Just got the news that my friend Hai-Nhu and her husband John are also new parents! Hai-Nhu's baby was due a week after Wendy's but ended up being born a week before--on August 23rd. They have a beautiful girl named Evelyn. Congratulations John and Hai-Nhu!!!
It is with great excitement that I announce that our very good friends Marc and Wendy are parents!! Baby KS arrived early this morning and is healthy and beautiful. Wendy called me from the hospital this afternoon and she sounded great, if a bit exhausted (haha, a LOT exhausted!). They haven't chosen a name yet and I failed to get the stats (weight and length) but that will all come out in time. Oh, and she's a little girl. Congratulations Marc and Wendy!
So the adoption process continues. This morning we went to have our blood drawn for the variety of tests that we need. We also got our Tuberculosis tests read (guess what? Neither one of us has it!). The phlebotomist was a good one--got me on the first stick which is rather unusual. Lots of blood went out of me, and we'll get the results in about 10 days. In the meantime we have a quiz in my Chinese class next Wednesday, and we have to have 28 characters memorized by then. You thought German was hard? I really wish I had some sort of facility for languages because this one's going to kick my ass.
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell is a great book. Vowell is an NPR contributor (to This American Life, mostly) and this book is about her travels investigating and living the lives of and visiting the sites of the assassinations and assassins of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Did you know that Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was either present or very nearly present at all three assassinations? This book is really fun reading.
And unrelated but along the same veins is this cartoon that still has me giggling:
I'm proud to say we survived our first Homestudy visit for our adoption yesterday. Our social worker is supposed to make 4 visits--one each of individual counseling, one of couples counseling, and one sort of miscellaneous. Our first visit turned out to be the miscellaneous one. He decided to do the home/safety inspection. We were not expecting this and kind of panicked, having done nothing to childproof our home. I mean we don't store our knives at floor level or have one smoke detector for the entire house or anything, but a little advance warning would have made me feel better. As it turns out, he only wanted to see three things before his 3rd visit: a lock on the jacuzzi cover, cabinet latches, and socket covers. No problems there. Phew!
We seem to be a bit ahead of schedule (well, MY schedule) on paperwork. The only things we have left for our homestudy is our medical forms (appointments on Friday) and our birth certificates. I'll have to get the birth certs in person, which is actually a good thing since I've heard the mail route is long and unpredictable. Kevin was conveniently born right here in Orange County so the clerk's office is just a city over. I was born in LA County which is a bit further, but not much. We got our marriage certificates with no problems. We were married in Santa Clara County (up North, in San Jose--a 6 hour drive from here) so I did those by mail. There were warnings all over the place and a promise that it would take at least 3 weeks and blah blah blah. So I sent off my request and check by USPS with tracking and included a pre-paid FedEx envelope with a GIANT note saying "PLEASE RETURN DOCUMENTS IN THIS ENVELOPE--IT IS PRE-PAID." There were numerous warnings about how if you didn't include a SASE the skies would open and God himself would smite you on the spot, and enclose an extra $20 if you wanted express mail or tracking number, so I sent the FedEx envelope. Well, about a week later I got my 3 copies of our marriage certificate in a regular business-sized envelope with a 39 cent stamp. I don't know what happened to my FedEx envelope, but hey, I'm not going to complain too hard. At least I got them in an expedient manner. And really, in the enormous cost of any adoption--what's an extra 8 bucks?
If you don't get it, don't worry about it ;).
And when you thought it couldn't get any better...Snape's On A Plane! (no spoilers here, just some PG-13 language)
If you want to hear a report from the ground, read this guy's blog entry about being stuck at Heathrow.
*10 hours of security lines
*Large trash bags full of expensive items like cameras, phones and iPods that people had to ditch at the last minute
*Pictures of stranded travelers sleeping on the ground wrapped in foil emergency blankets
*People weeping on the ground in frustration
*Sitting on a half-full plane being served food before being made to get off, and then learning later that the plane flew to his destination empty.
This poor guy. I can't wait to hear my parent's experience when they get home. They're supposed to fly back through Heathrow. Let's hope they rebook their return trip.
I heard from the parents this morning. Their original plan was for the 6 of them to arrive in London on Thursday and immediately catch flights to Rome, staying in Rome for two nights and catching their cruise Saturday. Well as it turned out, they ended up spending 2 nights in London, and then three of them--my parents and Z, caught a plane to Rome and got on the boat while the other 3, Michael, Chuck, and Sue were supposed to follow 2 hours after. Except their flight got cancelled. Apparently they were able to fly to Naples and catch the boat Sunday morning and all is well. They'll sure have lots of stories when they return!
Surely you've heard of the whole terrorist plot and smackdown at Heathrow by now. Well the fun part is that Thursday morning UK time, just as the news was breaking in the US, my parents and 4 of their friends were an hour outside of Heathrow airport. I was keeping an eye on the news (it was about 1am here) and was relieved when they finally landed.
Their problem? They had to catch a connection to Rome. So they arrived in the middle of the absolute chaos and, we presume, had to surrender all of their liquids and baggage and carry on only their passports, wallets, and tickets in clear plastic bags. Was their luggage checked all the way through to Rome? Were they able to stash away their carryon stuff or did they just have to take a chance with it as checked baggage on its own? And the most important question--was my dad trying to carry wine onboard???
The three couples--my parents, Michael and Z, and Chuck and Sue, were supposed to spend a few days in Rome (arriving Thursday--haha) before catching a cruise they're taking through the Mediterranean. They were due on the boat today (Saturday) so I'm sure they made it there in time, but I strongly suspect their planned Rome visit was cut a bit short.
We really have no way to contact them aside from a major emergency number, which I did not really feel this was a major emergency. Because if it were a major emergency, they would have called us. In my family we're very much of the "no news is good news" mindset. We can just assume you're okay unless we hear from you--that way we don't have to drive ourselves sick with worry waiting for you to call.
At any rate, Mom's got a yahoo email account so I've sent her an email. She should have internet access (albeit limited and expensive) onboard the boat, so we're thinking she'll check in sometime in the next few days. The other two couples are also from our wine group so when Kevin and I went to the weekly tasting last night, everyone was asking us about them!
Come to think of it, my parents don't always have the best luck when traveling. On 9/11 my mom got stuck in Anchorage. Ah well, as long as everyone's safe, that's the important thing.
I heard from Kevin and apparently he had a wonderful time except for the rain, hail, and food. He's anxious to get home, as am I. I'll prompt him to do a complete write-up when he gets back.
OK Go is a band and they do very cool videos on YouTube. Here's what I think is their best:
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Daddy
Happy Birthday to you!
Well as it turns out, I won't be celebrating Brad's birthday on Saturday as he has a wedding to go to, but I will be celebrating Pop's birthday Saturday since the event is taking place at his house.
So I'm working on my 2-4 page autobiography for our homestudy. What fun! We're supposed to cover "significant events, major turning points, and growth experiences," as well as, "our recollections, thoughts, and feelings on events that have made us who we are today." Okay, sure.
I'm just not quite clear what to cover. It's supposed to run the course of your childhood, teen years, college (if applicable) and adulthood. All I've been able to come up with is:
*The undue hardship I endured growing up from having been made to wash the dishes
*The bitter disappointment of not getting a car on my 16th birthday
*My low self-esteem from not being able to pass college chemistry (twice!)--it's not my fault, I have a genetic predisposition to not being able to pass chemistry
*My continued ongoing financial problems due to not winning the lottery each week
I think that about covers it.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Brad,
Happy Birthday to you!!!
Yep, my brother Brad turns 36 today. I'll be seeing him on Saturday to give him his gift. Although I have not purchased said gift yet--haha. He's already got Bob so what more can I give him? I'll have to ponder that some more.
So I'm in my second week of solitude. Kevin comes back next Tuesday morning. It's been pretty good, actually. The first 2 days were weird but since I've eased back into the groove of single living. I've hosted several huge keggers and the house is basically trashed, but it's been fun.
Last Friday I met a friend in person who I'd only spoken to on the Internet. She's from Oklahoma and her family was visiting Disneyland, so we met up for a soda at Downtown Disney. I was so clever, telling her that I'd meet her by the "A" in front of Disney's California Adventure. There are giant letters that spell out California and it's a convenient meeting place.
It wasn't until I was a few yards away that I remembered that "California" has two "A"s.
Not one of my brighter moments. But we hooked up anyway. It was really fun.
No other big plans. Friday was wine tasting (of course the GPS mapping system in the Prius lead me astray because it took me through Palos Verdes and PV has all of these windy streets that are blocked off in places with barriers so you can't go straight through, and the car doesn't know that). It was stupid--I just should have trusted my instincts and gone the way I recognized. Oh well, lesson learned.
This coming Saturday is a wine tasting at my parent's to celebrate the birthdays--Dad's is the 3rd and Brad's is the 2nd. Should be fun for that. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to bring the pups. I don't know that I can load both of them into the car by myself, but they love going to "Grandma and Grandpa's". So we'll see.
On the adoption front, I mailed off our request for our marriage certificates yesterday. Good times.