What can I say... When we received the update this weekend that said our timelines have officially moved I was soooooo upset. 17-21 months are you kidding me? When we started we were at 9-15 months. Now its going to take at minimum 2 months longer than we had ever been told to expect??? The finish line keeps getting moved. It's not anyone's fault, things are just taking longer. For my family this means no news of referral until December at the EARLIEST (17 months) possibly nothing until May 2010 (21 months). And that's just for the referral (pictures/medical records). Then we get to wait another 4-9 months after that to pass court. At the momemt best case scenario means I could be home with a baby May 2010 worst case scenario puts us at nothing until early 2011. How much can a mothers heart take? I guess we are going to find out????

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Laughter Therapy and the Magic of Anders

Just wanted to share a great show with you. "Anders" came to my workplace and wowed us today! If you have an event and you want to have some great entertainment call this guy!!! I laughed so hard I cried. This is a local MB boy who has hit the big time and travels all across Canada and the US with his show. The laugh did me a lot of good today. The magic tricks are pretty amazing as his his comedic talent! Check out his services here

I love the power of laughter, I feel a lot better now!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Plumbing Works Now????

Ok, might be going into the OVERSHARING phase here but I am truly stumped and confused and need help from and BTDT's. So I haven't had any "monthly visitors" in three years, in fact never had them at all without the aid of the birth control pill. Then, when we were going through all the fertility rigamaroll I was led to understand that I was essentially menopausal therefore no babies, no periods. Then guess what shows up yesterday?!?!?! So what does this mean? Do I need to go back to the Dr? Can that stuff change?

I am so completely comfortable with adopting at this point that I am almost afraid to go back to the Dr. Do I even want to know if having my own is possible??? I am feeling very conflicted, not to mention achy, crampy, bloated...I had forgotten how gross if feels at this time of the month blech!

Anyone out there have similar exsperiences? Should I be worried or just roll with it? Missy, if you are reading this I need your medical input!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

HItting Double Digits

Yeesh, the 10 month mark has arrived. Ten months ago I thought I wouldn't last 2 months and stay sane. Can't beleive we are this far into the wait. To celebrate this landmark I purchased a new adoption book. I had to abandon the reading for a while as I was just not able to do it without crying. I guess it's time to try again. I will be putting up any interesting tidbits on here, and of course the title of the book which escapes me at the moment. I think it is "Parenting Adopted Children" but not 100% sure.

How time flies...or not.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Things To Look Forward To

Right, I am soooo done with EVERYTHING. Impatient at work, frustrated, stressed. I find that I cry a LOT these days. SO much going on, baby stuff, dad's very sick (he's lost 110 pounds in the last 6-7 months), worried about finances with trying to save the last bits of adoption funds and travel money. I feel like for every step forward we take 3 backwards. I have to make it through 8 more weeks at work before summer break and it cannot come soon enough! I hate to just sit back and whine so I have come up with things to look forward to each weekend to keep my spirits up and help me get through.

May 2 In Dauphin for Act Fest!
May 9 Getting my nose pierced with some girlfriends
May 16 recuperating from oral surgery-ok not fun but it is something to do!
May 23 Sword dance performance
May 30 ???
June 6 ???
June 13 ???
June 20 ???
June 27 ???

I'm open to suggestions maybe I need another tattoo????? Sushi night???? Any ideas, how do you gals help yourselves through the endless weeks?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dance Photos!

Here is the group shot, I'm thinking of using this on posters for advertising in the future!

Me-Balancing a flower tray with candle.

Some action photos of the ladies!

Here are some shots from the studio we worked with (I am sooooo proud of my beautiful talented ladies!):

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The End is Near

The end of my totally crazy "I have no life" schedule that is! Recently, in addition to my full time job (teaching) and part time job teaching belly dance I have also been preparing 2 belly dance performances, and rehearsing a play. EVERY night I have had some type of practice for the last three weeks! Thankfully the 2 dance performances are over! They were fabulous!!!! Look here in the future for some great photos of me and my ladies rockin' it! I have regular BD tonight, one play Friday, and one play Saturday. Spend Saturday night celebrating successful performances with my BD gals and Sunday is a day of rest!!! Whew, I get tired just thinking of it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Woohoo it's Ordered!

P90X- yep that's right. My hubby and I have decided to get in shape together! We ordered the P90X system and it should arrive next week. I can't wait!! In a family of models and body builders we are definitely the oddballs. My hubby and I have decided to step up to the plate and improve our health! I could give a rip about being a "big girl", I will never be a 2,4, or 6. But I could be healthier, and I don't like that my muscles that I used to have from playing tennis and volleyball are all gone :(. I can't wait for muscles to start peeking through, and I can do it all from home. I hate the gym! Hmmmm, what might I look like with muscles....

Nahhhhh....this gal is more my style!!!

Ohhhh yeahhhhhhh!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

9 Months

Ok, so technically its about 3 days (July 5 DTC) until we hit 9 months waiting. I think that starting on the 5th I am calling myself one day pregnant. For some reason, in my wacky brain, looking forward to saying "I am one, two, three months pregnant" etc as time goes on just sounds better. A LOT better that "yes we are still waiting". I was checking out this website: and they have some awesome t-shirts that suit my mood right now. I am definitely going to order a couple of these!Here are some of my favs:

and for later on in the journey:

If you are having trouble reading the above pic it says "I look fabulous for someone who's 15 months pregnant!"

and whew! for when we are finally home. OK OK yes this ones sassy but I LOVE IT!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Woohoo Spring Break is HERE!!!!

Wow, 10 days all to myself. I am honestly looking forward to just spending time in my home. Spring cleaning (although with all the snow it really doesn't feel like Spring), cooking, and visiting with friends. Now all I have to do is get over this miserable cold!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Negativeville Population: 1

Lately I spend a lot of time in Negativeville. You know you're in this town when you can't see the good in anything. Everyone pi$$e$ you off. You know that nothing will ever turn out right in your life again. I must fight my way outta this town! I have gotta create some positivity that can lead me back to Normal. I am really struggling to stay positive about everything. Having faith that the adoption will work out if I am patient enough. Trying not to worry over negative television and radio coverage regarding adoptions. Trying not to let work keep me awake at night. Laboring to remember that I have to take care of myself through proper diet and excercise (not going so well BTW). Dealing with being a military wife and all the stuff that goes with that. Missing home, family and friends. Honestly, the "poor me" list could go on forever. So, here is a conscious effort to remember some good things. Perhaps I can sleep better tonight if I try to fall asleep counting these wonderful things instead of making a mental list of all that I have to do in the morning. Here goes:

Numbers 1 and 2 in no particular order-My Niece and Nephew!Could those cheeks be any pudgier?

3. My awesome husband-I love watching him "practice" with other people's kids!

4. My HUGE puppy, ok she's 9 I guess she's not a puppy anymore!

5. Ducklings, seriously, who doesn't love ducklings?

and there's bellydancing, good friends, red wine, dark chocolate, Gee, maybe I CAN make it through another couple of days. Anyone else looking for "Normalville"? I'm trying to find my way....