Sunday, May 20, 2012


So, you may remember my post about the possibility of the return of your original USCIS packet. HERE is the post. If you are a adoptive parent you know what I'm talking about. If you're not the only thing that you need to know is (at least in our case) you are given very little information about your child, then to add insult to injury you are given ONE copy of their new birth certificate and ONE copy of their adoption decree when you leave Russia. That's it. Everything that you know about your child fits into a letter sized envelope. For whatever reason, this makes me sad. I think about all the meticulous documentation that occurred before my first month, not to mention the volumes that were written before my third birthday. Then you look at that envelope, with two pieces of paper and obviously lacking any photographic proof of infancy, first tooth, first step, first haircut and it just makes you want to cry.
Anyway, with the return of this packet, there is rumor of at minimum another set of original documentation, which is not only practical, but enticing as the possibility to double the amount of documentation in your possession. THEN there is the rumors of the hospital records and photographs. Be still my heart.
Well, we were prepared to wait up to two years for the return of this magical packet. Well, on Friday, we got a letter from USCIS. I thought maybe it was a "thank you for your request, we'll be right on that in approximately two years" But instead it said "thank you, but everything in your child's file was a certified COPY of the original document other that the original visa application, which we cannot return to you and must remain in our file." SAD.
They did say I could fill out another form to request "copies of the copies" but really, what's the point in that. I'm going to do it anyway, just for the possibility that they have a copy of something I don't have, but still. SAD.
I hope all you guys who are waiting and filled out the form have better luck and find some real gems in your packet. Ours was a dud.
But, we are still focusing at making new memories and document those wonderful things as they happen!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Running Out? Run In!

 I had a lot of fun shopping at Publix today! In the "old days" aka "pre-children days" I use to come home from the store, put everything on the counter and make hubster guess how much I spent and how much I saved. Like our own personal Price Is Right. Now we're lucky if we can get the food put away before Charlie is asking for juice or something more pressing needs attention.
But today, we played the game. Wanna play??? I know you do! Here is what I bought:
2 Boxes Rice Crispies
Aveno Baby Lotion
Aveno Baby Wash
2 Tubes Crest Vivid White (Running Out? Run In!)
3 Tostino Pizzas (Running Out? Run In!)
2 Giant boxes of Luvs Diapers (Running Out? Run In!)
4 V-8 Splash Juice
10 Cans Tomatoes/Green Beans/Corn
2 Charmin 6 Rolls
Lipton Family Box Tea Bags
2 Ace Bandages
2 Spot Shot Carpet Cleaner (I know....NOT green, but my homemade recipe isn't cutting it on nasty pet stains....)
2 Smart Balance Milks
3 Cans Crescent Rolls (Running Out? Run In!)
3 Cans Buttermilk Grands Biscuits (Running Out? Run!)
2 Mitchum Deodorant
2 Reynolds Foil Pans
Kraft BBQ Sauce
2 Planters Peanut Butter
3 Land O Lakes Butter
Betty Crocker Cake Mix
Betty Crocker Icing
2 Pepsi Next (2L)
2 Sun Drops (2L)
2 Sierra Mist (2L)
7 Voskos Greek Yogurt

Thanks for the diapers Blog Spark!
Ready to guess???

I saved $148.10 and spent $64.82!!! Whooo-Hooo!!!! I was able to get some really great deals with stuff already with the sale and then matched with coupons courtsey of Southern Savers. Plus there is a sweet $5 mail in rebate HERE.

Don't forget to enter the $25 Publix Gift Card giveaway tomorrow at noon HERE. Right now there are only 9 entries, so you have pretty good odds.... And then you can score some great deals too! Good Luck!

My blog spark is a new site I joined from the recommendation of my friend, Meagan ( at Fairly Fabulous) to "get great material to share with my readers such as coupon offers, photos and images." I received a $25 Publix card to shop this sale and get to give away a $25 gift card to one of my wonderful, lovely, kind readers! Yeah!

By the way...All of these opinions are my own and the Publix gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

Giveaway (Celebrate!)

To celebrate the birth of my new blog LIVING YELLOW we are having a giveaway! Ooooh I love free stuff!

Here is what you need to know: 
  • May 17-May 23 Publix is having a "Running Out? Run In" Sale. Tons of stuff will be on sale AND there will be in store coupons to match the sale items. 
  • Here's what's on sale and the store coupon matchups (they expire 6/2/12):
    $2/1 Totino’s Pizza Rolls 90 count
    $2/1 Wanchai Ferry Frozen Entrees
    $1/1 Chex Cereal
    $1/2 Green Giant Frozen Vegetables assorted varieties 7-10 oz package
    $0.55/1 Dawn any size
    $2/1 Luvs Diapers
    $1/2 Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies
    $2/1 Bounty 6 roll or larger
    $1/2 Charmin or Charmin Basic
    $0.55/1 Crest Toothpaste 4 oz or higher
  • PLUS there is a mail in rebate for $5 when you buy $30 worth (before coupons) of said sale items. HERE is the link for that rebate form with all the specifics.
  • I suggest you also check out your regular couponing site (or my favorite couponing site, Southern Savers) on Tuesday, May 15th in the afternoon because there are SURE to be tons of manufacturers coupons to match up with those store coupons making those deals even sweeter. I will post on this blog and on Living Yellow on May 17th to fill you in on what I bought AND announce the winner of the giveaway.
Now, you may be saying....blah, blah, blah. What are you giving away??? I am giving away a $25 Publix gift card! I don't know about you, but in coupon land $25 goes a long way, especially when there is a sweet sale going on like the one outlined above. Now you may be do I win? Easy.
  • Go to the new blog LIVING YELLOW before noon on May 17th. 
  • Leave me a comment on the blog post called "Winner Winner Publix Dinner". Tell me you love me, you love my new blog, you are crazy about my eyes. Tell me I talk to much, I can't spell, use too many parenthesis or little dots.....It doesn't matter because because the winner will be chosen at random by But if you believe in random karma, you might want to say something nice :)
  • Come back to the blog on May 17th and see if you're the winner! 
  •  If you don't have a Publix near you (I shed a little tear for you) but you would still like to enter, that's perfectly fine. Maybe you can gift it to someone you know that has a Publix near them. If you're cool with it, I could shop the sale for you and donate the items to a local charity that could really use the diapers/toothpaste/paper towels etc.
At this point I need to give you the fine print. But it's not fine print at all because I don't think I can make the print small on blogger.  “Disclosure:  The Publix gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”

My blog spark is a new site I joined from the recommendation of my friend, Meagan ( at Fairly Fabulous) to "get great material to share with my readers such as coupon offers, photos and images." So far, I can't complain I got a $25 Publix card to shop this sale (can you say free Luvs diapers??) and get to give away a $25 gift card to one of my wonderful, lovely, kind readers! Yeah!

P.S.- If you're still reading this, I am still keeping From Russia With Love....just adding a new friend to the mix! Love ya, mean it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Living Yellow

Ok, it's not where I want it to be yet, but HERE is the link for my new blog, Living Yellow.
Maybe check it out and maybe you'll like it. Maybe you'll just think I'm weird. Here is my first post:
So in my late teens/early 20s I knew this girl my age that was already married and made her own soap. They had a kid named Rain or something (If you have a kid name Rain, I'm sorry that I've offended you in the first second sentence of this blog). They grew their own vegetables and had a bunch of goats in their yard. Now, you may think I grew up in some place south of Podunk (there I go again offending more of you, this time in my FOURTH sentence....) But I didn't. I grew up in a fairly large city in Florida a hop, skip and jump from Mickey Mouse. So this girl. She made her own soap. For that reason alone I thought she was super weird.
Now, due to this wonderful little phenom called Pinterest (you may have heard of it) I too want to make my own soap. And deodorant, and toothpaste and I don't care if people think I'm weird. My own, sweet, not-a-judgmental bone in his body husband thinks I'm a loon. When I bust out the 10 gallon pot and the wooden spoon he makes comments about "my meth lab" and has even muttered the "Hippy" word in my general direction. But I don't care. I want to save money and save my kids from chemicals. I have a personal beef against soap companies and how they don't think we've noticed that they've increased the cost of their products and decreased the size of their containers. I think we've been bombarded with aisles and aisles of cleaners that carry a hefty price tag with marginal results and stuff that will kill you and make fish have babies with three heads.
So, I am simplifying our lives.
In my dreams I would live in a chemical free world, eat clean organic food all the time, grow my own vegetables, raise my own chickens and goats for milk and eggs, have an alpaca farm, sew my own designer clothes and decorate my beach villa with style, you know Little House on the Prairie meets The Pioneer Woman meets Martha Stewart meets Ina Garden. with swag.
Of course, I can't do that. I suck at growing things. I mean I.kill.everything.I.touch.
I can't I'm not allowed to sew things because according to my husband, when I touch a sewing machine I turn into Mommy dearest.
I don't have the time, money or energy to eat healthy, organic food all the time. Or even half of the time.
I really like things like icing right out of the can and Cheetos.
The thought of grabbing an egg from a chickens butt, touching a goat utter, or shaving an alpaca makes me cringe. You could say I'm not much of an "outdoorsy" kinda gal.
BUT, I do want to simplify our lives.
I do want to save money.
I want to be creative and ingenuitive. 
I want to have pride in what goes into my kids bellies.
So, here we go. I we're "going yellow" people! That just means we're not quite experienced enough to "go green" yet. But we're getting there...
Baby steps people.
Baby steps.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Where have you been???

Well, it's been a while. Time flies when you're having fun!
  • I've had two colds in two weeks (I'm just happy it's not MONO! Where I was at this time last year....) But the last two weeks have gone like this: A cold for a week, stomach bug over the weekend, two days of good health and then WHAM....another cold. It was like a sucky cold sandwich, but once again, NOT mono, so I can't complain. Well, I could complain, but I bet you would stop reading. If you haven't already.
  • Charlie's US Passport came in the mail last week! Yipppeeee! He is so proud of his "blue book". You have to send pretty much  EVERY single important original document you have to obtain said passport (original adoption decree, original birth certificate, original citizenship certificate, Russian passport). And hope and pray that they make their way home. Though the Post Office. Yikes. Post Office does not scream confidence in the whole dependability department to me. I guess I've had too many smashed boxes, lost parcels, etc. for my liking. I literally had nightmares about these things getting lost in the mail. But we got the passport in the mail on Tuesday and his original documents were returned on Friday. Not too bad. Sorry I said bad things about you post office. 
  • We got Jack's birth certificate in the mail! Yeah! The next day, I went down to the Social Security office. You can read about Charlie's social security office experience HERE. Well this time around it was A TON easier. I guess everyone is more comfortable with a US born adoptee as opposed to a Russian born one. No two hour wait, no supervisor's supervisor. In, out. DONE! I called this time and they said I didn't even need to bring Jack since he was a baby. After his social security card comes in the mail then we can amend our income taxes and actually claim him for 2011. Which brings me to my next bag o' fun....
  • Charlie's adoption tax credit. We got a check in the mail for our return MINUS the adoption tax credit. Oi. Then three days later a letter saying "don't send anything at this time, but your tax return is "under review" Yikes. Apparently if I haven't heard from then in 45 days I need to call a 1-800 number and then in 45 days they'll call me back, then in another 45 days.....Do you see a trend here people? I LOVE that our country says "Ohhhh YES!!! Adoption Tax Credit" and then makes you jump through hoops to get it. I mean, I can see if it's a $40,000 credit, but it's not. It's $13,360. Really, if you made two (maybe 3 trips to Russia) I can GUARANTEE that $13k is chump change. Five airline tickets, three visas, room, board, drivers and mandatory medical exams cost more than that! That's not even counting agency fees, home studies, blah, blah, blah. So, I am getting ready for a fun time with our own government. Yeah....
  • Jack has not one, but TWO teeth poking through! Wow. It seems like it happened overnight. I mean, he's been drooling and chewing on everything in site for two months. But the teeth just "pooped" up overnight I swear. He's been eating "real" food everyday and LOVES it. I mean LOVES it. I've made him carrots, sweet potatoes, applesauce, peas, beets, acorn squash, purple sweet potatoes. Another boy that LOVES Mama's cooking. He's also eaten these dissolving rice rusk biscuits. They are called "Mum Mums" and he gets so mad after he's eaten them all gone. Like I am withholding food from him! "Where are my mum mums? What have you done with my mum mums???" He is also sleeping from 8:30pm- 7:00am WITHOUT waking up. Praise the Lord. I feel like a new person. Sleep is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Did I mention he's sitting up by himself too??? Where is my baby going???
  • We went to the park today and Charlie took the initiative to climb up to the monkey bars. Now, we've monkey barred a few times last summer by holding him up, but this time he was playing with some friends as we watched from a distance. He climbs up and ROCKS the monkey bars all by himself. All the way across. I was literally cheering from the "mommy bench". The other mommies on the playground probably thought I was crazy. But if you could have seen him. He is so strong and so tall and so....well all boy. Big Boy. Then he proceeded to lay down in the mulch and make a mulch angel, which explains all the mulch in his pockets and underwear when he comes home from preschool. We are still going to speech therapy once a week and he's gotten a little better sitting still. He is still so stubborn, so I can't really say at this point if it's making any difference. I think the kid's going to college saying "pood" instead of "food". 
  • I am starting a new "fun" blog about what I've been passionate about lately- making my own soaps, cleaners, food. Trying to live more frugally, and "green" even though I hate using that word since I pretty much kill the earth on a daily basis. It's not ready yet, but be on the lookout for it's BIG debut soon!
  •  And I think that's about it in a nutshell. We have been so busy, getting geared up for summer. Praying that it's a good one....