Wednesday, May 30, 2007

two babies?

Sorry, there's no news. Kevin's mother is back at home in Florida. I'm working a lot of hours. No excitement here, just a lot of dreaming. People keep asking, you'll tell me when you get some news, right? Well, of course! I think I'll be a crazy woman telling everyone... the mail carrier, the guy at the gas station, etc. You get the picture.

Tonight after dinner we went out to the ice cream shop close to our house. Sedona gets very excited when she figures out that we're going to the ice cream shop because they give free little ice cream cups for dogs. At home after ice cream, we had a little talk. Sedona had something on her mind. "Momma, You're not getting two babies, are you?" Sedona saw two identical onesies in the guest room with all of Hannah Claire's stuff, and thought this must mean twins. No, Sedona. Just one baby. We even only wrote one child on our immigration paperwork so we *couldn't* accept a referral of two children. Mommy and Daddy think they can only handle one babygirl and one babydog at a time. That leaves one parent to hold Hannah Claire and one parent to hold Sedona. Mommy bought the BabyGap "are we there yet?!" onesies in two sizes because they went on clearance and she was worried that they'd sell out. Hopefully we guessed right and one of these onesies will fit Hannah Claire for the trip home.

Also pictured... you'll find a map of Taiwan, a Mandarin phrasebook, and a pink ribbon to to match the travel onesie.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

presents from Grandma Adrienne

Grandma Adrienne surprised us with a beautiful illustrated copy of the Tao Te Ching. I had read it in college as a part of a required humanities class called Change and Tradition. I'm ever so thankful Professor Margaret Brabant for helping me learn to think outside the box. I'm happy to see that the study of Chinese civilization is still a part of the required course for all students at Butler University, even the ones that kick and scream and don't want to take any classes outside of their major.
Grandma Adrienne brought a fairy and lady in waiting costume for Hannah Claire. Adrienne works for Disney and helps make dreams come true for little princesses every day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

three months, three dresses

Today marks three months waiting for referral. I'm doing pretty good this last month thanks to lots of successful retail therapy treatments in 2T, and a few in 18-24 months too. I figure that we're three months down, and maybe three months to go in waiting for a referral. Emphasis on the word maybe.

After Kevin's mom Adrienne goes home we'll start thinking about that nursery. I've had some changes at work lately and my schedule is unknown right now, so that may affect how much time I'll have available for the nursery work. We'll see. I'm not worried. There's plenty of time. Until then, anyone have a favorite swing dress? They're ready for a toddler, but we're not there quite yet!

We've had lots of fun lately with Adrienne. Today I came home from work to find my husband, the mother-in-law, and the dog out on the back porch with a hose filling up the kiddie pool. I bought a kiddie pool last early October at CVS on extreme summer clearance for just about a dollar. Kevin and I had joked about getting a little pool for Sedona last summer, but he never thought I'd really do it! Today was a really nice day, but I think Sedona wasn't wild about the cool water from the garden hose. Maybe the pool water will warm up a little over the next few days and we'll see what she thinks of it then. Right now she'll only jump into the pool when Daddy has a treat in hand. Yes, we're crazy dog parents. Just wait and see what we're like a year from now as first time Hannah Claire parents!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

stitches of love from Grandma Adrienne

I came home from work last night to find my husband Kevin and mother-in-law Adrienne working at the kitchen table with the sewing machine. Together they spent the day picking out a pattern then selecting fabric, ribbon, and buttons to make three little dresses. Kevin isn't doing the sewing, but liked the gadgety automatic button-holer feature on the sewing machine.

Dress number 1 is now finished. It is a jumper in deep red with red and gold ribbon in a Greek key pattern at the waist. It has a long ribbon bow in the back. The buttons to fasten the jumper have a Greek key design as well.

Dress number 2 is in progress. It is pink gingham with apple green ribbon bows on the shoulders. If you look at the pattern, the dress is the largest featured on the front. Adrienne may add green ribbon at the bottom hemline and some lace that peeks out from the underskirt.

Dress number 3 is an Asian inspired red brocade and will have gold ribbon. Very fancy, and just perfect for Chinese New Year parties!

My mother came over tonight and exclaimed, "It's a jumping dress!" When I was a toddler and wore "jumpers" I thought that meant that one was supposed to jump up and down when you wear a jumper. Apparently my parents thought that was pretty funny and didn't correct me, allowing me to jump around in public in my "jumpers." Great... thanks, Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

sunflowers and terrabytes retail therapy

I really love sunflowers. They make me so happy. In our old house, my kitchen had garlands of sunflowers and wine colored berries all along the top of the cabinets. Now I use the sunflower garlands on my Christmas tree. When you mix sunflowers and pretty clothes from the Sunflower Fields line Gymboree that just hit over 50% off, you get EXTRA STRENGTH retail therapy. Okay, time to exercise restraint. No more baby girl clothes shopping until the nursery is painted. That's motivation to get it done! You'll all hold me to it, right? (wink)

Kevin claims he needs retail therapy too. I'm not sure if I believe him, but he says he needs a terrabyte of hard drive space from NewEgg. Oh, now he's telling me it's for all of those pictures and movies of baby we're going to make. I'm sold.

Monday, May 14, 2007

stork sightings! referral in 60-90 days

I wasn't going to post anything more until we hit the 3 month mark, but I just got this e-mail from our agency with our first stork sighting! "We have received a number of referrals in the last few weeks. (Mostly boys!) These referrals have been matched with appropriate families. Based on these referrals, we expect that we will be able to recommend your family for a referral in the next 60-90 days." Wow, this is really happening!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

retail therapy for Mother's Day

Today was a hard day explaining to well meaning people that yes adoptions can take a long time, yes I'll be sure to tell you when I know anything, and wanting to be a Mommy very badly on Mother's Day. I've been teary-eyed several times. Retail therapy to the rescue with some very cute sundresses at Kohl's.

Job Description of a Mother

POSITION: Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Momma, Ma

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects . Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT &PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you. There is usually one promotion........ to Grandmother!

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

--Author Unknown

Mother's Day Weekend 2007

Saturday we drove to my grandparents lake home. On the way through Warsaw, Indiana, we drove past DePuy. Adrienne shouted from the back seat, "Hey, that's where my knees came from!" We pulled over so she could have her picture taken next to their sign with her new knees.
I like to joke and call Mother's Day "Marian's Day" for my Grandma Marian that is the matriarch of my mother's side of the family. Most of the other family members were there early for some Mother's Day house cleaning, but we were smart (haha) and arrived just in time for lunch. After a great lunch we waxed the speed boat to get it ready for the summer, and washed and waxed cousin Maria's car. Grandpa Ray inspected the work to make sure the grandkids were washing the car good enough. Many hands make light work! Then it was time for a pontoon boat ride around the lake. One can't go to the lake without taking a hour long lap around the lake on the pontoon boat. It was beautiful weather, sunny and low 70s. Grandma Marian looked cold and eagerly took my sweater when I offered it to her. I really like the photo of Grandma Marian with her cell phone on the boat. She's all bundled up on a pretty sunny day, looking like she's sending a text message! Cell phones are mandatory on the boat. It's no fun to run out of gas or have the boat break down and be a long way from home. Mom, Dad, and I visited Grandma Pauline in the nursing home. I was happy that she remembered who I was. She keeps asking if my sister or I have any babies yet. We're working on it, Grandma.

Today was Aunt Linda's birthday and her three children and their significant others (1 spouse, 1 fiancee, and 1 boyfriend) were all there to join in the fun of St. Pat's trivia night that raises funds for the school. All of the cousins were on a team together with Adrienne (Kevin's mom) too, while my mom and dad, aunt and uncle, were on another team with some friends. The cousins team scored averagely, had a lot of fun, and really enjoyed the jello shots. The team's favorite trivia round was identifying cars by their make and model. Some team members loudly complained that they should get extra points for knowing the year, too. Kevin was especially happy because his first and favorite car, the 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo, was featured in trivia. These Catholics really know how to have a good time at church!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

retail therapy

So it's not ALL pink. Just trying to get through 2-2-2 day. Two months, two weeks, two days waiting for referral.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Oh! Mommy's been dress shopping again!

This was just too cute to resist. Beyond Bedding has some really cute bedding and clothing deals on eBay. I looked seriously at their crib bedding deals for a long time a couple of months ago.

It's been nice sunny weather this weekend and we just returned from a nice walk around the neighborhood with Sedona. It's been great to have two days off in a row just to do laundry, mow the grass, get licked by the dog, and just feel good about being home. Kevin's into watching Star Trek Generations episodes on his computer now while I dream of baby clothes and make a few online purchases.

my inspiration for the week

Most likely we won't have any real adoption news for a long while. This quote is my new inspiration to keep me going while we wait maybe four more months for a referral.

I'm thinking a lot this week about families that are waiting for referrals from China. If one submits a dossier to China now, it looks like it could be three years or more for a referral. I'm hearing from more and more China waiting families that are looking to switch to Taiwan programs. It's really sad to think that there are so many children in little orphanages in China who's paperwork will never be submitted for international adoption, even though there are 25,000 families around the world that would love to make them a part of their family.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Last days as a guest room

Kevin and I spent a good part of the day putting our storage room back as a guest room so it can transform into a nursery. Got that? We haven't had visitors for awhile, so the guest room became a graveyard of computer parts, stuff from our old house we like but doesn't have a place in our newer house, and things to donate to Goodwill. Today it became a guest room again all ready for Kevin's mother's arrival on Monday. Of course, there are a few splashes of pink that signals this will soon be a nursery. Hannah Claire's pink chair is full of her stuffed animals and dolls. Some pink storage containers contain jammies with ladybugs, a few cute t-shirts, and two darling dresses hang in the closet. The trash can can't fit any more, so that's enough cleaning for today!

National Scrapbooking Day

Today is National Scrapbooking Day, sponsored by the National Scrapbooking Association. To celebrate this day, I'm posting some of my favorite digital scrapbooking links. I use FotoFusion software. You can download it for free and play around with it before having to pay the licensing free. Your scrapbooking images will be watermarked until you pay. No risk involved. There are three levels of the program. The cheapest one is plenty for me. Elite Digital Scrappers - Listing of Designers. My favorite designer sites include the following: Scrapartist, Peppermint Creative, Shabby Miss Jen, Shabby Princess, and Cottage Arts. Kissed Studio - This site has free layouts that make it easy to have good design. Just plop your paper, elements, and photos into the labeled slots... journal a bit about the subject... and you're done!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Saint Lucia ticks off China

To learn more about how one little island nation in the Caribbean really ticked off China his week, read this Associated Press article. No, I'm not worried about this affecting our adoption plans. I only share this because I think it's fascinating how countries all around the world like the United States will not formally recognise Taiwan as a nation in fear of what China will do.