Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures. Sorry it's taken so long, but with having to blog in the lobby instead of the room poses some difficulty in scheduling. So without any further ado, here are my kiddos....

Toby lovin on his sister friday morning

Family Shot (taken by yours truly with a timer, pretty good huh?)

Play time

What big eyes you have!

Daddy and Liliana

4:30 this morning, Toby just had to be like his sister even if he didn't fit :)

All Cuteness

Our 7:30am nap

(we had already been up for 3 hours)

Happiness is a blankie, a bear, and a toothbrush

Playing with Daddy

I wonder if I can fit my whole fist in my mouth

Oh so sweet

I love this picture

I make pigtails look good

Chillin by the pool

And since you have all been very patient....

Birthday Card For My Wife (WARNING - Extreme Sap, and a tad bit lengthy)

I am in Guatemala City and can't really leave the hotel much so I was not able to get my wonderful wife a birthday card. So, I figured, why not post one to her on her favorite website...her blog! Believe me, Hallmark won't be calling, but I hope to accomplish two goals - one, make her cry (have to do it at least once a year, although warning her upfront probably won't help my cause. I will make her post on the blog if I am successful or not) and two, let all of you know how great I think she is (I hope you all agree - if so, then feel free to comment and let us know - if not, then I would keep it to yourself or you may find yourself under attack by a bear, a bull and a flower (I know a flower is not very scary, but Lili has not developed her destructive personality yet - maybe she can be a poisonous flower (or even a "Feed Me Seymour" kind of that is scary! (if you are not my wife this whole aside probably does not make much sense to you, but get used to it, you will find a number of silly things below. A little insight into how grown up we are, not to mention my lack of sleep the past couple of days.)))) I don't think I have ever used 4 parentheses in a sentence before, anyway, onto the card!

To my love on her birthday (and heck, our anniversary too (now, now women out there, before you jump to conclusions, I did not forget our anniversary, she told me not to get her a card)),

I wanted to write you a few lines to let you know why I love you even more today, then the day that I married you (or shortly before your 25th birthday - to stick with the birthday theme)

I love you because when I asked you what you thought about me going back to school, you encouraged me too, even though you knew how much it would take me away from you, not to mention bring out my G-Bearness (inside joke)

I love you because of the sacrifices that you have made so that I can attend those classes. I know that the burden of a lot more work, effort and emotional challenges fall on you because I have to dedicate so much time to school, yet you don't complain. Instead you do the dishes and take out the trash for me, and I love you for it.

I love you because you are the most amazing mother to my children (plural! - I still can't get over how awesome that is). You put your whole being into raising Toby (and soon Lili) and I thank God every day for blessing me with such a capable, compassionate and strong woman to rear (another inside joke) my Little Toro and Baby Girl.

I love you because you put Toby and Lili first, before yourself, even before me. I have a selfish nature, and I need that from you sometimes.

I love you because of the look in your eyes and smile on your face when you first held Toby and Lili.

I love you because of how much you touch the lives of all of the children that you come into contact with. Gi, Nate, Livie and Rianin just to name a few.

I love you because when I mess up (and I mean really mess up) you don't attack, but instead are understanding, and genuinely put me ahead of your own feelings.

I love you because of your smile in our favorite wedding picture. It melts my heart every time I see it. I can't wait to see that same smile when Toby graduates, or Lili gets married (don't expect that anytime soon, she is not dating until she's thirty! No fears though, your smile will still be just as pretty at 58. I am sure that it will still have the same effect on me too)

I love you because I have been to Guatemala City 3 times since our wedding day. A place that never really crossed my mind prior to that. Little did I know that it held the two greatest treasures of my life.

I love you because you are the most awesomest blossomest pausumest! (Yet another inside joke)

I love you because of your deep relationship with God. It shows in everything that you do and it brings me closer to him.

I love you for living in Wiggley Land 24/7 because it makes my son happy.

I love you for coming to Pitt games with me and the season ticket crew. It means a lot to me to share those experiences with you.

I love you because you love my friends as your own. I think by this time most of them like you more then me. But that's OK, it's well deserved.

Let me conclude this birthday/anniversary card by saying that these last two days in Guatemala have been amazing. Spending time with you Toby and Lili has reminded me of how blessed I am to have the three of you in my life. And sitting in the hotel lobby typing this, I realize that none of this would have every happened without you. Your love has brought me more happiness then I could have ever imagined. It is hard to put into words, but if you are ever curious of the way that I feel about you, think about my Betrothal to you at our Engaged Encounter Weekend. Not so much the words, all though they are truer today then ever, but the emotion that poured out of me as I read it to you. I know I don't show it much, but that is how powerful my love is for. It is much deeper than words. I love you.

Oh yeah, and Feliz Cumpleanos Ustead!

Oops, and Happy Anniversary too.

And Toby says "Wuv U Momma"

And Lili says..............well not much, she is not really talking yet. But she does bat those beautiful brown eyes at you. How am I ever going to say no to those eyes?????? I know, if she asks to go on a date - How old are you? 29, nope sorry but you have to wait one more year.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this sweetie. Happy Birthday! RAR Rar rar!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A few words from Dadda

I just wanted to take a second and make my first post on our blog. This is typically Tina's masterpiece, but I am just so overwhelmed with joy that I wanted to let everyone know. We are so blessed to have two such beautiful, amazing and wonderful children (plural - isn't that awesome). They both stole my heart the moment that I saw them. I want to thank everyone for their support, prayers and well wishes and ask that you keep them coming until we bring Lili home. I can't wait for all of you to meet her, so you can see how precious my baby girl is in person.

Happy Birthday to ME

Okay, we have lift off! I am in the lobby and everything is FINALLY working. Because I have to do this in the lobby, I will not be posting as much as I would like to. Well I should start at the beginning. We nearly missed our flight yesterday in Pittsburgh. We arrived an hour and a half early and when we got to the counter we had to purchase Toby's international ticket. This usually takes 5 mins, 10 tops. Well the staff had NO CLUE how to do it and they had to call tech support. We were there until 5:15 then we had to BEG to get in the shortest sercurity line. Wait for the ONE tram that was running and then literally RUN to our gate. We JUST made it and we didn't get to sit together. In houston they boarded our flight early and we just made that one after getting a bit to eat. Greg always says that he hates to just sit at the gate. So his wish came true. After getting settled, we waited SIX LONG HOURS for them to bring Liliana to us, but it was completely worth it.

Liliana is so precious! She is already eating cereal (this would probably explain her adorable chubby thighs) and getting some juice in her diet. Get this....she sleeps ALL night. No that was not a typo. She sleeps from 8pm to 5am, takes a bottle and goes back to sleep until 7:30am. She naps when she feels like it and only cries when she needs changed or is hungry. Toby knew who she was the moment Gladis uncovered her. (oh, by the way Gladis, her foster mom, is a dream and deeply loves our little girl). Toby has given her kisses and hugs. He's held her bottle and offered her toys. He lights up around her and begs to she her when she's sleeping. He isn't too jealous. I just can't hold her for too long. He needs his Mommy time too. Okay so we all know that you are happy to hear from me, but what you really want is pictures. And I am not going to disappoint, in fact I'm probably going to post too many. Oh well, get over it and enjoy cause all 3 of us are in love with this cutie pie!

Daddy holding Liliana for the first time.

Mommy holding Lili

Isn't she cute?

Me and my Kiddos

Check out those cute pigtails and those adorable fat thighs

All tuckered out

This is for Tia Jo....Horsey PJs I love them, thank you!

Take a picture of Bear, NOW Daddy!

All Dressed up this morning. LOVE the bow.

Ooo, it's the dreaded Paparazzi. No more pictures please.

Daddy with the kids

All snuggled up in the wrap


Posing with the bunny that my Big Brother sent to me

There are more pictures, but unfortunately for you, they aren't on the computer yet. Stay tuned. Love you all!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We got Pre-Approval

Known to us in the Guatemalan Adoption Community as PA. It is issed by the US Embassy, and it essentially states they have reviewed our case and as long as PGN approves us then Liliana will be issued a visa into the US. This is exciting because PGN will not approve our case without it. We are still in Family Court, as far as I know, and should be getting out soon. From there, with our PA, we can now go directly into PGN. So everyone please pray that we get out of FC and PGN soon, so that Liliana can be home for the New Year.

And on an even MORE exciting note, we leave for Guatemala on Thursday morning. Our flight takes off at 6am (YUCK) but Liliana will be in our arms by Thursday afternoon. I will try to pry my hands off of both my kiddos long enough to post some pictures and (if you're really good) a video or two. Love to all, Tina

I realized after reading all of this that I should post the process so y'all can see what we have done and what we still need to do. So here it goes...

Accept Referral: July 3rd
Sumbit Dossier: August 22nd

Dossier Translated: August 27th
DNA Authorization: July 27th
DNA Results: August 3rd
Pre-Approval: Sept. 25th
Family Court: Entered the Week of Sept. 3rd (Time in FC can Vary)
PGN: Not Done (Average time right now is 8 weeks if you do not get Kicked out)
Birth Certificate with Our Names on it: Not Done (Can take up to 3 weeks)
Passport: Not Done (Takes 1 day)
Submitted to Embassy for her Visa: Not Done
Second DNA: Not Done (takes about 2 weeks)
Pink: Not Done (this is issued after 2nd DNA is received)
Bring our baby girl HOME
I'll be posting this in the sidebar so that as we enter the next steps you can follow along.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My New Haircut and Jammin with NaNa and PapPap

So today Toby and I went and got our hair cut. I couldn't do anything with Toby's anymore so I got it all chopped off. So the following pictures of Toby's adorable Frohawk, don't worry it doesn't have to stay that way we can spike it too :), are brought to you by my terriffic hairstylist Lisa.


I LOVE that smile!

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

Hi NaNa

Done, Done

Okay, now on to the funny part of my blog. But first alittle background.... So my Mom is not only the Office Manager at the school that I formerly attended and taught at, she is also the Choir Director. She loves teaching the 7th and 8th graders that church music doesn't have to be traditional or even boring. So with that said she order new music and we were previewing it tonight. Toby usually doesn't dance to anything but the Wiggles, but something about the song got him moving. There are two videos of him groovin. The funny part is I caught my Mom and Dad grooving with Toby. Too cute. I LOVE my parents!


Monday, September 17, 2007

3 years ago...

On a very wet Friday evening my Husband and I were married. For those of you that were not around then, recalling what made this a beautiful mess might be necessary. Hurricane Ivan had just damaged our honeymoon destination (Jamaica mon) a few days before and had come up through the gulf. It was still a tropical depression as it made it's way into the Ohio Valley. It was suppose to rain, we knew that, but no of us expected what happened (9 to 11 inches of rain and extreme flooding). By three o clock when our pictures were suppose to be taken, people were noticeably missing from the church. It was flooding from Pittsburgh all the way down to Steubenville and causing mudslides and such so that roads were closed or partially blocked. Half the family wasn't there yet. It continued to rain and flood and I was getting anxious. No one would let me out of the back of the church so I had no idea who had made it and who hadn't. We delayed the wedding by an hour. We also had lost our pianist to the rains. So with a phone call or two from my Mom's new boss we ended up with vionlists, a cellist, a guitarist, a pianist, and four soloists instead of one. I really lucked out on that one and the music was BEAUTIFUL. Btw, our pianist made it for the last two songs and my grandparents (in from MO) made it in time to hear my vows. My Aunt and Uncle (also in from MO) never made it along with most of the people that lived in Pittsburgh. Once the wedding started I was very excited that it was actually going to happen that night. Our reception was also delayed and our DJ couldn't make it, so a friend of ours did the DJing. He did a very good job for being put on the spot. Here are some pictures from that day. These are pictures of pictues. i haven't been able to pull some of the digital pictures off the other computer (and I'll add those later if I can) so bear with me on the quality.

The Happy Couple

Finally allowed to kiss at the Sign of Peace

What handsome men! Ladies some of them are still "available." LOL

My Girls! Gentlemen all of these Lovely ladies are taken. Sorry.

Still raining at 7:30 pm It took three of my bridesmaids to hold up my dress so it didn't get ruined and Daryl was kind enough to make sure I didn't get wet.

This is one of our favorite pictures. It was "caught" by the photographer during the toast.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Pictures

I JUST received these pictures. They were taken today! Yahoo!!! Liliana is 3 months old in these adorable pictures. Here is the case update I received today also. Today we found out we are in Family Court waiting for interview dates. The interviews will be conducted and then presented to the judge to sign off on. Then we'll be off to PGN. Let's pray that our stay in FC and PGN are short ones. We also received our video of Liliana from Palmetto Hope today. I wish I could share it with all of you, short as it may be, but it's a finished DVD so there is no uploading it. Just know that she is adorable and I promise to post video while we're in Guatemala. All this in one day....When it rains it pours! Good golly how I LOVE the rain. :)

Don't I look cute in the outfit that Mommy and Daddy sent down for me.
It was so nice of her foster mom to put her in an outfit that I sent for the pictures.
It says 100% Princess, and she so is!

I have a picture of Toby from when he was 3 months old where he is posing the exact same way. Uncanny, they were meant to be brother and sister.

Whew, looking this cute is tough!

Daddy, you know you want to bring me something special when you come to visit.

Oh so sweet!


My sweet girl, I can't wait to meet you in two weeks.

Blast from the Past

Kim sent me this today and I just HAD to post it. It's a picture of Toby and Ruthie during our stay in Guatemala. Aren't they just adorable?! I am amazed by how much they have both grown in the last eight months.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Liliana Update Of Sorts

Well today, I received one part of a three part email I sent to my coordinator. I am still waiting for our case update (any day now) and new pictures (not sure when these will come, sometime this month). The part I did receive was Liliana's medical report for August. Here are the newest measurements:
Weight: 10 lb 4 oz
Height: 22.04 inches
Head Cir: 38 cm
So in one month she has gained 3lbs, 3ozs and grew 2.36 inches. The doctor noted no other concerns at this time. As soon as I get any other information, I promise you all will be the first to know.
Oh, and I'm sure you've noticed the blog has been changing frequently. I have been playing with some different templates. I think this one is a keeper. You'll have to let me know if you like it and if things are easier to find and see. The other ones were so (pardon my language) clusterfucked with all those dots along with my pics and other fun blog stuff, that I just couldn't take it anymore.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rainy Day Fun

Today was Toby's second Pitt Game. Of course it wasn't raining when we started into the stadium, but before we were half way through the parking lot, the skies opened up and we got drenched. Oh well, it was a warm rain and the temperature was rather pleasant. Pitt won again today, that makes us 2-0. Yippee! Toby really enjoys watching EVERYTHING and taking it all in. Grambling State U, had an awesome band. Absolutely fantastic. They danced the entire time, too cool! After the game we went to NanNa's and PapPap's for dinner. Toby crashed before we even ate and he's STILL asleep at 9:15pm. Hopefully he'll stay that way. ;)
Enjoying some nachoes

Trying Daddy's cheese

My younger brother, Dave, in the forefront and Rob in the background

Fun with straws and a water bottle

Still enjoying those straws

Gnawing on the water bottle

My husband doing his best 'gangsta' impression
Family pic in front of the Pitt Panther

Driving the (parked) car with NanNa

"I know how to shift this thing"

This is how he crashed...leaning back in the wrap with a cracker in one hand and a drink in the other

A close-up (BTW, this wrap is awesome! I can be hands free at any time and it evenly distributes his weight so there is no strain on my back at all! And Toby LOVES it.)

This was the scene at my house last night. If you look closely you'll see that the dog and one of our cats are also asleep. Everyone in their very own spot. How cute!

Happy 3 month Birthday Liliana! We can't wait to meet you in 3 weeks!

Please, Please, Please...take the time to stop and sign our guest book at the bottom of the page. It is REALLY easy to do, you don't have to add a picture. We really enjoy seeing who's visiting our blog. So scroll down to the bottom of the screen and sign our guest book. While you're down there watch one of the videos of my beautiful children.