Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


ANTM, CPR, and Candles

AN*TM - you know, Am.erica's Next To.p Mod.el...do you watch it?

Now tell me this, how did Laura not win? How is that possible? So disappointed. Those producers are just lucky that I am emotionally too busy to send them angry emails.

I'm starting something new in this blog leading up to the holidays.
I'll still post about what's happening with the adoption of course. But I'm also going to end with one favorite thing. Something I love and why. If you do the same in the comments maybe we'll all get inspired for Christmas shopping.

Last night we attended an infant/child CPR class for three hours. It was the fastest three hours of my life. There was just so much to learn and practice! I have to admit that prior to this class I would have been terrified to do CPR on anyone. I think in the back of my mind I've always wondered if CPR really helps or if it's just something they tell you to do to keep you from completely freaking out in an emergency.

Ok, I am the first to admit that I was wrong. People who have someone performing CPR on them are something like 30% more likely to still be alive when the paramedics arrive. (That figure may be a little off but the idea is that you can actually keep someone alive by just doing ANYTHING.) There's technique (2 breaths, 30 chest compressions in 18 seconds, 5 cycles, etc.) but the 30% figure is for people who try anything even if they don't know what they are doing. Amazing. Then there's an even higher stat for those who do it "right."

About a year ago Jeremy and I were on a cross country road trip. We decided to take a scenic road through rural Alabama and it was just lovely as the sun was setting through fields and forests. Suddenly we came up over a hill and saw a car accident. The car had gone over a steep embankment and back up the other side, it had rolled, and as we pulled up we saw there were bodies laying all over the ground.

We couldn't figure out if the crowd was really helping so Jeremy parked the car and jumped out while I called 911. It turned out that nobody was doing anything - they were just gawking. To make a very long and gory story short Jeremy and I ended up being the "first responders" along with one other couple. One man was already dead, one had a huge hole in his head/eye, one was unconscious, and the last (my guy) was moaning and flailing and swelling behind his eyes. It was shocking. Now in the CPR class they kept stressing how in an emergency you should call 911 and start CPR - with the idea that paramedics will reach you in about 5 minutes.

We waited, in the dark, in a deep ditch at the side of the road, in Alabama, with dying men, for the longest half an hour of my life. And when the paramedics came they needed our help for another half an hour at least. We didn't try to perform CPR because it was obvious the one man was dead and the others were all breathing. But I often think back on that and wonder if there was something more we could have done (not that I'd have any clue what to do.) It stuck with me as a reason to make sure I know CPR.

After last night there is now not a chance in h.ell that baby would choke to death or stop breathing on my watch with my CPR skills. And anyone in an accident better watch out for me because I'm ready to practice CPR at the drop of a hat. Deep sleepers and shallow breathers as well as infant or child choky food coughers had better watch out for me because the part where you actually check for signs of life sort of went in one ear and out the other. I am ready to use my skills!!

Unfortunately I'm not sure I would be much use to J in an emergency. I had to practice the heimlich on him and I couldn't figure out what I was doing. He's so much taller! Standing behind him I couldn't figure out where his belly button was (that was kind of embarrassing and involved sort of searching around with my hands in front of a class of people trying not to laugh) and my arms were stretched so there wasn't much extra room to get momentum. We decided that it would be best if he didn't choke on anything, ever.

They gave us our first pacifier! And they showed us a lovely swaddling wrap thing but didn't give us one. (I was disappointed - it was so cute and soft and pink and probably way too small for baby but I was coveting it.) We also talked a lot about SIDS. So here is what I took away from the SIDS talk. 1. I will never leave baby in a teenager's care (I am convinced they just are not good caregivers and that is 100% based on recollections of my own days as a babysitter when I would always put babies on their stomach to sleep because I thought it kept them quieter and in a deeper sleep. AND let's add in a choking hazard - I would bribe toddlers to take naps by giving them grapes or raisins to munch on.)
2. Baby will be allowed a pacifier until she is 20 (sucking reduces SIDS.)

Hmm I'm sure there is more. We talked about bubble wrapping her and then tying a leash to one of our waists and around her.

I'm making it sound funny but safety is so serious. Choking, accidents, and SIDS kill kids all the time. One of the major concepts I left with was that no matter how many fancy safety gadgets you buy nothing can replace supervision and training your child. (And bubble wrap and leashes of course.)

That was my serious post for the day. If you haven't taken an infant/child CPR class - go. Sign up for one now. Ours cost only $45 for the two of us total and took 3 hours. It was through a local hospital and tailored specifically for adoptive parents. I cannot even believe I would have considered having a child without this class.

Mom and Dad - prepare yourselves because we are PRACTICING over Thanksgiving so you will both be up to speed and ready just in case.

Now AMANDA'S FAVORITE THINGS - #1: Vol*uspa (pronounced vuhl eh spuh) Candles

The $16 medium sized ones in the black ceramic container are the best and most cost effective. Last approximately one year and fill the house after just a few minutes. So so much better than Yan*kee Can*dle Com*pany candles and they have such creative scents. My favorite for the holidays is called Cardamon Fig and is most perfect for the kitchen. They are sold in lots of stores in Denver but also available online. Seriously I think these make the perfect Christmas presents. Not your average candle.



  1. Wow, I had no idea you guys had had that kind of experience with that accident. It is amazing how so many people 'don't want to get involved.' I have to renew my CPR/First Aid every year to coach. I think after 11 years, it has finally sunk in and I am prepared to offer assistance. Mmm...favorite things...Raindrops on Roses? Sorry, Wayne made me do it.

  2. Korea is pretty stinky to my US nose so we use a lot of candles to help me cope. I'm going to have to try this favorite thing soon!!!

  3. I just heard the other day that most people do chest compressions way too slowly and that the most effective way to be sure you're doing it fast enough is to do it to the beat of "Stayin' Alive" in your head. I would need something to focus on in that moment so that song would do te trick!


  4. I awarded you the Kreativ Blogger Award on my blog.


About Me

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J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.