Friday, November 30, 2007

One last step...

We are done! Finished! No more paperwork! So now that we're done with all the official stuff, we need to make sure we're done with all the good stuff!

Dad left this morning. I had my alarm set for 5:20 but was awake anyway. Henry said he made it through the airport OK and his bags were underweight. We were pretty close on one of them.

We were going to go to the leather district this morning but time ran short. So we just went to Maku and finished up almost all the shopping. I tried to start packing but knew we had more shopping to do and also some laundry to finish. Anival came to get me this afternoon around 3:00 and we went back to the notary. We got there around 3:35 and picked up her visa and were out the door around 3:40. Not nearly as busy as applying for the visa. As soon as I got back, I decided to celebrate by getting my hair cut. I went to Norberto's, which is just down the street, and told the stylist, a guy named Michell, to do whatever he wanted. It was quite interesting having three guys who didn't speak English stand around you telling you what to do with your hair. I figured if I didn't like it, I'd just have Leslie fix it when I got home. But I was pretty desparate. I hadn't had my hair cut in six weeks and it was driving me crazy. So in the end, I really like it. I don't have any pictures though so you'll have to wait. I'm not telling Rob until I get home, though. We'll see if he notices. I'm not the one he's going to be looking at!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't you think there would be Americans at the American embassy?

Doesn't that seem sort of logical? It did in my mind. Until I got there and of the hundreds (and I'm not exaggerating) of people there, I saw one American.

Anival was here at 9:00 and we left for the embassy. Henry was also here at the same time and took Mom and Dad to Bolivar Square and the Gold Museum. I think they had a really good time. When we got to the embassy I waited while Anival checked us in. He thought it would be about 20 minutes. 40 minutes later I was called up. In this 40 minutes, Murphy screamed bloody murder. She was tired and there was a lot of noise so she couldn't sleep. It was very nice having everyone in the area stare at you. Like they weren't staring to begin with. I went to the desk and she asked for lots of documents. Then I went to the next window to pay $380 and there was no cashier. So I waited while and he finally showed up. Then they called my name again to be interviewed. She asked if everything on the forms were true as to my knowledge. I said yes. Then she asked me about Murphy's medical condition. I explained it and she said "OK, you're approved. Come back tomorrow to pick it up." This all took three hours. It went fast but a crying baby didn't help.

I got back to the motel and Mom and Dad weren't back yet. We ate sandwiches for dinner. That's our typical fare. Cheese sandwich and chips. When Mom & Dad got back we went to the emerald dealer, Freddy's, then Megan, Mom & I went to the Harley store (notice bags in hand).

Then to the Hard Rock Cafe. Then home. We packed the two suitcases for Dad to take tomorrow and took some pictures of the babies. It's so fun being here with the people we are. There is a woman here from St. Louis now. And Isabelle the French woman, plus Megan, Juel, and the kids. We all just get along well and enjoy doing things together. It's nice.

We all went to Azzuros for supper tonight for Dad's last day here.

His pink eye is looking better. He'll leave the motel at 5:30 tomorrow morning so it will be early for all of us. Then Mom moves in with us for two days. We'll be ready to go home. I'm a little worried about Murphy's temperment on the plane. I don't think even Mom believed me until she got here. Everyone may just clear out around us and give us the whole row (which is what we're hoping for!).

Tomorrow we might walk to the park. Mom and I need to hit up Maku again. We do have three suitcases to fill afterall.

Carmen, we will borrow the camera on Sunday night if you don't mind. If you can download the videos and email it to me I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

OK, have a great night!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A few more pictures

Passport and doctor down...embassy to go.

We had a busy day. I called Rob this morning before he went to work. He's ready for us to come home. Anival was going to be here this morning at 8:30 to take us to the passport place. We first had to take her picture. Let me say that her passport picture is very cute but I tried taking a picture of it and it just turns out all white. We went right next door to the passport place and got her passport.

All in all it took about 2 1/2 hours I think. Murphy slept in Grandma's arms most of the time. And then she was the beholder of a Colombian passport!

She's very tired but we all know she's very excited!

Then we came back to the motel, ate dinner, packed a suitcase for Dad to take home, and then Anival came back to get us to go to the doctor. He was very nice. She weighs 15 pounds 12 ounces and is 25 inches long. He said that her neurologist when she was born is excellent and that we will indeed need to have the hole in her back surgically closed when she's about a year old. Of course she loved being naked.

At the end of the day he sent us on our way with an envelope to take to the embassy tomorrow.

Anival is coming around 9:00 to pick us up to go apply for her visa. Mom and Dad are going to Bolivar Square and the Gold Museum. Then at 1:00 we'll all go to the emerald shop and then the leather district. Pretty soon they're going to know our names!

Murphy's cold is going away but now Benji is getting sick. Grandpa has pink eye and Grandma ran out of Puffs with Lotion. She brought a half a box.

Oh, I forgot some good news! Murphy slept almost all night last night! Woo Hoo! She woke up at 2:30 but didn't want her bottle. So I just rocked her and she fell back asleep. She woke up again at 4:30 and since she hadn't eaten yet I figured she was hungry. Nope. Just wanted to be rocked. So I put her back in her crib and she fussed for a while but fell back asleep on her own. So now I know she can go all night without a bottle. Hooray for cereal!

Does anyone have a digital camcorder that Rob can use to tape us getting off the plane? We have one but I have it with me. We'd really appreciate it.

OK, that's about all for now. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A few more steps in...

This morning Cecelia and Anival picked me up at 9:00 and we went to sign the sentencia. Dad and I think this would be similar to our Clerk of Courts at home. I signed the paper and it was very uneventful. No streamers or balloons or anything! :) My lawyer was there and she said that we were missing a signature. So we went upstairs and the Defendor of Minors was there. She came back downstairs with us and signed. THEN we found out that the Secretary General needed to sign the papers and he/she was in court until noon. He/she took lunch from 1-2 and would sign in between court and lunch. But they still had to make copies. So they said to come back at 3:00. Cecelia decided to have me go at 2:30 just in case they hadn't made the copies yet. She wanted me to stand there and guilt them into making the copies! We are in court four, btw. Then we went to Notaria 28 and found out that the notary only is in the office from 1-5:30. So we would have to get the papers and then go straight to the notary. Unfortunately this delay cost us a travel day. We came back to the motel and filled in the papers for the Colombian passport and I ate dinner. Around 1:30 Anival came back and picked up Dad and me. We went back to the court place and had to wait while they made copies. Then we went to the notary. On the way I noticed one of the forms had some Jennifer's name on it as well as mine but my last name was spelled wrong. And it was the easy name. Not even the hard name! But Anival said our notary wouldn't look at that form. Some notaries do but not this one. So I think we're safe. We were at the notary for about 45 minutes. They typed up a new birth certificate with our names on it, I signed it, waited for copies, and away we went. Tomorrow we will go do her Colombian passport in the morning, the doctor in the afternoon. Thursday we will apply for her visa and we will go pick it up on Friday. So the earliest we could leave is on Saturday. But everyone seems to be heading to Minneapolis this weekend and we couldn't get a flight on Saturday. We're leaving on Sunday at 10:00, going through Newark, and landing in Aberdeen at 10:35. First people in line get to hold the baby. After Rob that is! :) And you might have to fight off Grandma Sandy. Sunday is fine for us. It would have been nice to get in on Saturday and then have Sunday to relax before Rob goes back to work but we'll deal with it. What matters is that we will have our baby home.

Grandma has a cold. Her throat hurts and her nose is running like crazy. I know how she feels. I'm still not quite over mine.

Murphy only got up once last night!! It was at 2:00 and was only for a half an hour.

I don't know how, but the A button fell off my computer last night. What a pain in the butt! I debated typing everything without an A but my obsessiveness wouldnt' let me do that.

Babe, I know I didn't call today and I'm very sorry. I can't stay awake anymore. And just in case the clock is wrong when I post this, it's 9:10. Which is my bedtime with a child who wakes up in the middle of the night and then is awake for good before 7:00.

No pictures yet. Can't stay awake plus I think I only have one of the court's office.

More tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We have Sentencia!!!!

Cecelia just called and said the judge signed the papers and she will pick me up at 9:00 tomorrow morning to go sign the papers. Once I sign, Murphy is officially ours! I have the travel agent on the lookout for flights either on Friday or Saturday.

That's all for now...see you all soon!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We love spending time with Grandpa and Grandma!

What a first few days it's been with Grandma and Grandpa! We finally have Internet full time again so now I have to catch up on a lot of stuff!!!

Thursday was Thanksgiving. We got ready and went to Bolivar Square. Megan, Juel, Benji, Patty, Sam, Isabelle, Theo, Rob, Murphy, Henry (our driver) and me. Rob and I hadn't heard much so we didn't know what to expect. You can see the pictures below. We ate dinner (sandwiches and chips) first. There is a big town square that is surrounded by the first church that was built in Bogota, the judicial building and the senate building. There is a statue of Simon Bolivar who we think led the revolution against the Spanish. We walked to the right (I have no idea which direction that is...east to me) and walked to the presidential house. There was one sidewalk that we weren't allowed to walk on because it's for the "important" people. And as we got closer to the house, we went through a little checkpoint and they checked our bags. And there were security guards all over. We also couldn't take pictures facing the house as they were afraid we would take surveillance pictures and find out where the guards are posted and how many guards there are and how we could take over the presidential house. We walked around to the "east" side and took our pictures with the guards. As Megan took her picture the guard kept telling her "closer, closer" and made her stand right in between them. Then we walked around to the "south" side and as we were walking up the street a whole bunch of film equipment and lights and actors and actresses were standing there. They were filming "The Treason". So we took our pictures with them, too. We walked back to the square and then headed to the van. We had to walk a ways to get to the van but we passed the house that holds the vase that started the revolution. It's now a museum. We also passed the largest library in a many country area but I forgot how many. We had to get home quick because Henry had to take a family to the airport. Cecelia came by in the afternoon and brought us flowers. She also told me that my papers are with the judge. So Megan and I have been hoping to hear something ever since. It's driving us crazy! The staff made us a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that night. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce, plums, pumpkin type bars (they were really good and I don't like pumpkin), salad, wine, and the really good lime desert.

It was Rob's last night so we finished packing his stuff and said goodbye to Megan, Juel, and Maria. Rob took care of Murphy that night and around 4:00 he brought her into bed with us so he could snuggle with her. The alarm went off at 5:30 but we had been awake since he brought her into bed with us. He got up and showered and he and Henry were on the road by 6:00. Henry got him checked in and on the plane. He made it through Houston and back to MSP around 7:30. His cousin Terry came to pick him up and take him to his car and he was on his way home by 9:10. He got home around 2:00 and had a nice night in his own bed. When I talked to him on Saturday he was in line to get his hair cut. He is looking forward to going back to school on Monday but not looking forward to spending time away from us. Hopefully we'll be home at the end of the week and he'll have a busy week so it will go quickly.

Friday after Rob left I didn't do very much. We hung out at the motel all day. Friday night we ordered Dominos. Well, we thought it was Dominos. We were a little nervous though. We wanted a large pepperoni and a large cheese and an order of breadsticks. The guy at the front desk is very nice but had no idea what we were talking about. He told us they didn't have breadsticks. We knew they did so couldn't figure out what he was talkking about. Megan went to talk to him and figured out that he was ordering us bread pizza (and just exactly what is that?) and a slice of pepperoni and a slice of cheese. So she got him staightened out but then he told us it was only $17. So we still didn't know if we were getting the right thing. We didn't get Dominos and we got two slices of bread instead of breadsticks but the pizza was really good. I gave Murphy a bath and in her pajamas and she took a little nap before we headed to the airport. Henry picked me up around 9:40 and we drove about 20 minutes to the airport. As we pulled up there were throngs of people there so I was nervous that they had already come out of the airport. Henry dropped me off up front and went to park the van. I scoped everything out and saw Mom's red coat through the glass windows. It took them a few minutes to come outside but when they did they (or maybe it was Mom) was busy talking to the man next to them! I videotaped them and waited until they noticed me. The man they were talking to was on the plane with them and helped them through the airport, customs, and all that. So I'm really glad they found him. He married a Colombian woman and was here for her sister's wedding. This all took place in about 15 minutes. So I'm glad we weren't late. We drove back to the motel and Grandma held Murphy (who was awake at this point). We got them situated in their room and we all went to bed.

Saturday I woke up early so I went out to the dining room and drank some tea. I wanted to wait to eat until they came out. Mom was first and we sat with Juel for a while. Dad got ready and then we all ate. Mom brought strawberry pop-tarts for Maria and me so we've been eating good the past few days. We didn't do a whole lot yesterday. Murphy got to know Grandma and Grandpa and Maria enjoyed spending time with "Grandpa".

We went to Poblanos for dinner and then went to Maku for a little shopping trip. We came back to the motel and vegged the rest of the night. We ate supper and Murphy and I went to bed around 9:00. She didn't sleep well but hopefully we have solved a little of her problems. She's been using slow-flow nipples. We tried a faster flow one and it didn't go over well. So it sometimes takes her close to an hour to drink six to seven ounces. So after a night of whining and crying (on Murphy's part...not mine) I decided to try the faster flow nipples again. Unfortunately, Rob just took them home. So I bought some today and man, was there a difference. It took her 22 minutes to drink the whole thing! She usually falls asleep while drinking because it takes her so long. Hopefully this will solve that problem.

Today I slept in until 7:15 or so because of our long night. After breakfast we got ready and headed to the market around 9:45. We took sandwiches, chips, and fruit for dinner. Mom found a few things. Grandpa pushed Murphy the whole time. He found out that she doesn't like to stop. On the way home I stopped to get the nipples and we got back after 3:00. Murphy took a short nap, we ate, Murphy had a bath and a bottle, and she's now in bed. Oh, she had cereal, too. We're hoping she sleeps better tonight. Otherwise Grandma is going to sleep in here with me tomorrow night and get up with her. I'm exhausted and it isn't helping my cold (which is much better, by the way).

We saw Cecelia at the market and subtly told her that we needed to buy all of our stuff at the market today because we hoped to get sentencia tomorrow and be out of here on Friday. She said that wouldn't happen because they hadn't done anyting on Friday so our papers wouldn't be ready tomorrow. Well that was sure a downer. She did say it's possible the papers could be ready late tomorrow afternoon. So we're hopeful. If we don't hear something tomorrow we won't be able to leave on Friday with Dad but maybe on Saturday.

I tried calling Rob but he must be busy because he didn't answer. We want to go to the leather district tomorrow morning maybe and then wait to hear something in the afternoon. We still want to go to Monserrate this weekand to Bolivar Square. That might be all we have time for. Megan and I are going to get the babies' passport pictures taken tomorrow. It won't save a whole lot of time but maybe some. We'll see. Hopefully we'll just get our call tomorrow. I've been here five weeks and Megan four and we're ready to go home now. We're still enjoying ourselves, but we have homes and families at home that we're anxious to get back to. Plus, a life with our children.

Have a great day!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mom & Dad are here...

They got out of the airport around 10:15 and we got back to the motel around 10:45. They checked in and held Murphy Murph for a little bit and then went to bed. I called Rob. He is near Montevideo and may stop along the way to sleep in Watertown.

Rob is in MSP!

He's waiting for his cousin to come and get him and then he's on his way home. Mom and Dad should land in about 50 minutes. Henry will be here at 9:30 to pick us up and then we're off to get them. We're so excited!!!

We're back on...for now!

I'll post some pictures first because you might be going through withdrawal.

The building where a fight started over a vase and ended up in Colombia'a independence from Spain.

One of the many gorgeous women of Colombia.

Actors awaiting their cues. They were filming "The Treason".

The guards at the presidential house.

The beautiful view near Bolivar Square.

A statue of Simon Bolivar who led the crusade for independence (I think!).

The first church in Bogota, at Bolivar Square.

Rob and Maria.

Murphy just stares at Rob's hands.

Snuggling with Daddy.

We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe.

She loves her Daddy!

The lunchroom at the poor school (The Hogar).

One of the elementary classes.

Art class (just for you, Karyl & Linda!)

Two year olds on the playground.

The houses of the children who attend the poor school.

But I don't WANT a cow kiss!

Murphy and Benji.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Internet!

Yes, it's been down again. For almost two days this time. That's really my only complaint about being here. It's either extremely slow or just doesn't work. So I'm at another motel right now using theirs.

Yesterday we went back to the leather district. Rob's so happy with his coat. We had them make a few changes from the original one we saw and it looks so nice. It's amazing that they just take it to the back of the store and redo it.

I had a rough day yesterday. It was probably the worst I've felt since we've been here. After supper I went to our room and took a hot shower and took a nap. I woke up and immediately could tell I felt better. I guess maybe the antibiotics finally kicked in. I slept well all night and feel ten times better today. Still not great, but much better.

We changed rooms today. We've put in our time in the smallest room there for five weeks. There was a bigger room available so we jumped all over it. It even has a bath tub!! We're almost all unpacked (and have Rob packed) and will really enjoy having space to walk around.

Today Juel, Megan, Maria, Benji, Rob, Murphy, and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. It was interesting. The food was great. Our waitress was a ditz. I ordered the veggie sandwich, which came with a salad. I wanted fries instead. But then I decided I wanted a salad, too, but I told her that. And lemonade. The lemonade here is really good. So pretty soon she brings the lemonade and I took a big swig and about spit it out. There wasn't any sugar in it. I put five packets of sugar in there and it still wasn't sweet enough. So then she brings me a salad and french fries (with HEINZ KETCHUP!!!!!!). She said the sandwich didn't come with fries so she brought them early. OK. Whatever. So THEN she brings me a sandwich and another salad. Did she not think it was odd that I got two salads??? So I ate part of the first salad and my fries (which were sooooo good!!!) and ate half of my sandwich. I was going to bring the other half and the second salad back to the room so I told her to put it in a box and that I wanted extra ranch. She took my food and brought me back a little thing of ranch. Now...what am I going to do with the ranch if I have no food? So she took it back and brought our to-go boxes. No salad...but she brought the ranch. D.I.N.G.B.A.T. The food was really good, though. We walked around the little mall it was in for a while and then caught a taxi home. Our driver seemed a little grumpy at first. He yelled at Juel because she slammed the door. The he kept talking and we had no idea what he was talking about. Which wasn't really uncommon for Rob, Juel, and I because we don't speak Spanish. But Megan didn't evevn understand him!

Patty and Sam got their sentencia yesterday and will be going home next week. Cecelia called Megan this afternoon and said their paperwork is back at the judge's office. When she told Patty that, the judge signed them the next day (different judge, though). Although he does have ten more days to sign. So they'll be heading home soon, too. Hopefully we hear something soon. The ideal situation would be for us to hear Friday or Monday. Then Mom, Murphy, and I could fly home with my dad on Friday, the 30th.

Rob is getting ready to go home. Not really, but his stuff is packed. Mom and Dad are ready to come down. I'm ready for them to get here! Murphy is growing more and more. She has found her feet and follows your voice. She also likes to cuddle when she wakes up. Sometimes when she's fussy we've found she doesn't want to be held. So we have to sit her in her chair and feed her. She also is preferring to strech out more now than she did. So she is sleeping in the crib or on the bed more than in the carseat.

OK, better go. We don't know if the Internet will be up tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Birthday, Corey! Hope you had a great day yesterday!!

Love you all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A little background on Colombia

We are in ColOmbia. With an O. Not Columbia, SD. Although Columbia really is a nice little town! :)

Colombia is about the size of France and Spain combined. Colombia itself has about 45.6 million people, and Bogota, where we are staying, has 6.3 million people. Colombia is surrounded by Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama. The Andes Mountains are to the south of Colombia (think of the movie Alive!) The temperature varies depending on where you are. In Bogota the average temp is 14 degrees Celsius which is 57 degrees Fahrenheit. But we're so high up that it feels warmer. We wear short sleeved shirts every day (and anyone who knows me knows I'd have on my light winter coat by now at home!)

Colombia was inhabited by various groups of Indians before the Spaniards conquered the area. One of these tribes was the Muisca (which also happens to be the name of our room!). Around 1500, Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed along the Carribean coast to Panama and made the first permanent settlement. He returned to Spain to report as to what he had found and returned to the area and founded Santa Marta in 1525. Other Spaniards followed. Bogota was founded by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada in 1538. He named the territory he had conquered Nuevo Reino de Granada, because it reminded him of Granada in Spain. Santa Fe de Bogota was named after the city of Santa Fe in Granada. After 1793 many people in the area made moves toward independence. On July 20, 1810 a governing body was established and the area was independent from Spain. The Spaniards left quite a legacy. Their language and religion being the main two things. La Republica de Gran Colombia was established by the governing Congress at present day Venezuela on December 17, 1819. Due to opposing view amongst the congressmen, the 1821 constitution was drawn up dividng Gran Colombia in 12 departments and 26 provinces. This constitution lasted until 1830 when Venezuela and Ecuador broke away and a new constitution was drawn up. Thus...Colombia!

Agriculture is the major employer in Colombia. The traditional crops are coffee, flowers, sugar cane, bananas, rice, maize, and cotton. The two largest exports are oil and coffee. Flowers are exported mainly to the US, about 73% of total sales, or $500 million per year. Colombia is the second largest exporter of flowers after the Netherlands.

Some of the most rare and most expensive emeralds in the world come from Colombia. (I did not purchase one of these expensive ones, although we did see some for $20,000 and up!)

Colombian ancestry varies greatly depending on the region. Some regions are largely of European descent, others have more Indian in the mix, while other regions have more African ancestry. About 90% of Colombians are Roman Catholic.

So there is your lesson on Colombia. Mine too as most of that was new to me.

We went to the market yesterday. We started off with the Americans and a French lady. Patty ended up going ahead with the French lady as she had to come home early and the rest of us wandered most of the day. We ate at the mall by the Santa Barbara market and then got ice cream. We stopped at Carulla and picked up some groceries. By this time, I was really feeling "icky". My cold never really went away and now it's back with a vengeance. I asked the front desk to get me some antibiotics last night. The funny thing about antibiotics don't need a prescription. They just give them to you. AND they deliver! So I had Zithromax in 15 minutes! I'm still not feeling great, but daytimes are usually better. We'll see if it kicks in before this evening whene I usually feel worse.

Murphy hasn't slept well the last few days but she slept a lot this afternoon. (Hidden meaning...we didn't sleep well either.) I think Rob should have night duty this week since he won't get to for a while! We're going to start packing his stuff up any time. Rob and Megan are going to visit two schools tomorrow...a private and a public one (public meaning poor in this case). They preferred that we not bring the babies so Juel and I will stay home. Rob and Megan are the educators so it's more important for them to go.

I think we're going to the Hard Rock Cafe on Wednesday. We're also working on a trip to the Harley Davidson store (and I know some people who will be very jealous!) We have a busy week planned so the Harley store will be after Rob leaves.

Have a great day!!! I'll post some pictures later today after I take some! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Some of our purchases

Murphy's hat. She won't be able to wear it until next year but it's still pretty cute.

Her new shoes. She'll wear the white patent ones for baptism and just to be cute. They aren't walking shoes, though. I got the pink ones a little big so she can wear those next summer.

Her hat and sweater. Myriam made these. The sweater is too big as well so she can wear it in a couple of years.

And her baptismal blanket. In our corner it says "Murphy Maria" and in the opposite it says "Maria Jose". Rob asked how many times she'll get to use this. I said once.

This one wasn't purchased but makes for a cute picture. She has decided that it's fun to suck on her blanket. Usually she likes the traingles but the round parts must fit in her mouth better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Jen!

Love ya!!

We went to the leather district again today. Christy, you have to come with us next time! The money you spend on your ticket you could save on leather!! There are streets where every store is leather. Jackets, purses, belts, pants. And then in another part, it's all shoes.

And when I say they have shoes...really nice knee high boots are $30. All over the place. Of course I already have brown boots and black boots so I don't really need any. So I didn't buy any. We did find Rob a really nice jacket. They had to special make it. So for Rob's size, we were really happy. We tried to find shoes for both of us but it seems we are giants in the Colombian world. All I had to do was say "41" (my size) and they shook there head alot. We couldn't even figure out Rob's shoe size. We held some shoes up to his foot and even the longest ones were about three inches too short. So no shoes for us.

We went with Megan, Juel, Maria, Benji, Patty, and Sam and were gone from 11:00 until after 4:00. Henry was our driver and he is so good. When we were buying Rob's coat, he translated for us and told everyone what the owner said was his lowest price but then would whisper to us to offer less and the owner always took our offer.

There is a big soccer game today...Colombia against Venezuela. As we drove past the stadium this morning a few people were already at the stadium. By the time we drove home, people were everywhere. We stopped at a store nearby and bought Murphy a jester hat with the national team's logo on it. We tried to find Rob a jersey but again...he's a giant. Rob would have loved to have gone to the game but there isn't another guy here for him to go with. Argentina plays here on Tuesday and they said that will be an even bigger matchup because they're one of the better teams.

So we didn't eat today because we were too busy shopping. So now we're starving. It hit Rob today that he's leaving us in six days. I try not to think about it. I'm excited for Mom & Dad to get here but not for Rob to leave.

Myriam brought over the blanket I bought for her baptism. It's white with pink ribbon through it and in one corner it says "Maria Jose" and in the opposite corner it says "Murphy Maria". I just love it.

Yesterday we went to Poblanos for dinner. It was great. First of all the menus were in English so we knew what we were ordering. Second it was Tex Mex so we got chips and salsa and fajitas. It was AWESOME! Then we went to Maku but she got a little fussy so Rob brought her home. She didn't have a great night. Unfortunately it was my night to get up with her. She was awake once at least every hour except for from 3-4. It was a long night for both of us. Rob too as he woke up every time she did. He just didn't have to get out of bed.

I can't believe it but I didn't take ONE picture of her yesterday. So here's a picture after her bath this morning. She actually showered with me and we think she's going to be a swimmer. She got her head right under the shower and it didn't even bother her.

Tomorrow is the market day. Then we're going to hit the Hard Rock Cafe sometime next week. The motel staff asked if we'd like a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. So we are getting turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, bread, and a key lime dessert that they made a few weeks ago. It was unbelievable. I love key lime. They said they don't have pumpkin filling down here so they can't make pie. Which is fine with me because I don't like it. And then Rob leaves on Friday. It will be a busy week.

Until next time...thanks for checking in!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pedicure Heaven!

Yesterday was a day of relaxation. Not quite like the day at the club. More like a day of "not take a shower until afternoon". We did laundry (actually I took it downstairs and got sidetracked so Rob did it) and I had a pedicure. It was the best one I've ever had. Except when she rubbed off the dead skin on my toe, she rubbed a little too much and now my big toe hurts. While we were downstairs Maria was playing with us and so we took a picture of the girls in their capes and headbands. They were Super Maria and Super Murphy.

Murphy's fever is slowly going away. We haven't given her Motrin since yesterday afternoon. She sneezes a lot, though! That isn't just's been the whole time. She's a three-sneezer.

She basically slept all night last night. Rob was working on homework until close to 1:00 so he just fed her when he came in and she didn't really even wake up. Then she slept until 6:00. It takes her a while to wake up. She just sort of whimpers and whines in her sleep for a while. Then when she does wake up she's a really happy camper.

Today we aren't doing anything special. Maybe going back to Maku. We still have a few more of her 18 gifts to buy and I'd prefer that Rob take them home next week. It's hard to believe he leaves in a week and my mom and dad come down in a week! I'm not excited for Rob to leave but I am excited for them to get here. The four weeks that we've been here have gone by so fast.

Pam, you can give out our website. We're happy to share with everyone!

Newkirks, we hope the plane ride home was uneventful and the kids are settling in to their new life.

Until later...have a great day!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just a quick note...

Happy Birthday Amy Hoffman! And good luck wrestlers! Rob is so excited for the season. He wishes he could be there for practice this week but all you're probably doing is running anyway, right? :)

Our second best day yet!

We are just having the time of our lives down here. And it isn't only because we love waking up and having breakfast made for us, or having one or two loads of laundry every week (that's because we wear the same thing more than once) or have our rooms cleaned by a maid. We love spending all of our time with Murphy. She is growing (both out and up).

She is developing such a personality. She is fiesty and sassy and we think she's going to beat up all the boys on the playground. We think it will also carry over onto the court (either basketball or volleyball). We also think she's going to be a runner because her feet never stop moving. She has eyes so dark you can't distinguish the pupil from the iris. She has beautiful tan skin and we think she'll have curly hair. It doesn't look it when it's dry, but when it's wet...holy cow. She doesn't like to go to sleep although she has gone to sleep on her own a few times. She likes to lay on her stomach for the simple fact that her hand is close to her mouth so she can suck on it. When she lays on her back she wants to be on her stomach so she has to roll over. She had one of the nastiest diapers I've ever seen a few days ago. I think it was a combination of vaccination and Motrin. Maybe cereal, too. Rob actually woke me up to change it. He has that luxory until we go home. He says that if I'm not home, he'll either call his mom, Marlene, or Brenda Stover to come over because he knows they'll do it. That's a forewarning to all three of you.

Yesterday we had to be up early to go to Cecelia's country club. Cecelia, her 90 year old mother, and her mother's nurse, Juel, Megan, Maria, Benji, Patty, Sam, Rob, Murphy, and I went. It was a long and winding drive but it was so pretty. We drove through the Andes Mountains to get there and it was very lush and green.

When we got there we turned down a gravel road and all of us wondered where she was taking us. All of the sudden we pulled up to a nice little resort. We were the only ones there so we had the place to ourselves.

There was a kiddie pool with a slide that Maria and Rob played in at first. There was also a big pool that we all enjoyed. Plus the area around the pool had just enough water to cover your ankles. There was also a hot tub that swirled like a tornado and it wasn't hot, hot. Warm. Almost cool. Perfect. We sat on the edge with our feet in.

We took off Murphy's clothes and took her in the pool in her diaper. She was so content.

After a while her Motrin wore off (from the shots) and she cried. She took some more and calmed down again. She laid in her stroller and was just a happy camper.

We ate dinner and swam some more. Rob and Maria kept jumping in. They played in the sand, too.

It was just a great day. It was so nice of Cecelia to take us. We were relaxed and just loved the whole day.

The drive home was a little rough. We got into Bogota as the traffic picked up so Henry took a different way home. The road was really bad with lots of potholes and Juel ended up getting sick. I think part of it was the altitude difference, too. We got home around 5:30 and got ready quick to go to Archie's with all the Americans for Tim & Tanya and family's last night here. They flew back to Kansas City today.

Today we are just relaxing. Somebody from a spa is coming in this afternoon for cheap manicures and pedicures. That will be the most I do all day!

We found out the actual court process and what I had posted before wasn't right. We interviewed with the defender of minors. Once that petition was approved, our paperwork went to another defender of minors who had five working days to sign the papers. Then they went to a judge who has ten working days to sign. Then back to that second defender of minors who has five days to sign again. Our first five days were up yesterday. So we know the papers have to be with the judge by now. Hopefully they didn't take the entire alotted time to sign. Either way, we're content. We're so lucky to be in the place we're in in our lives.

Also a side note...I bought a scrapbook sort of thing. I'm not crafty enough to scrapbook but I am going to put all of the pictures from our trip here and the pages from Murphy's blog. So I would love it if...just once...everyone who is reading would post one comment. At least just one. Then I can put it in Murphy's scrapbook and show her all of the people who followed us on our journey. It doesn't have to be today or tomorrow. But sometime while we're here. And someday, I'll get back to everyone who has posted. If they leave an address or website that is.

Thank you all for reading and for being a part of our lives. This adoption is made all the more special because we have you as part of it.