Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Running Update

I'm sure you weren't but just in case you were wondering how the running is coming along-I'm up to 7 minutes and 30 seconds. That's almost a 50 percent increase from my first run! Good for me but still pretty sad compared to the general population. I'm still determined to get up to 25 minutes. If I do it 3 times per week and increase by 30 seconds each time, it will take me another 3 months to reach my goal. I am in extreme awe of anyone who can run a marathon...
I did the 'torcher device' again this morning also and so far I'm not as sore as I was last time. We'll see what tomorrow morning brings.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bang Bang-Another Bullet Post.

*I've started a running program and so far it's pretty sad. I saw a girl on GMA that lost over 100 pounds by running. She started out only being able to run for a minute or two but added 30 seconds of running each time she got on the treadmill. She always spent at least 30 minutes on the treadmill, walking when she couldn't run. So, I went to the gym on Thursday, ready to see how long I could do it. As soon as my 5 minute warm up was done, I started off at a good jog but needed the volume on my MP3 turned up. I had stuffed the darn thing into my shirt so it wouldn't bounce all over the place while I ran so I had to fish for the volume button through the cotton fabric. I ended up turning on 'record' and got a few seconds of my huffing and puffing before I finally went back to a walk and sorted things out. Take 2 happened yesterday and I ran for 5 1/2 minutes before I had to go back to a walk. Pitiful. I've picked up some jog bras and gel inserts for my shoes so that should cover any potential future excuses. I'm shooting for 6 minutes (whoopee!) on Monday. I'm still sore from the torture device that I blogged about a few days ago. The next day was rough-had to let my hair air dry because it hurt too bad to hold up a hair dryer.

*Just finished up the yard sale. We made 63 dollars and some change. I should say 'I' made the money because Matt and Taylor took off on a scout camping trip last night that Matt conveniently left off of the calendar and didn't mention until two days ago. I think soon I might have to 'conveniently' forget to tell him that I have a girls' weekend planned in Vegas and leave him with a day's worth of kid events to tackle as a single parent some weekend. It was all I could do not to put a 2$ sign on Matt's canoe.

*Noah had another baseball game today. I hope I don't jinx this by putting it in print but I think we actually have a child with some athletic ability in our family! Matt and I are not athletic at all so we have very low expectations but this kid has a great swing and is pretty consistent in his hitting. He also did some fancy fielding during this game. During one play, I said to myself, 'Who's kid is that???' and it was MINE!!! Couldn't believe it. So this is how the other half lives.

*Noah and Audrey also had a piano recital today. They did great. I could tell that they were nervous but they have improved alot over the past year. We are so lucky to have a piano teacher that comes to our house. I get to listen to their lessons while I make dinner on Fridays. Beats waiting in the car for an hour!

*It's been a busy weekend and it's not over yet. Tomorrow, I'll be busy from sun up to sun down. Have I mentioned the book that I am writing entitled, Day of Rest, My Foot-Memoirs of a Frazzled Primary President?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Because you asked...

I've had a comment and some emails asking about my ladybug suitcases. I got them at a place called Big Lots. I bought them over 2 years ago so not sure where they could be found now. I'd bet that a google search for 'lady bug suitcase' might turn up something interesting...

**UPDATE-I searched around and the only luggage I found online that wasn't kid luggage was on Ebay. Just seach for 'ladybug luggage.' I found two that are cute but can't get the links to work-sorry. The first is similar to mine and the second is what M3 has, I think. Great prices! I'm thinking of upgrading to a six-piece set...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Digging deep for good things about the wait

First some background: Our dossier went to China in February of 2006. At that time, we really thought that it would only be a matter of months before we received our referral and went to China to bring Meili home. With that timeframe in mind (and because I'm nuts), as soon as our dossier was mailed, I started preparing for a new baby. This is all humorous now that so much time has passed but I actually have had Meili's little ladybug suitcase (that happens to match my big ladybug suitcase-go ahead and barf...) completely packed and ready to go for 2 years. I've even purchased the requisite gifts for the orphanage workers and director and government employees that we will meet on our trip minus some candy/chocolate, etc. that I will throw in just before we leave.

So, my point is that for the last two years I have had some time to think about travel details. My parents and youngest brother have been to China and I've seen more than a few blog accounts of other's travel experiences. Often, Americans travelling in China draw attention. In some provinces, people just haven't seen foreigners (I can't wait to be one!) and haven't had the opportunity to travel outside of their own country, maybe not even out of their own province. Sometimes adoptive families have the opportunity to visit a kindergarten or school and while there or out on the streets children will engage in conversation to practice their English.

My hokey idea way back when was to take commemorative quarters from our state to China with us to give to the children that we meet. My kids collect coins and love to see what the money from other countries looks like. (BTW-Thanks Rob and Lisa for the coins from the middle east. Taylor was so excited to add those to his collection!) So, I thought it might be fun to give those to kids in China and show them where we are from.

The problem: When I checked the chart back in '06 and found that AZ state quarters would be issued in May of 2008, I figured that we would have traveled and been home for over a year by that time. But oh no-here we are! I can't believe that so much time has passed and that we still don't have our little girl but I'm so excited that I'll get to take AZ state quarters to China!

Stupid, I know. But like I said before, we're diggin' deep for good things about the the wait...

***I just checked here and according to the US mint, the AZ quarters were actually already released on April 7th. I'm off to the bank!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Torture Device

I've had my eye on this thing at the gym for months now and just this morning got brave enough to try a class thanks to my friend, Shana, and the free pass that she procured for me. I made the observation lately that the same people have been going to my same old aerobics classes for the past 4 years and guess what? We're all still fat!

This gizmo, on the other hand, always has thin, fit people using it which can only mean 1 of two things: a)If you are fat and use this machine, you will get fit and thin or b) If you are fat and out of shape, you have no business being on this machine because it will kill you.

4 minutes into the 30 minute class, I decided that b) was the correct assumption but I did my best and finished it out. As I sit and type this, my body is screaming at me and I really want to go get a Ding Dong out of the freezer but I am determined to get healthy and ditch the second behind that I'm now dragging around. So, I'm going to hope that a) has some merit and will head back there next week for some more torture.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Catching Up-Again!

First, if you haven't already, scroll all the way down. I've just gone back and mostly caught the last month up. We headed out of town for spring break just after our 2 year LID and had a blast but have spent the last two weeks trying to catch up with life.

Noah just started baseball a couple of weeks ago and it is consuming our lives. With 4 kiddos, we learned the hard way that we can only have one kid in team sports at a time. Even one can be overwhelming, though. Matt is assistant coaching, I'm the team mom and at games Audrey is bat girl and Taylor has been a catcher or a base coach so it has turned into a family affair. Noah is having a great time, though and that is what matters.

I've also been going through my house one room, drawer and closet at a time preparing for a yard sale. It should be interesting. I'm not sure anyone will actually want what we are going to try to sell but we'll see... It's less than a week away. The kids really want to have a lemonade stand. I guess a childhood would not be complete without the experience to we'll let them give it a shot.

I'm not sure why but the day to day drudgery is so much easier to handle when there are fun trips or events to look forward to. I've got a couple on the horizon so I'm a happy girl...

I'm so excited to be going to Minnesota at the end of the month for an Adoption Partner Conference! The tiny agency that I work for is now an official partner with CHSFS in MN. They are a huge (and well run, from my experience) agency and one of if not the oldest adoption agency in the US. I'm curious if I'll come away with any China info and wondering just how nosey I should be about it when I'm there...In fact, I'll be there from the 29th of April through the 2nd of May so I may get to be there when their referral packages arrive! It will be fun to spend 3 days with adoption professionals and see what is going on in other IA programs (If you aren't one who keeps track, programs are looking pretty grim across the map.) There will also be time for a trip to the Mall of America and a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River!

As lovely as a trip alone will be, I'm even more excited to have booked our hotel for a three day weekend in Sedona with Matt in the Fall! Matt's cousin is getting married there and we thought it would make for a wonderful 15th anniversary getaway. We are staying here and it looks very posh. I'll do anything to avoid a hotel room with southwestern decor-Blech! We don't want to plan the entire weekend away but are trying to plan one adventure. The choices right now are horseback riding, a hot air balloon ride, or an off road jeep excursion. Any recommendations?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Desert Dwellers Meet Again!

Last Wednesday, the Desert Dwellers met for what we hope will become a monthly event. We've decided to get together for lunch each month right around the time that referrals come out. (FYI-CCAA only matched 5 LIDs worth of referrals this month but I am still pretty much in my new zen place...) It is always great to have conversations with folks who speak the language and even better to see some of the cuties who have come home from China. It's the best kind of reality check!

Here's Dana and Meili. She is a beauty with a personality to boot!

Heather and Lisa!

and Shannon!
Thanks for a great time, girls. See you next month!

My Alien Children...

Seriously, take a look at their pupils in the closeups! They had their eyes dilated at the eye dr.'s and it freaked me out. I'm not sure why only one pupil got bigger. Don't they have to check both retinas?

I love 'em anyway-freaky eyes and all!

Friday, April 04, 2008


I was born and raised in So. Cal. Matt and I moved to Utah just after we were married. Mostly because of logistics, but also because we became busy being newlyweds, students, apartment managers, parents, etc., we lost touch with most of our friends from high school. Thankfully, my best friend from jr. high/high school (also a Jennifer) and I found each other online and have kept in touch recently. We were able to meet up on our last trip to CA at a park and catch up and watch our kids play together.

Here's my Audrey and her Elizabeth:

I have great memories of our friendship. I remember lots of trips to the beach and peddling around town on a tandem bike together. We had a few spills and composed a song about one of them. I still remember the words! One of the funniest memories for me was when we were at Matt's aunt's house for an after Prom swim and realized that only one of us had remembered to bring a swimsuit. It was a two piece and for a split second, we contemplated whether or not one piece for each of us would suffice! I also remember that Jennifer came to the hospital and painted my toenails when I was stuck in a hospital bed with a hip-to-toe cast. I could go on and on. Here's to many more!

Guess where we've been!

That's right! The happiest place on Earth! Although in the second pic, I am anything but happy. See the light spot on my stomach? That's the ONLY part of me that was dry when the picture was snapped. We had just come off of the raft ride at California Adventure. My adventure consisted of trying to keep warm after the sun went down and the cool ocean breeze started to blow. For some reason I was the only one who got wet and I got drenched. I have decided that I would hate to freeze to death!
On a more positive note, we did have a wonderful time and it was great to do the amusement parks without a baby. (Next time, I'm hoping we won't be so 'lucky') Xander was able to do almost all of the rides so our little 4 year old has gone on Space Mountain, the Matterhorn (sp?), Thunder Mountain, etc. I was surprised that he made the height requirement and had planned to sit out the big rides with him but this worked out much better! Matt was stoked that not counting the online ticket purchase, we went to D-land and only spent 9$(2 popcorns, free parking), then went to California adventure and only spent $12(parking, no food.) No, we didn't starve the children. We just took our own food in a backpack and the kids didn't ask for ANYTHING! We really are cheap but it's a good thing!