Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanks Friends!!

We are at $215 of our $500 orphanage donation goal! Wow! It's only been three weeks! Thank you friends for your kindness and generosity! This will really make a difference for the babies at the Little B's (Former) orphanage!



Not Exactly the Pony Express

"They have promised to send the papers from Moscow to the region in the next few days"...I thought they would have arrived at least a week ago. Sigh.


Valeriya...could her designs BE any sweeter??

Hi All! It's almost Christmas and you may have missed the deadline for Valeriya Christmas gifts ( it's worth checking with her!!) but who couldn't use adorable kid's fashion all year round? When it comes to sweet clothes for kids...Valeriya is the BEST! Please check out these amazing items. I know some of you have bought from her before and I've seen the pics of your girls in her outfits...SO CUTE!! Anyway, I love her stuff so much I had to share!! Happy shopping and I look forward to seeing more photos of your sweet babies in Valeriya designs!!


P.S. I've heard that she just went to a quilt show so keep an eye out for new fabrics!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011


I don't have an I-phone and I am about a 3 or 4 on the hierarchy of tech savvyness (thhhpppttt! To those of you that are thinking that I am more of a 1 or 2). I was really excited last night when I discovered that my free sprint phone that I had for a year has a voice command! Ooh lala, so fancy. It will be great to have a kid around to help me figure these things out.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Town Fella Speaks the Truth

I can't say I am a huge Tom Petty fan, although I do have to give him some credit for a few good tunes. I do have to say that he speaks the truth when he says "the waiting is the hardest part." Has it really only been two weeks since I kissed your forehead, let go of your tiny chubby hand and held back the tears as I looked the other way and walked out the door? Please, give me the strength to make this time pass fast.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Like Screams

Every time I open my email and I've got no new information I hear a scream...I just realized it's coming from inside my head. I thought I could be more patient than this...apparently I was wrong.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hot Helpful Hints (Things we've learned)

This will be an ongoing list of things we've learned to do (and maybe not to do) while traveling for Russian adoption. I will add to it as we go through the process.

  • Several people said bring Ziploc bags for travel and I didn't heed the warning. I wished I had when the bottle for the shampoo decided to leak in my bag. Bring Ziploc bags.
  • It makes life a little easier to know some Russian when traveling. I listened to CDs in the car and read a few books. I know the courtesies so I could come across as friendly enough. The MOST helpful thing was the husband learning the Russian alphabet and knowing the sounds for the letters. He's great with puzzles so this project was right up his alley. You'd be amazed at how many Russian words sound like the English equivalent when you know the phonetics of the Cyrillic alphabet. I highly recommend The Russian Language Map by Kristine Kershul. This was a hand-me-down from some previous APs that said it was their travel "bible." Learn the Cyrillic alphabet.
  • If you are prone to cold sores when stressed or going from cold to hot locations like I am, bring some Abreva. Russian pharmacies are a challenge and dancing around pointing at your lip doesn't help either. At this time I should give a shout out to the nice man that figured out what I was saying and was able to help. I also want to thank him for walking with us three blocks over to save 40 cents. Thank you for your patience and understanding of my crazy sign language. Folks, bring your Abreva.
  • If you plan on saving your receipts to track your expenses write what you bought on each receipt right after the transaction while still in-country. It's no fun trying to translate the receipt and remember what the heck it was for once you get me, you won't remember.


I spent some time looking for a good packing list for trip one, so I thought I would put it here so hopefully someone else will find it useful.

Trip One Packing List (October 2011)

Mama- One pair of jeans (wear one on plane), two (three?) pants, long johns (shirt and pants), two tank tops, four long sleeve tops (wear one on plane), underwear and bras, coat and scarf, hat, three pair of socks.

Papa- Add later

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Moisturizer
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Wet wipes- toilet
  • Small soaps
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Brush or comb
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving cream
  • Razors (one each)
  • Disposable cameras (leave at baby home)
  • Camera
  • Video Camera
  • Chargers
  • Extra camera card and battery
  • Dr. paperwork (info from IA doctor)
  • Visas
  • Passports
  • Plane tickets
  • Agency Info (bound packet of information)
  • Program fees
  • Train money
  • Money belts
  • Travel book
  • Russia language books
  • Hotel reservation
  • Measuring tape
  • Umbrella
  • Cereal bars/snacks
  • Power strip
  • Computer
  • Journal
  • Ziplocs
  • Imodium tablets
  • Tylenol
  • Band-aids
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Melatonin for sleep?
  • Photocopies of passports and visas (notarize)
  • Cash
  • Kindle
  • Books and magazines
  • Orphanage gifts
  • Alarm clock
  • Town postcards to hand out
  • Lady products (in case you need them!)
  • Small calculator (very handy for cost conversions)
  • Our vitamins and medication
  • Numbers to skype
  • Little tripod for flipcamera
  • Watch (can't use the cell phone clock!)
  • Ipods
  • Extra Money

Baby Stuff

  • Diapers (didn't need)
  • Wipes (didn't need for diaper changing but used for boogers!)
  • Snacks (didn't need as we always went close to lunch or dinner- always ask if they can have snacks)
  • Snack cups (didn't need as we always went close to lunch or dinner)
  • Sippy (didn't need as we always went close to lunch or dinner)
  • Soft book
  • Teddy bear (ask if you can give them plush toys)
  • Bubbles (too cold to use)
  • Beach balls (HUGE HIT with the other kids and they pack easily)
  • Small book
  • Three shirts to try on for sizing
  • Baby bag (I had a special bag so she would know that it was HERS)
  • Photo album for photos of us
  • Brag book photos (includes images of pets and toys and family)
  • Crayons- Biggest hit and gave us a "first" drawing to take home- we could also trace hands and shoes(for sizing) but she wiggled too much.
  • Paper- for drawing and notes
  • Links- Plastic colorful links for babies...she LOVED these
  • Toy cell phone- She loved this. It played music

Monday, October 24, 2011

Making Miracles

If I check my email every 5 minutes will a miracle occur? I could use a little magic. I could use a little news.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Food Comforts

Anyone who knows me knows I love the fall food. I look forward to the day when the pumpkin baked goods start showing up on the shelf like most kids wait for Santa (don't get me wrong, I am first in line for Santa too). This morning I made apple cinnamon cobbler for breakfast. It's kinda like pancakes, right? Anyway, that put me in the spirit of cooking so I made a Pumpkin and Potato Soup and some Sweet Crescent Rolls. These sweet rolls are quick and easy so little ones can easily help!! If you try that let me know how it goes. You might also add some chopped pecans or walnuts to the rolls if you are so inclined. I apologize in advance for the lack of measurements but I pretty much always cook to taste. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Potato Soup

  • · Cubed red russet potatoes with skins on
  • Diced whole onion
  • · One small can of pumpkin
  • · Whipping cream
  • · Coriander
  • · Cayenne
  • · Cumin
  • · Nutmeg
  • · Salt
  • · Pepper
  • · Seasoned croutons (make em' buy em' whatever)

Put cubed potatoes and onions in a pot just barely covering the top of potatoes with water. Boil. Once boiling, turn to simmer. Cook until fork tender. Smash a little with a fork. Add canned pumpkin. Stir. Add some whipping cream to thicken. Add seasoning to taste (coriander, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper). Cook on low for a ½ hour. Taste again and season if needed. I like it a little spicy. Put in bowl and put croutons on top.

Fall Fun Sweet Crescent Rolls

  • · One can of crescent rolls
  • · Sugar
  • · Cinnamon
  • · Pumpkin pie spice
  • · Butter
  • Chopped nuts (optional)


  • · Powdered sugar
  • · Milk

Unroll crescent rolls on a cookie sheet

Spread butter on each triangle of dough

Mix sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice together (and chopped nuts if you like!)

Put sugar mixture on top of butter (save a little for the top)

Roll triangles large flat side to the point (like the crescent roll instructions)

Put left over sugar mixture on top

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes (refer to crescent roll package)


Mix powdered sugar and milk to make a glaze

Spoon over cooled rolls.


Weekend Home Stuff

We had apple cobbler for breakfast and it was yummy. It's afternoon and I am still in my pajamas. That's what I'm talkin' about! This is the life!! We have been productive though. We lowered the crib, hung some pictures in the nursery, hung the curtains in the nursery and hung up a little zip-line thingee in the hallway for displaying family and holiday stuff. Right now it has photos from our trip...and The Bees's FIRST drawings that she did with us at the baby home. The zip-line looks good, but will take some time to get used to since we really have never had much hanging in the hallway. I hit up some yard sales yesterday and got the B a really nice Little Tykes shopping cart for $2.00! Mama loves a bargain. There are a few more things left on the "to do" list for today but they require putting on clothes other than my gnome pajama pants and my old Tallahassee Tiger Sharks t-shirt and fuzzy socks...I think I will procrastinate those things a little longer.


P.S- I have a wish and that wish is that we are with our Little Bee for Christmas! Please keep us in your thoughts!

Friday, October 21, 2011


On the first day as we were leaving the baby home and walking down the stairs our translator and coordinator asked what our first thoughts were regarding the Little B. The Mister said "do you have the term, walking on air in Russian?

~mama :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanks! Keep it Up!!

Thanks to those of you that have made contributions to the orphanage. Every penny makes a dollar (or a ruble) so please keep up the good work! I would say that we are still at least $375 away from our goal of $500 (or more, of course). With love...always!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Home Again and Passing the Hat

Hey! We are still recovering from the trip. I'm not sure that we've managed to stay up until 9:00 since we have been home. We got home late after spending the night in the airport. It wasn't as bad as it sounds...kind of like Night at the Museum but with a few random people walking around and sleeping on the floor. I was going to ask the janitors if I could take the floor polisher for a spin but they didn't look like they had a sense of humor. The whole trip seems really surreal at the moment. My love for this little girl grows more and more each second. It's kind of unbelievable really. We are waiting to see if we need to do anymore paperwork. All of our pre-court documents were in Moscow when we left. They were being translated before being sent to the region. Once they are there, the judge may ask for more documents or for us to re-do documents...or may simply give us a court date (could it really be that easy?) I am hoping HOPING HOPING that we will know something in the next week or two.

Did I mention that the orphanage staff were amazing? These people work so hard and obviously want to do everything they can for these children. It really wasn't what we imagined at all. Because we want the best for them and the children we would like to be able to make a donation directly to them. If you would like to contribute a monetary donation in any amount please let me know. We would be extremely grateful.

I will add that part of our fees include an orphanage donation, but this is split among all of the baby homes in the region- the full amount does not go directly to the Bee's baby home...a place that is really deserving of something special.


Friday, October 14, 2011


Our flight was late and we can't get home. We are spending the night in the airport. On a positive note...did I mention that Baby B said "mama" on the last day? Not once, but twice. I know she wasn't making the connection to me, but she was making a connection to her photo album. Maybe she thinks the album is called mama? So hard to say goodbye. Watching videos of her is helping our long night in the airport go by a little faster.


P.S. I hate United Airlines

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moving on to Moscow

We just arrived back to our hotel in Moscow. We both slept pretty well on the train so the night went fast. Today we will do some tourist things in the city and get some rest before our long travels tomorrow when we leave for the airport at 8:30.

Yesterday things went extremely well. We have officially petitioned to have Baby B as our daughter. It was very moving seeing her name as ours on the forms. I am excited to get back home and prepare (and wait) for our next trip back to Russia.

This trip has gone by so quickly and our moments with Baby B have gone by even quicker.



P.S. Baby B wanted me to send you a message...da da dad dada da daa daa ddaa da da :) I think this means see you soon!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Super Fantastic

Just wanted to say that today was an unbelievably good day. Everyone has been so good to us. Tomorrow we sign the documents to proceed and meet with the notary and maybe the MOE with our bottle of cognac. The people here are amazing! All of the people that work at the orphanage are so kind and loving and incredibly helpful. They have answered all of our questions and shown us so much with this little girl. Whatever we ask, they help, they provide answers and let us see how she lives everyday (and even ask us to participate). I cannot thank these people enough. The team with our agency is 100% fantastic. We have been so lucky.

Most of all I want to say that we have so much love for the little B. Tomorrow it will be a hard day to say goodbye....maybe not "goodbye" but see you soon my love, my little yum-yum.

Love you all,


Monday, October 10, 2011

Rainy Tuesday

What a great anniversary present! I will have to make this brief, but if summary we were met in the morning and went to the MOE office, followed by a trip to a bakery to buy a small cake for the children. The cake we selected had a little fondant bear and some flowers and mushrooms on it. I looked for one with a bee but I didn't see one. We met with the doctor for a discussion and then we went to the playroom...and guess who was standing at the door!! You got it! We went inside and had an opportunity to play with her and watch her interact with the children (p.s. we want to bring them all home). We then moved to another room where we were allowed to play with her on our own. She loved being tossed in the air by John and coloring in her note pad (she was singing while coloring!!) We took pictures and video. They then came in and said it was time for "yum yum" which means lunch. She heard those words and took off running to the door. This baby loves "yum yum" and I have now started calling her Baby Yum Yum. They said that we could talk to the doctor again. He is VERY nice and loves American sports. They also said that we would not see her again until Tuesday (today). All in all the day went very well. We meet with different doctors today and will have more time to spend with her. Gotta go. We will be leaving soon for another day.


Sunday, October 9, 2011


We spent the day at the Kremlin and Red Square. It was overcast and rainy. The buildings were quite impressive and we took lots of pictures. Afterwards we went to lunch at the Avocado restaurant that I wanted to try, and then we went to a store to try to get a wireless card to use in P**ov. We found someone to help that spoke some English and helped put a card on the computer. I hope it works! I guess we will find out tomorrow. It is now 3:50. Dimitry will be here at 5:30 to take us to the train station. We checked out of the hotel but we are in the lobby using the internet and because we left our luggage here this morning. Well, if you don't hear from us you will know that the internet card didn't work :) Oh, I have been practicing my Russian without too many funny looks. Must go now. Hugs from Russia. I can't believe we will meet the Little B tomorrow!!!!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Adventures in Moscow

Privet everyone! Just a quick note to let you know we are here and we are now eating breakfast. The flight was uneventful except the movie selection was terrible. We arrived in Moscow and went through passport control. We then met Dimitry our driver and took the "traffic without laws' ride to the hotel. For those of you that helped with the money crisis, all went very well. We then checked in and took a walk to find a bank for money exchange. We ate at Mi Piace and came back to the hotel to sleep! We were pretty much done until 2 a.m. when we got up to look out the window at the traffic and read. All is well. Train leaves tonight at 6:30. We are one step closer.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Good Fortunes

When I was in Seattle awhile back searching for good karma (see previous post). I went to one of those fortune tellers like they have in the movie BIG. Yesterday, while I was cleaning out my travel bag for the next trip (heart just skipped a beat) I found the fortune card that I had forgotten completely is it....