the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last Call for Recipes!

This is it!! June 8th will be the last day that I will be accepting recipes for our GIANT cookbook! I can't wait to get this thing off to the printer and start cooking up some of the recipes that you have given me. I don't have a count on the recipes but so far we are up to 187 pages of recipes typed up in 10 pt font. Wowzers! (I should note that the final copy should be in bigger, easier to read sized font.) If you have anymore recipes that you want to submit please post them here or email them to me at anniemwk6 at hotmail dot com. I will not be able to accept anymore handwritten recipes so sorry about that. Thanks for all of your support! I should be able to start taking orders here in a few weeks.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I just have so many cute pictures of Marcus this month that I need to share them!

Playing in a bucket
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Back packing around the neighborhood
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This is my stroller I bought for $15 off of Craigslist. We took it for a jaunt around the neighborhood with William's stuffed Hopkin Blue Frog. The neighbors looked at us funny but that is really nothing new.
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At least someone enjoyed Marcus's pool.
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Marcus and his beach ball.
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Feet!! (The pasty white ones are mine.)
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On Day 2 with the little pool, the pooch decided to share.
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Marcus has the pool all to himself!
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Practicing piano
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I can't believe I have something positive to say on this subject. No, we still haven't gotten our results. Since our agency has been of absolutely ZERO help on this matter and I am quite upset about this, I opted to take matters into my own hands. A company called Labcorp is taking care of the DNA testing so I called them up myself. Yesterday they informed me that they received the DNA samples on 5/23/07 and it will be processed in the next day or two. Therefore, we should be receiving our results in just a few days!

In conclusion, our agency, the one that I have spoken so highly of, is a bunch of liars. Originally they told us that our DNA test would be done on 4/20/07. A few days later they informed us that the test was not done on that day but it would be rescheduled in the next few weeks. Then in mid-May they told us that the test was actually done on 4/20/07. If the test was done on 4/20/07 like they said, there is no way whatsoever that the samples would have taken over a month to get to Labcorp. I am thinking a nasty email to our agency is on the horizon.

I am so very thrilled however that the test has been done and the results will be here shortly!


Wedding Crashers

Marcus crashed his first wedding this weekend. So, it wasn't a legitimate crash since he was invited. However, I am sure the bride and groom hadn't intended on him stealing the show and everyone gushing over how cute he was. I was almost getting tired of all the people coming up to me and telling me how cute he is. Okay, so I really wasn't getting tired of it.

It was a great weekend. We left on Sunday morning and drove to Hagerstown, MD, making a quick stop on the way to drop the pooch off at Amanda's house. Marcus did great in the car, sleeping much of the way and enjoying the scenery when he was awake. Thankfully we were able to find a hotel that would allow us to check in early. Early check in was the only favorable thing about the hotel. The hotel was dirty, the service was horrible, and it was generally scary. Marcus had a good time playing on the bed while we got ready for the wedding.

The wedding was just fabulous. The groom, Adam, was my best friend back in college. In attendance were several of my other college friends.
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I have seen them all at some point in the last 6 years but we haven't been all together since college. Adam is Scottish and all the groomsmen were in kilts
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and there was a piper.
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The ceremony was outside and was beautiful, except for the horrible heatwave that had suddenly hit us. Only a few minutes into the ceremony and all the guests were drenched in sweat and I was kicking Marcus and Greg off to find a shady spot.

Marcus did pretty well the whole evening. He started having a meltdown around dinner. He was tired and starving yet he wouldn't eat a thing. I had a few jars of baby food in the diaper bag. He hasn't eaten baby food in months but it was the only thing he wouldn't spit out or remove from his mouth and hide under his butt. He was able to get a little sleep there.
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Greg spent most of the evening holding him while he slept
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while I was on the dance floor with my old friends. I was having such a great time. I know we probably should have left early, since Marcus was rather cranky, but I just couldn't. Yeah, I'm a bad mom. I don't know when or if all those people will be back together again. Greg said he thought Marcus was doing just fine as long as he was holding him so staying really wasn't so hard on him.

Here are a few other photos from the wedding. The bride and groom were just beautiful.
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The reception was under a big tent.
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Instead of the traditional removal of the garter, since Adam was essentially wearing a skirt, the bride Katie removed a garter from his leg.
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There was some jigging
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as well as lots of bluegrass music and some Country Roads for all of us West Virginia natives and temporary transplants. (This is a bad picture but there are a bunch of us on the dance floor in a big circle all swaying and singing along to Country Roads.)
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Marcus did great in the hotel, perfectly content sleeping in his pack 'n play, something he has never done before. I am sure that it helped that he was utterly exhausted. All of it gave us great confidence that traveling with him in the future, perhaps to Guatemala, won't be nearly as stressful as we feared.

The ride back home was equally uneventful as the ride there was. Marcus slept a good deal. I attempted to. I was feeling a bit under the weather. When we got home my throat started hurting really bad. By Tuesday afternoon I was at the doctor's office with a temperature of 102 degrees, a sore throat, an earache, and all around generally not-feeling-well-ness. I am not at work today. As much as I would love to be at home playing with my little boy, I am just not feeling up to it yet. He is in day care. I am at home. It is quite odd. This is really the first time I have been home when he was not here. I keep listening for him or wanting to go grab the baby monitor so I can hear him in his room.

On Saturday we got our new pool set up. The water was still too cold to partake and then we were gone for a few days. Yesterday would have been a great day for a dip but with my illness, I didn't think it would be a good idea. It is looking like our first trip to the pool won't be until tomorrow.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Wonderful World of Adoption

So you want to know about our DNA results? Yeah. So do we. 36 days and still waiting.

However, we did get an updated medical report of little William!! He is thriving! He is up to 14 lbs and 11 oz now. He is very alert and turns to the sound of his name. (We sent the foster family a letter and let them know we were naming him William but I don't know if they are calling him that or if they are using Alejandro.) According to the report, he is quite vocal and shows feelings of pleasure and eagerness, as well as cries when he doesn't want to do something. (I cry when I don't want to do things either! He will fit right in around here!) He can now roll over from his stomach to back and tries really hard to go the other direction. He grabs onto things and puts everything into his mouth. Unfortunately, he was also recently bitten multiple times by bugs. Maybe you will notice in the picture but me, I can't see the bug bites. All I see is total cuteness and a little baby that wants to come home to his family.

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There was also some bizarre news in the medical report. Apparently he developed an abscess that was treated surgically. We checked with Dr. Springer, the pediatrician that reviews all of William's medical reports, and she assured us that it is a common thing and absolutely nothing to be alarmed about. Basically he had a pimple-like skin issue that needed to be drained. It is quite a shock to read that at some point in the last month your little baby had a surgical procedure done and you didn't even know about it.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Name Game Conclusion

Finally, after months of agonizing suspense, we have managed to "sell" all the names in our name game. The prizes will be revealed!

Greg and I had a hard time deciding on what we should name our son. It was much easier somehow to narrow down the names and choose Marcus's name than it was the second time around. We stared at the picture and finally were able to narrow it down to four names. Every time we thought we had picked one of those four to be "the" name, then we would reconsider the other three names all over again! We slept on it and when I woke up, I just knew what our son was going to be named. That night we went out to dinner, at the Cheesecake Factory. We had ultimately decided on Marcus's name while we were dining at the Cheesecake Factory so we thought this was appropriate. We took our seats and I spread out a few photos of our new child in front of us. That is when I told Greg what I thought he should be name. Greg looked at me and said, "Yes. That is his name." It was then that we began taunting all our friends with the prospect of choosing the right name and winning the grand prize!

There are four prizes. The grand prize is the name we finally picked and the three runner-up prizes are for the three other names that we were really considering. The three runner-up prizes go to the following:

Camille R - picked Andre
Ginny A - picked Damon
Leigh Ann B - picked Jackson

Andre, Damon, and Jackson were quite lovely names but there was just one name that was going to be perfect for our son. The grand prize winner of this contest goes to my father, Bill Wylie. We will be naming our son William, which is also the name of my father and my brother. We will be keeping the name his birth mother gave him as his middle name.

We can't wait to meet you, William Alejandro!!

Congrats to all the winners and thank you to everyone who played and supported us!


Sunday, May 20, 2007


Marcus has been much happier today than he was yesterday. So far I am not sick yet, just an itchy nose, so that is hopeful too. It probably just means that my cold is waiting to strike tomorrow when I go back to work so I can enjoy the full effect of the cold on a Monday.

Before I put Marcus down for a nap, we always sing songs together, songs with hand motions. Since going back to day care, he only naps here twice a week which means less singing of the songs. I noticed last week when I said that we were going to do the piggie rhyme that he seemed to reach for his feet. I figured it was just a coincidence. Yesterday before we did "This little piggie went to the market" I asked him where his piggies were and he grabbed his toes! I even tried it out later in the evening to make sure it wasn't just situation/routine that was prompting him. Nope, he knows exactly where his piggies are. He doesn't have a clue where his toes are though.

Today we were doing our songs and we started doing "If You're Happy and you Know It". I do all the motions for him but as soon as I started singing he started clapping. We got to the stomp your feet part and I stomped his feet on the floor. Then when we got to the last verse, "If you're happy and you know it do all three" he started stomping his feet on his own!

Yes, silly probably, but it is just so much fun watching him learn and discover he can do things on his own.

Plus, it takes my mind off of stewing about how we haven't gotten our DNA results yet.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Round Two

We have two full weeks of day care and work under our belts. The first full week of day care/work kicked off with a cold that Marcus shared with me. The end of the second full week of day care/work has brought another cold to surface.

For the first several hours of last night, Marcus slept rather restlessly. He would fall asleep for about 10 minutes and then wake up crying, still pretty much asleep, or at least really wishing he was asleep. He did sleep in a little this morning. When he did get up, I strapped him into his highchair for breakfast, and the sneezing started. Quickly followed by a runny nose that needs wiped every 30 seconds. Oh good. I was just thinking yesterday that I was finally over the cold that he and I had the week before. What better to do than get another cold?

Marcus was miserable all morning. He did nothing but cry over everything and I was having a hard time dealing with it. I was really looking forward to today, with very little to do and a day off of work. I found myself thinking how much more relaxing it would have been if I had been at work instead of trying to console an inconsolable child.

He took another 4 hour nap this afternoon. By Saturday it seems he is just so exhausted from the week at day care that he needs it. We kept him up a little later tonight so hopefully he won't have problems sleeping tonight like he did last Saturday night after his 4 hour nap. He was also slightly happier after that 4 hour nap as well.

In other news, Greg and I dropped my car off to be inspected today. I was expecting something to be wrong considering my car is now 6 years old and has a good many miles on it. I wasn't expecting there to be $700 worth of things wrong. That doesn't even include the issue with the speedometer, an issue that I have had with that car since a few months after I bought it. Every single year it has passed inspection with the speedometer issue but not this year. So now I have to attempt to find time to take it to some other shop that works on speedometers to get that fixed so I can get the stupid thing to pass inspection by the end of the month. This is why I always try to get my car inspected around the first of the month but that just wasn't happening this year with me going back to work and Marcus going to day care. To make things worse, we are planning on trading in that car in a few months for something a bit more roomy. The last thing we want to be doing is putting tons of money into it that we will never see.

As you might have noticed, this entry didn't start off with me screaming and exclaiming that we finally got our DNA results in the mail. The reasoning behind that is because there were no DNA results in the mail. Nothing. Not even anything that looked remotely like DNA results. (Not exactly sure what I meant by that. Just trying to make a point... badly.) I posted on a local message board for people who have adopted from Guatemala, asking how long it took for them to get their results after the test was done. No one has responded yet. Doesn't anyone check the message board on the weekends??

I guess I could probably look back through my old blogs and see how long it took to get Marcus's DNA results. Okay.. off to research... be right back... Yeah, so that didn't make me feel any better about this. Turns out that Marcus's DNA test was done on July 31, 2006. We got the results in the mail in August 11, 2006. Using my superb math skills, that means we waited for 12 days to get the results. Once again, showing off my ability to do math, the length of time from April 20, 2007 (when Alejandro's DNA test was supposedly done) until now is WAY MORE THAN TWELVE DAYS.

In an attempt to distract myself from current events in my life, I leave you with this totally absurd video of my silly man.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Update Update Update!!

So little time and so much to say!

First of all, we FINALLY got an update today. It has been almost a month since we have heard anything. This is highly unusual with our agency but apparently it wasn't just our case but every one's that is adopting from Guatemala. I was getting very upset. Today however, it was a happy day.

Our last update said that the DNA test that was supposed to be done on 4/19 was not done. The birth mom said that she was going to take off work sometime within the next 2 weeks to get it done. We had no idea though. With adoptions, if something is supposed to be done within the next 2 weeks that could mean it was already done or else it won't be done for another 5 months. Add that to the fact that we weren't getting updates and maybe you can understand why I have been freaking out lately. Turns out that the DNA test was completed on 4/20! Yes, I am excited but justifiably, I am still not 100% satisfied. If our test was done almost a month ago, why in the world don't we have any results yet?? I have been stalking my mailbox daily and nothing. I thought results were supposed to be back to us in about 2 weeks. We are going on 4 and all I see in my mailbox are bills and junk mail. We need to get those test results back mostly to make sure that the woman that is giving Alejandro up for adoption is his birth mom. We also need those results so that we can ship them off to be state certified, authenticated, and on their way back to Guatemala. It is my understanding that the US Embassy in Guatemala gets their own copy of the DNA results so that they can begin processing the PA (pre-approval, needed for our file to be approved by PGN). Hopefully they at least got their copy since I have been hearing stories lately about it taking months to get the PA issued.

On to the second part of the update. We are in PGN. This really isn't anything to get too excited about. Our file was submitted to PGN on May 7th but as I mentioned above, we need to have our PA before our file can be approved by PGN and we don't have our PA. Some lawyers decide to submit your file to PGN without the PA with the idea that just about every file gets kicked out at least once anyway. That way it gives PGN a chance to look over your files, find any other errors their might be, and kick it out while we are over here waiting (im)patiently for our PA to be issued. We have the same lawyer with Alejandro's adoption as we did with Marcus's adoption. This lawyer also submitted our file to PGN with Marcus's adoption before we had PA.

So, I guess that is all we know about Alejandro right now.

On Saturday we attended a playgroup for families that have adopted from Guatemala and Columbia. It was an absolutely beautiful day but there was only one other family that showed up. We had a great time hanging out with them. We had met them very briefly once before at a seminar we attended prior to Marcus coming home. They have a little girl, 3 years old, who they adopted from Columbia and a little boy who is 3 days older than Marcus who they adopted from Guatemala. I am sure we will see them again. We are all planning on attending the huge picnic that our agency holds annually that is being held this year in June.

I had a very nice Mother's Day. My parents were visiting my brother in another state so we went to Greg's parents'. We had a great dinner and laughed at old videos of Greg and his sister when they were little. (Note to self: When the video camera is on, my children will not be running around in their tightie-whities.) Marcus made me a card at day care and he also helped my mother-in-law by placing his hands for outlining on a poem that my mother-in-law then framed. The best part of the whole day was when a very exhausted Marcus fell asleep in my arms for a little nap. He just doesn't do that anymore.

The novelty of going to work has completely worn off. I woke up on Monday and wondered how I did Mondays once a week for so long. I barely made it. Marcus seems to be doing great at day care. He is doing a little better at home. He still cries when we put him on the floor but we are generally able to get him distracted quickly by a toy now. (Last week he would scream and cry with absolutely no interest in toys, only wanting to be picked up and walked around the house.)

I think it is also safe to say now, since the official announcement has been made, that my very dear friend Amanda is expecting a baby!! Come this December she will be joining the mommy club and we will have a whole new set of subjects to complain about and she will finally understand where I have been coming from. She doesn't know yet, but I know she is having a girl. She will surely be a cutie (as long as she gets most of her traits from Amanda and not her husband that is...) so hopefully Marcus and Alejandro don't fight over her too much.

Now it is time for bed! Check back soon. I have a feeling that I just might have some more good news on the way in the near future.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Saran Wrap

Check it out! I have two minutes to post something!!

I think I have a new son. He still looks like Marcus but he certainly doesn't act like him. For starters, he clings to me like Saran Wrap. He is fine when he is strapped into his highchair (where he is now) or even when he is in his bed, but during those times when he would normally be playing on the floor, he insists instead on me carrying him around. I can't even sit down because that sets him into a panic. He screams a lot now, just that ear-piercing "I like to see how loud I can be" scream. Yesterday he cried for quite awhile. I tried giving him what he wanted and he cried some more.

Everyone at his day care says that he is adjusting fine. I trust them. I think he has fun there and always looks content when I first see him. (The minute he sees me walk into the day care he bursts into tears.) Then he comes home and turns into someone I don't recognize.

Work is going fine for me I suppose. I am enjoying my new position so far. Things are quite different than they were in my old position. Mainly I have no down time. I have been back for just over a week and already I am so far behind that it makes my head spin. Plus, my head is just so cloudy. Pre-Marcus I could go to work, do work, and come home and relax. Now I go to work, concentrate and try to learn new things, then come home and have even more things to do.

Nothing is getting done that used to get done. I have stacks of laundry. There are giant hairballs on the floor screaming, "Vacuum me!" Plus, just general messiness that is really starting to bother me. Sadly, I know it will get worse before it gets better.

We haven't had an update on Alejandro since 4-24-07. We keep getting told that updates are coming soon but I still don't see any showing up. To think, almost a month ago Greg and I were beginning to think we might be headed to Guatemala soon to at least meet our son. We are still waiting to hear something, anything...



Thursday, May 03, 2007

One Down, a Million to Go

After 6 months at home with Marcus, I was headed back to work today. I need to be at work much earlier than Greg so the plan is that he takes Marcus to "school" in the morning and then, since I am done earlier, I pick him up. I got up this morning, ready to go, and had a little time to kill. I was feeling oddly calm, ready to go, and start this new chapter of my life. I was even slightly concerned since I felt so fine and everyone told me that it would be really hard. I headed for my bag, grabbed my car keys, and instantly started crying really hard. I was leaving! It was for real! My keys were in my hand!! I said a quick goodbye to Marcus, who was just waking up. I just kept staring at him and he just stared back. Then it was time to go.

I have about a 30 commute to work. It worked out well. It gave me 15 minutes to cry my eyes out and then another 15 minutes to get myself straightened out and looking like I hadn't been crying my eyes out. Thank goodness that I wasn't the one who had to take Marcus to day care. I would have been clinging to the teacher's leg screaming, "Don't make me go!!"

Work was really surreal. I got a promotion while I was on leave (no clue how not going to work gets me promoted) so everything was different. I used to work in satellite offices but now I am in the main office. I used to spend a large portion of the day chatting with coworkers and doing things that I probably shouldnt mention on a public forum. Those days are definitely over. People in the main office work. They work from the minute they get in until the minute they leave. I was quite perplexed at 5 minutes until quitting time when I looked around the room and everyone was still working away. I am so thankful that this is the case. Had I had to return to my old position where I had more idle time, I would have spent the day thinking about Marcus, being sad, and thinking how pointless it was to be there doing nothing when I could be with my little boy instead. I called Marcus's school around lunchtime and got a really quick and dirty report that ended up being of little use. When quitting time hit, I was running out the door.

Marcus was getting changed when I arrived at the day care. He saw me and started waving madly. A few seconds passed and then he was crying hysterically. Finally his diaper was secure, his pants were back on, and he was in my arms much more content. He had a bit of a rough day.

Greg had no problem dropping him off. He set Marcus down, gave him a few toys and Marcus was ready to play. Greg was out the door. I don't know the great details but I am guessing that after a little while Marcus decided he had enough and was not too thrilled with the fact that he was still there and we weren't there with him. He tried to leave, scooting his way to the door. Eventually he resorted to crying to the point of exhausting himself and falling asleep for a half hour or so, much earlier than he normally naps. They did get a few smiles out of him during the day. The normal nap time didn't go so well either, probably in part because he napped in the morning and he usually doesn't. He did finally fall asleep and slept for about a half hour. (He usually naps for about 2 hours.) Also, he wouldn't eat. For his morning snack he had 1 spoonful of applesauce and no juice. He had a few bites of lunch. The teacher asked me when I came to pick him up if he normally feeds himself. Apart from things that must be fed via spoon, he self-feeds exclusively. She said that the only time he would eat it is if they spoon fed him. Poor guy.

I was really sad on the ride home knowing that Marcus had a miserable day. I know it will get easier for him. Once he gets more comfortable there and things aren'y so new, he will be eating and sleeping like a champ.

We had some fun playtime when we got home and he was very interested in "walking" everywhere. (He can only walk while holding on to my hands.) Apparently he wants to be like all the big kids in his class already. Maybe that influence is also what made him attempt to do all the things this evening that he knows he isn't allowed to do.

All in all, we survived and we are going to do it all over again tomorrow. Greg asked Marcus tonight if he was still going to love Daddy when Daddy dropped him off at day care tomorrow. Right on cue, Marcus stuck his hands up in the air as if to say, "I don't know."


The End of an Era: Part 2

I have some sad news. For the past 4 months or so we have been attempting to raise the next Dracula, fangs and all. For whatever reason, Marcus's upper incisors decided to come in long before any other upper teeth. Sadly, he has decided that the life of blood sucking isn't for him and one of his front upper teeth has decided to start poking through.

Thankfully, we were able to capture the fangs in all their glory before Marcus's mouth decided to convert to normalcy. You can check it out here:


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The End of an Era

Today marks the end of my stay at home mom era. Marcus is making my transition back into the working world a little easier by being totally cranky these past two days. I am looking forward to thinking about things other than how to schedule my life around nap time.

Yesterday Marcus and I went to hang out at his "school" for a little while. It was nice. Several of the kids in his class are on vacation this week so it was a really small group. He was a little unsure at first and stayed shy and quiet the whole time, but he did really well. Within about 10 minutes he was hanging out in the middle of the group of kids playing with the toys they were currently using. I left the room to do some paperwork and he didn't mind one bit. At one point I went back in the room and left again. He watched me go and went back to his activity. He even painted a picture. (One kid just ate the paint.) The only thing that concerns me is that he is so much smaller and younger than the other kids. They are all 4-8 months older than he is. He is the only one not walking, and he is just so much smaller than them! I just hope he gets a lot out of it since most of the activities are beyond his ability still. I am sure it won't be long until he is mimicking everything the older kids are doing. Well, hopefully not everything. There was one kid there that had his hand in his diaper the entire time. He doesn't need to mimic that.