Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This is the last time the USCIS will be seeing me sitting in their office...

Home study...DONE
Application for the I-600A.....DONE
with new fee paid ......DONE
Finger prints ...... DONE

Tate, Momma is ready for you......
as soon as China is ready to let you go.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Looming above my head is the I600A/I171H cloud. My bad.... I thought that the new fee increase would happen the end of July. AS IN JULY 31!!! Not the last Sunday in July! I planned my day on July 31st sitting and patiently waiting in the local USCIS office. I will not be holding my updated Home study in my hands until tomorrow morning, when it is over nighted to me. So I logged in today to the USCIS site to find out just exactly how much money and who gets that money via a cashier's check. It was exactly at this point that my heart dropped to the ground and I realized my mistaken cut off day for the fees error. So tomorrow I have an appointment to in person hand in my Home Study, I600A application, birth certificate and whatever else they want. I'm thinking I just might offer a pint of my O-negative blood while I am at it.... thrown in just for good measure. As always, in my Scarlett O'Hara fashion, tomorrow is another day. I still have my health and beauty... so really what is money??? I wish.

Friday, July 27, 2007


There is a lot of sadness around this house today. Something has happened that has been coming for a long time. SOMEONE is very unhappy about this change in her the world....

Mesa is in training…. to be a DOG. She seems to think (as do I) that she is not a dog. She started "the riding in car" training today. This is so veeeeery hard on me, too….. I love riding around with Mesa next to me snuggling with her left leg up over my shoulder…… All this "training" is in preparation for Tate. I want Mesa to change her behavior before Tate comes so that she does not resent Tate for changing her place from BABY of mine to DOG of mine.

So as she was presented with this in the car.... Her perfect world came crashing down.

Her reaction to this change was refusing to get into the car. Instead heading to the doors leading to the middle seats. "Be strong", I said to myself. I MADE Mesa get in the back and ride all the way for one mile to get coffee and a treat. This coffee and a treat is something we do every morning. It is our tradition. This morning she was IN THE BACK! NO snuggles from me, NO ear rubs from the gals in the drive thru coffee window. NOTHING! She acted as a dog and behind the dog barrier. After a quick torturous 5 minutes, she was home. I swear that that pup had tears in her eyes!! Ever since this bad terrible morning, she just hangs around will make no eye contact with me. I am a bad bad bad mommie!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


The race is on! Me against the dreaded USCIS fee increase. I started this renewal with my agency back in June. Last week I was Fed-Ex'd the release forms for the background clearance. These I sent back signed with all that was needed for the update for the home study..... except the signed and notarized History and Physical. THAT critical piece of the home study, my dear friends, was in my own hands. Someone who had the same home study person said that she did not need to provide a Physical form for her HS update... So, I was kind of hoping that the signed history paper really was not needed. I had recently gone to the MD for my yearly physical and just had to send it to the office for signing. Today, knowing that in a few days my HS needed to be finished and in the USCIS office with my $545.00, I jumped out of bed and hand delivered this to the MD's office. The whole reason for my post on this subject is this.....

Once back home after standing in line at the MD's office for 15 minutes, and people standing behind me for those 15 minutes. I looked into the mirror and see that I had pulled my button up tailored shirt on backwards with seams on the outside AND a white label against a black shirt staring at everyone behind me.....

Will this renewed I171H nightmare end soon??

Monday, July 23, 2007

S' UP???

I have been scouring around the all the blogs trying to get pictures and updates on the Georgia Bodacious Bloggers Break 2007 gathering! Oh man, how it just killed me that I could not make it out to Melissia's for this shindig!!

SILENCE right now on all the blogs.... makes me think of two possibilities.

1- A lot of craziness went down at the Bodacious Bloggers Break 2007 and EVERYONE is sworn to secrecy....


2- Everyone is just plain tuckered out and cannot even get up the energy to fill me in on the festivities!!!

Thankfully I have a dinner on Saturday with Susie and Tawnijo and will (pump all details) ask politely about the fun!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


A huge thanks for everyone who emailed me about my plight of the unknown navigating thru "the system". I think I am on the right path to get this I600A/I171H done. Feeling like I am on a life raft seeing land ahead....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I feel like I am drowning....

Today was one of those days. Overwhelming to say the least. As some might know, I am in the process of making a total career change. I'm thinking about going back to school for a Master's degree, need to find a new primary job, major family changes, while trying to get on top of the clutter and dust around here.

But the thing that is my focus today and makes my mind whirl in frustration is lack of information about renewing my I171H or is it the I600A. Note, I have taken off the link to my agency because, frankly, I did not want to disrespect this agency for the all the good work that they do. But to say they are Clueless is the truth. So back to the point of this post. When the news of the one time fee waive hit the IA, I called my agency. I actually had to explain the fee waiver thingy to L. After a few minutes of frustration on the phone with L, I wanted OFF THE PHONE with her and said that I would check into it. Unknowingly to me, she has been referring others with the same question to me. When I finally made contact with her after many phone messages (she does not answer email), I found out the "I was the expert on the fee waiver" (eh?)..... I need to renew my stuff before the fee jacks up. So I tell L that I will bite the fee cost and just renew before the fees go up July 30. Another "WHAT?" moment and I education L on the fee increase in July end. Where has this director of my agency been living lately? Obviously not in the IA community. So several attempts by me to contact via email others, and an eternity on hold with the USCIS, chats with the uninformed customer service rep at the USCIS, emails to USCIS (unanswered) and finally a call from L this morning saying that she is overnighting some forms for me to fill out, a I need to get a new physical?

Someone throw me a life jacket.... what should I really be doing? My I171H expired May 15 2007.... I want to get this in before the deadline July 30. These facts I do know, I really need to hear what I need to do from someone with actual knowledge.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Today I had to totally laugh out loud while driving. The car in front of me, a beater car,if you know what I mean, had a "personalized" license plate..... something like "Starplnt". Around the plate was a personalized frame saying-------



This just struck me as so funny....
Hey I needed a good laugh. And laugh I truly did!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007


I sometimes I have tons of things to blog about, yet other times I have nothing but BORING stuff...... After many months of pre-adoption stuff posting, I finally feel like I'm needing one of these to add a little interest....

There is a limitation of chatting about my life, trips, dog, house projects. BORING. I need to get posting about the everyday antics of Tate. Who am I kidding. I really do not need Tate for blogging. I am in need of seeing her face and holding and loving my gal.....

I guess I am at the point in this long wait where I am feeling "done with the wait".

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Mesa has a sleepover buddy. We are watching Scout for 5 days while her momma is hiking in Glacier National Park. These two pups are like having kiddos on a sleepover. Both have been enjoying a new taste of kibble, preferring to eat out of the other's bowl. Last night I was awaken to the sound of two pups PLAYING at freaking 3 am. Today I have two dogs lounging around recovering from their late night antics...... ME??? Wondering what is in store for me tonight.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th OF JULY....

What an amazing day the 4th was. Perfect weather, family time, and probably the most complete 4th of July family celebration EVER!!! Actually had a sleep over at my brother's house. I always decline this invite of sleeping over because, I live only 34 minutes away and what to do with the Mesa. In my house, Mesa is the baby and sleeps inside in her own room. At my brother's house, Mesa is a DOG and sleeps outside with her cousin dog (another Golden Retriever) Summer, pictured at left. The pups have fun playing with each other, but Mesa seems to want to be inside at night. Amazingly, Mesa survived (as did I) her sleepover outside. Early morning we all headed out to see the balloon festival and a pancake breakfast. I had to remind myself that the pancake breakfast was for charity..... not the greatest eats.

After heading back to the house and a nap (hey, we were up late the previous night and up early for the balloons!) we were off to see, Ratatouille in an air conditioned theatre. The movie is highly recommended.... so go see it.

Then... the celebration that surpasses all other 4th of July celebration. As most know, I am first generation Norwegian and the 4th of July is a "new" holiday for my parents and aunts and uncles. So when my brother's neighbor invited us to be part of their All American celebration. I finally got to experience what all this 4th of July hoopla was all about.


My brother's backyard backs up to the neighbor's backyard..... sans no fence. Nothing but an acre of green grass, with room to run. Above is the centerpiece of all 8 tables. I had to take a picture because it was so cute and I need to remember this idea for when I host my turn at my dinner club, Gourmet Club. The cloth was a yard of denim with a bandanna in the center, flags, Mason jar, and unshelled peanuts. Simple idea but so cute!!!!

Ribs, in all it's glory. Rumor has it that 140 lbs of these babies were bought and lovingly tended to by the "men" of the family. Slow roasting, basting, and crisping.... BaaBaQUE!!! I did not think to grab a picture of the overflowing platter until after the first servings went through. I will attest that I have never seen so many ribs in one place. The smell was heavenly.


Salads..... fruit, bacon broccoli, spinach/strawberry, chipolte pasta with add-ons, red potato salad. Roasted chipolte corn on the cob. Rolls. Baked beans (we brought that). Homemade root beer.

Dessert????? Brownies.... plain and rocky road. Cookies of all varieties. Ice Cream.

Running around in all this fun, were the kiddos in swim suits..... Slip and slide and make your own water slide out of the swing set.

To end the evening, fireworks...... enough were brought by everyone that this part lasted for a long time.


Sunday, July 01, 2007


All day I have been followed around by the snuggle pup, Mesa. My only "alone time" was when I fired up the lawn mower and cut the back lawn. Mesa was hiding somewhere in the house. She hates that "scary sounding" machine.

I am loading her up in the SUV and heading out for her to have a little swim up in the canyons near Park City, UT. Just the mention of swimming and she is freaking out with excitement. Enjoy your rest of the weekend and the 4th of July.


Scene from the Cabo airport on the way home..... Home???? Why does the fun always have to end?

Twinkle Toes just plopped right on down on this display of a bottle of Mexican beer. It was so hot, she had the unhappy responsibility of Smiley's hat and she was so tuckered out that she just hit the floor on the first thing she saw that would give her a chance to "rest".
Just had to post this picture of this beauty. Love her blue eyes!!!

Sparkle was posed by me and thought her sister was "so weird" to just plop on the "dirty airport floor". Lately this little 12 year old gets so annoyed at her once adorable sister. It is kind of cute the way she now wants to be part of the adult conversation and will ease drop on adult conversations and input some real cute comments.

Those who know me know how I get sooooooooo very bored with shopping. Especially for the same stuff in every shop kind of place. With this in mind, I decided that the day the shoppers were going to all the trinket shops, I would stay back at the Villa and swim, read, chat with my Mom. Funny, but the other two who stayed behind from this shopping nightmare was Twinkle Toes and my Mom. All three of us have similar personalities.....

Sparkle loves to shop. With $40.00 USD in her hand and wish list from me, she shopped for Tate. I cannot believe how adorable these things are. Sparkle was able to bargain all this for $20.00 USD. In the right lower corner is a silver baby bracelet.


With all this vacationing going on and the activity of Summer, I have become unplugged to the International Adoption World. I realize that this is about the time that rumors start hitting the Queen. As you might notice, I chose not to highlight the site, because frankly I have not been on that site this month. I have nothing against RQ and am appreciative for all the effort she/he does. I just have been too busy to think about the referrals. Yesterday when I realized that this was the case, I set myself a goal to stay away from RQ this month. Instead I have been reading the blogs of those who are in China right now and loving seeing the end results of this long wait. I am feeling really good about my choice of looking at the positive. Next month just might include the RQ.