Friday, March 31, 2006

Red Thread Friends

Over the past year or so that I have been blog-stalking, I have become a bit envious of those of you out there who are part of a large, local China-adoption community. Yep, you know who you are...waiting family dinners, playdates, etc.

We had the pleasure of meeting Shannon T. from our Feb. 2006 DTC group and her cutie-pie son, Camden, today at the park. That's right, our first encounter with real LIVE humans who have the same DTC date as us and they live only about 30 minutes away! I know, not really impressive to someone in, say, Houston where you could probably wolf whistle at any given time and at least 23 China-adoptive families would be within earshot...but we are ecstatic! The great news is that they are wonderful people who are lots of fun to be around. We are looking forward to doing it again!!!

It was just too cute to overhear parts of the conversation that Noah and Camden were having with the other kids in the sandbox. Noah told me later that they were explaining that they were friends because they both have sisters in China! The pic above is of Noah and Camden wearing their new matching red bracelets-official Red Thread Friends!

Here's the Nursery...

If you are wondering why it doesn't look like a nursery, that's because it's actually the master bedroom. However, it is where Meili will spend her first few months home with us-just like our other 4 children. Later, when she is settled, she'll be sharing a room with her sister, Audrey.

Matt has been amazing. He painted and put up the crown moulding and chair-rail, endured months of shopping for bedding and bedroom furniture, then travelled over two hours away to pick the furniture up (twice) not to mention hauling it upstairs and setting it up. What a man!

I can't wait to shop for the finishing touches. This is the first time that we have owned new bedroom furniture in our almost 13 years of marriage. I love it! ...and it's a good thing because it has to last for at least 30 years!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

We've Got a LID!!!!!!!

It's official! We received our ladybug letter from Great Wall just a few minutes ago. WE WERE DTC 2/17 AND HAVE A LID OF 3/10!!! The boys thought I was having a heart-attack and ran in the office to see what was going on. How exciting! Almost a month into the wait. It's going to be OK...I think we can do this!!! I just updated our timeline-somebody pinch me!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What Next???!!!

Jessica Simpson May Want to Adopt Kids
By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Jessica Simpson has babies on the brain. The 25-year-old singer filed for divorce from Nick Lachey last December but her publicist says Simpson is looking at adoption.
"Nothing has been finalized yet" as to when and how Simpson will adopt, her publicist, Rob Shuter, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. But he added, "It is true that she's exploring options."

Shuter said Simpson and her family have anonymously contributed funds to a smattering of Mexican orphanages for several years now. The singer started visiting the orphanages with a church group at age 11.

"I want to adopt, and I plan to adopt before I have my own kids," the pop star recently told TV's "Extra." In the interview, Simpson cited a certain high profile mother as an influence.
"I think Angelina Jolie has done amazing, amazing things, and the international adoption rate just since her has skyrocketed," she said. "It's unbelievable."

Simpson is best known for starring in the MTV reality show "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica" with Lachey, who gained fame as a member of the boy band 98 Degrees.


Friday, March 24, 2006

The Squares Are Rolling In!!!

Many thanks to those of you who have sent squares! Our family has even started to send some! Pics are posted at the link to the right.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thank You FebDTC Secret Pal!!!

I went outside to check the mail yesterday and found a package on my doorstep! My two littlest boys 'helped' me open it. What a great gift! The 'Five Little Ladybugs' book has been on my mental wishlist and the plush ladybug book that 'buzzes' is just too cute! The chocolate was icing on the cake-it didn't live long after this picture was snapped! Thank you Secret Pal! You made my day! Can't say this, this beats stalking the mailbox for that darn I-171H!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Okay, This is Just Sad...

Not long ago, we lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. That means that for about 3 months out of the year for 10 years, we lived in snow. We drove our car in snow, we walked in snow, we bundled our babies for the snow, we shoveled snow-sometimes a couple of feet at a time. It was fun, but I was satisfied that I had my fill of the white stuff. Apparently, I was the only one in the family to feel that way.

Here in Tucson, snow is a rarity. Last weekend, Mt. Lemmon got some so we packed up our car and bundled the kids and headed for the mountains. 30 minutes later, we find that the road up the Mt. is closed down. I didn't care too much. The kids were a bit disappointed. My husband looked like someone shot his puppy! He planned the event under the guise that it was for the kids...'to get them out of the house.' Now I know better. I swear I am married to a 6-year-old sometimes. (He reads comic books and can't sleep on Christmas Eve as further evidence.)

But bless his heart, we received more snow this past weekend and my dear husband woke up early on Sunday morning and packed the car up with sleds and gear and began to call the road info hotline. Mt. Lemmon was closed most of the day but he was on a mission. He broke out a map and found a 'back way' to get some altitude and find some snow. Inside I was rolling my eyes but I remembered the shot puppy look from the previous weekend and decided I'd better play along for the sake of my marriage.

35 minutes into the drive the road turns to dirt/mud. We proceed up the mountain at a 45 degree angle just inches away from a sheer dropoff. I see other cars coming down the road which is comforting until I realize that they are covered in mud from top to bottom and most of them are 4 wheel drive-our Suburban is not. What on Earth are we in for??? It was an 'interesting' drive and we did find some snow. To clarify, I should explain that we found patches of snow surrounded by an abundance of cacti. I wasn't about to let the kids get out and play in THAT and the last time my husband was near a cactus, it ended with him needing his arms waxed to remove all of the needles-story for another time!

We went as far as we could and did find some cactus free snow. All in all, just plain sad. Look at the kids are sledding in straw!!! We had a pretty pitiful snow ball fight the highlight of which was my attempt to gather a snow ball that ended with a fistful of COWPIE!!! Xander got carsick on the way home so the evening was topped off with a lovely load of laundry. The only thing that made it worth it was the smile on my kids' faces-yep, all FIVE of them. (number includes husband)

Friday, March 17, 2006

One Month Since DTC!!!-and Pregnancy vs. Adoption

Well, if the next 10-12 months go by as quickly as this one did for our family, we should be ok for this wait. With four kids and all of their activities, time seems to fly by. That's not to say that there aren't days that every darn song on the radio takes me straight into the "ugly cry." I think that part of me won't believe that I have a daughter in China until I am actually in China and holding her in my arms. Another part of me can't rest until she is home. It just seems so far away.

Let me say that I wouldn't be pregnant again for all the tea in China. But I was thinking that when you're pregnant, you at least know where your baby is at all times. You can do your part by eating those darn veggies, etc. to help your baby to thrive. You feel the kicks from time to time and before that, there's the lovely morning sickness to let you know that things are progressing according to plan. You know that he/she is warm and all of his/her needs are being met. You can estimate within a few weeks, usually, when your baby will arrive. Adoption is so different-I have NO control! And for a type A control freak like myself, that is what is so unnerving. My husband's motto has always been, "there is no use worrying about something that I can't do anything about." He's right-and he's calm as can be about the wait. He says that now I know how he feels when I'm pregnant-a bit detached from the whole process-until the baby arrives of course!

Well, since there would be no stitches or bleeding nipples involved in welcoming this baby to our family, I thought it would be easier. It's not...just different.

Friday, March 10, 2006

100 Random Facts About Me

Thought I would do this, just to see if I could:

1. I am the oldest of 7 children.

2. My first career goal was to be a Solid Gold dancer.

3. I am getting braces (again) in about a month.

4. When I was little, we took in a stray mutt. After a trip to the groomer's, we discovered that we actually had a miniature poodle!

5. I once belly-danced solo for a crowd of 6000 people.

6. I hate the smell of crayons.

7. I love the smell of baby shampoo-not in the bottle, has to be on my freshly-bathed kids' heads.

8. I could eat homemade beef tamales for breakfast, lunch and dinner...for the rest of my life.

9. I believe that chocolate should be the 5th food group.

10. I collect flip-flops.

11. I taught 7th grade English for 2 years-then decided to stay home and do my best to make sure that my kids didn't end up like some of the ones I taught.

12. Because of #11, I have a favorite Backstreet Boy.

13. I attend television show tapings whenever I get the chance. I'm afraid that if I ever got tickets to Oprah, I would have to find another reason to live.

14. I have IBS.

15. I love to take bubble baths.

16. I never have time for bubble baths.

17. Until my MRI results last week, I thought that I had MS or a brain tumor. It turned out to be a weird infection in my sinuses.

18. I had a dream about my daughter in China when I was about 8 years old.

19. Because of #18, I believe that my daughter is/will be in an orphanage in a metal crib. Since not all orphanages have these types of cribs, I believe that I could narrow down her whereabouts with a little research. However, I choose not to do that. I want to be surprised-but I'll check it out after the referral comes and let you know!

20. I am really good at nagging my husband.

21. My husband is a patient man!

22. My husband and I have known each other since I was 12 and he was 13.

23. I eat scabs...just seeing if you're still with me ;o)

24. I hate to fold laundry.

25. I was married at 19.

26. I hate to sing. At church, I mouth the words Milli Vanilli style.

27. I have always wanted to be a news anchor-even used to practice my news-chick hairdo.

28. I spend way too much time on the computer.

29. All parts of my house are cleaned regularly-but never all clean at the same time.

30. I am addicted to shopping clearance racks.

31. I have a degree in Spanish but couldn't hold a conversation in Spanish to save my life.

32. I would like to live in Seattle one day.

33. My scrapbooks will never be caught up.

34. I am obsessed with oral hygiene-I love my tongue cleaner.

35. With a fresh pedicure, I am ready to conquer the world.

36. I rarely engage in any activity regularly without taking it over in some way.

37. I am doing home studies for other adoptive families.

38. I like even numbers. (Hmmm, Meili will be #5...we might have to do something about that.)

39. I once did a cooking segment on a local morning talk show. The kitchen set was beautiful but all I could think about during the show was the Rice Krispies that were in the sink left by the camera crew earlier that morning.

40. When it comes to home decorating, I can't seem to get away from reds and browns.

41. I was the most obsessed Michael Jackson fan on the planet in the 80's...and the 90's.

42. I still have a pair of Michael Jackson LA Gear shoes up in the closet that I can't seem to get rid of.

43. In the future, when nosy people ask me if my daughter is adopted, I plan to respond by asking them if they were born vaginally or by c-section.

44. In beauty school, I gave a perm to an Asian man.

45. In high school, I was on the drill team.

46. I have given birth to 4 children in about 12 hours-total. My brother, James, has made up a sound effect for my birthing process. It sounds like someone hocking a loogie.

47. I am always right-ask my husband; he'll tell you.

48. I had bone tumors removed from my right knee twice as a teenager.

49. I get really excited about "rabbit poop" ice. You know, not the cubes-the stuff that is easy to chew?

50. In high school, I would pass up dates to take babysitting jobs.

51. I love the beach.

52. I would like to visit all of the lighthouses in the country.

53. I am deathly afraid of snakes. I saw 18 of them around town (and 1 in our garage) last year.

54. I am allergic to Sulfa.

55. I like to eat much better than I like to cook.

56. While pregnant with my 4th child, I was victim to some obscenities from some students in a school bus on the freeway. To make a long story short...the story ends with me boarding the bus and demanding apologies from the offenders.

57. I am convinced that there is some sort of emergency alert system connected to my toilet seat. soon as I sit down, there is a child at the door within 5 seconds!

58. I can't have any pets until all of my children are potty trained because it would adversely affect the anus-to-caregiver ratio in my home.

59. I like to organize closets.

60. I used to not be able to drink anything out of a plastic cup.

61. My right leg is 3/4 inch longer than my left.

62. My husband proposed to me in his mother's Hyundai Sonata in a movie theater parking lot.

63. I've been married for 12 1/2 years.

64. I'm 32.

65. Yesterday I put 80 miles on my car even though I was never more than 5 miles from home.

66. I talk a lot.

67. I shave my legs about twice a year. In between times, there are about 6 blond hairs on each leg.

68. I once went on a date with Jerry Supiran-he played Jaime on the 80's t.v. show, "Small Wonder." (Remember? Vicky the robot, red dress...he was the brother...)

69. I feel mildly ill after typing #68.

70. I used to be able to wrap both legs around my neck at the same time.

71. I think that the hormones associated with adoption are equal to if not worse than those associated with pregnancy.

72. The next time I hear "Looks like you've got your hands full!" at the grocery store with my kids- I.AM.GOING.TO.VOMIT.

73. I don't trust health care professionals.

74. I have a low tolerance for stupidity.

75. I never wanted to give birth to any children after 30. When I was young, I thought that it was because 30 was old. Now, I know that it was because then I would be eligible to adopt from China!!!

76. I can replace a garbage disposal by myself.

77. I won a spelling bee in the 6th grade.

78. I've never had a beer in my life. I think it smells like horse pee. In fact, I could say that I have never had alcohol if my grandma hadn't slipped me a daquiri. I didn't think that it had alcohol in it because a) I didn't think she drank and b) I didn't think that a drink with whipped cream on it would contain alcohol.

79. I sleep with my mouth open, waaaay open. Once on a road trip, I woke up with about 25 Tootsie Roll wrappers in my mouth thanks to my brother, James.

80. I had an 8:30 bedtime the night before I got married.

81. I predict that Chris will be the next American Idol.

82. I enjoy racing go-carts. I can beat my husband but he won't admit it.

83. I kill plants.

84. I plan to register at Target, not because I expect anyone to buy anything-I just want to play with the scanner.

85. I can't stand animated characters on children's clothing-especially if they are an iron-on! The fact that my children have a few is a testament to my love for them!

86. I don't take a sip of liquid until I am completely finished with a meal.

87. I've been to the MTV Music Awards.

88. I find President Bush moderately attractive.

89. I sometimes daydream about being an "empty-nester."

90. I love being a mom.

91. I wish that my husband was home more often.

92. I can't seem to keep myself out of Wal-Mart for more than 3 days at a time.

93. I love to see the view of city lights from an airplane.

94. I told my husband that I was going to marry him on our second date.

95. I miss my grandpa. If he were here, he'd call Meili "an oriental" but he would love her!

96. I will write a book one day-just don't know what it will be about yet.

97. It doesn't make sense to me that a person would have bad teeth, yet own a cell phone. Priorities people!

98. I am proud of my husband and children.

99. I can't believe that I am about to finish this list!

100. I am finding the anticipation of the 5th child just as exciting as the first!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Been Busy!!!

I've been away from my blog for a week-and a busy one it has been! Now that the dossier is in China, I'll probably be a weekly blogger instead of a daily-stalker. I've just got too much to do and the wait just seems longer when I dwell on it on a daily basis. So, I'll continue to keep you updated on our adoption wait if anything exciting develops and use my blog as a way to chronicle our family life until we get our referral and are able to go back in time and see what we were up to when Meili was born, etc. Here are some highlights of the past week:

Taylor loves cub scouts-we do too!!! He learns a lot of valuable skills and has a great bunch of friends to meet with each week. He also has some great scout leaders. Last Thursday was the annual Pinewood Derby. Taylor made a "space taxi." It looked much better than it raced-but fun was had by all...

Matt took the day off on Friday and we went to Spring Training-Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago White Sox. The Rockies skunked them (didn't the White Sox just win the World Series last year?) We weren't prepared for the 85 degree temps-it was March 2nd for Pete's sake! Needless to say, most of us are burnt and peeling.

In all the ruckus I managed to send out my first batch of 100 Good Wishes Quilt squares and wishes. I couldn't resist the lady bugs! If you are interested in swapping-check out the link to the right. If you have had your fill of ladybugs, let me know in your e-mail. I bought enough material for about 4 different schemes. I didn't want to get bored either! Many thanks to those of you who have sent squares and wishes to us! I'll post some pics of them on the Quilt link as soon as my husband returns with my camera. It has been so much fun getting squares in the mail-beats the heck out of stalking the mailbox for that darn I-171H!!!

On Saturday night, we had a block party with a "Drive-In Movie" theme. The kids had a blast decorating their "cars" and our neighbors (Thanks Rich and Linda!) set up a projector and showed a movie on their garage door. It was a bit chilly so the kids were bundled up with the movie while the adults huddled around a firepit and roasted marshmallows while we chatted. Lots of fun...way too much food!!!

We have also been painting the master bedroom. Matt's about done with the chair rail and about to do the crown molding. It's looking great! We'll pick up our new furniture on Friday. I'm kicking myself for not taking a before picture. It's already hard to remember what it used to look like.

I've also been working on my first homestudy-so different to be on "the other side" and exciting to play a part in helping families bring their children home.

Well, it's amazing what a person can do when all of their energy isn't focussed on compiling dossier documents! See you next week!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Don't miss Meg Ryan on Oprah today!

Of course, I have a meeting so I'll have to. No Tivo for this family! And sadly, even if I owned a blank video tape, I don't think I'd remember how to set the VCR-it's been so long. It's really a miracle that I can send an email let alone maintain my blog. I expect a full report on the message boards! Click here for the teaser.