Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy Birthday to Sedona

After posting this picture from Sedona's birthday, my neighbors brought Sedona over a birthday present. Does Sedona have the best neighbors in the world, or what? Frozen doggy ice cream treats! She liked it as much as ice cream, and there's not so much sticky face syndrome when she's done.

Family Fun Weekend

We went to my grandparents' lake home as family friends from Germany are visiting this week. Mmmmm. Our friends brought lots of German chocolate! The weather was sunny but not too hot... just right for cat napping on a blanket in the grass watching boats go by. Many went innertubing on Sunday as the lake wasn't very crowded. Sedona got to go on a boat ride in my dad's fishing boat and seemed to enjoy it as long as she was in my arms. She slept with us nicely in a camper, but only after growling at a huge German shepherd outside. I can't believe she "talked back" at a big dog that was many, many, many times bigger than our little 10 pound squirt is! We also visited my other grandma in the nursing home. The babydog sat on laps and gave kisses to some people who really enjoyed a little doggy lovin'. That's my good girl!
Here's some pics of my mother and her sisters during their "floatilla" out in the lake. My cousin and his wife are due to have a baby any time this week. I'm looking foward to future summers where our little girls, about the same age, will be able to enjoy family, sun, water, grass, and popsickles together at the lake.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

top of the stack

Kevin talked to staff at our agency yesterday. We're pretty much at the top of the stack. Just waiting on either the St. Lucy's Center or Chung Yi to contact our agency and say, "Okay... we've got x number of boys and y number of girls. Send us your next families to match with them." And then (hopefully) a few weeks (hopefully 1-2, please please please) later we'll be contacted with a referral where we're told that we're matched with a child.

Ya know, the timing just might we right for a referral while we're traveling in Texas in September to visit with Kevin's sister and her family! So many people say they get their referral calls when they're away from home! We haven't even been out of the Hoosier state since we visited Kevin's family in Florida for Christmas. I'm ready to get the heck out of town!

This week I "met" online a really nice gal that knows her info has been sent to St. Lucy's and it's taking a long while to hear back. We talked on the phone and I felt that we really connected and have a lot in common. Our prayers go out to her and other loving families in limboland waiting nervously for information. I've got to share and learn so much from other Taiwan adoptive families. Thanks so much guys!

Sedona's fine now... no tummy trouble, but she's not behaving at the groomer. The groomer says that Sedona won't let her clean her ears. We're going out to buy dog ear cleaning powder and solution today. I had no idea that one was supposed to remove the little hairs from inside dog ears so they don't trap ear wax. I wouldn't like my ears tweezed, either! And I thought eyebrow waxing was no fun! So, Sedona's going to be pretty mad at mommy and daddy when we attempt a good ear cleaning this weekend. Kevin wonders if one could use nose hair trimmers to just trim the hair in dog ears really well rather than pull it out. Sigh! The rough life of dog parenthood!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crib Poll - drop down or stationary?

The cribs we've looked at have a stationary side. I worry about being able to scoop baby up when the mattress is all the way down. What do the rest of you shorties with crib experience have to say about the matter?

New Flooring - Part 2: The Nursery

Here's the last of the flooring pictures now that the nursery flooring is completed. Hannah's first Robeez shoes and my Gymboree Gymbucks purchases arrived in the mail today too. This afternoon I put all of happy clothes on the bed and organized my dreams of little onesies and dresses by size. I think Hannah's all set in sizes 12-18, 18-24, and pretty well off in 2T. I'll get some more basic pants and jeans closer to when we need them. Once a referral comes our way, I think I can put my energy into the nursery. Right now I just can't let myself paint until it's all for real... until we're been matched and things are ready to move into the courts. If I painted and then something went wrong, it would make me very sad to spend hours painting back over pink, cream, and brown happiness.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

5 months

We're at the 5 month mark today. The waiting has gotten easier and easier lately. I think it's gotten easier for several reasons: the answer to my prayers, from the support we've gotten from family and friends in our local community and Taiwan adoption community, and of course the growing pile of "retail therapy" from Gymboree helps me smile and think about fun things to come.

Isaiah 40:31 - Inspiration for Waiting Families
"But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." I got a lot of inspiration from this Adoption and Fire blog post this morning. It is a must read for pre-adoptive waiting families.

Kevin and I cleaned out the junk room... er... the nursery tonight in preparation for the wood laminate flooring installation to continue bright and early tomorrow morning. I'll have more pictures soon, of course.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New Flooring - Part 1

There's more to come next week for the nursery, but the kitchen and great room are finished. I'm so happy with the way this turned out. Things will be so easy to clean when baby learns to throw food from the high chair.

Friday, July 20, 2007

v signs

Could anyone explain to me the hand gesture that looks like the peace sign to me here in the US to me? Why do a lot of Taiwanese flash the sign in pictures and what does it mean when they do that? Does it mean "I'm happy"? Just trying to understand, and I'd appreciate your answers in the comments section. Seems to be a trendy thing for the younger crowd. Thanks, guys!

Post edited Saturday, July 21st at 2:05pm.
I originally called this hand gesture a fob sign, as that's how I saw it described in lots of photo captions. Since then I've edited this post as I discovered that the term fob can mean "fresh off the boat" and can be used by some as an insult, but some Asian Americans use it with pride. No offense was meant by this post. I'm just trying to understand what this hand gesture means when used by lots smiling people in photos.

So far it seems like it's just something you do when you get your picture taken... like saying "cheese." I don't understand why I say cheese when I have my picture taken either. (shrug)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

12:01am shopping

Today's *the* day. At the stroke of midnight I was able to redeem Gymbucks to purchase the Hanana Banana onesie that I've longed for. At 50% off $10.99, that's a pretty good deal. So, I bought it in three sizes so my little monkey will have one that fits for a long while, along with the matching bib and banket. Yes, I'm nuts. No wait, I'm bananas! I've learned that Gymboree clothes, especially items new with tags, sell well on eBay with mommies looking for discontinued styles. I can sell anything on eBay that Hannah doesn't end up wearing, and most likely sell it with a little profit. Robeez is discontinuing some shoe styles that I've really liked too, so Hannah has some shoes on the way too.

In preparing home for baby news, today we made plans at a local flooring store to install wood laminate flooring in the great room, hallways, and in the nursery. We're also installing vinyl that looks like tile in the kitchen, dining areas, and laundry room. I've really hated having carpet in our kitchen, and having a baby throwing food on the ground demands something that will clean up easily. Carpet in the kitchen can be so gross, especially when one accidentally dumps a pot of spaghetti sauce on the floor while cooking. The work starts tomorrow with the vinyl and continues with the wood laminate next week. We'll share photos as the work progresses.

Thanks to everyone who sent me get well messages for Sedona. The babydog is acting a lot more perky. My mom and dad came over last night, and Sedona was on our laps begging for ice cream. That's my girl! She wasn't wild about taking her medicine today, and we had to sneak it in between some treats. She's acting pretty normal right now, chewing on her smoked cow hoof (aka the dog pacifier) below my chair.

Monday, July 16, 2007

a stroller, a sick babydog, and a knitted poncho

Friday morning as I was hurriedly getting into my car to go to work, I saw my neighbors across the street setting up for a garage sale. I spied not one but two strollers in their driveway! I ran back inside and woke Kevin up. "Kevin, the neighbors are setting up for a garage sale and they have strollers. Get up quick before the sale starts and someone buys them! If you like one, buy it!" Now, take in mind Kevin is not a morning person... and does not wake up nicely. He's a grouchy bear! I was pleasantly surprised that Kevin rubbed his eyes, got dressed appropriately for 7:45am on a Saturday morning, and went over and checked them out. The neighbors had a single and a double. The momma neighbor teased Kevin and tried to get him to take the double too! When filling out immigration paperwork for our adoption, people often tell you to list 2 children so that way you can get a referral for twins if they come along. We very purposely wrote a 1 on our form so that there's no way we could be tempted into 2. One is all we can handle! If Sedona doggie gets tired of walking, there's plenty of room for her to ride in the bottom stroller basket.

The babydog is sick. Sedona had diarrhea and refused treats, even turkey lunchmeat. It's not like our little food obsessed licker to refuse any treat. Kevin took her to the vet while I was at work. We think she ate something she shouldn't have. She was given an antibiotic shot and 7 days of pills, along with instructions not to eat for 24 hours. She's allowed ice chips, that's it. When I got home from work, Sedona came to the door to greet me but didn't do the "I'm so happy to see you, let me lick you, pick me up!" happy dance that she does every day for me. My poor baby! Daddy's been taking good care of her all day.

Great Grandma Marjorie sent a gift home from Florida with Kevin. She knitted Hannah a poncho. Isn't that sweet? Thanks, Marjorie! It's beautiful.

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan - Premiers Monday, October 22

Nick Jr. has announced that Ni Hao, Kai-Lan will premier on Monday, October 22nd. I'm putting it on my calendar to remind Kevin to program the Tivo. We'll start saving episodes and burn them to a DVD for Hannah. I really hope it's a cute show!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Grass Jelly Drink

Last weekend when I went shopping with another Taiwan PAP (that's adoption lingo for pre-adoptive parent), I took her to an Asian grocery that I like to explore. We both chose some drinks from the refrigerator as it was a nice hot summer day. I picked out a can of "Chin Chin Grass Jelly Drink" because A) oh so weird! B) it was made in Taiwan and C) the jelly factor made me think it might be something like bubble/boba tea. Well, after we left the store we started girl talk and I half forgot about my drink and half was a little scared to try something that might turn out to be totally gross in front of someone I just met. So, I didn't open the drink. When I got home, I decided to save it for when Kevin got home from his trip. Yeah, make Kevin try it first!

Well, Kevin's home now and we broke out the grass jelly drink tonight. I wanted to video him tasting it for the first time, but he wouldn't let me. He took a few tips, proclaimed it tasted a little like sweet tea with gelatin, and then we poured it into a glass to check out the contents. It's really dark in color and kinda hard to see the little bits of diced gelatin until you get out a strainer. The can says that it's honey flavor. I don't taste honey, just a little sweetness in this tea drink with a little bit of a funny taste and bits of diced gelatin in the bottom of the can.

I googled grass jelly tonight, and learned that it's made by boiling leaves of the mint family with potassium carbonate and then cooling it to jelly like consistency.

Grass jelly drink is very interesting. Fun to taste test, but I think I'll stick with Fresca on ice as my refreshment of choice. Grass jelly isn't horrible as I feared. I promise.

Soybeans link Indiana with Taiwan

Tonight I'm googling the words Taiwan and Indiana and learned that Indiana exports a huge amount of food soybeans to Taiwan. Thanks, Taiwan, for buying my community's soybeans for your tofu!

Tagged, we're it.

I've been "tagged" twice in the last few days with people leaving comments on our blog. I'm not a big fan of chain letter type stuff, so I'll just half participate. I'll answer the questions but I'm not going to tag anyone else.

Here are the "rules," but obviously I'm considering them guidelines as I refuse to do numbers 4 & 5. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts. 2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are 8 random facts about us:

1. I play the penny whistle. Not well, but it's fun. I taught myself by reading about it online, listening to online clips of music, and I play sheet music I find on penny whistle websites. You can listen to a clip of one of my favorite tunes called Blackthorn Stick here, and here's what the sheet music looks like.

2. Kevin lived in my hometown for 1-2 years as an infant, and then moved away before I was born. Kinda neat that our families both lived in the same town, but just not at the same time.

3. I went to the suburbs of New Orleans for work a week after Hurricane Katrina. I went there for work, but I don't talk about my career on the blog to try and preserve my identity a bit. Anyway, I got to see some interesting sights (military men in intersections directing traffic with big rifles strapped to their shoulders) and met some residents with interesting stories. My favorite involves a woman that couldn't come to work that day because she was at home removing a dead horse that floated into her home and was deposited there after the water level went down.

4. Kevin lived in Germany for two years as a child while his father's National Guard status was activated. Kevin has a has a love for German Gummis. He lived in a town that had a gummi factory, and sometimes the air in the down even smelled of gummis. I took German in high school and spent a summer as an exchange student in Rinteln. My favorite chocolate will forever be Milka Noisette.

5. Kevin once worked at Disney's Magic Kingdom on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While working as a mountain man he met many celebrities including Gwen Stefani, Shaq, Michael J. Fox, Harrison Ford, Jake Lloyd, Lorzenzo Lamas, Oprah, Fergie, and Rosie O'Donnell. Oh, and Cinderella in her bloomers.

6. Sedona is named after the most beautiful place I've ever been to... Sedona, Arizona. Sedona's paper name is Sedona Sunrise.

7. I'm a former 4-H Queen, crown and everything. I've had oiled pigs brush up against me in the ring while wearing pantyhouse. Wearing greasy mineral oiled pantyhouse makes one feel really attractive.

8. Kevin took his parents' car for a joy ride when he was 14 and wrecked.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

love and lanterns are in the air

eBay is a source for wonderful things. I've been planning on hanging paper lanterns in Hannah Claire's nursery for a long time. I found some online stores that had several designs that are simply amazing, but tonight I found the lanterns I want on eBay. Here I could buy 10 for the price that I'd pay for 3 from a regular retail website. This way I won't have to worry about the lanterns falling down and breaking. I'll have backups!

When shopping for paper lanterns I found something else with the keyword "paper lanterns." Gymboree had a paper lanterns line of baby girl clothes! I found a gently used light yellow sundress complete with diaper cover with little paper lanterns in the pattern. Gymboree strikes again! Like I've said before, Gymboree can read my mind and knows my innermost baby clothes desires. It's scary! Maybe they have secret technology from the future and have scanned my brain? Uh oh. I think I've watching too much of that Star Trek that Kevin Tivos. Need more Mission Organization, less Star Trek! T minus 9 days until I can reedeem $25 in Gymbucks that are burning a hole in my wallet.

Poem: The Chosen Heart

Longing for a child to love,
I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew,
A part of me was meant for you.
I think how happy we will be,
Once I adopt you, and you adopt me.

I dream of all the joy you'll bring,
Imagining even the littlest things.
The way it will feel to hold you tight,
And tuck you in every night.
The drawings on the refrigerator door,
And childhood toys across the floor.
The favorite stories read again and again,
And hours of games with make-believe friends.

The day you took my outstretched hand,
A journey ended, but our lives began.
Still mesmerized by your sweet face,
Still warmed inside by our first embrace.
I promised to give you a happy home,
And a loving family all your own.
A house you've now made complete,
With laughter, smiles, and tiny feet.

A parent is one who guides the way,
Know I will be there everyday.
Rest easy as each night you sleep,
A lifetime of love is yours to keep.

Longing for a child to love,
I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew,
A part of me belonged to you.

Author Unknown

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Taiwan Express - lucky day for shopping

This cutie shirt was the deal of the day, with 25% off already reduced 50% off. I've had my eye on that print for awhile. Sedona's lambie thinks it's pretty cute too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day - freedom to shop

It's not much fun around the house with Kevin gone visiting his family for two weeks. In celebration of my country's Independence Day, I'll exercise a little freedom to shop. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington would agree, right? I hear they had a thing for zebra print, too.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

today in photos

You can click on the images to see a larger size.