Busy 1st Week!

I know you guys have probably been impatient to hear about F.B.'s arrival to Philadelphia. :-) We've been so busy this week I haven't had a chance to blog yet. Today it's raining and windy so we decided to just hang out at home today.

Sunday when F.B. arrived it was raining and windy about around 59 degree's. (Pretty warm for March around here). My brother and I drove down to Philadelphia International Airport to pick him up. He called me collect from a payphone but it wanted me to enter a credit card number, so we pulled to the side of the road at the airport so I could enter the number, I hit a wrong digit and the darn thing hung up on me! (His cell phone network didn't work in the USA). My brother and I decided to just start driving slow past the doors in baggage claim. I thought I spotted the yellow lining of the hoodie I got F.B. (Thank goodness he was wearing it!) I pulled the car over and ran into the airport. He was still at a payphone about to try calling me again. So that's how we found him! (No I don't have any pictures, it was so hectic how we picked him up from the airport).

We stopped and picked up some Wendy's for lunch and headed back to my house. F.B. was pretty tired that day, he napped for several hours. We had apple pie and Hesh's Bakery chocolate chip pound cake for his arrival.

Monday we got up early and headed to the Social Security Office to apply for a number for F.B. It only took less than an hour, because we had already printed and filled out the application before we arrived. After that we went to Target to look for a prepaid cell phone but we didn't find one. Then we headed to Franklin Mills Mall. We both got jackets at Modell's. And some clothes from Old Navy. And we browsed Five Below and got some Hello Panda cookies (So hard to find in the USA!) and F got a mouse for his laptop. We had lunch at Arby's and F.B. had their beef 'n cheddar roast beef sandwich.

We finally found him a prepaid T-mobile cell phone at Best Buy.

Tuesday we went out grocery shopping late in the afternoon and picked up some stuff for meals at Bottom Dollar and Food Basic's. We made chicken Caesar salad for dinner with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday we headed to Chinese Buffet with my parents and brothers. F.B. liked the bacon wrapped crab meat best. Hehe. He called it "Health Food". We also stopped at Dollar Tree before heading home from buffet.

We had to take Lily to the vet on Wednesday evening. She was limping on Sunday night, so I gave her some children's aspirin to try and reduce swelling, was also putting ice on her foot, but as each day went by her foot just kept swelling more and more. It was starting to look purplish near her toes so last night we took her to the vet because the swelling wasn't going down. She had to have an xray so we could make sure nothing was broken. Nothing was.

The vet gave her some kind of cortisone steroid injection. Which worked like magic because today her foot is back to normal size, just a bit bruised looking and she's not putting pressure on it again instead of limping around. He also gave her an antibiotic, she started getting scabs around her toes from the skin stretching so much so he wanted to make sure she doesn't get an infection. She's been spending the week in a hospital cage until her foot is looking better.

Tomorrow we will probably go see a movie and maybe go to a mall and have lunch out. (We'll try to take pictures, we've been lousy about it, lol!) Saturday morning we have to go to my CPA to get my taxes prepared and then we are hanging out with my cousin Jessica around 5pm and having dinner out. Sunday we'll just hang out at home, since I have to go back to work on Monday... yuck. lol. It's been a very busy week. F.B. still isn't quite used to the time change he keeps waking up at odd hours, like 2am, etc. And then we have Daylight Saving Time Saturday night too! lol! So we'll be losing an hour. :-p


1 more day!!!

Tomorrow I will be picking up F.B. at Philadelphia International Airport! He left for his flight to the USA about 7 hours ago. He will arrive in Los Angeles around 6:30pm this evening. (9:30pm Philadelphia). Then he will catch a flight to Dallas Texas around 12am. (3am Philly). He will leave Dallas around 6:30am and arrive in Philadelphia around 10:30am. Praying he doesn't have any delays. We talked on the phone last night and he texted me this morning before boarding his flight. Unfortunately it's supposed to rain heavy tomorrow so hoping he arrives on time!

Yesterday & today I spent getting the last of the cleaning and organizing done. I'm finished! (And exhausted, lol!) I only have to put clean sheets and make the bed tomorrow morning.

Besides the toiletries and a few clothing items I got F.B. I also have a snack pack for him in a Spongebob tin, hehe. There's Herr's thin ripple chips, Ruffles chili cheese chips, Goldfish Pizza crackers and two Snapple Iced Teas in the tin. Plus a belated Valentines day card, since we decided not to send any packages.

I also hung up our 'Sarah' & 'F.B.' hearts that originally were on his bedroom door in the Philippines on one of my trips there. They are on my closet door now.

My cousin Chrissy and her husband Matt who are in Georgia, sent F.B. & I cute 'his & hers' towels and a pretty frame. :) I put one of our wedding photos in the frame.

I have the whole week off work to spend with F.B. and get settled in. We will be heading to the Social Security Office probably on Monday to apply for a number for him and also do a little clothes shopping. Were also going out to Chinese Buffet with my family this Wednesday. Lot's to do!

In ratties updates! I've had to take 3 ratties to the vet in the past few weeks. After Basil passed away I decided to try integrating all my girls so I could open up the levels in the Ferret Nation cage. There were a few scuffles and some fighting but it wasn't so bad. Until I noticed where Honey had bit Iris and Clover they had swelled into lumps. This happened to Jasmine a few months ago and she had to go to the vet and get a Baytril injection and antibiotics.

Iris was bit in the neck and it swelled exactly like Jasmines wound had. Clover was bit on her back and it swelled into a painful lump. They were given Baytril and antibiotics and now Iris's lump is all gone and Clover's is just about gone. I've never seen rat bites swell & get infected like that, and it's only when Honey bites someone that they do swell. She has a viscous bite.

Then Barley, my hairless rat started to have this weird odor to him. I couldn't figure out what it was. I gave him a bath and I could still smell it. I thought maybe it was coming from his mouth, maybe he had gotten food stuck in his teeth. The smell turned out to be coming from his left eye! He had a vet appointment this past Tuesday. The vet used a magnifying camera to examine his eye and also ultraviolet drops and light to check his cornea.

Barley had something in his eye that the vet removed. They thought it was a piece of litter, but I don't use litter. So it was either food or lint or who knows what that had gotten stuck underneath his left eye and that's what was causing the odor. So strange! Hairless rats do not have eyelashes so they can get stuff in their eyes. He has an eye ointment he has to have for 10 days. But he is doing much better and doesn't smell anymore! Poor guy! :-p

Sadly... I did not get my SRR Rat Train rats today. Our driver went MIA and never contacted Brittney. The original driver even disconnected their phone number and unfriended Star's Rat Rescue Facebook page. So weird... I don't understand why someone would go to such lengths if they didn't want to do the drive anymore. It would have been nice to just say they had changed their mind. Sooo... we are back to the original plan and Brittney is hoping April or May we can get this rat train going!


Blogs of Interest and... 1 week!

I've been very lucky lately with blog giveaways! I won 2 recently! And besides my prizes, I wanted to share these awesome blogs with you guys!

I won Sprinkle's Cupcake mix, heart cupcake cups, other goodies & a cute green apron from Jessica at Jesstagirl & Her Officer! I'm saving the cupcake mix to make when my husband is here!

Please check out Jessica's blog. She is a newlywed living in Georgia with her military spouse, Kenny. They are about to start a whole new adventure when they move to Italy soon!

I also won some Pelle Beauty Mocha Lipbalm & Pelle Beauty samples from Marnie at What Red Said. Marnie sells Pelle Beauty products which are all natural. Check out Marnie's blog which is a mix of health tips, life & humor and also check out the Pelle Beauty website!

There is just about 1 week left until my husband F.B. arrives from the Philippines! He will be here NEXT Sunday... which is just crazy! We've been together 6 1/2 years and have been married a little over a year now. It's weird because we spent our first year apart. We were only together 1 month after our wedding before I had to come back to the USA and we started on immigration. It will be a big adjustment for us both to be living together for good. And it will also be a culture adjustment for F.B. moving to the USA.

Our new bed from Sear's arrived today! I have to put our new pillows, sheets and blankets on the bed next weekend before F's arrival. I also still have to hang up some of my pictures since the walls have been painted. I got a full Sealy bed for now, since my room is on the small size. It's really comfortable! It's got a pillow top with a layer of memory foam. It's also REALLY HIGH up, lol! I feel like I need a step stool to get into bed now, hehehe!

Daisypath Vacation tickers


Countdown to arrival!

I am so exhausted! It has been a busy day! I woke up at 7am this morning and my brother Scotty and I went to Starbucks for breakfast. For some reason they were offering Pumpkin Spice coffee today (Whoo Hoo!) so we got two of those. And we also got the new Bacon, Egg & Gouda Cheese sandwiches they have.

Then we came home and got everything ready to repaint my room. The color I picked up at Lowe's is called 'Minty'. I wanted a similar color to what was already on the walls to make it less complicated. Everything just needed to be refreshed. We were done painting around 11am.

After painting I transferred some money out of my savings and we headed off to a 2nd hand store, Big Lot's and Walmart. At the 2nd hand store I got 2 nice comforters, 2 big fleece blankets, and a few pillow cases. At Big Lot's I got two full bed sheet sets for $12.00 and 2 nice big towels for $4.50 each. At Walmart, I got new pillows on sale for $2.50, a rice cooker for $13.00. I also got F.B. a lot of toiletries for his arrival. I spent more than I have ever spent at Walmart, but I got everything I needed. Including a Hane's flannel pajama pants & t-shirt set for him.
All of F.B.'s toiletries.
And I may or may not have spent $21 on nail polish... why oh why does Walmart now sell Essie & OPI... I couldn't pass up these colors!

(Turquoise &  Caicos, Merino Cool, The Next CEO)
F.B. finished up his seminar that was required by the Philippines before he leaves for the USA. He still has to go get an international drivers permit before he leaves. So he can drive over here for a year. (He will need to take the test again for a PA drivers license.)

He also booked his plane ticket! He will be in Philadelphia on March 6th at 10:25am!!! Lucky boy doesn't even have to stopover in Hong Kong or Shanghai or even Tokyo, he gets to fly from Manila Philippines straight to Los Angeles, CA. Then to Dallas, TX and finally Philadelphia!

It's going to be a very busy 2 weeks. I spent all evening cleaning and organizing after the paint dried and I still have some more to do tomorrow. The new bed arrives next weekend. I was approved to take March 7th-11th off so I'll have a week off work to spend with F.B. and help him get settled in.

Also, on March 5th, I will be getting my 2 boys and 2 girls from Star's Rat Rescue in SD! They will be traveling 1,500 miles to Philadelphia! There are a few others adopting rats in Philly too we'll be meeting our Rat Train driver at a Petco in the area.

Daisypath Vacation tickers


Basil: March 2010- February 2011

When I woke up this morning, I found my Basil boy had passed away probably a few hours before I woke up. He was sleeping on my bed because he's been growing frailer the past few weeks...

Basil was older than 1 year, I think he may have been 2 years or even 2 1/2. He was full grown when I bought him and his brother Sage last March. The pet store I got them from had them living alone and they were covered in mites. His brother Sage passed away 1 month later.

I tried letting Basil live with Fennel and Barley but he was too aggressive to live with other male rats so I ended up having him neutered. He lived the rest of his days with his girls who he got along with and loved. He was really my buddy and a bit of a spoiled mama's boy. He went from a scared skittish non social rat, to a spoiled big squish who liked to be held and petted in his old age. He's been slowly going down hilll, with osteoarthritis, a cataract in one eye, not eating or drinking as much anymore.... I will miss you Basil...

Basil enjoying Thanksgiving dinner 2010:


So much to do, so little time!

I can't believe it's only been a few days since we found out F.B.'s visa was approved!

We are still waiting on the US Embassy to mail his passport/visa and paperwork to him. (Hoping it only takes a week!) and then F.B. can book a plane ticket. I've talked with his Dad and I took off a few days around March 6th-12th so it's likely F.B. will be getting a ticket for around then.

There's still so much to do here to get things ready! I just ordered a new bed from Sear's yesterday, after looking at lot's of online reviews through Google & Yahoo Search.

It was only $610.00 for a new Sealy full mattress, box spring & frame. Sears is having a 50% off President's Day sale on mattresses and I also got free shipping and $20 off with a coupon code! (Free shipping is for purchases over $499 and coupon code is: SAVEBIG for purchases over $299- not sure when that expires.). I scheduled delivery for the last weekend in February! I'm so excited the bed even has a layer of memory foam! I love memory foam! I used some of our savings to buy the new bed.

Next week I have to stop at Lowe's and get some paint and paint supplies to redo my room. I'm getting a similar color (Mint.) I only have 3 walls to paint in my bedroom, the 3rd wall is real wood paneling. The paint in my room just needs to be touched up. It's stained and chipping away in areas so it needs a retouch. My Dad is also going to help rip out the built in desk that I never use. It will give us a lot more space for the new bed and the rat cages once it's removed. I'll take pictures when everything is finished. :) I'm planning on painting during my 3 day weekend. ( Feb 21st is President's Day).

I have to get new drapes for my room. Walmart had some nice affordable ones. The ones I have now have been chewed at the bottom by my ratties, when I used to have the girls cage near the window 3 years ago. Plus they are pink and faded and never really matched my bedroom.I want to get a nice deep chocolate brown since that might go better with my mint colored walls.

Going to get some new comforters and sheet sets either from Big Lot's or a 2nd hand store. With rats as pets I try to buy the cheapest blankets and sheets I can get. Because they WIlLL chew a hole in them at some point! Also getting new pillows from Walmart.

I want to put together a toiletry box for F.B. so he will have everything here ready for him when he arrives.
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Axe Solid Stick & Spray
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hairbrush
  • Razor
  • Q-tips
  • Towel & Washcloth
  • Robe
I might also get together a little snack box of some Philadelphia treats for him! Just about a month to get everything ready for his arrival! :-)



This is a very brief blog entry tonight! F.B. had his visa interview this morning around 6:30am Philippine time. He just got out of the embassy it took about 5 hours. He said there were lot's of people... but guess... what....


He has to wait for the US Embassy in Manila to mail him back his passport with his visa and paperwork and then we can figure out when he's going to book a flight to the USA!!!

Edited to add: Lawyer emailed and said it's actually two years before we will have to file to remove the conditional status from his visa. So that's a lot nicer than having to file again in September already! Gives us more time to save for more immigration fees.

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 


1 Week!

F.B.'s visa interview at the American Embassy in Manila is 1 week away! It feels like time is going really slow, yet really fast at the same time!

F.B. got his police clearance paper last week. (He needed an original for the visa interview.) And Thursday & Friday he went to get his medical exam. It took 2 days for them to do everything. ($213 USD!) He had to have a physical exam, xray, eye exam, blood tests and he also got 3 vaccines. They have forwarded his medical results to the Embassy so they will have them for his interview on Feb 4th.

If he is approved, there's a good chance F.B. will be able to fly to the USA sometime end of February or beginning of March! (Praying!) I'm sure he will be approved- because he is coming to the USA on a CR visa. (Conditional Resident.)

What does that mean? Well it means we're not nearly done with immigration. In 2 years we will have to submit paperwork and file to remove the conditional status off his visa. ($590!) We will have to submit evidence that we've been living together, affidavits from friends & family that state we have a relationship, etc. Our lawyer has already been preparing us to gather evidence together for that.

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 

There's so much other stuff to do once F.B. is approved and comes to the USA. We'll need to visit the Social Security office near me and apply to get him an Social Security number so he can work legally.

I also contacted the PA department of motor vehicles, to find out how he can apply for a driver's license. They wrote me back and said:

An international permit, obtained from your home country prior to traveling, may be used in Pennsylvania (PA) for one year from the issue date. You must carry both your international permit and your valid foreign license with you when driving. You may review the documents necessary to apply for a permit by using this link, Non-U.S. Citizens. This will provide the list of documents to take to your local driver’s license center, depending on your immigration status.

They also said he will need to apply for a PA drivers permit and he will have to take the test again before he can get a PA drivers license. But if he's able to get the international permit then at least he will be able to drive legally here- while he's applying for a PA driver's license!

Going to also have to add him onto my checking & saving accounts so there's proof we are living together. And probably get him a cell phone in his name so he has a bill with his name & address on it. I think if I add him to my plan- the bill will still be in my name only?

I also have to demo my room, lol. We are going to be living at home with my parents for probably about a year & a half while we finish immigration, and F.B. gets a job so we can save money to get our own place. My room at home is not very large. It's got this built in desk that I never use that takes up a lot of room. My Dad is going to help me take it out. Then we will need to repaint the whole room. And I want to get a full bed. (I don't think anything larger than a full would fit in my room! And hubby & I are are not sharing a twin!)

So much to do! I can't wait until the visa interview is over and we know for sure what's going to happen next!


Awesome Rat Sketches!

Back in November I ordered a sketch of my Basil boy from one of our Rat Chatter members. She is selling the digital color sketches for $9 and $2 for every extra rat added into the sketch. They are amazing! I decided to get all of my current ratties drawings done. For the 4 additional sketches I emailed photos of the rats and I told Ciara she could pose them however she wanted to fit them into the sketches. I wanted to share all the watermarked versions on my blog here. I love them all!

If you would like to order a digital sketch of your pet or pet rat. Click here for more information. You can also contact Ciara by email too.

(You can click on the pictures for larger versions.)


Sooo... I was... flashed...

Today, heading to the train station after work with my co-worker who catches the same train. We walk into 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and across from the door leaned up against the wall is a very very dark almost Indian looking guy. You couldn't help seeing him where he was standing coming in the door. Well as we walk in the man opens his winter jacket with both hands and holds back his jacket & button down shirt exposing his naked chest for a few seconds and grins weirdly. I was totally shocked. I say to my coworker. "Um... should we call the police?!" He says, "Why?" He didn't see, he was just a few steps ahead of me! I had to tell him and we debated telling someone but we were late for our train and rushing. I said if he had shown anything below the belt I would have had to grab a guard! And 30th Street Station is a BUSY place too! What a creep!!! Sure have a story to tell my coworkers tomorrow... lol!


Yikes! Just 2 weeks until....

Got a very important email today at 4:49pm. It was the NVC telling us that they had already forwarded our documents to Manila, Philippines and....

(Click the picture to make larger)

That's right.....

F.B. has his visa interview at the US Manila Embassy in TWO WEEKS?!?!

When I emailed our lawyer he replied with: 'That was faster than I expected, too'.

Yikes! I was sure they'd give you a month to prepare. It doesn't look like he will need to bring much with him from the rest of the document. But he will need a medical exam and ugh... he's just getting over a head/chest cold he's had for a few weeks. Our immigration lawyer is emailing information tomorrow on what F.B. needs to prepare and bring to the interview.


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