Since we decided against our original plans to go to Disneyland for Xander's birthday ($70 a ticket-ouch!), we felt that the least we could do was take him to his favorite place, the zoo. It was a unique experience in that it was just Xander (other kids were at school) with both Mommy and Daddy and we basically had the zoo to ourselves. So, instead of spending my energy counting heads, I could hear Xander talking to the animals. His "Hello, Mr. Turtle. I like your shell" was pretty darn cute.
Here's Xander feeding the giraffe:
And here's the sign we saw just around the corner AFTER feeding the giraffe...OOPS!
Last month, referrals went up to July 22, 2006 (I think). So, that's 18 days worth of referrals this month. At this rate, it will still be another year until we see Meili's face but things seem to be on the upswing. (We have a LID of 3-10-06) Congratulations to all of the families that are going to see their children's faces for the first time today or tomorrow!!! Can't wait until it is our turn!!!!!!
On a related subject...December is out of review. Rumor has it that Jan, Feb and possibly March are in review right now. I can't wait to see that March has made it out of review one day in the "magic box." That will be a happy day and a huge relief.
Our little guy turned 3 today! Taylor screwed him all up this morning by telling Xander that it was his (Taylor's) birthday as a joke so we spent most of the day trying to convince him that it was indeed his birthday. All of the presents that he opened after dinner ultimately helped to clarify the confusion... Happy Birthday Xanderbonie! We love you!!!
I went to the bank earlier today to notarize home studies for a family. The bank lady learned that they were adoption related documents when she registered the notary in her book and exclaimed, "I just couldn't adopt! Some people can take those kids home and love them like they are their own. I just don't get it!!!" That's okay, lady. Adoption obviously isn't for everybody... and some of us couldn't fathom sitting behind a desk all day at a bank.
Oh my! Have I really done this 3 times before??? One month, 82 changes of training pants and 4.3 pounds of Skittles later...we almost have a potty trained boy. Its been a long month of accidents, streaking, bribery and wearing underwear as headgear in our house but he's just about got it down. The challenge that we're facing now is that we just had the carpets cleaned on Saturday and I'm not brave enough to do the underwear this week. We've resorted to pull-ups and Xander realized that he can pee all day in one of those and not notice the difference. One step forward and two steps back, I guess. We'll get there one of these days. He won't graduate from high school wearing a diaper!!!
Yep, this has got to be the best way to mark that we are another month closer to bringing Meili home...another secret pal gift! Our pal sent some really cute things-a baby toothbrush with ladybugs on it (of course!), Hello Kitty Band-aids, a Chinese handkerchief, a Baby Einstein lullabye CD (I've been wanting one of these!) and an adorable baby rice bowl with matching baby chopsticks. It was even fun to look at the Chinese newspaper that the bowl was wrapped in! I didn't know that they made these-at least not this cute! Thanks again secret pal!!! I hope that you are hanging in there and not getting too discouraged with the wait. It's a long road but there is a baby waiting for us at the end of it!!!
You may have noticed that the blog has a new look. I wanted to have a ticker below the heading and finally figured out how to do it (with the help of Erin, Thanks!) but couldn't see the black text of the ticker against the black background of my blog. So, I changed the blog style and have a ticker, but lost my links in the process. I'll get them back up and running- but not today. I've got the carpet cleaners coming tomorrow and I'm on a mission to get the baseboards, blinds and light fixtures cleaned today so whatever I slop onto the floor in the process will be taken care of tomorrow. Somedays, it just doesn't pay to be type A!!!
If I were to tell the truth, I'd have to say that after the arrival of each of our children I've experienced a "done" period. I daydream about the time in my life when I will not have any stinky diapers to change, no yogurt to clean out of the carpet, no gum to pick out of someone's hair, a day when I can clean the house and it stays that way for more than 5 seconds, just once being able to pee without having a child join me...you get the idea. Then, just about the time that potty training is in sight, it happens. I start to notice babies at church or at the grocery store and I WANT ONE.
Today officially marks the longest I have gone (in my 11 years of parenthood, at least) without a new baby. Taylor and Audrey are 2 years and 8 months apart. Audrey and Noah are 12 days shy of being 3 years apart & Noah and Xander are 2 years and 5 months apart. Xander turns 3 in 11 days and is almost potty trained (finally!) I thought that I would be ecstatic to be diaper-free for the first time in 11 years. Believe me, I am...but it's also a bit weird.
So, there are lots of fun things to do in Southern Arizona...not sure that this is one of them. We spent the afternoon at the Titan Missile Museum. It was as fun as touring an abandoned nuclear missile silo could be. It's one of those touristy things to do once and cross off of your list. Check. The highlight for the kids was wearing these very cool (not) hats. This last pic was snapped just after we had received our requisite, "Are ALL of those kids yours???" from one of the resident volunteers. Yep, a Bouton family outing just wouldn't be complete without one of those...
When I asked my husband if there was anything noteworthy about today he said, "Is it the anniversary of the day that we began dating???" Nice try, honey.....but no. Today marks 6 months since we (or our dossier, at least) were logged in. Yep, the wait may be long and getting longer, but at least we have a place in line for this crazy roller coaster ride!
For those not living and breathing China adoption like we are: There are almost nine months worth of dossiers in line ahead of ours. Over the last few months, the CCAA has only matched an average of 7 days worth per month. At this rate, we'll receive our referral in another 3 years. We're convinced that something has got to give and things will speed up at some point. We are hoping that this happens sooner than later.
Matt almost redeemed himself when he said today, "Wow, 6 months has gone by fast!" and he was KIDDING! Yes, folks...even my 'it will happen when it happens' husband is starting to get a little anxious!!! Of course, it may have something to do with talk of finding an Asian sperm donor...
Here's Noah and Xander watching "Cookie T.V." It's been raining cats and dogs and javelinas here in Tucson lately and the running family joke is that mom only bakes when it rains...better then than when its 110 degrees outside, right? During recent rainy-day baking, the little boys decided to pull up a step-stool and watch the cookies bake. Noah coined the phrase, "Cookie T.V." and Xander asked for popcorn. Ah...simple pleasures.
One year ago today, we sent our application to Great Wall with eager hopes that in a year's time we would at least have a picture of our baby girl, if not the real deal. Today marks the official implementation of Plan B. Maybe it should be called Plan C for 'China' because the ball (dossier) is in their court (CCAA) right now and all we can do is wait. I've been sad. I've been angry. Now I'm just done. I want to bring Meili home and be her mother. I don't want to talk about it. I'm not really in the mood to blog about it. I just want to do it.