Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happiness is...

We have been waiting for a long time to get an In-n-Out here in town. One just opened up a couple of months ago that is about a half hour away. We have seen reports on the news about people lining up for 2-3 hours to get a burger so we hadn't made any special trips out to get one ourselves. We have been driving by whenever we have been in the area to check out the line and it has always been horrendous. Until today! We we were heading across town for a bike ride and noticed that there were only 4 cars in the drive-thru! It was only 10 am and we had just had a late breakfast but none of that mattered. It was heavenly. You just can't beat the grilled bun, melted cheese and sauce and can't find a better red, ripe tomato on a burger anywhere. I've been ranting about the place for months in anticipation only to have several friends try their first INO burger and comment that they didn't see what the big deal was. WHAT???!!! Maybe you have to be a California girl to appreciate it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thinking about this for the girls' room...

...and trying to decide if it coordinates well enough and what on earth we'll do with the walls and how long I can look and brown and pink before I've had enough of it...too funky???

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hodge Podge

Nothing happening that is worthy of it's own post, so here's the bullet list.

  • Started taking Mandarin last Thursday night at the Chinese Cultural Center. Very cool! Comparing it to earning my Spanish minor, I'll trade 4 tones for conjugating verbs anyday! Our teacher is caucasian and speaks PERFECT Mandarin. I'm inspired!
  • I was asked to speak in church on Mother's Day. Just what every mom wants, right? It went ok, glad it's over.
  • Three weeks left of my hip hop for moms class. There's a bit too much hips in my hop and the English major in me has serious issues with the grammar in the song lyrics but it is a fun class. We come out sweating so that has to be burning a few calories at least, right?
  • Xander commented out of the blue yesterday that he wants to have TWO baby sisters. Yikes!
  • My 11 year-old has maturation clinics at school today. Seems like just yesterday that he was a zygote. Now he's learning about them. Makes me feel old...
  • Rumor has it that we could see a big batch of referrals this time around-possibly 16-21 days worth. If that happens, it may light a fire under me to start making preparations for Meili again. I may even muster up enough energy to start renewing my home study and I-600a. Right now, it seems useless.
  • The kids only have 6 more days of school left. Heaven help me! Actually, I'm excited. I've got tons of activities planned so every night by 8 o'clock, they should be begging for bedtime! I have lofty goals of completing Meili's quilt and catching up on all of the scrapbooks. We shall see...
  • I'm getting very excited for a trip back east with my mom in July. We are doing a bus tour starting in DC. We'll also spend a couple of days in NYC. We'll see Wicked and The Color Purple on Broadway. The Idol freak in me is very excited to see Fantasia in that! Hopefully, my Letterman tickets will come through. Apparently, they will call and I'll have to answer a trivia question to claim my tickets. We'll also see some church sites and end up at Niagara Falls. It's nice to have a trip coming up that I can actually plan for!
  • I'm trying to come up with some end of year teacher and bus driver gifts that are not too expensive (there are 15 between the 3 kids.) Any ideas?

Anyone know how come the bullets don't show up when I publish the post? They are there when I'm writing...argh.

Time for these again...

Referral Wait Brownies

Bring to boil in saucepan:

2/3 c. shortening (what we wish the wait times were doing)
5 T cocoa (in honor of the coveted brown envelope)
1/2 c. evaporated (like our hopes of having our babies home before Christmas)milk
2 c. sugar (how sweet it will be to finally see a picture of our little ones!)

Mix in a bowl:
4 eggs, beaten (what the next person who asks how long till referral will be :o) )
1 t. salt (in our wounds to see a two day referral batch!)
2 t. vanilla (or cherry juice-a touch of red for good luck)
1 c. flour (for our little cherry blossoms waiting for us in China)
1/2 t. baking powder (I know, we'd rather be working with baby powder...)
1 c. nuts (because that's where we are all headed if we don't start getting some good news!)

Add saucepan mixture to bowl and mix thoroughly.

Pour into un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Cool, frost, and top with halved maraschino cherries (pretend they're ladybugs and consider it your sighting for the day!)

Frosting: 3C powdered sugar, 1/3 c. butter, 1 t. cherry juice, 1-2 T. cocoa, 2 tsp. milk

Enjoy! …and hang in there everybody!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Next To Worst Conceivable Rumor May Be True *UPDATED

I received a call today from my SW (who is also an agency director, my boss and a friend.) She shared with me over the phone a post to a Russia adoption forum about a person who in speaking with their own adoption agency about their own Russian adoption was informed as an aside that China is 'shutting down' and may consider reopening in 2010. I assume that 'shutting down' was the person's attempt to summarize the CC*A's intent to stop accepting dossiers and not 'shutting down' meaning 'Go home. No baby for you' for those of us already logged in. Even so, CRAP.

My 2 cents: My agency has said and stated in emails repeatedly that they speak with CC*A daily and assure us that they intend to continue to participate in IA. BUT...IF there really is a backlog of dossiers as big as we hear, and IF there really aren't enough paper ready babies to put a dent in the backlog, and IF the wait to referral could get as big as is rumored (three years!), and IF the new requirements didn't discourage as many applicants as CC*A hoped (in fact it resulted in a huge influx of applicants trying to beat the deadline which must have really ticked them off), THEN you have to wonder how responsible it is for the CC*A to continue to accept dossiers and agencies to continue to accept applications (and $) and allow families to put their lives on hold indefinitely while they wait endlessly for a referral. The thought of putting dossiers on halt has to have at least crossed their minds.

Anyhoo, back to the roller coaster ride...I of course went straight to the RQ site to see if there was anything to it and if I might have been the last person to find out which is often the case. There was nothing. I tried to post to the forum but after writing the post just didn't have the heart to send it so I deleted it.

Later in the day, I called Shannon-my local(!) DTC buddy and dropped the bomb on her. Sorry Shannon! She recommended that I PM RQ and let her make a judgement call. I did. Let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if it is tomorrow's post topic. It looks like I'm not the only one to come across this info. Looks like up is down and down is up in the world of China adoption. I dreamed a few weeks ago that we went to China and were given a unicorn! Today, a unicorn feels just as likely as getting a baby at the end of all this.


Sorry to have freaked you out, Heather.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New Theme Song

Keep Holding On
Avril Levigne

You're not alone
Together we stand
I'll be by your side,
you know I'll take your hand
When it gets cold
And it feels like the end
There's no place to go
You know I won't give in
No I won't give in

Keep holding on
'Cause you know we'll make it through, we'll make it through
Just stay strong
'Cause you know I'm here for you, I'm here for you
There's nothing you could say
Nothing you could do
There's no other way when it comes to the truth
So keep holding on
'Cause you know we'll make it through, we'll make it through

So far away
I wish you were here
Before it's too late, this could all disappear
Before the doors close
And it comes to an end
With you by my side I will fight and defend
I'll fight and defend
Yeah, yeah


Hear me when I say, when I say I believe
Nothing's gonna change, nothing's gonna change destiny
Whatever's meant to be will work out perfectly
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
La da da daLa da da da
La da da da da da da da da


Keep holding on
Keep holding on

There's nothing you could say
Nothing you could do
There's no other way when it comes to the truth
So keep holding on
'Cause you know we'll make it through, we'll make it through..

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Graduate!...almost.

Have I ever told you that my husband is amazing? He works about 55-60 hours a week, plus commutes about a hour and a half each day round trip so we don't have to live in the ghetto. He gets up at about 4 am and gets home close to 6 at night. For the last couple years he has also been working on his MBA. After dinner, I'm sure he'd like to hit the sack and try to catch up on much needed sleep. Instead, he hits the computer and tackles his school work, often until well past midnight. I don't know how he does it.

Well, this past weekend he walked with his graduating class. He still has about 12 weeks of classes left, but qualified to participate in the graduation ceremonies. We are so proud of him! His brother, Todd, came out for the occasion which I know meant alot to Matt. The kids really enjoyed having Uncle Todd for a visit and fought over who got to sit by him wherever we went. I don't think I've participated in such thought provoking conversation for years (Todd's a Harvard Law grad.) My contributions to discussion lately have consisted of, "Where is your owie?" and "Do you need to go potty?" so it was a welcome change.
We took Todd to the Desert Museum yesterday so he could see all of the interesting creatures and vegetation that we are surrounded by here in the desert. I was sitting watching the kids dig for minerals in a little quarry area when a little Asian girl came up to me and started asking me about my braces. She kept trying to give me her rocks-what a sweetie. There were other Asian adults there so I was surprised when she took off with two caucasian ones. When my kids noticed, they just looked at me and smiled without missing a beat in the rock hunt they had before them. This is quite a development from the days when Noah in his unbridled excitement would see an Asian child with Caucasian parents and shout at the top of his lungs, "LOOK MOM, IT'S A CHINA GIRL!!!" Meili may be far away in distance and time, but she is real to all of us now. Even the little kids know that someday, that will be us.
Enjoy the pics from the weekend!
Matt and Todd

Kids with Uncle Todd

Cactus Bloom
Pretty in Its Own Way