Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Yes, news.

Just looked at my 'case status' on the USCIS website, and for the first time since 3rd June when I had my biometrics done, my case has been updated. This is called a 'touch' and almost always bodes well - it means that my work authorization should not be long now! Which is a relief, as I have very little money. In fact, the same little that a cotton dwarf would be if it shrunk to nothing and then was put through the washing machine. The only thing it could very possibly be that would be a large f*rt (to put it sonically) would be an RFE - Request For Evidence - which would mean we didn't give them enough paperwork when we applied. Usually, though, these arrive much sooner, when the case is first checked.

Exciting stuff!

Jim and Amy

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Here I am, writing this from our new apartment. Things are still fairly chaotic - the house is quite a bit smaller than the one we left, and we didn't realise that the things we left in the closets of our old house would breed, and double in number by the time we left. Still, we're definitely getting there, and thank goodness all the lifting and walking up and down stairs with arms full of heavy boxes is done.

My tooth... ok. I went to the dentist on Wednesday morning, had an x-ray, and sure enough I had an infected root which has spread up to my cheekbone which is a little bit painful. So he asked whether I'd rather take antibiotics for a week and come back and have it pulled, or just go for it right away. So I got all manly and said "Go 'head, bub. Pull that sum-b*tch." Or words to that effect. So five injections, and twenty minutes later we decided my mouth was numb enough, and Dr. Loudermilk (yes, that's his name) got pulling and twisting and... PAIN!!!! He explained that it was the infection that was counteracting the anaesthetic, and gave me three more injections into my gum. Cue pulling/twisting, cue... PAIN!!!! Then he stepped back and told me that he didn't feel comfortable pulling the tooth. So, I left, $56.00 poorer, with a numb face and a wrenched, still there, still infected tooth. Still, I also had a prescription for the antibiotics for my troubles, which I have been taking. I just need to decide now if I go back to the same guy and have the extraction attempted again (which he said he was 'fairly' sure would be easier this time) or spend - wait for it - $270.00 to have it pulled under gas. Not sure yet what I want to do, but money may well decide the issue. Grrr. I really need a job and insurance, BAD.

We went and played poker at Keith and Ashleigh's house tonight - it was very cool, and I won, despite an earlier mishap where I bet almost everything on what I thought was a straight (10, J, K, A) only to realize upon showing my hand that I... er... didn't have a jack. I realized I like poker - you can win even if you're a dork.

Anyway, hope you are all great (and enjoying Cornwall, Rennie family! Send pictures!!)

Take care,

Jim and Amy

Friday, June 16, 2006

Hey all,

Move is going very well - I painted our whole bedroom (two coats!) today, and we cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, and started moving some stuff in. We're hoping to be in our new place by Monday. Cool!

On a cack-er note, I have a toothache to beat the band. With a stick made of lead. It feels like someone is doing this to the left side of my face:

Sorry to whine but I've been whining to Amy all evening and now she won't come out of the fetal position. Okay, slight exaggeration, but SERIOUSLY. Rude words don't even cover it. I'm going to try and get a dentist to see me on Monday, and maybe pay by installments. I have to exorcize this demon from my gob. Now. Grrr. Owww.

Love to you all!

Jim (and Amy!)

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Just to let everyone know we have added a guestbook link to the links section on the right near the top. Seeing as the comments feature on here doesn't seem to work too well, we thought it would be a nice way of people letting us know they dropped in, and we'd also love to know who visited and when.

It's really easy to do - just click the button to the right and scroll down a little. You don't have to leave your email address if you don't want, but if you'd like us to write back you can. Just let us know who you are and send whatever message you like (so long as it's not mean!)

Anyway, speak to you all soon.


Jim and Amy x
Hey all!

Still packing...

Well, DEFINITELY reassuring news, but not the big 'male or female' news from our visit on Wednesday to Dr. Harrington. The baby looks GREAT. He has proper arms, legs and feet and even toes now! Not only is he growing at exactly the rate that he should be at this stage, but he once again decided to put on a dance show for us, and ALMOST sucked his thumb. Dr. Harrington said that as he was this active this soon, that by the end of the pregnancy Amy might be feeling some REAL kicks and prods. We think the fact that Amy and I spent over an hour singing a capella Beatles songs in bed the night before might have been something to do with it...

By the luck of the draw he happened to be lying very low in Amy's womb, so the ultrasound itself (hence the not being able to He or Her our baby!) but especially the resulting prints are a lot less clear than last time. Still, we'll scan them and put them up in the next few days. Because he wasn't able to tell the sex yet Dr. H has made another appointment for a more thorough ultrasound in four weeks, which is quite a nice bonus really - means we can have another little health check and "Ahhhhhhh! How cyoooooooot!" sooner than we had expected. :)

Anyway, we have a busy afternoon coming up. We are off to Peoria in a bit to meet up with Amy's friend April, who is a minister up in Rock Falls, Illinois, then right from there tio Eureka to have a cookout with Mark, Marsha, and the rest of Amy's family.

So, hope you are all really well - speak to you again soon!

Jim and Amy and Little One
x x x

Monday, June 12, 2006

Packing... packing... packing...

Moving is a load of crap. Which has to be put in boxes and driven somewhere new. That's why moving is a load of crap.

Hehe. More seriously, it's all good - I spent the day today packing kitchen stuff which I've decided is the worst part of all, but we're very close now! We have set, tentatively (but with determination) to move on Friday of this week, which is exciting.

Amy is feeling lots of pops and wriggles from the baby over the last couple of nights. She thinks it's just baby movements, but I think he may have World Cup Fever too. He totally got excited by Sweden's 0-0 tie with Trinidad & Tobago (I think he knew it made the group much easier for England) and was DEFINITELY more muted after the U.S.A. lost. Movements are a really nice sign though, and help Amy a lot in relaxing about the baby's health and well-being. I've tried to feel them too, but despite sitting next to Amy with my hand on her tum for fifteen minutes with my tongue poking out of the corner of my mouth (helps me concentrate) I think the moves are just too small at present to come through.

Aye well. Gonna go wake Amy and have some dinner with her - hope you're all good.

Jim and Amy

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Shingles. You heard me - SHINGLES. Well, Amy has shingles, which, fact-finders, is a re-activation of an existing virus. When a person has chickenpox, the virus lies dormant for the rest of their lives in nerve roots. However, at times of stress, or due to illness, or any other factor that lowers the body's defences (tiredness due to work+pregnancy included) the virus can be reactivated, often by exposure to people carrying the chickenpox virus (chickenpox-y kids at Amy's daycare, for example) and - provided the adult has had chickenpox before - the virus presents itself as shingles. Early symptoms are a prickly/painful rash in localised areas, fever, and headaches. Then, if the illness gets more severe, nerve pain and neuralgia occurs, but we're hoping it doesn't come to that. Still, the not-easiest pregnancy is not-easiester, but Amy is doing really well, though she is pretty uncomfortable and running a constant low-grade fever. There is also no evidence that shingles is of harm to a developing baby however, which was a huge relief to find out.


I also have had my health problems. It began when I awoke early the other day after a fitful night's sleep with the sweats, shaking hands, inability to concentrate on normal tasks, and a weird tic that made me whoop and punch my fist in the air. More worryingly, I had a loss of identity - specifically national identity - that bordered on schizophrenia. This manifested itself in the strange practice of pledging allegiance to one country one moment, then allying myself with Mexico, or the Ivory Coast the next. Often this occured within the space of an hour. I was so concerned that I dragged myself, on foot, the fourteen miles to our doctor in Tremont, whooping all the way, and after a brief examination during which I dived on the floor and appealed for a penalty, the doctor gravely confirmed to me what I had feared:

I have World Cup Fever.

Symptoms vary in type and severity, but perhaps the most classic - and severe - is making a date in your diary to watch Iran vs. Angola. Drooling upon hearing certain "trigger" words or phrases is also common. See below:

If you or anyone you know begins to display such symptoms, please treat them kindly. Buy them some cheese puffs, tell them not to shower for a while, and allow them to loudly curse the referee in Swedish. Just remember, inside the sufferer still cares about you, his world, and his life. Just not as much as the linesman's eyesight.

Anyway, hope you are all healthy, and wish us luck for our delayed appointment on Wednesday.

Take care,

Jim and Amy x x x

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Well, we'd love to have some lovely new scan pictures, and news of our little one's gender to report, but maddeningly the doctor's office called TWENTY MINUTES before our appointment to postpone, which sucked quite largely indeed. Add some Grrrrr to that Crud. Even more maddeningly (we're pretty mad here) it was rescheduled for next Wednesday, so another whole week of waiting is in store. The reason - though we are a teeny bit cynical - was that four separate women whose doctors all work at Dr. Harrington's clinic all went into labor this afternoon, leaving no doctors at the clinic. We think that just possibly they may have overbooked. If not, I think those women are all a little bit selfish. I mean, I was in Wal-Mart the other day and I really needed to pee, but we were buying groceries and the bathroom was
the other side of the store so I held it in for HALF AN HOUR. Would that have been too much to ask of one of those ladies?? Huh??? Honestly. You'd think the world didn't revolve around us sometimes.

Other than that it was a good day. Amy's daycare has hit the summer season, which means lots of field trips (today they went to Pekin Park and fed ducks and swung swings and slid slides and teeter-tottered on the teeter-totter) and less kids, although they no longer have nap times which makes for a much longer day for Amy.

Our move is not too long away now - perhaps in the next few days. We are a little.. er... underpacked. Until yesterday we had packed:

- A candle.
- Some CDs.

But we've sent most of our clothes over now, all the ornaments and pictures from around the house, and today we packed up books and computer stuff. So, we're getting there.

Anyway, gonna head off now, but I'll write more in the next few days.

Sorry for the lack of news!

Love,Jim and Amy

PS: Doug and Clare - cool hearing from you! If you have any baby tips you have our email. Especially diaper advice, like 'How not to smell one'.

PPS: Any other babycare tips from anyone else always appreciated too. Unless Ozzy Osborne is reading this.