Friday, July 31, 2015

If at First you Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again

We got bad news the other day, of which I will go into further detail in the future.  We got turned down for something of which does not make sense.  We are going back with more information.  We are always up front with our information.  I just want to got into great detail.  They have to understand where we are coming from.  I think we do a good job.  Hopefully, this will come back approved.  Eventually I will come out with it.  It just shows how things like this can become frustrating, especially when you have made it through with no questions in the past.  I keep encouraging Angie to look at the bright side of things and keep pushing on.

China 2022

China is getting another Olympics.  We got to visit one year after the Summer Olympics.  The buildings were really neat.  Come back this weekend, and I will post the ones that we took.  I wonder if we will be adopting one last time around that date.  As our girls get older and leave the coop, we may want to give another child that forever family.  I think the cut off for both parents is 50 years of age.  I have a few to go before that date.  If I am factoring correctly, it will be around 2022.  Maybe this is a sign of encouragement from the adoption gods.  If you stick with this blog for awhile, you will see how this unfolds.  I know I am having a ball writing everyday.  Hopefully, I am becoming a better writer because of it.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Optimistic Outlook on Life

I try to have an optimistic outlook on life.  Yes, I do get disappointed when things don't go the way I imagine them.  Fundraising for instance.  I had these grand plans that people would shower us for the good deeds we do.  That was totally wrong.  But this is not about that.  I will still try to advocate for the children.  We got news that is not as great as we hoped for.  One day, I hope to talk about it.  I will do so good or bad.  I find some of these blogs to be therapeutic.  If I talk to Angie, she tends to fall on the pessimistic side of things.  She goes into something believing it is not going to happen.  She says it is so she will not be so upset if it turns bad.  I guess I like to hope for the best.  That is another reason I write this blog.  I hope I am passing on information on to people who might consider adoption or just helping kids to get adopted.  In a week, we hope to get our outcome, but so far it is not looking good.    

Baby on Board!

You've probably seen them, if you live in the US.  They might even have them in other countries.  That thing would be the sign on the back of a car or a bumper sticker proclaiming Baby on Board!  They have spawned all kinds of other things like stick figures announcing each family member or that the parent is proud of their son or daughter.  As a side note, I would not go that far.  When you do something like that, you give criminals more information than they need.  They could approach your child and call their name and say they are a friend of the parent, who they also name.

Before you jump to a conclusion, I did not add any of these things on my car.  My car is bumper/sign free.  It will stay that way.  My license does support Autism Speaks, but that is in honor of Kayla.  This title has more to do with Elana's need to be held.  A couple of weeks ago, we bought one of those carriers.  The cool thing is, it can be worn from the front or the back.

Elana has taken a liking to me.  I have written about this extensively.  This need causes problem at dinner time.  I am the main cook in the house.  If they want food, they have to help with Elana.  She was not having this last night.  She only wanted me.  I grabbed the carrier and put it on.  Angie slid Elana on my back.  I went about my business.  She was happy.  She did not cry.  It looks like I will have to hold her while cooking.  Maybe I should get a bumper sticker for the carrier.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reece's Rainbow

I just wanted to let you know that I have added a link to Reece's Rainbow site.  This site is trying to help children that need extra advocating.  When people adopt, they tend to think about children without special needs.  I have four daughters that have special needs.  We would not change a thing.  Please check out the link and see if there is something you can do.  If you can't adopt, they do have other ways to help.  Please share.  These children all deserve forever families.

Gaining Traction

It seems Elana is in the process of getting her insurance.  I think it is either in review or some sort quandary.  No quandary is not the word of the day.  We have a representatives' name and address if we have to get help.  Angie has an appointment with our doctor.  We may have to pay for the visit.  She needs to be seen by someone.

Move Along, Nothing to see Here!

Coming into work this morning, I had to sit in traffic.  A car had run off the road.  As amazing as it was, it was not worth looking at.  Of course, everyone had to stop and look.  My main thought was how did the idiot end up doing that.  The car was not flipped over, the people were not hanging out of the car dead, and there was no fire.  It was just one car who had ran off the road.  I don't understand why everyone had to stop and look.

That leads me to my second quandary.  A big game hunter from the US is accused of poaching in Africa.  He paid $50,000 to kill an animal.  We could use that kind of money to make life better for a child.  What a waste of money.  Not only that, but it's not like he was on a real safari.  He had to have people lure the animal out to him so he could kill it.  I guess that's the kind of hunting rich people do.  I'm surprised they just did not have someone else hold the animal while they did the shooting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Insurance Red Tape and Run Around

We got Elana's Social Security card the other day.  We thought we were in the homeward stretch to getting her insurance.  Now both agencies, DCF (Department of Children and Families) and Healthy Kids are pointing to each department saying that the other has to do something.  This is ridiculous.  Adoption is hard enough without some state agencies trying to stand in the way of our daughter getting insurance.  I have told Angie she should call a Senator and see if they can get involved.  If this is not a federal issue, he might pass us on to our state representative.  It almost feels like we are being punished because we adopted internationally.  They are also saying that our daughter will have to be living with us for two years for certain standing.  We have never had this problem with our other children.

A Mime is a Terrible Thing to Waste

I love that title.  I think I heard it in a movie once.  I can't remember which.  This morning I had to do just that, be a mime.  I had just finished my shower and in comes Angie with Elana.  I knew if she heard me, she'd start screaming.  I guess the smell taste is thrown off by the fact that I am in there a lot.  As I am getting dressed, I had to do hand gestures and mouth things to Angie.  Angie loves it when I do that.  She says she can never make out what I am trying to say.  Elana was none the wiser.  She did not detect me.  At times, I will have to resort to miming.

Vacation The Review

We saw the movie last night.  We laughed all the way through it.  Clark and his wife did make an appearance, but they were not that funny.  Overall, this would be a movie I'd pay for.  As I was looking at what others had to say about it, I found out that one of the directors/writers played Sam in Freaks and Geeks.  Their next writing assignment is Spiderman.  The writers also did Horrible Bosses.  If your looking for a fun movie, this is it.  It is not a family film.  It is more like the first Vacation with edgier humor.

Monday, July 27, 2015

32 Years Ago. . .

32 Years ago, my father took us to see National Lampoon's Vacation.  I sort of remember going to it.  It has remained a favorite of mine.  Tonight, I will be taking my daughter to see the new Vacation.  Thank goodness, it is not a reboot or remake.  It is a continuation.  It has Rusty taking his family on a nostalgic trip from the first movie and getting into their own mischief.  I also realize that my daughter is the same age I was when my dad took me to see it.  What a coincidence!  Check back tomorrow and I will try to give a word about the movie.

Like Brothers, Like Sisters

I had a fun day with my daughters.  I brought them to the movie, we got a bite to eat at Taco Bell, and I took them to the pool.  As I sat there, I realized that the bond Michelle and Kiersten has is close to the one my brother and I had at one time.  When we were younger, we'd always play together.  We'd also fight and get on each others nerves.  Michelle and Kiersten do that also.  I used to bait my brother to do things to get him in trouble.  Michelle does that to Kiersten.

On to the little ones.  Mia is definitely going through a jealousy phase over Elana.  She is taking it out on anyone she can.  She loves to go up to someone and pinch them.  Every once in awhile she will make a comment.  Her grandparents are in town.  They have a dog and he has a crate that they put him in when they are not in the house.  The other day, Elana was screaming (she probably missed me or heard me and I was not holding her) and Mia said that Elana needed to go in the crate.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I have not read the books, but I am wondering if they will meet the Hunger Games or Maze Runner groups.  Maybe that will be the follow up after they have ran their courses.  It will be like Aliens Vs. Predator.

The movie was identical to Divergent.  When I saw this one, I did not have the author and one of the actors to greet us.  Plus, besides us there was two other people in the theater.

A Day with the Girls

I am spending the day with Michelle and Kiersten.  I wanted to take them to see a movie they wanted to see.  Last night was a rough one, or this morning.  Elana woke up screaming.  Even I could not calm her down.  We are wondering if she is getting sick.  She kept pulling at her ears.  We did get her social security card yesterday.  Know we can start the process to get insurance.  By the way, the movie is Insurgent.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fight the Power!

This is one of my favorite Public Enemy songs from my youth.  It is a song with meaning.  I don't like to get political, not that often and not in a public forum.  I don't even bother on Facebook.  I don't get any replies on this blog, so it seems like a great place to vent.  Yesterday, I read where two different CEO's were talking about how $15 an hour was going to ruin their businesses.

Before you go believing what they say, you have to read between the lines.  My first question is how much are these CEO's taking home in salary?  Do you really think they are worth the amount they get paid?  Who does all the heavy lifting?  I would venture a guess that it is the same people they do not want to pay.  I'm sure there is some pressures for being a CEO, but I guess if they feel too much pressure, they can take their private jet to one of their huge properties to get away from it all.  When their bottom level employees feel the same pressure, where can they go?

One of those CEO's is or was from McDonald's.  He also claims that it will hurt franchisees.  Before you go writing your politician, think about what it takes to be a franchise owner.  Most companies require the person to be a millionaire.  A lot of them own more than one location.  Do you think they are scrimping for their money?  If you want to look at it from their point of view, than which do you think concerns them more, minimum wage or McDonald's inability to make food people want to eat?  I'm wondering if the CEO is bringing up minimum wage to deflect attention from their current problems.

The other CEO is from Dunkin Foods.  First of all, their food is too expensive.  There are a lot of better establishments that charge less for a better and less generic product.  If they are charging as much as they do, where is the money going?  I'd like to know what the top tier of that company takes home.  I really don't understand why people at the top think they need all the money and the ones at the bottom are lucky to be working for them.

In my current situation, I'd like more pay.  Just a little increase.  It would be great to expand my house and be able to provide for my children.  I'd probably even adopt another child or two.  I don't need much.  I feel I have the things I want.  I have a birthday coming up and I don't even know what to ask for.

Just remember when politicians and rich people claim that any increase will hurt the "little" businesses, who are they talking about?  Why do they deserve to take so much of it for themselves?  Before you go taking their sides, do the research.  If you don't, you are just being led around.  It is like the book 1984.  The system tells you what to think and how to think.  I guess that's why Fox News is so popular.  Do we really want to live in a society like 1984?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Saint Sophia Cathedral, Harbin China

The Magic Touch?

I guess I am just a normal human.  Elana kept crying out in her sleep.  I would try to rub her back or just assure her that I was nearby.  She did not care.  She would push me away.  I am thinking she might have had gas or some other issue.  She even woke early.  If I have power, it is limited.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Sweet Smell of Success

Elana loves her daddy.  She screams when she can hear me.  She can even smell me out or so I thought the other day.  I decided to test that out.  The other day, I took off my night shirt and laid it on the bed.  I wanted to see if she would sleep longer.  The day before she was up as soon as I left the bed.  This time, she slept two hours later.  Today, she slept close to that.  I think that if she can smell me, she feels safe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Canton Tower and the Opera House

These are located in Guangzhou, China.

The Return Home

I have no movies tonight.  I will be returning.  Elana will be happy.  She has been staying up too late waiting for me to get home.  Tonight, we will go to bed at a reasonable time.  Maybe I could find a DVD to watch, but it will have to be after she falls asleep.  The light keeps her up.  I also need to check in on my seeds that I am growing.  I think I have some Pitaya cactus growing.  I have a Longan growing.  I need to put it in dirt.  

I need to add more pictures from our trip.  I will also be continuing our Ebay sales.  I want to sell off my posters, comics and baseball cards.  As for what's next, stay tuned.  I have more to share.  We will have insurance soon for Elana.  I am hoping that the doctor's can do something about her sight.  If not, we will be arranging things with Lighthouse.

If you like movie reviews, I will keep them coming.  Don't worry, I only get to see one a week or every other week.  Vacation is next Monday, but I think Angie is going to see that one.  I will let you know if it is worth going to.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Flashback to the 80's

Tonight, I am going to see Pixels.  This is the movie where aliens attack the earth using classic video game characters from the 80's.  I would say I was somewhat of a gamer back then.  I remember playing Pac Man on the Atari for like 30-40 levels.  I had a blister from the controller.  That was a time where gaming was simple.  Now, I can not maneuver the new controllers.  It's funny to watch kids that are younger than me do it.  I'll be back with more information.  Possibly a review.

The movie was great.  It felt like Roger Rabbit for video games.  They also used music and iconography from the 80's.  The girls loved it.

How much did you Cost?

I was looking at pictures on the Internet the other day.  I was looking up China and adoption.  There was a picture of a Chinese teen with a sign that read How much did you Cost?  I didn't click on it, but I know where it was going.  It's a question that adoptees get asked.  Before you ask that question, if it was ever on your mind, ask yourself how much your birth cost.  You did not come our for free.  Someone had to pay for that birth.  Hospitals are not free.  I'd just equate the cost of adoption to the cost of giving birth.  Just remember that if that question ever comes up.

Asleep by 9:00

I got home around 9:30 last night.  I was hoping to change and fall into bed asleep.  Elana had different plans.  Angie said she had tons of energy and kept crawling around the bed.  I got changed and brought her onto the futon.  Shortly after laying down, she was asleep.  I was too lazy to get up.  I just slept on the futon.  It's not the best place to sleep, but I am getting used to it.  Eventually, we'll try to her to sleep alone.  What's the rush!  She's only been with us for about a month.  I'm sure she is still processing the changes in her life.  Not only that, but she can't see things.  I do not think her ability to do things is slowed down.  It's funny to watch her get around the house.  She walks around like she can see.

Monday, July 20, 2015

In Line again! Southpaw review!

I'm in line again.  This time it's for Southpaw.  It's boxing movie from the creator of Sons of Anarchy.  It was directed by the director of The Equalizer and Training Day. It should be a good drama.  No girls tonight, but Michelle would be here if she could.  They'll see Pixels tomorrow.

It turned out to be a great movie.  Great performances.  It has a Rocky feel, but is really centered around a boxer controlling his anger to reunite his family.  If you like these kind of dramas, it is a must see.

So, you want Health Insurance!

With adoptions, comes a lot of paperwork.  This is to insure that you are bringing one specific child home and not trading them out for another that might have been kidnapped.  Once that paperwork is done and you go through your adoption, your child should be a US Citizen once you get off the plane in America for the first time.  You have to hand over your paperwork to a customs agent.  This has worked for us three times.  We finally have had a screwup.  According to Social Security office, she is not a US Citizen.  They can apply her for a non citizenship under her Chinese name today.  When we get her citizenship papers, they will make the appropriate changes.  This error is costing our daughter in terms of being seen by a doctor.  It's not even our error.  Angie can do this paperwork in her sleep.  Who do we fall back on?  I told her she should call our Senator.  Let him make some calls.  The people at SS were not going out of their way to help us.

A New Routine

Elana slept by herself for a night!  She did wake up at around 5:00.  That is the time that I have to get up.  It's a step in the right direction.  At night, I have been bringing her into our room and turning off the lights.  She ends up crawling around on the bed until she falls asleep.  That routine seems to work.  It allows her to be with me and it gets her to sleep.  We'll just have to see what milestone she hits next.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Always With Butter: Tomato Pesto Crostata

Always With Butter: Tomato Pesto Crostata

Made this tonight.  It was really good.

Today, Tomorrow, and the rest of the Week

It's another scorcher in Florida.  I have been pulling weeds for about 30 minutes and I feel like throwing in the towel.  It has to be done.  We are getting rain about every other day.  The weeds/grass grows quicker. I'll probably get the mower and see how I feel after.  I don't want to pass out in the yard.  No one is home.

This week is starting out pretty good.  I have two previews, so far.  I have Southpaw on Monday and Pixels on Tuesday.  I wish I could add Wednesday and Thursday.  Maybe something will sneak up.  I might have overtime at work.  We are getting close to our deadline for renewals.  We definitely could use the money.  I also have to start listing on Ebay again.

The girls have to start getting ready for school soon.  I think they go back mid August.  I'm looking forward to that.  I'd rather they be cracking the books instead of looking at the Kindles.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Clothes Shopping with the Girls

School is quickly approaching.  We are starting school shopping.  I am doing what all good fathers do during this ritual.  I am sitting off to the side.  I am not allowed to pick clothes for them.  If they even sense that I might have picked something out, they will not get it.  Even if they liked it.  I told them not to buy clothes they will not wear.  I'm guessing we will be here until closing.

We finally left. They only found a couple of things each.  I had no hand in picking any of them.  I actually went across the street to Big Lots and found Ip Man 2 on Bluray for 5.00.

Ant Man Viewing

Today I get to see Ant Man.  I will be back with my review.  Angie and the girls loved it.  Sitting with Elana.  She won't leave my side.  If I move, she gets upset.

I guess this will be one of those rolling commentaries.  I am now at the theater.  There is about 20 or so people.  Cheap movies are catching on.  When we worked in the theater there was no incentive to come early, unless you wanted to see the movie before it sold out.  Now, the early shows are the cheap ones.  In 8 minutes, we get a pre show.  That is if it is 30min.  Itmay start at 10:45, if it's 15 minutes.

I'm back.  It was a great movie.  Well worth the time and money.  See it whem you get a chance.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Just not in it!

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is off?  That is my day.  I am ready for it to be over.  I am trying to get things done, but things keep coming up.  Maybe I just have too many things going at one time.  That is a perfect recipe for an error or multiple errors.  I really just want to stop everything and start on one thing at a time.  Everytime I do, they bring more to me.  I'm glad this is only once a year, unlike CNA where it was everyday.

Eight is enough, Not for some Families

I know I have brought up a sixth child.  You might think that we would be crazy.  There are families that have bigger families and are still adopting.  Angie keeps up with some of these groups on Facebook.  These families are up to 10-13 children.  I know we could never do that, at least at our current earnings plateau.  If for some reason I become a novelist and sell our story and the money flows in, who knows?  Right now, I think we are nearing our endpoint.  I wish we could do more.  As we grow older, we can do something that helps orphans in China.

New Adoption, New Families

As I have written in the past, we got to meet other families.  When we were in Harbin, we were the only family at the hotel that was adopting.  However, in Guangzhou, there were lots of families.  It seems that this hotel is one of the main adoption hotels, now that the White Swan is closed.  We got to talk with other families that were similar to ours.  We saw a bunch that were not.  We even had one in our group.  Our new agency does things a little different or maybe it was just the timing of our adoptions.  Our other agency would group people together.  We did see groups like that.

Our "group" consisted of a man and the son he was adopting.  His wife could not make the trip due to a medical emergency.  They were staying at the hotel we wanted to stay at.  The other family had a mother, father, son, daughter and the child they were adopting.  When we were driving to the gem market, they were talking about how they could not get first class tickets on the train.  I'm assuming it's the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong.  They had to settle for second class.  Gee I wonder if they were able to get first class tickets on the planes?  I did not even know they had a first class on a train.  I guess it shows how much I travel.  Not only that, I can't afford first class for anything.  I have passed through that section on a plane, while walking to the back of the plane.

I tell you, some people make lifetime friends through their adoptions.  We can safely say that has not happened.  We do keep up with families from our first adoption, but have lost touch with the second adoption families.  I do keep up with a family from the third adoption.  But I can't say we are close.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Cats of Harbin: Siberian Tiger Preserve

We had the dogs of Harbin, now it's time for the Cats of Harbin.  This is from the Siberian Tiger Preserve in Harbin.

The Dogs of Harbin

Michelle became infatuated with taking pictures of dogs.  So I present to you, The Dogs of Harbin:

Stay Tuned! More Pictures to come.

Sorry about the delay.  My computer works when it wants to.  Sometimes, I think my impatience also creates issues.  I think computers should be faster, but they don't go that fast.  I will be adding some more tonight.  I might add Dogs of Harbin.  Michelle was taking pictures of all the people walking their dogs.  They have a lot of dog owners in Harbin.  I will also try to add pictures of Saint Sophia Church.

I am still doing the Elana Whispering.  It's funny how quickly she quiets down with me.  Sometimes, she still cries.  Then, we have to guess what her problem is.  She is starting to say some things clearer.  We are still waiting on her insurance.  They want her Social Security number.  Hopefully, they won't come up with something else.

Mia ended summer school yesterday.  We are about at the halfway point of summer.  I am really looking forward to the girls going back to school.  They are watching too much TV.  I am trying to encourage them to read, but it is hard.

Finally, I have started growing a Longan tree from a seed.  We'll see how big it gets.  In about 4-5 days, I will see if I can grow a Pitaya Cactus.  I planted some seeds from a Dragon fruit.  I hope I don't kill these.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pictures from the Harbin Adoption

I know I have been promising to post some pictures, so here are a few.

Heritage Tours

When I go on the Internet, I always see adds for Heritage Tours.  Be it Facebook, Yahoo, etc, they always seem to find me.  They all say that our adopted children will be able to go free.  However, they want $2,000 from us.  Not only that, but the orphanage changes like $200 for a family visit.  I don't understand the rationality of charging people this much to visit.  I would say only one of my daughters would remember her orphanage.  I don't know if the others would care to visit.  If we are lucky, the people who took care of them might be there.  I'd rather visit the city/town/village that the orphanage is located.  My daughters could see the place that they could have grown up in.  Sometimes, the fees we get charged are outrageous.  I guess there are families out there that feel this kind of payment is worth it.

Another thing we'd have to consider is how many provinces are they visiting and are they the ones our daughters come from?  Knowing our luck, we'd have to pay extra for each province not on their list.  I want to go back when my daughters grow older, but we will have to think of how it will be done.  Maybe we will have our own reality show and this will be one of those special vacations used to increase ratings.

Bursting with excitement!

Have you ever got news that made you burst with excitement, but were not allowed to tell anyone?  I am in that situation.  Recently, we got some news that we had been waiting on.  No it's not that Elana got her insurance, which still has not happened.  I am barred from saying anything.  As you know from reading this blog, I like to share.  I am hoping one day soon, I will be able to share that news.

On to other things.  I looked at pictures last night.  They look good.  I will share one with you.  I took this at the Tiger Preserve in Harbin, China.  I used my phone.  It is an Android Lg Volt.  I will try to upload some tonight.  It will be a slow process.  I think I tried to upload too many.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Herd of Cows

Today was a great day for freebie seekers.  It was the annual Cow Appreciation Day!  If you dress like a cow, they will give you a meal.  This time it went from breakfast through dinner.  Before you think I went all three meals, I only had breakfast and dinner.  I taped paper cow ears to my ears. I taped a cow snout to my nose.  I have a white tshirt from last year with black spots from shoe polish.  I was decked out in cow attire. I even wondered if I had dressed fully enough for the meal.  I had no problem.  They just asked what I wanted.

Angie and the girls settled for lunch and dinner.  At our dinner restaurant, the manager was like the soup "Nazi" from "Seinfeld".  People would come in and he would like at their attire and say No Meal for You!  We were lucky to get by with a meal.  He expected people to be decked out like a real cow.

The Elana Whisperer

We all have read or watched or know about the book/movie The Horse Whisperer.  I think I possess those powers with children.  Specifically, Elana.  She is with Angie and her sisters all day, while I am at work.  When I get home, she seeks me out.  If she starts crying or screaming, I am the only one who seems to calm her down.  Usually, it is with a touch of her hand.  Last night, she woke up screaming.  I got out of bed and went to her.  As soon as she knew I was there, she went right back to sleep.  On other nights, she may not sense me.  But, as soon as I pick her up, she is content.  I don't know if these skills can be taught or even passed on.  As they said in Spiderman, With great power comes great responsibility.  Sorry if I got that wrong, but I would say that is a paraphrase of what was said.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sickness is in the Air?

Elana did not have a great night.  She kept crying out in her sleep.  One time, it was due to a wet diaper.  We think there might be something else.  This morning, she would only calm down for one person and that was me.  I'm honored with all the attention, but I know it's because she feels safest with one person.  Usually, when the other girls got sick, it was always time for mommy to hold.  Elana has fixated on me.  Hopefully, we can get her insurance started.  She needs to get checked out.  She might have an ear infection.  She can not tell us.

Keeping my Fingers Crossed

My Internet connection seems to be holding strong, well sort of.  I uploaded some pictures yesterday.  When I got home, I made sure things were still working.  I did have one glitch where it lost connection.  I was able to get back on.  I will turn it on tonight and see what happens.  If everything works, I will upload my remaining pictures.  I also want to get back on Ebay.  I still have plenty of posters to sell.  I have other things, also.  We still have bills to pay off.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Drought is Over!

It looks like my Internet drought is over.  We had to change our modem.  Things seem to be working.  This week, I hope to add some pictures from our trip.  I was starting to think I was going to have to buy another computer.

Health Insurance and your Adopted Child

It is nearing a month since we brought Elana home.  We still do not have insurance.  Usually, Angie has it set up as soon as we get home.  This time has been a real headache.  She sent in her information.  The departments have screwed it up.  They first claimed they needed citizenship papers.  Then they put both her Chinese name in and her English name.  They thought she was two different people.  Now, they want her social security number.  We should get it soon, but they don't require this from people giving birth to a child.  I know they don't come out with a social security card in their hand.  Maybe they do, I'll have to ask my mom.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hot Day for Yardwork

My day will be a hot one.  I have to do neglected yardwork. I have to pull weeds, cut grass, and search for ant beds.  I will have to hydrate, so I don't pass out.  We have a good dinner planned.  We are going to Red Robin.

Today, I saw an article from China Daily.  They report that China will announce a two child policy in a year or two.  I wonder how it will change the orphan.

Before starting, I was able to cool down with some free Slurpees.  No brainfreeze.

I was successful.  I did get some weeds pulled.  I had to stop.  Then we went for burgers.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Stalking: An Adoption Story

People constantly wonder why we adopt outside of the US.  First, you must remember, we have adopted from within the US.  The parents of our daughter have tried to kidnap her while she was our foster daughter, they "threatened to take care of us" during their termination or rights trial, they tried to Friend us years later, and now they are back on our radar.  When will they disappear from our lives?  It was hard enough to adopt our daughter through Florida.  Now we have to deal with them again.  Usually, nothing can be done unless they physically hurt us.  At least, that is not the case this time.  But, it could lead to that.  Depending on the information they dig up, who knows what will happen.  It is a real shame to have to live constantly looking over your shoulder.

Ant Man's Revenge!

Last night, was a crazy one!  More like crazy ants!  Michelle was laying on her bed, when a winged ant landed on her.  Michelle is allergic to ant bites.  She noticed there were multiple things flying around.  Elana was asleep on the futon, in Michelle's room.  Angie took out a swatter we bought to do combat with the bugs.  Then, she was overwhelmed, when she discovered that the flying bugs were a distraction for the ground troops.  Ants were coming in through the window in droves.  I finally had to pull out the big gun, a container of bug spray.  I sprayed both sides of the window.  We ended up taking Elana out of the room.  Later, I had to move the futon cushion to the living room.   We closed up the room.  Today, they are planning on doing some heavy duty cleaning.  I will be checking in front of the window to see if there is a nest nearby.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Baby in the Manger

Yesterday, we got something to carry Elana around in.  It is a holder of some sort.  We had one with Michelle, but sold it.  I guess we did not envision this many children in our future.  Angie says it is working well.  This morning, she did not want to use it.  Even in the holder, she was crying.  At least, this will give us an option.  She can get heavy after awhile of holding her.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Preview of Self Less

I'm at the theater again.  Being around some of these people make me think if it is worth it.  I love movies, but the people who come to these showings can get on your nerves.

The thing I hate most is when people will save places for people who are not here.  What's the purpose of putting first come first serve on the ticket.  I already feel there is going to be an issue tonight.  The people ahead of me think they did not have to print their tickets.  They always expect tickets.  Of course, they are sitting here calling friends to come.

One mistake I have made is to look at the reviews.  It is not polling very high. I am still going to give it a chance, but between these people and the reviews, I am seriously thinking about leaving.

As the heat bared down on us, I sweated it out.  Around 6:30, they let us in.  I'm glad I stuck around.  The movie was not that bad.  It was a good movie that poses an ethical question.

A Visit from our Social Worker

We had our visit yesterday.  At least, Angie and the girls.  I was still at work.  She came by to check on the welfare of Elana.  She asked questions and just evaluated her whole demeanor.  Then she will write a report that goes back to the agency.  Eventually, the report will also be translated into Mandarin and sent to China.  They discussed Elana and her interactions with all of her sisters.

Girls Night Out

Last night, Angie and the girls went out to a movie.  I stayed home with Elana and Mia.  It was a fun night.  Elana was a little fussy.  She kept crying.  I had to play detective.  I checked the diaper and changed it.  I tried laying her down.  Finally, I gave her some more food.  She had already ate some dinner.  I guess she was not full.  After the food, she calmed down.  After getting Mia to bed, Elana fell asleep in my lap.

As for the girls, they got into their movie.  Before you ask, no they did not go to see Magic Mike XXL.  My 10 year old wants to see it.  They went to see Ant Man.  They loved it.  They said you have to stay through the credits.  They have some footage from upcoming releases.  I hope to see it soon, but I might have to wait until it comes out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mid day report

The day is going like usual.  I have been entering information and trying to get some work done.  Angie is getting the house ready for the visit.  I hope they will be able to attend Ant Man tonight.  I want to see this also, but I want her to get away and have some fun.  I will stay with the younger children.  I can catch the movie later on.  That way we will all have a chance to see it.  I bet even Kayla gets to see that one.  I think she is looking forward to Minions.  I am wondering if that movie will be too much Minions.  They are funny in the Despicable Me movies, but that is in little increments.  This looks like too much of a good thing.  The box office will tell.  It will probably be a big hit and they will start the sequel right away.

One Month Meeting

Today, we have a meeting with our social worker.  She is doing a check on Elana to make sure she is adjusting to our family.  I'd say she is.  She is getting used to sleeping by herself.  If we could just get her in her crib.  This report used to be mandatory by China, but they cut out some of the reports.  Our agency still requires it. It benefits everyone.  If we were a struggling family, the agency would find out and be able to assist.  They could call on other families that have had the same issues.  In our case, there will be nothing.  We are accommodating her needs.  We even have ordered a baby holder.  This way, we can do things while she is close to us.  Eventually, she will get tired of being held.

Monday, July 6, 2015

In the mouth of babes

Elana does not really say anything.  We here ma and maybe ba.  The rest is frustration and crying.  Lately, Mia has taught her one of her songs.  She sings bumble bee to the music of Jingle Bells.  Elana has started singing this.  We told Mia that Elana has picked up one of her songs.  We are hoping she will be proud and start warming up to her.  Yesterday, Elana had a scream in the car.  Mia told her that we were almost home.

You Can't Play in my Sandbox!

You've got to love work.  When people don't get along or do things a certain way, how should it be resolved?  In places I have worked, it usually ended in a blow up.  I remember a low point in my career when I yelled at a coworker.  We tried to go through the supervisor, but the person did not stop talking about us.  One day, I had had enough.  I did not get in as much trouble as I could have, but I did learn to not let things bother me as much.

In other places, you could get praise all day long until something goes wrong.  Then you get the third degree as to why you did what you did.  They would not even take, I screwed up.  They would then ask you to document your screwup step by step.

When adults work together, shouldn't they discuss their issues.  To me, that would be the best way.  If I am doing something that is not the way it should be done, point it out to me.  I don't always catch everything, especially when I have been on a vacation or out adopting for three weeks.  Just tell me we discussed this in a meeting.  Oh well.  Adults want to be treated as such until it affects them in a certain way.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sibling Rivalry

We have been through this many times.  I know Kayla and Michelle went through it. Michelle and Kiersten went through or are still going through it.

Now we have Mia and Elana.  They keep fighting for Angie's attention.  Mia has even resorted to pinching Angie.  She also depends a lot of time in the back rooms.  When Elana and Mia are near each other, we get kicking and pushing.  As they get more comfortable, I hope they will be friends.  Until that time comes. . .

Asian Produce : In search of Lychee and Dragonfruit

Since China, we have been in search of Asian produce.  We have visited many markets.  Finally, in Melbourne, we have found what we are looking for.  Well, sort of.  Lychee's are out of season.  When we asked, the woman behind the counter said that Longan's were similar.  She let us try one.

Not only that, but we found Dragon fruit.  Elana would eat these in China.  I think they said it was her favorite food with peanut butter.

With these, I might be able to grow a tree.  I don't know if I can do the same for the Dragon fruit.

A Tale of Two Teens

Today, I add another teen to my family.  Kiersten turns 13.  Michelle thinks she is a teen.  We have three years to go.  We are going to visit our other teenager.  Then we head to a Chinese buffet.  Everyone loves Chinese food in this family.  The day will end with cake and ice cream.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Chinese Market in Orlando

Ever since we got home, I have been eager to visit an Asian Market.  We are looking for some drinks and snacks we had in China.

This one is a decent sized store in Orlando.  It had a large vegetable section.  It did not have lychees or dragonfruit.  It looked like it had the space for it.  They had a good selection of wrappers like spring roll wrappers.  Their frozen food section was nice.  It appeared to have things we would eat.  I even saw a durian, but we won't be eating those.

Angie was in search of a pear drink we got in China.  She asked a clerk.  She said it was a slow seller.  They were not carrying it anymore.  We will continue to search.

Waiting for a Movie

I finally get to see Jurassic World.  Angie and the girls got to see it yesterday.  I might even take a second chance at giving blood.  If I do some deep breathing, I might be able to keep my pulse down.

It's great when you go into a movie.  You can be the only person in it and the next person will sit near you.  I don't understand it.  It's not like I know where the best seats are.  I must be at the epicenter of the theater.  I hope the keep their mouths shut.

Elana had a great night.  She slept by herself on Michelle's bed.  Next up, sleeping in her crib.  Another thing Elana is doing, singing a song.  She is singing a song that Mia came up with.

That's it.  Time to watch the preshow!

Just finished.  Great movie.  I liked how they set it up.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Day in Review

Michelle woke early last night.  She did not want to sleep in her bed.  I decided to go lay with Elana.  I don't know if she could have missed Michelle, but i did not want to chance it.  She slept well.  I, on the other hand, did not.  My back was sore from the Futon.

This morning, Angie took Michelle and Kiersten to see Jurassic World.  I stayed with Mia and Elana.  They did okay.  Elana was a little touchy. She kept wanting to be held.  I hope she gets over that.  She is heavy for a two year old.

My plan was to go and give blood after the movie.  They were giving 2 movie tickets.  For some reason, my pulse freaks out.  It happens every time.  I don't know how to control it.

Now, I sit at Rebounderz, it is a trampoline place for kids.  Kiersten wanted to do this for her birthday.  We decided to surprise her.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Slow day, Work and Views

It is a quiet day at work.  It always is on a day before a holiday.  Half the building is out on vacation.  The people we work with are probably running ghost ships also.  I look at my views and see a minimal amount.  I'd like to say some crazy thing has happened to me, but that would be a lie.  I did get some good news.  I read a post that the blood bank in our area is giving double incentives.  A food company is tossing in a free sandwich.  So, that means for my blood, they will give me two movie tickets and a sandwich.  You might think that it would be a waste, but I do miss some movies during the summer.  I have to be prepared.  I have a busy day tomorrow.

Another thing I am researching is Internet Photo selling.  I have found a site that you can list photos and they will pay you 60% of the sales.  You don't have to sign the rights over to the company.  It is called Alamy.  If I decide to go that route, I'll let you know.  If you like some of the photos we have taken, this might be a chance to own  a copy.  We still have to pay for the adoption.  It is only half paid for.

The High Price of Flying?

As you know, we recently came back from China.  We know that flying is expensive.  Yesterday, I find out that the Justice Department of the US is investigating airlines for possibly colluding to keep prices high.  I hope they find something and that will mean a return of money, but I doubt it.  They said on the radio that it is going to be hard to prove.  Even if they do find something, it will mean a fine for the airlines, possible jail time for execs, and nothing to the people.  I doubt any fine will amount to any refunds.  If it does requires the airlines to give something back to the people who can prove they flew during a certain period, it will probably come in the form of a $10 coupon off your next flight.  A lot of good that would do anyone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Twins the Movie

The other day, I watched Twins.  You know the Devito/Schwarzenegger film.  It actually made me sad.  I thought of my daughters and their birth mothers.  I wish I had some way of finding their mothers.  I lack time and money to do so.  I put myself in their shoes and thought of their reactions.  Maybe one day.

Successful Sleep Pattern

Elana seems to be hitting a successful sleep pattern.  She went to bed around 8:00pm.  She was moved to Michelle's futon.  At 2:30am, she started crying.  That was my cue to change her diaper.  After doing so, I placed her back on the futon and started to rub her belly.  She went back to sleep.  As of 6:30am, she was still asleep.  I hope this means she is getting into a routine sleep pattern.  Only time will tell.

As for other things, I plan to work on my computer soon.  I have to download a fix for my computer so that it will recognize my router.  I tried changing its location last night and hard wiring the Internet.  It did not fall for my ploy.  It still said local connection only.  I am hoping to get that done soon.  I want to add pictures to the posts.  I still have not seen all of the pictures.

This weekend, I gain another teenager.  Kiersten turns 13.  Now I will have a 14 and 13 year old in the house.  It feels like 3 sometimes.  Michelles thinks she is older.  She still has a couple of years to go.  The nice thing is that we will be celebrating with Kayla.  I'm glad that Kiersten wants to include her in on this celebration.