Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Happy Chinese New Year! I was born in 1974 which would make me a tiger based on the generic charts. But, since I was born on the 7th of the January, before Chinese New Year occured that year, I'm really an Ox along with the majority of folks born in 1973 including my dh. So, it looks like it is my year. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
This morning, I spent 2 hours in Noah's 2nd grade class sharing a bit about Chinese language and CNY. I taught them about the 4 tones in Mandarin, how to count to 10, read a counting story in Chinese and taught them to sing Shi Ge Xiao Peng You (10 Little Friends-to the tune of 10 Little Indians-from the same book.) Next, they colored a Kitchen God while I read a fable about him from Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats then they ate marshmallows with chopsticks. (There is a peanut allergy in the room, or we would have eaten something more authentic.) Then, they made paper lanterns and we read The Dragon Dance.
It was an action-packed 2 hours. I'm looking forward to Noah's critique later this afternoon. If I had it to do over again, I'd skip the language part and just focus on the holiday. Hopefully, they had a good time.
Tonight, we're eating Chinese and having family night. Happy Chinese New Year to you and yours wherever you may be!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thanks for the tip, Emily!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Anyway, it was a good mail day yesterday at Casa Bouton. My China gift loot all came, as well as my Lucky Mommy shirt. But the big news is that our third (and better be last!) I-171H arrived in the mail. That's a huge relief!!! Our next worry will be that our home study expires June 6th. I was holding out hope that we might be travelling to China by then but after this stupid two day batch, I'm not counting on it. I'll wait until the 1st week of March and then make a call. Our home study has been renewed twice already so we get to 'start from scratch' with this one. Joy.
So, what did I do today to make myself feel better? Well, I bought a 2nd Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag. Yes, I think I'm officially an addict. A 'secret' outlet sale started a couple of days ago. I've been visiting this bag at a local boutique for almost 4 years. It was 65% off and I couldn't resist. But that's it. The madness ends here. That's what Matt said, anyway.
So, it's time to regroup and keep busy for another month, or two or three. Thankfully, there's plenty to do. On Monday, I'm visiting Noah's 2nd grade class and doing a Chinese New Year presentation. I get to play teacher for 2 hours! My plan is to teach them some Mandarin (4 tones, counting 1-10 and a few phrases), let them eat a snack with chopsticks, make a paper lantern, read a couple of CNY children's books and pass out hong bao (red envelopes.) It should be fun!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
-Buy a lap top Done! (But I don't think we are taking it)
-Buy a new camera Going to get a new Elph
-Buy a video camera Done!
-Learn how to use the above
-Get extra SD cards Done!
-Look into Skype Skipping Skype!
-renew fingerprints Done!
-Renew I-171H Sent application out December 12-Should arrive in the mail any day.
-renew home study (if we aren't going to be back from China by June or if we plan to readopt/finalize when we get home) If we don't have a referral by March, we'll start on it then.
-Request that our agency send our referral packet to us via UPS, not Matt's mortal enemy (Fed Ex) Done-I'm sure they think we're nuts!
-Agree on a protocol if Matt is at work and the kids are at school when the call comes. Done! Matt and I will be together when the call comes-we'll clue the kids in later if they are in school.
For Referral Day:
-Charge phone, cell phone, camera and video camera Taylor's job.
-Hopefully, have a person to man the camera and video camera when the call comes in. Bought a tripod!
-Update email addresses and prep an email announcement Done!
-Have Diet Coke, Chocolate in mass quantities, 'The Call' sheet, flower/ladybug pens and Kleenex handy Done!
-Gather links for Orphanage yahoo groups, Name translation sites, Chinese growth charts, map of China etc. Done!-See my sidebar under 'Adoption Resources'
-Print yard sign It's by the computer.
-Order a photo necklace kit.
For Care Package:
-stuffed animal/blanket thing Done!
-2 disposable cameras with instructions Done!
-Photo album (bought 2-1 to send and 1 to keep) Link to photo labels in sidebar-Will take photos of each kid and us with Meili's referral pic.
-SafTPops for orphanage children Done! Should arrive by mail any day.
-Jelly Bellys for nannys Done! Should arrive by mail any day.
-save a shoe box Done! (Found a box that is shoebox size anyway)
-baby shampoo, wash, powder, and lotion Done!
-diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment We have started a supply.
-bibs, formula, rice cereal, baby food and baby snacks Am I just picky, or what? Can't find a cute bib anywhere! Will wait on the rest until just before travel.
-outfits, pj's and onesies to round out her wardrobe Will do this after referral-nervous that Meili might end up being a 4 year old boy.
-baby bathtub (will wait until after we're home-she may be ready for a seat)
-stroller (will also wait until we are home-we may just buy one in China)
-pack n' play (can wait)
-bouncer (also can wait)
-small cd player for Meili's room Done!
-Make some bows (if she has hair...) Having a bow-making party in January with my China adoption friends. I've been collecting ribbon.
-The remainder of the China/adoption children's books on my Amazon wishlist
-Mei Tai Baby Carrier (espresso straps with 'carnival bloom' fabric on the front)
-Kozy Pal cart cover. After surviving the better part of a year in an orphanage in a third world county, I'm not too worried about exposing Meili to germs. But after 4 kids I've never had one and I think they look cool! They also have this in the same 'carnival bloom' pattern as the mei tai.
-Asian brocade Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag (Proud owner of a Petunia Picklebottom 'Spring Roll' Boxy Backback Diaper Bag!)
-Finalize packing list (and pack!) Luggage is purchased. The packing list spreadsheet has been made and many things are already packed.
-Decide if Taylor and Audrey are going to China They probably are. They would handle the trip well and would be very helpful. Taylor could handle all of the electronics-take photos and video, upload to the laptop, update the blog and keep everything charged. I know that Audrey would be so good with Meili and help ease her transition. We play with the idea of leaving them home to have the two-on-one time with Meili and to save a few bucks but we're coming home from China up to our eyeballs in debt anyway so it's not going to make much difference.
-Make arrangements for kiddos All of our family lives in So. Cal. We'll probably drive to LA and leave the kiddos with family there, then fly out of LAX. The trick will be driving back home (7.5 hrs) with a baby who has never been in a carseat before and two jet-lagged parents. Maybe my parents can drive our car (and kids) back and we'll get them a couple of plane tickets home? The more I think about it, the more I think I want to come directly home to my own bed. It would also be less transition for Meili to deal with.
-Make arrangements for dog and bird A friend has recommended another friend who is a trainer and does in-home boarding.
-get cash in new or like new condition from bank-We're probably screwed here. A year ago, our bank said, 'no problemo.' Now, they say try again next DECEMBER. 'Like new' is going to have to do.
-have a lock engraved with our name and date for the Great Wall We've got the lock-not sure what to engrave on it-Bouton Brood 2009?
-Get last round of vaccinations I'm done! Need to call and check what Matt needs.
-Finish Quilts (We are making one handmade quilt for each month of the wait to donate to Meili's orphanage)
-Finish OHGW Quilt scrapbook (If it's not done before we travel, it may never get done)
-set up crib before we leave
-put car seat in the car
-Make appt. with pediatrician for when we return
-add Meili to our insurance
-make ahead and freeze some dinners Going to give these a shot.
Gifts for Officials/Nannys:
-Stuff from our state Done!
-Buttons, keychains and small autographed prints by Azuzephre (Jenn's brother) Done!
-Lotion from Bath and Body Works 4 for $10 sale last week-Done!
-American Ginseng Done! (Found it at the dollar store-even has an American flag on it!)
-red bags and tissue Done!
Monday, January 19, 2009
- Updated email address book, made a Family Referral Email contact group and a Friends Referral Email contact group for initial announcement. Don't worry, I'll post to the blog shortly thereafter and any of you that I have corresponded with by email are in the Friends group.
- Added new links to the Adoption Resources section of my sidebar-including links to Asian Growth Charts, a China Province Map, Photo Album Labels for Meili's care package, and a link to orphanage specific Yahoo groups. I've also printed out an Asian growth chart as well as a series of links to translate Meili's name once we get ahold of the Chinese characters. Am I missing anything?
- Purchased a tripod for the new video camera. I hope that I'm at home and have the presence of mind to turn it on when the call comes in.
- Purchased the 'Lucky Mommy' t-shirt that I've had my eye on for 3 years. It's on sale here!
- Ordered SafTPops for the care package and some to take to China with us.
- Ordered Jelly Bellys for the Orphanage/Nanny gifts
- Bought some American Ginseng for the gift bags.
- Crossed several other items off of 'The List' which I will update later. The problem is that I can think of things to add to the list faster than I can cross them off!
- Assembled a Referral Day Basket-I'll take a picture later. It has my call sheet, my ladybug pen, kleenex, chocolate, assorted snack items for the stress snacker (me), a frame for Meili's picture, Martinellis, the camera, video camera and tripod in it. Am I missing anything? If I end up having to go to Matt's office to get the call with him, I'll just grab the basket and go. When referrals are imminent, I might just have to drive around town with the basket in the passenger seat. I love Karen of Gwenblog's referral video (darn, can't find the link on y-tube-but she managed to video herself as she received the call in her car mainly driving down the highway...) but I'd like to avoid recreating it if possible. ;o)
Now that I've got most of my ducks in a row, I've probably ensured that our referral won't arrive this month but I'll be ready when it finally does. This feels alot like a birthing plan. After 4 births, I can fully assure you that these don't always pan out. I'm hoping with the referral we at least hit some of the marks!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
So, I've explained the location. Now, let me explain the OP shirts. I knew that I was going to marry Matt on our second date. I was 16 and had a hard time reconciling that fact with the crotch length corduroy OP shorts that Matt would wear. They were atrocious in the 70's when they were in style and even more so in the 90s when he was still wearing them. Thankfully, I was able to look past them and love Matt in spite of his fashion faux pas but on some days I am still amazed that I married that OP shorts-wearing boy and have since had 4 of his children. The kids crack up when we bring up the 'OP' days and Audrey about peed herself when I showed her a pair of them hanging in the girls dept. at W-mart recently. (Yes, they really were THAT short, honey) So, anyway...just be glad I didn't have us all pose in the shorts!