Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Raffle - A Trio of Signed Books

I can't believe we're already up to the November raffle and that four raffles are already in the book. Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets. And congratulations to my co-worker Tina, for finally breaking Maryland's winning record and representing New York. Tina wins the beautiful fall necklace.

And on to the November raffle -- a set of three signed books. Any or all would make a great holiday gift!

The Babe Book by Ernestine Miller, foreward by Julia Ruth Stevens (Babe's daughter) and signed by both women (thank you to Johnny Z for getting Julia to sign it and to Ernestine for signing and mailing it so quickly)

All Things Being Equal: The Autobiography of Lennie Moore, signed by NFL Hall of Famer Lennie Moore

A Mother for All Seasons: A Memoir by Debbie Phelps (mother of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps

Happy Halloween

Big pumpkin, little pumpkin. I thought I would get into the habit of buying more than one this year.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Out of the Blue

Have you ever smelled a familiar scent and thought about something? Or heard a song? And suddenly you were overcome with emotion -- either good or bad -- and it took you by surprise?

That happened to me today. We had our annual Halloween parade/party at work today. The children of all of my building co-workers come in and parade around the building, and then we have a party in the conference room for them. I was helping Heather with her two kids, carrying Megan (5 months old).

As I was walking towards the conference room, I saw LiLi and Jordan and my heart broke. (LiLi and Jordan are in foster care, and have been for most of their lives. I had fought, begged and pleaded to be able to adopt them. And for many, many reasons, DSS wouldn't let me. Their mother deserved yet one more chance; they could not be separated from two of their siblings, even though they were separated from three others; and on and on. I wanted these girls so bad, I could actually visualize being their mother.)

Anyway, they were there with their foster mother (one of my co-workers) and I started to cry. I had Megan in my arms, so I couldn't run back to my office like I would have liked. I took a deep breath, and went back in the conference room. And couldn't take my eyes off of them. Until my sight was blurred by my tears.

Sometimes I think about the baby I carried and lost. And sometimes, I think about these two little girls and how I lost them, even though there was never a chance for them to be mine. Fortunately, I also think about the baby waiting for me -- maybe not even born yet -- who will fix my broken heart and make me a mom.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hi, my name is Claudia, and I'm Laurie's friend, guardian to the chickens she has referenced, and first time blogger, guest or otherwise.

The chicks are almost adults (they will be 17 weeks old on Monday, and I guess 20 weeks is considered full-grown adulthood in chickendom). Last night we moved them to the big coop. It's insulated and as the nights have been getting colder, we needed to move them from their teenage pad. I was a nervous wreck, but everyone seems to be sorting themselves out. The big question...will we need to help them find the coop tonight?

We are now prepared to announce their names. The white chicken is Camilla, the other two buff/white chickens are Ruby and Dory, and the chipmunks (they looked like chipmunks when they were babies, and the name has stuck) are Mabel, Matilda, and Hilda. That's Hilda in the portrait. Thanks to everyone who submitted names…even if we didn't pick the name you shared, you might have inspired one we did pick, so thanks for playing! And all for a good cause, don't you think?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Progress for my Peeps

Since I started the mommyhood journey, I have had lots of people in my life (honestly, more than I care to count) have babies, either by getting pregnant or adopting. I heard all about the doctor appointments, the kicking, and cooed over the newly delivered. I learned words and phrases that seemed so foreign to me, or had no meaning, including dossier, referral, I600A, USCIS, and on and on.

But since I officially got on the waiting list on May 17, I think the first "new" babies came into my life today. My friend received her referral, and while we've only known each other over email, our blogs, and over the phone for a month or so, I feel like we've been in this journey on the same track.

And so, for the first time in a long time, there was no pang of jealousy mixed with overwhelming happiness for my friend. It was just happiness and excitement. She is a mom, to a nearly one-year-old and a four- or five-year-old. And I couldn't be happier to be on this journey with her, hearing all about the progress towards her court date and first trip, and every wonderful thing that comes after.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am in limbo. Realistically I still have a year-plus to wait. And while I continue to pick up little things here and there for the baby, including diapers whenever I have a good coupon, and have used my first foray in quilting/sewing class to make a quilt for the baby, but if I wonder if I shouldn't. If I am somehow jinxing myself.

I foolishly started a baby registry at Target the day after my first IUI procedure. I arrogantly thought that was no way I wouldn't get pregnant on the first try. I almost laugh remembering the nurse asking me if I wanted to skip that month because I had too many mature follicles and the likelihood of multiples was higher.

Now, logically I know that one thing had nothing to do with another. Registry or no registry, I wasn't going to get pregnant. But the baseball girl in me is very superstitious. I wear the same Yankees t-shirt I got for my 19th birthday (think about that, my 19th birthday was in 1989) for every Yankees play-off game, year after year.

There is a lot of time for something to go wrong. The country could close to singles, or close altogether. My wait could be extended -- my monthly countdown is just an estimate given by the agency after all and could be readjusted between now and then.

I guess I have to believe that this is going to happen. And as my friend Doreen reminded me today, I've got far too long to wait to start worrying about things out of my control. And so I'm not going to waste a good $2 diaper coupon. I'm not going to pass over the cute little onesies or books.

Here's hoping they don't become gifts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Hank Greenberg...

George Brett....

Jeff Bagwell....

Joe DiMaggio and

...Brooks Robinson (below with me and Babe Ruth's daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens in 2000)

Or should I have said, famous fives!

Five months down, 11 to 17 to go!

I can't wait until at least one of those numbers is in single digits.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's October

For some people that means changing leaves and sweaters and apple cider and pumpkins. For me, it means late nights. Specifically staying up to watch the Yankees in the play-offs (like I'm doing right now).

And so to get everyone excited about October baseball, here is just a sampling of the things I've picked up for the future baby (who really does need a nickname -- any suggestions? :)

And not everything I have is baseball-related. Honest.

This is the very first thing I bought.

Ten years ago, I was home from Baltimore for Christmas. And my niece Jenny and I were doing a late-night Wegmans run when we saw this in the clearance basket.

"You have to buy it, just for the principle of it," she told me. I was 30 years old and babies were the furthest thing from my mind, but I bought it.

Over the years, I've collected lots of baseball-related things.

Books and a Babe Ruth night light....

...a rattle and a bath mitt....

...onesies (and I love that this one says "mom" on it)...

...t-shirts and jerseys....

....and a Babe Ruth rubber duckie.

And for when we visit Aunt Lesley and Uncle Ziemann, and go to Camden Yards -- and the Orioles are not playing the Yankees...

Just Added!

It's for the November raffle, but it arrived in the mail yesterday so I thought I would announce it. In addition to the books signed by Lenny Moore and Debbie Phelps, I'm adding a book signed by my dear friend Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe Ruth's daughter.

I will scan the book and signature in tomorrow and post it.

Thanks to my friend John Ziemann, for getting the book last week when Julia was visiting the Museum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


If your first name is common and your last name defines you, then what lies in the middle is the mystery of who you are, the secret of what lies within.

I've been thinking a lot about names, and what names to give my baby. I have a pretty good idea on first names -- one for either gender, both are named after authors for my love of books.

For the girl -- Harper (after Harper Lee). For the boy -- Cooper (after James Fenimore Cooper) And of course, Cooper has the added meaning for me and baseball.

The middle name(s) gets tricky.

I have two family names for each gender. And I would also like to incorporate the baby's Ethiopian name as one of the middle names. I guess I will just wait to see which family name works best with the African name.

For the girl -- either Laura (for the grandmother I was named for) or Amelia (my maternal grandmother's middle name)

For the boy -- Lincoln (again, my namesake grandmother, it was her maiden name) or Henry (my mother's uncle).

Of course, I have a very long time to wait. And in a year, I could hate all of those names. But right now, that's where my heart is with the future name of my baby.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

(Almost) All the Prizes

People have been asking to see what the future drawings are. There are a few that I don't have pictures of yet, but the ones in hand are featured below. And remember, you're entered in all of them.

October -- Hand-crafted Necklace(thanks Felicia)

November -- Books signed by Pro Football Hall of Famer Lennie Moore, and Debbie Phelps, mother of Olypmic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps (thanks to the Babe Ruth Museum)

January -- Photo signed by NFL MVP Peyton Manning (thanks to the Peyback Foundation)

March -- Photo signed by Baseball Hall of Famer Stan "the Man" Musial

May -- Photo signed by Baseball Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray (thanks to Maroon PR)

June -- Photo signed by Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter (thanks to the Turn 2 Foundation)

Friday, October 1, 2010

September Winner....October Raffle

Congratulations to Susan H. of Severna Park, MD for winning the September drawing. And you know what that means? Maryland is now 3-0 in the drawings.

The October raffle officially kicks off on this chilly, blustery fall-like day with a beautiful hand-crafted autumnal necklace, made by Felicia Holbrook.

Thanks Felicia!