Monday, April 26, 2010

Florida Vacation

Well, it wasn't a vacation in the relaxation sense of the word, but it was jam packed full of fun. We had an awesome time visiting everyone, and going to Disney World. Here's how our trip went. Left Friday, and drove 19 hours straight through. Got there late morning and decided to stop at the Playmobil Fun Park before going to my mom's. Brief time out in the parking lot when Child #3 vomited her Dunkin Donuts breakfast all over herself and the carseat. Thankfully, this just turned out to be caused by the stress of a car trip, not a dreaded stomach flu. After some baby wipes and a change of clothes, fun was had by all at the Fun Park. AND it turns out there was neat things sticking out of their dumpster. Go figure. We got to my mom's house, and took naps. Lots of visiting. Everybody (including my sister and her husband from Ft. Lauderdale, my sister and her husband and kids from Tampa, and my brother and his wife and kids) went to church Sunday with my mom. This made her very happy. I loved seeing some of my old friends at church, and I got to see my cousin and her new twins (They are beautiful, Cherie!). We took a big family photo after church, and for an impromptu, amatuer photo, it looks spectacular. So then we had lunch and played at the park. Then the Tampa relatives had to head home. I don't entirely remember what we did on Monday and Tuesday, but it involved a trip to Faith Farm (thrift store, highly recommend it), dinner with my husband's family, playing games with my brother, sister, mom and husband, and not getting enough sleep. I wish I lived closer so we could play Killer Uno more often (personally I like the potential for injury, that's why there is age restrictions), but I also had fun playing Rack O and Moods. Late Tuesday, we headed to Orlando where we stayed at a sweet/suite hotel. We shared a two bed/two bath room with hubby's parents, and there was actually enough space for everyone. We spent one jam packed, fun filled day at the Magic Kingdom, and then went to the Orlando Science Center the day after that. I would also highly recommend the Orlando Science Center. It was comparitively cheap ($12-$17), which includes movies and all exhibits. It has four floors of interactive exhibits, and we could have spent all day there if we wanted. My kids loved playing with the oranges, water, and basically everything in KidsTown on the first floor, All Aboard and H2Now on the second floor and Science in Toyland on the fourth floor. After the science museum, we went back to the hotel for naps and swimming. On Friday, after my husband patched a radiator leak he discovered the night before, we headed back home. Thank God we didn't have any problems with the radiator on the drive home. I was able to get Sonny's Bar BQ on the way home, and it was even better than I remembered (the sliced beef with sweet sauce! the corn fritters! the baked beans!), oh I'm salivating again just remembering it. I know Texas people think they make the best barbeque, but I don't get it. I have yet to find a barbeque place here that I like, and nothing I've tasted has been half as good as Sonny's. I think it's because Texas barbeque seems to rely heavily on spice whereas Sonny's is decidedly sweet. Feel free to weigh in. We had thought about stopping at the Battleship in Alabama and the big Bass Pro Shops in Baton Rouge, but we kept arriving just as they were closing. In the long run, it made the trip home go faster, but still... Can I just say that I hate I-10 in west Louisiana. It involves driving through large swaths of swamp land with nothing seperating you from plunging into the depths of murkiness except an eighteen inch concrete barrier. It is totally creepy at night because there are NO lights out there. And if it's not swampland it's just ugly, covered in strip malls (in more than one sense of the word) and casinos. Sorry if you like it there, but it just ain't my cup of tea. Funny story, when we first moved to Texas (and had never seen our home state before), we passed through west Louisiana and into Beaumont and wondered what we had gotten into. Photos are in a seperate post.

Florida Vacation Photos

Hubby's parents enjoying breakfast The awesome and awe-inspiring matriarch of my fam Individual and unconventional brother Strong and energetic sister #1 Sweet and vivacious sister #2 Buzz Lightyear at Magic Kingdom WDW The Orlando Science Center The Battleship we didn't get to go on. (FYI they close at 6 pm).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

18 Months Waiting...

So March has been interesting. The first two weeks saw all three kids get ear infections (when 2 out of 3 had never had one). I thought I was fighting a nagging cough/cold and came down with a raging fever. I had - can you guess? - an ear infection AND pnuemonia. I could barely get to the doctor, and it hurt so bad to try to breathe. I figured I had either mysteriously broken some ribs or I was really sick. Thankfully, I was able to utilize our wonderful family babysitter, and the doctor gave me lots of shots and prescriptions. I thanked him about three times for letting me take care of it at home instead of making me go to the hospital. I want to send a special shout out to the wonderful people at our church who brought us meals. Thank you so much Martha, Heather and Jackie, we really needed the love and prayers! So anyway, my husband is the only one that got through it with no antibiotics. The second half of March was much better, and I have been thanking God for every day that we have been healthy since.

Ethiopia announced that parents will now have to take two trips, and it would go into effect April 9. Then it was postponed indefenitely because the judge went out of town. Then the announcement came out yesterday that there was a meeting about it where it was decided the rule would now go into effect May 9. So it seems both my husband and I will be required to appear in court after we have met the child, then we will have to go back 6-8 weeks later to finally bring her home. This would all happen after we have finally recieved a referral. Sigh. I have a lot of opinions about this, but I don't think I have them clearly articulated enough in my head to lay out for public consumption. Needless to say, it has just added roughly $5000 to the expected travel. And I haven't even figured out how we're going to work with my husband's lack of vacation/sick time. There are other families out there that will have to pull out of the program completely because there is no way for both parents to appear in court.

So where are we at? Well, we're much closer than we were last month, but what the heck does that mean? There were about 17 families that recieved referrals last month, and it seems many were toddler referrals. That took off everyone on our UNofficial list that was ahead of us for 18-24months. What does that mean? I have no idea. Theoretically, we could recieve a referral tomorrow or we could be waiting for another three months. It really depends on what kids come into their care center, along with many other details. Frankly, with this new two trip rule, I'm not sure I want to be at the front of the pack while they implement it. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. I think we're ready to start guessing on when we recieve the referral. I used to wonder if we would be traveling before summer, but now I'm just hoping we make it to court before they close for the rainy season (Aug-Sept). My how our hopes and expectations change.