Friday, March 4, 2011

The Three Week Gestation Period

Sorry to have been gone for so long.  I know how lucky I am to have such a cooperative baby.  Olivia is not fussy, eats, poops pees, and sleeps a lot.  I have been asked to put the "finishing touches" on this blog, so to speak.  It's good for me to keep track of what happened our last week in California.  So here it goes...

On the Monday after Superbowl Sunday, we took Olivia to a clinic in Long Beach to get a newborn checkup.  There were probably about 50 people in the waiting room, overwhelmingly Hispanic.  Once again,  Jeff and I are the only white faces in a sea of brown.  The clerk asked us for our insurance info, which I provided him.  (Children are under the coverage of their parents' insurance for a month after birth.)  For some reason, the clerk could not process my insurance.  "Do you have a California address?" he asks.  Not really, why?  OOOhhh, MEDI-CAL.  No, not Medical, but Meddie-Caal, the state of California's answer to Medicare.  After being informed that the address of the adoption agency will do, (although I am quite certain we could have made up any address)  he typed it into his computer and that was it.
Newborn checkup with two real, live, in-the-flesh MD's = zero dollars
Two whooping cough vaccines for Jeff and I = zero dollars
Working the system = priceless.

I guess Jeff and I shouldn't feel too guilty,  Bob and Jan, my in-laws, paid taxes in California for years.  It is, however, no wonder that the state is broke.

Olivia had lost three ounces, which is normal for a newborn, but the pediatricians we saw thought she should gain more weight, and wanted to see Olivia again in two days.

We were given these pre- mixed formula bottles that spoiled after an hour of opening, so if Olivia finished one, we wouldn't open another.  Since she never fussed for more, we never gave her more.  And, we never woke her up to feed.  Upon leaving the clinic, Olivia had no idea that her world was going to change.

Every two hours we fed her.  Woke up to feed her.  Drove her crazy feeding her.  You would think she was a prizefighter trying to get into a higher weight division.  Or a sumo wrestler.  Or a competitive eater training for the Coney Island Hot Dog Challenge.  Grow, Olivia, grow!

Tuesday arrived and we got a call from Nikki, the social worker at the agency.  They paperwork that was sent to Pasadena to be processed in order to permit us to leave the state with our daughter was missing one important piece.  Her health record from the hospital.  No problem, I told Nikki.  We just went to the clinic yesterday.  We will have up-to-the-minute records faxed right over. Called the clinic.  Was transferred to the records department.  "You will have to come in and sign a release."  No problem.  "And then it will take a week for you to get the records."  Oh no, you don't understand, we were just there yesterday.  "One week."

I had to laugh.  Really?  One week?  Now the funny part was, all we were waiting on was a phone call from our attorney TO MY CELL PHONE giving us the OK to head home.  Are you following me?  We could have accepted this call from our living room sofa, or a beach in Mexico, or the moon, and nobody would have been the wiser.  Don't worry, Seth, we never would have done that.  But the thought did cross our minds.  :)

So our next call was to the clinic and we asked for Dr. Wu, the pediatrician who saw Olivia the day before.  She wasn't in (of course) but the nice pediatrician on duty agreed to fax Olivia's records to the agency if we promised to sign and pre-date a records release the following day, when she was scheduled for her follow up appointment.  Finally!  Someone who was willing to bend the rules for a good cause!  God bless you, nice pediatrician!Off to Kinko's to print, sign, and fax a form emailed to us from the agency stating that we never received any health records upon being released from the hospital, hoping that they would, in the meantime, receive the fax from the nice pediatrician.

A couple of hours later, we received the news.  We were cleared to go home.  Much to my mother's dismay, we told her we would leave on Friday.  We wanted to have Olivia's weight checked at the clinic on Wednesday and needed one day to pack and say goodbye to everybody.  When Wednesday's appointment arrived, Jeff and I held our breath as Olivia was weighed- she gained seven ounces!  Way to go, Olivia!  We were so proud.

That afternoon we called Lindora and asked her if she wanted to see Olivia.  She said yes, that she thought she would like to meet her.  So we packed her up and took her over to meet Lindora and the boys.  Lindora couldn't stop commenting on Olivia's beauty.  She handled it with strength, grace, and a little emotion.  Jeff and I were very pleased that she got to say goodbye to Olivia, I think it's very important for her grieving process.  Dwaun was pretty torn up and had a hard time; that was heartbreaking.  How do you explain all of this to a 13-year old?  Evey time I touched Olivia's foot, or held her hand, or tickled her cheek, Dylan would remove my hand.  Already a protective big brother!

We spent Thursday packing and walking around the neighborhood.  Olivia got her picture taken in front of the Korean Friendship Bell overlooking the harbor.  Margie (our landlord) came by with gifts for Olivia.  Babies come with a lot of stuff- I'm surprised Jeff fit it all in the car.  My husband is a magician! 

We took two days to make the drive home, stopping every couple of hours to feed Olivia and let her stretch.  It must suck being buckled into that car seat all day!

After being home for about three weeks, I still find myself in disbelief.  I had a dream one night that everything was too good to be true; that Olivia was really made out of wax and we let her get too hot and she melted.  I just try to treasure every moment, hold her close and breathe in her marvelous baby scent and kiss her fat cheeks and stare and stare and stare at her.  We met Lindora on January 10.  Olivia was born on the 29th- just shy of 3 weeks gestation period.  40 weeks is for sissies.

Here are some pictures for those of you who feel so far away...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


No  blog posted over the past couple of days, but that is a good thing.  We have been busy signing paperwork and staring at our daughter.  I'll never forget when my good friend Laurie brought her daughter Libby  home from the hospital, she said, "She's so beautiful I'm actually frightened I may take a bite out of her."  I thought that was a little weird at the time but now I totally get it.  If all goes according to plan, we should be home by the end of the week.  If it wasn't for this blog and Skype, I think I would have jumped off a cliff by now.  This technology is a good thing and makes me feel connected to all of you Olivia fans.  We feel so blessed to have all of you in our lives and can't wait to get home to see (most of) you!

When we were signing our paperwork at the agency, the social worker taught us a new word, beshert.  It is Yiddish for "destiny" or "meant to be."  I feel so fortunate to see this clearly.  All the pain and disappointment of the past months has pointed us here and brought Olivia into our lives.  I am asking all of you to remind me of this sentiment when Olivia is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, or begging to have her ears pierced at age 5, or puking with the stomach flu.  :)

Thursday night Olivia got invited to her first party.  Our Indonesian landlord made satay for the Chinese New Year and invited us and our neighbors next door, Matt and Tracy (from Ft. Walton.)    It is traditional to wear red on the Chinese New year, so off to Target we went to find Olivia the perfect outfit.  Matt & Tracy are really fun, and Margie is a total trip. We laughed a lot.  Olivia enjoyed herself too.  (Who are we kidding?  She slept through the whole thing.)

Today was our first day off with the baby- our second freeway free day.  We finally got it together and left the house about 2 PM.  (Hey, it takes awhile to construct the appearance of being a "hot mom" who has the diaper bag packed with every little thing her baby may need and her own lip gloss and sunglasses.)

Our first stop was the Pacific Diner to see Vicki and the gang, as promised.  The girls oohed and ahhed over Olivia, who was sleeping, of course, and Vicki cried.  Best omelet I've ever had.  Then we cruised down to Pt. Fermin Park, one of the coolest places in San Pedro.  See video #2 below.

Tomorrow Olivia will enjoy her first Superbowl.  (Or sleep through it.)  I think she's decided to root for the Steelers.  She would have a much easier time cheering for Pittsburgh if she had a terrible towel to grasp with her little fist and swing around her little head (hint, hint, Auntie Margie Caughlan!)

All for now...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Waiting on Test Results, the Poop Tsunami, and MORE OLIVIA!

I  have been told that you people don't really care about trash day here in San Pedro.  So, as I am waiting for more Olivia video to upload, I will update you on the events of the past 24 hours.

Upon leaving the hospital, we were promised sickle cell test results on Wednesday (we were actually told the results would be in Monday, which is why we were so late in leaving the hospital.)  This was the only thing that was holding up our adoption.  Since people with sickle cell cannot live at altitude, the agency decided that they would not let Lindora sign her relinquishment paperwork until the test results were received.  So we waited anxiously.  And Olivia slept peacefully.

11:00 AM:  Our first call to the hospital.  No test results.
1:00 PM:  No test results.
1:30 PM:  The Poop Tsunami.  Jeff starts to change Olivia's diaper and starts to yell "Get wipes!  Get wipes!"  as he is changing her astronomically large poopy diaper.  The question- can she squirt me with pee like a boy?  Well, no, but we did learn it's more like a small water feature.  Then the poop continues, oozing out as we are trying to get more wipes.  Laughing hysterically, and three diapers later, we are thankful for the comic relief.  Olivia smiles and waves her hands in the air.  Gotcha, Mom and Dad!
2:00 PM: No test results.  We are told they will be ready at 3:30.
2:30 PM:  We attempt to upload the photos and video of Olivia taken in the hospital on Jeff's camera and realize they are gone.  Poof.  I talk Jeff away from the ledge and try to keep him from throwing his camera into the nearest brick wall.
3:30 PM: No answer.
3:35 PM: No answer.  Olivia sleeps peacefully.
3:36  PM: No answer.
You get the idea.  Finally, at 4:20 (no inappropriate jokes, please) Jeff speaks to the nurse.  She had the results! Positive or negative?  Positive or negative?  Positive or negative?  The nurse couldn't (or wouldn't? we still don't know) interpret the results.  They needed to be read by a pediatrician.  But she would be happy to fax the results to the agency.  I don't know if you know this, but there aren't any pediatricians that routinely hang out at our adoption agency.  So they couldn't interpret the results either.

Now, loved ones and Olivia fans, I had held it together pretty well until this point.  You would be proud.  But I absolutely lost it at this point.  My knees became weak and I had to sink to the floor so I wouldn't drop the baby.  Actually putting her down was not an option.

4:30 PM:  Jeff and I both jump on our cell phones.  Olivia sleeps peacefully. 
He calls our friend Shannon Garton, a family practitioner in Vail, and I call Norm Numerof, my internist and pal from my mountain rescue days.  I phoned him at home, and in the process of telling our story to his wife Karen (also a friend from mountain rescue)  I broke into tears.  Norm wasn't home but was expected shortly and she promised us he would call as soon as he walked in the door.

Shannon tells us that if Olivia had tested positive for sickle cell, they would have called us back to the hospital immediately to start treatment.  There is no cure for sickle cell, but early intervention can lessen the symptoms throughout life. 

4:45 PM  I emailed Ted Vickerman the test results, whose wife is the amazing and wonderful Dr. Susie Vickerman, Olivia's soon to be doctor, explaining our story. Ted and Susie have 2 wonderful boys whom I have had the pleasure of teaching some math, and I'm not lying when I say that they are 2 of my favorite students (it's the apple/tree thing.)

5:00 PM: I call my friend Kendra while Jeff called our friend Bev to get names of their pediatricians in the area.  Their doctors had either left for the day or wouldn't help us without an appointment.

5:30  I talk to Norm and he tells me that he is going to do some research and contact a pediatrician friend of his and will get back to us.

5:45 PM  Dr. Vickerman calls and assures that the test results are indeed negative and a pediatrician has already looked at the results- his name is right on the results that were faxed to the agency!  Now, I'm just a math teacher, but after Dr. Vickerman explained how to read the results it was VERY straightforward and understandable.  I guess we are the first people in the State of California to adopt a baby or have one tested for sickle cell.  I am still baffled why the nurse told us she couldn't read them.  In a litigious society, I'm guessing the reason was CYA.

6:00 PM:  Jeff talks to our attorney here in California.  Olivia sleeps peacefully.  The attorney has contacted a doctor friend of his that he helped to adopt a baby 18 years ago.  It turns out her son's pediatrician is the doctor that signed off on the results at the hospital!  Call it Kismet, or Karma, or just plain faith...

6:30 PM  Momma pours  a glass of wine and melts into the couch.  The neck and back pain she was feeling and thought was a result for holding the baby has miraculously disappeared.  Olivia sleeps peacefully.

Ok, this is the last one!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

"This Sure Ain't Cedar Sinai"

Here we are at the hospital. Now those of you blog followers , God bless you, have heard me comment about this downtown LA public hospital. I want to set the record straight. There are holes in the wall. And the paint is peeling. And the floor in the lobby is dirty. But they deliver, on average, 500 babies a month here. You heard that right, folks. That is not a typing error from me typing on this tiny IPhone keyboard. 500 a MONTH. So these ladies know what they're doing. And everyone that we have met loves working here. One of the midwives said, "This place isn't much to look at, but I love working here. If you're going to have a baby in LA, this is the place to do it." Never mind that we have yet to lay our eyes on an MD. There are rumors that they exist and Olivia was examined by a pediatrician when she first came to the nursery, but really, who needs a doctor when the midwives and nurses deliver about 7 babies a day EACH. So overall our experience has been very positive, and Lindora agrees. I think our first experience was so awful because we walked in without an appointment and that didn't make any of the nurses very happy. So we are waiting on some test results to come back, which we have been told should be here soon so
they can give us the birth certificate, we can sign the paperwork at the agency, and get on with our lives.

So o can't go on much longer without commenting on the number of court shows on TV here in LA. (We have spent a lot of time with daytime TV.) let's see if I can remember them all...
Judge Judy
The People' Court
Judge Alex
Divorce Court
Black Guy Judge Show (obviously not the real name but I'm sleep deprived and can't think of it)
Female Hispanic Judge Show (for disclaimer see above)
My personal favorite- Eye For an Eye with Judge Extreme Nadim. I really like this one because the plaintiff and defendant are really unattractive and each stand on their own podiums surrounded by gray metal bars, making it look like they are in their own private jail cell. So what's up with 6 court shows? This is almost as perplexing as the well-endowed weather girls. Kendra tells us that one of the weather girls has a song written about her and both her husband and Bev's boyfriend Joe choose the local news channel they watch based on the weather girl. Well that's all of my LA observations for now. Tomorrow we will wake up in San Pedro!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Amazing Olivia

She poops! She pees! She squeaks! One thing Olivia does not do is cry. I'm afraid that the meconium is going to hit the fan as soon as we get back to San Pedro. But until then we will enjoy our perfect baby. As soon as we get back to San Pedro I will be posting pictures on the blog so stay tuned for images and video of the fabulous Olivia. All you moms out there will be jealous because my baby is the prettiest!

Our latest adventure (more specifically, Jeff's adventure) was trying to procure pizza for dinner for us and the lovely Lindora. Only having a hundred dollar bill in his pocket, he couldn't get the car out of the lot because they couldn't make change. So he set out on foot to find a Pizza Hut. When he didn't find one after wandering around downtown LA for a half an hour, he came across an ATM and decided to get smaller bills and walk to the car. The Schlichtings must have bad ATM karma, because somehow Jeff's card had been cancelled. By calling the 800 number on the back of the card he was able to re-activate it. Whew! 2 hours later Lindora and I had our pizza.

We got a little sleep last night between feedings so we
both feel a bit better today. It's Lindora's.birthday! We bought her some flowers from the gift shop. She said the best present was knowing that Olivia would grow up happy and loved.

Jeff is an amazing dad. He needed no advice to bond with this baby. He cuddles and coos and kisses her. We fight over whose turn it is to hold her. We are teaching her to Eskimo kiss.

We should be going back to San Pedro tomorrow and we are really looking forward to arriving at our home away from home.

Our big treat today was we had visitors! Bev and Joe,Jeff's friends from college came by and my good pal Kendra from college. I got to see her handsome husband John and her adorable kids Dylan and Olivia. I know, I'm a copycat!

Jeff took Lindora home this afternoon and stopped by the world famous M&M's Soul Food. (In the South we call it food.) I highly recommend the gumbo with full on chicken drumsticks and crab legs. The collard greens were too salty for me and Moo's cornbread would have beat M&M's in a taste test.

We were just visited by Katy Perry and her partner. They were very disappointed that their shift ended before Olivia was born and they did not get to help deliver her.

By the way, please forgive any formatting or spelling errors. I am typing this on the tiny screen of my IPhone. We will be spending the evening staring at our baby girl. Good night!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Meet Olivia!

Olivia Ann Schlichting was born this morning at 4:58, weighing in at 6 lbs. 4 oz. She is beautiful! We will take some photos after her bath. About 10 PM we went upstairs to our room to get some sleep. We tried to sleep in a tiny bed, fitfully, if at all. We got a call from Lindora about 4:00 and she sounded like she was in a lot of pain. We ran downstairs to her room, but no Lindora! Like crazy people we ran down the hall to find a nurse to ask what had they done with our baby mama. A nurse finally (okay, it was probably about 3 seconds) saw us and she les us down to the labor & delivery area. Lindora was in a lot of pain. Jeff tickled her arm and I got cold washcloths to put on her forehead. Gush! Her water broke and I sprinted into the hallway to herald the midwife. Where was she? The nurse came in and checked her- 9 cm. She wants to push. Then push! the midwife says. A head full of hair and then the most beautiful pink baby girl I have ever seen. I don't even think Lindora pushed, the baby more or less just fell out. Maybe I'll become a midwife- do they get paid a lot to catch babies?

So call us if you want to hear Olivia's precious cooing. And if you have Skype, you can see the peanut in action. Until later...

Friday, January 28, 2011

At the Hospital

Well here we are. Our nurses are great- one looks just like Katy Perry- and I really like the midwife. This baby has us "hoodwinked and bamboozled." (Lindora's words) The baby runs away from the monitor. I'm not kidding, it's crazy. I think we are going to have our hands full with this one.

So yesterday we pulled up to Lindora's and her friend OC (the spitting image of Ice-T) was there with a U Haul full of Lindora's stuff. So we spent the afternoon and a good part of the evening helping to get her organized and moved

One thing about LA that is worth mentioning is that every weather girl and traffic reporter has huge boobs, which is odd in the case of the weather girls, because the boobage tends to block a large portion of Southern California on the weather map. Oh well, my husband loves it and grins like a schoolboy when the traffic report is televised.

Now I am rambling so I think I'm nervous. I'm going to be a mom soon!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Freeway Free Day

Yesterday Jeff and I slept in and stayed in our pajamas all day- what a treat! The only rime we left the house was to go on a walk before dinner. Very nice day.

Today we went to Target to pick up last minute baby stuff- diapers, wipes, a case of wine. We are on our way to Lindora's for Jeff to install some baby gates over the low window so my rambunctious angel Dylan doesn't topple out the second floor window into the Bougainvilla.

We have an appointment for the inducement (induction? Inducing?). At 8 am tomorrow. So ESapp, don't worry if there's no new post in the next 6 hours.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Picture of Our Baby

Gotcha!  Well, here's the little peanut.  Looks like an alien to me.  I hope it's not.

Still Waiting...

Finally made it to Trader Joe's.  Oh, how I love that place!  Ahi tuna steaks for five bucks!  Two buck Chuck for three bucks!  Helpful employees who let you use their bathroom!  (Unlike the CVS pharmacy, but that's another story.)

Yesterday we took Lindora & the boys to her doctor's appointment at the hospital.  They checked her fluids, changed her oil, and replaced her air filter.  Baby is fine, Lindora is getting irritable.  Poor Jeff, he is used to dealing with one crazy lady, but not two.  We left her with raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil (Jeff calls it "eye of newt" and "wing of bat.")  Her contractions are getting stronger, but not so close together.  I've had a talk with the baby, but it doesn't seem to want to listen to me.  I think we're in for trouble- this baby is already showing defiance in utero.

Today we may be taking Dwaun to get his testing done at his new school, but that remains TBD.  Just another day in the adventurous life of the Schlichtings!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Right now I am sitting in the clinic waiting for Lindora to finish up her appointment. I have resigned myself to the fact that God is laughing his head off as he teaches me patience. We have waited for 2 years to have a baby, what's a couple more days, right?

When our first birth mom backed out, everyone said, "This happened for a reason." I knew that to be true, but I also knew that I may never know the reason. Now we know. The past week that we have spent with Lindora and her family has been a priceless experience for us. When the baby grows up and asks us about her birth mother, we will be able to tell him or her all about the strong, amazing, loving Lindora, and the mature and peaceful Dwaun, and the full of life, happy Dylan.

After Lindora's clinic appointment, we took she and the boys down to Santa Monica to walk around, hoping to induce labor, but no luck.  Tomorrow afternoon Lindora has another checkup at the hospital.  I plan to spend the morning at Trader Joe's- yay!  And then I hope to Skype with my book club tomorrow evening.  How did anyone ever do all of this without modern technology?  Until tomorrow....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

False Alarm :(

I have learned a lot in the past 48 hours about cervix dilation & effacement, amniotic fluid, and fetal heartbeats. They are sending us home. No labor and no water breaking. Appointment on Tuesday for fetal testing and appointment on Friday to be induced. Bummer.

Send us some labor vibes!

Our First (and Maybe Last) Day Off

Today we got to take a walk down to Cabrillo beach.  It turns out the whale fiesta is next weekend, but there was a huge memorial service for John Olguin who was a community leader in San Pedro.  They shot off cannons from a freighter and had fireworks.  If you want to read more about him, click here:

When we got home, we met our neighbors, Tracy and Matt, also renting from Margie.  They are a young couple who have just moved from... drumroll please...  Ft. Walton Beach , Florida.  For thise of you who don't know, it's the next town over from our family's beach house in Destin.  Tracy worked in the management department of the Silver Sands Outlet mall (rignt across the street from the Gills' beach house.)

After watching "Transformers" (really?  I have never met a high school girl that is remotely as hot as Megan Fox) and "Batman, um, 47?," we were off to bed, to wake up to a call from Lindora saying that her water broke.  So we are waiting until her contractions start to take her to the hospital.  She is having second thoughts about going to a different hospital.  We told her we would take her anywhere she wants to go, we just want her to be comfortable and happy.  We will keep you posted! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some Pictures of San Pedro

Views from the pier

The System and the Variety of Ethnic TV

I woke up in a panic yesterday morning with the realization that our baby mama has not seen a doctor in about 3 weeks.  She had appointments at a clinic that was chosen based upon their willingness to provide Lindora with transportation. But, for reasons unknown to me (and Lindora) they have cancelled every appointment that she has had over the past 2 weeks.  So we resolved to get her in to see a health care professional of any type (at this point we weren't going to be picky) to at least get a pelvic exam.  (Bobby Brown, where are you when we need you?)

After 9 hours (nope, not an exaggeration) we left the hospital with the knowledge and relief that the heartbeat is strong, the amniotic fluid is plentiful, the baby is between 7-1/2 and 8 pounds, and two ultrasound pictures, one showing the sex parts.  My sweet husband said it was OK for me to know the sex, but even if the tech did not tell me, the sex parts were the only body parts I recognized on the ultrasound.  So Jeff does not know the sex, but Lindora and I do.  And no, you may not know either, not before my precious husband.  Which is tricky, because we have to really watch our pronoun usage around Jeff.

So, what was Jeff doing while Lindora and I were at the hospital?  He was cruising around downtown LA with 2 black kids in tow.  Take a moment to visualize this.  I can't say enough good things about these boys.  Dwaun holds Dylan's hand, changes his diapers, and make sure he eats enough lunch, all without complaint.  Dylan never fusses and is happy to walk or be carried.  He's just happy!  I wish I could be more like Dylan.  These boys think Jeff hung the moon, and so do I.

After leaving the hospital, we went grocery shopping to lay in some supplies at Lindora's so there would be enough to eat for the kids when her friend comes to stay with the boys when she goes into labor. 

I love the melting pot around here.  In our little neighborhood, there is a Mexican burrito restaurant, a Lebanese cafe, a Moroccan restaurant, Korean bbq, and an American diner.  Did you know that there is an Asian home shopping network?  That one is really fun to watch.  There is one station that has a "frozen" picture of an interview that has been up for 3 days now. Jeff likes to do voiceover for that channel as if it is TV8-  "And how are the ski conditions today, Tricia?"  "3 new inches in Vail, 5 in Beaver Creek, powder and packed powder conditions..."  And of course there's BET. 

Off to do some whale watching!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Due Date

Well, today is Lindora's due date.  We are all ready for this baby to arrive!  I went on line to find some natural ways to induce labor:
Castor oil
Galloping (yes, galloping, and if you want to see some pregnant ladies in action, there is a video on you tube that you could watch, or you could just get a life)
Red raspberry leaf tea
Evening primrose oil
If any of you have any other ideas, we are open.

Yesterday after spending all morning on the phone with attorneys in two states, insurance companies, and health care workers, we have decided to take our chances at a cleaner hospital.  So that means wait until Lindora goes into labor (see above) and take her to the emergency room.  Jeff and I finally had some time to explore the neighborhood around lunchtime, so on a walk to the beach we ducked into a cute little diner.  We met Vicki and the gang, who all teared up when we told them about the adoption.  After amazing omelets and promises to be back soon, we cruised around the neighborhood.  San Pedro (pronounced Pee-dro, not Pay-dro, Mrs. Psky!) is really a cute town.  Not touristy or cheesy, but lots of nice homes and very little shopping or restaurants.  We are looking forward to the whale fiesta on the beach tomorrow!

We got permission from the attorney to buy Lindora a gift card to Wal Mart so she could buy some more furniture for her apartment.  Now I did not know this, but you cannot buy a gift card with a credit card.  And if you have a First Bank debit card, it runs through as a credit card, and that doesn't work either.  And if you wanted to pay with a check, well they won't let you do that either.  So if you wanted to go to an ATM, you'd better pray it works.  Tears don't help much in this situation, just so you know.  Oh, and it's also a good thing to remember your pin number, if you haven't used your ATM card in, oh, say, 2 years?

Then it was furniture building time.  Let me tell you, Lindora's 17 month old, Dylan, is maybe the cutest kid I have ever been around.  And he gets into everything he's not supposed to.  You can't get mad at him because he just grins at you and you just have to let him get away with murder.  He's that precious.  When he gets frustrated, he gets this look on his face that reminds me of our chihuahua Fernando.  I call it "Fernando face"- nose wrinkled and teeth showing.  And I can't say enough about how sweet and polite Dwaun is.  So, by 9 PM, we left Lindora's apartment better than when we arrived.

Again, I am exhausted- is it the sea level air?  Too much oxygen?  I'll write about today on tomorrow's blog.  Stay tuned for the description of an 9-hour long doctor's visit for a pelvic exam and ultrasound.  Remind me never to go on medicaid.  Gotta get some rest for the whale fiesta tomorrow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LA Driving- amber alerts, dodging motorcycles, and 10 lanes full of cars- where are all of these people going at 2 PM?

Thank God that my sexy husband knows his way around the city, and we have a GPS, because if I had to deal with his complaining about my manual transmission AND being lost, I would understand the true meaning of road rage.  Thank you, kind, polite, and patient Colorado drivers.  I appreciate you.

So, we left the house about 10 AM to pick up Lindora, (our baby mama) and her 2 sons, Dwaun (13 years) and Dylan (17 months).  These boys are precious, well behaved, and polite.  After dragging these boys all over the city all day, we did not hear so much as a whimper from either of them.

After enjoying a lunch at Chili's we went to California Hospital, where Lindora is scheduled to give birth.  We met with the social worker and got a tour of the hospital, and I'm here to tell you people, it was an eye-opening experience.  This place is a far cry from the private birthing rooms with mountain views and clean floors in the Happy Valley.  Needless to say, neither Lindora or I were settled with the idea of our baby being born there.  More about this later...

Back to Lindora's neighborhood, to shop for furniture.   Lindora recently moved out of a friend's apartment, where she was sleeping on the floor, to a place of her own, where she is sleeping on the floor.  Yes, nine months pregnant, and sleeping on the floor!  It was our mission to find her a cheap bed (btw, this can be particularly tricky, since we don't want it to appear as if we are "buying" her baby for the price of a bed.)  But no luck- no cheap furniture store had a futon or sofa bed available for purchase immediately.

By 4:00 we had a meeting with the social worker from the agency.  Her name is Nikki and she is unbelievably amazing.  We love her.  Lindora and Nikki met for a little over an hour while I chased a toddler around a roomful of noisy toys (please, only quiet toys for our baby!!!) and Jeff got smoked by Dwaun twice in the board game Sorry.  Then it was our turn to meet with Nikki.  We worked out details for the openness of the adoption.

By 6:30 we were in the car, on a quest for a bed for Lindora & the boys.  We took Nikki's advice and bought an Aerobed and some linens.  Then to In & Out Burger for dinner (how can a fast food restaurant with such great burgers have such disgusting fries?)  We arrived at Lindora's apartment to help her with the bed.  By 10:30 PM we were back in the car on the way back to our cottage.  Glass of wine and to bed. 

This morning our task was to figure out how to work the system to allow Lindora to give birth at a different hospital that will allow her a private room and allow us to be with the baby other than visiting hours.  The plan now is to wait until she goes into labor and take her to the emergency room of a private hospital closer to her new home.  So now, we wait...

Off now to walk to the beach, 72 degrees today (sorry, I couldn't resist...)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Arrival in California!

Well here we are, road weary.  Our house in San Pedro is so cute.  We are exhausted, so here's some video...

Monday, January 17, 2011


Today I read Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  I think he would approve of our adoption plan.  If you would like to read it too, here is the link: or watch Dr. king in all of his wisdom giving the speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial:

Happy Martin Luther King Day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Well, here we go...  I have the car cleaned & packed, Skype set up on Mom's laptop, and the house ready for Mom to move in for 3 weeks.  I hope we have everything we need- I've been told babies don't need much over the first couple of weeks.  Nobody at the fire station, police station, or ambulance district is around over the holiday weekend, so I guess I'll have to wait and get the car seat installed when we get to LA.  We rented a cute 1-bedroom cottage in San Pedro 2 blocks from Cabrillo Beach (the weather is sunny & in the 70's all week, gotta love Cali!) Go to to see pictures.  The owner, Margie, is so cute, when she found out we were adopting, she took $100 and the cleaning fee off our bill!

Our plan now is to leave 3AM Tuesday morning, arriving in San Pedro Tuesday evening.  When Lindora (our birth mom) goes into labor, we will spend the night at California Hospital in downtown LA, until the baby is released.  (Lindora wants us in the delivery room, hooray!) Then we will be able to take the baby back to San Pedro.  The parental rights relinquishment will be final 2 days after the birth.  Then we wait until the interstate compact paperwork is processed, about 10 days, and some blood tests for the baby come back.  All in all, we should be there for about 2 weeks after the birth.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

Right now Jeff is working his tail off to finish wiring a 5000 sq ft addition in Lake Creek.  Hopefully he will finish by tomorrow so we can leave on schedule.  I've learned not to do too much planning.  As my mother-in-law Jan says, "If you really want to give God a laugh, tell him your plans."  Good advice for a chronic planner!

Until California,