Monday, March 30, 2009

Meili's Dad is Starting to Get Excited

I'm not surprised that Matt would be excited to put the crib up in our room this weekend since it is a manly job that involves tools.

What surprised me was that when he was done assembling the crib,
he took a look at the crib bedding in my hands and said, "I'll do it!"
And he was really serious about doing it right. I think he tied at least 20 little bows...
When it was done, he said, "Now, all we need is our baby!"
On top of all of this, when I woke up this morning, he had ALREADY CHECKED RUMOR QUEEN. He's never done that before. In fact not two months ago, he was still asking me what our log in date was. He's off work today and just called from the oil change place as I was typing this to ask if there is any news. I think somebody's excited!

Another Project

About a month ago, our local group of waiting moms got together for lunch and a tag blanket project. I just finished mine yesterday. Yep, still all about the ladybugs...

Friday, March 27, 2009


looks a bit like this right now. The storm is brewing but it just won't rain. NOTHING going on. I'm going to get my butt off the computer today and get something done. Our agency isn't expecting anything until next week so I'm not going torture myself and wear out my refresh button looking for something that's not going to be there. I'll check back in on Monday...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ready when you are, CCAA.

With my luck, I'll either be speeding down the freeway or buck n*ked in the shower when the call finally comes. Hopefully, I'll be home and have my head (and clothes!) on somewhat straight when the big moment arrives. I've got everything I think I need ready to go.

Our agency sent out a 'Referral Update' email today that didn't say a darn thing. The news is that there is no news even though we are starting to hear whispers that matching has begun in the RQ forum. It's probably safe to say that we won't see any referrals arriving this week. Let's hope it's earlier rather than later next week that we start to see something happening. I'm still not expecting to be in this batch but I have to acknowledge that it is within the realm of possibility. If this ends up being a 'dress rehearsal', hopefully it will be the last! We're ready, CCAA. Bring it on!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tub Swimming

A few nights ago, the kids worked up a sweat running around the house playing hide-and-seek. I wouldn't normally tolerate it but it was nice to see them feeling well enough to get off the couch. They asked if they could put on their swimsuits and sit in a cold bath. Crazy kids.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Easy Project Idea-Hooded Bath Towel

I love the soft little hooded baby towels that you can buy at the store but once your baby is more than a couple of months old, they aren't long enough to keep their feet from sticking out during the after-bath cuddle time and cold feet=unhappy baby. This one will last well into toddlerhood!
Seriously. If I can do this, anyone can. All you need is a bath towel and a coordinating wash cloth. I picked these up from a going out of business sale a while back so not only was this easy, it was also cheap!
First, you take the washcloth and fold it in half. Sew along one of the short sides.

Turn it right side out and you have a hood!

Place your hood right sides to right sides (and your towel may or may not have a wrong side) centered on the long end of the towel like so:

Pin it and sew it:

And there you go! See, told ya' it was easy!

Thanks for modeling, Audrey!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Break 2009

Looks pretty wild, eh? Unfortunately, this is what Casa Bouton looked like for most of the break. Xander started us off with the stomach bug to end all stomach bugs, then the rest followed suit with the flu-and not just the sniffles with a fever that some people call the flu. This was full out In-flu-en-za. I've determined that we will be first in line for flu shots next year!

By Thursday, I decided that my mental health was suffering more than the kids' physical health so we left the confines of home and went to an indoor inflatable play place in the morning and went to the roller rink in the afternoon. On Friday, we met friends at the park with a picnic lunch and had a wonderful time. On Friday night, Matt and I went to a dinner party at a friend's house and played the 'Newlywed Game.' It was a blast but there are certain social circles that I may not be able to show my face at any time soon...;o) We came home Friday night to find that poor Xander finally caught what the rest had. He's still fighting a fever and is losing his voice. I'm hoping the older kids will all be well enough to go to school tomorrow and that Xander can make it to preschool by Tuesday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adoption Nesting

Yep, it does exist and I'm convinced it's worse than the variety that preceeds birth because you are still in an able-bodied state.

My referral day prep is done and we've done as much baby/travel preparation as we can do without Meili's referral information. So, I've moved on to the housework section of the nesting list and it's a doozy. I can remember quite clearly how much a person can't get done once a new baby enters the scene so I'm trying to think of every feasible household chore that may have to be done in the next year or so and cramming it into the next two weeks.
I spent 4 hours on Saturday reorganizing and purging the master bathroom cabinets and drawers and another couple of hours raking rocks and trimming bushes in the front yard and sweeping gravel out of the street in front of our house. There is definitely some psychosis at work here. The good news, though, is that we'll be more than ready for home study #4 next month!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3 Years...

Here it is-the post I hoped I'd never have to write. Three years have passed since our file was logged in at the CCAA. I bet by now the file is dusty and the pages are crusty and starting to turn yellow.
I thought it would be a rough day but not so much. Between sick kids and a full calendar with Cub Scouts, Baseball practice, etc., I hardly had time to sit and feel sorry for myself.
We knew that today would be a busy one so to commemorate the occasion last night we went to a new (to us) Chinese restaurant. It was clean, the food was good and the owners speak Mandarin so we have declared it referral day celebration-worthy. Can't wait! Actually, after three years I think we've proven that we can...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Projections and Predictions...

Every month, shortly after referrals come out, RQ puts out a 'Projections' post. Based on several historical scenarios, she comes up with a chart like this one to give us a guesstimate about when our referral might arrive. (Things have been averaging out somewhere between the Spring 2008 Small and Winter 2008 (Horrid) scenarios, FYI) I remember the first time that our log in date actually appeared on the chart. It was monumental just to see it sneak into one of the 'now too good to be true' categories. I noticed on the most recent chart that now there is only one box in the chart that does NOT include us! In China adoption land, I guess we'll celebrate anything that looks like it might resemble progress...

I'm working on a poll to gather up some predictions about when our referral will arrive and Meili's age and province. I'll come up with some prizes , as well. My official guess is that we'll receive the call on Monday, May 4th, that Meili will be about 8 months old (would be really freaky if we find out that she was born on September 6th when I had a dream about her) and my agency seems to get a lot of referrals from Jiangxi province so I'll guess that she might be there...

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Last night, when I asked Taylor to start the dishwasher and use the 'orange dishwashing detergent' I meant this:
Not this:We got this:

I guess the difference between dishwashing detergent and dish soap is lost on the male species...

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I've been going to this site every now and again throughout our adoption process to see when 'they' think our referral may arrive. It's an online Magic 8 Ball of sorts and I honestly don't put much stock in it. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see this come up when I punched in our LID this morning:

Our prediction for LID 2006-03-10
China has 4 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 4.4 days of dossiers each month.
Our best guess: 2009-03-29

Weird to see the referral prediction come up for the month that we are currently in. That's definitely a first. I don't expect to get a referral in the next batch, but I certainly don't mind seeing it in print either.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Have You Read These?

If you are not familiar with the first book, the author is an American who lived in C. hina for four years and volunteered in an orphanage. The book is a journal of her experiences and observations while there. It's a thick book but an easy read. And by easy I mean that the print is large and the vocabulary is accessible. Everything else about it is excruciatingly difficult. Add to the equation that the plight of the children exposed in the book unfortunately is probably not too dissimilar from what your own daughter is experiencing at that very moment and it's almost too much to take.

While reading the book, I made two observations that I'm willing to share. I'm invoking the 'Thumper Clause' for the other ones that I shouldn't. 1) I'll admit that I have felt a bit guilty about requesting a non-special needs child even though we did request to be considered for a special needs child a while ago and it was made very clear to us that it's just not meant to be our path this time around. Reading this book brought some of those feelings back. 2) At the same time, if this book is an accurate representation of orphanage life in C. hina (and it probably is), I have to wonder if there really is such a thing as a non-special needs child?

Even though it's hard to read, I think it's important to know what our children's early life experience may have been like and why love might not be enough to help transition them to family life. Ultimately, reading this book has reignited my desire to read or re-read everything that I can get my hands on to prepare us to help Meili learn what it means to be a part of a family. I've read all of the standards and have been working as an adoption social worker for about three years but still feel that there is much more to learn. Doing that has become item #1 on my infamous 'list.'
My latest discovery is Book #2. It is dense and reads like a psych text book in parts but it is quite a resource. It was written by a therapist (and China mom!) who worked closely with international adoptees for almost a decade. I found her composite 'First Year Home Group' to be particularly insightful. It's fascinating what you can learn about a child by watching them play and I was glad to see that the book follows through beyond theory and offers several activities that parents can do at home with their children to help them progress from 'reactive behaviors' to 'family behaviors.' It's a book that I'm glad that I bought (and I'm cheap with a capital 'C') because I'm sure I'll go back to it. I'm about 3/4 through it and plan to re-read it several times and take some notes.
If you have read either of these, I'd like to know what you thought and if you have any others to recommend, please share. I'm a woman on a mission!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Light at the End of a Very Long Tunnel

As I type, the stork is landing with referrals for families logged in between March 3rd and March 6th. For us, that's 4 days down and just 4 more to go. I think there's a 50% chance that we'll be included in the next batch and a 75% chance that we'll be included in the batch after that. Crazy to think that with only 4 LIDs to go (!!!), we aren't even 100% sure that we are two batches away from a referral... Even crazier, this blog friend only has 2 LIDs to go and can't say she's next for sure either (but we're certainly keeping our fingers crossed!) The next LID (March 7th) is a record breaker and may just be it's own batch next month. The consolation is that lots of blog friends are logged in on that day and can finally say that they are NEXT!!! Can't wait to see all of the babies' faces in blogland next month!