Tuesday, December 27, 2005

One of my favorite Christmas presents this year is this Anne Geddes Ladybug infant. She came in an egg. The little face is so perfect that it startled me a little when I first opened it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

too much shopping

As someone who truly loves shopping, it normally takes quite a bit to drive me to feel that I've shopped too long. Not today.

Einstein's at 9 a.m.
me: I'd like a dozen bagels, cinnamon raisin and sesame seed.
bagel guy: Will that be for here or to go?
me: hmmm. Although downing 13 bagels is tempting, I think I'll take them to go.
bagel guy: noticing the "you're an idiot" look on my face. You would be surprised by what people eat.
me: I'm sure.

Pier 1
I have a number of items, most things are on sale. Cashier is ringing up my order.
me: Did those cat food dishes come up on sale? (a gift for Sammy the Cat)
cashier girl: They should have.
me: Yes, but did they?
cashier girl: Well, I can't see any of the pricing until I complete the sale. So, after you pay, I can tell you how much they were.
me: my normally low tolerance for poor customer service is pretty much gone. That's just dumb.
cashier girl: That's the way we have to do it. If it is wrong, I'll reverse the transaction.
me: dumb, dumb dumb....

Danny's DRIVE THRU Carwash
I decide to do the quick and cheap $5 drive thru carwash. So, I go into the mini mart figuring I'll buy myself a gift card for car washes since they don't accept credit cards at the kiosk and I rarely have cash. After purchasing the $25 gift card:
cashier guy: Do you want to buy the $5 wash?
me: Well, I was going to pay at the wash.
cashier guy: Oh, you can't use the gift card at the wash, you have to pay here with it. You can only pay cash at the wash.
me: Since bringing the card into the mini mart to pay for the wash defeats the purpose of buying myself this card, I don't want it after all. I have $5 on me so I'll just go pay cash for this wash.
cashier guy: You have to pay for the $5 wash here. They will only take cash for the $8 wash at the kiosk.
me: What? That makes no sense.
cashier guy: Not my rules.
me: So, I can pay $8 cash but not $5 cash at the kiosk, am I understanding you correctly?
cashier guy: shrug
me: Then the only way to get a $5 wash is to park and pay inside the mini mart. You do realize that the whole reason people are willing to pay $5 for a spit shine is because they don't have to leave their car- thus the DRIVE THRU car wash. uugghh!!

I decided that was enough fun for one day.

Monday, December 19, 2005

One more Christmas

Well, just six more days to what I hope will be my last Christmas without my daughter. Of course, I have made this same wish for the past three Christmas' and yet, one more Christmas without my daughter. So, will 2006 be "the year"? Why ask me? I'm definitely not the right person to answer this since I thought 2003, then 2004 and then 2005 was "the year".

I actually entered into the international adoption arena believing that you do the paperwork, jump through the hoops, pay lots and lots of money and eventually, you get your baby. What could wrong? Ha! Right up until the moment my first adoption fell through (country closed down to international adoptions), I still believed this. After all, why would any government choose to have their children raised in an orphanage when they could have a forever family of their own. Seems like a no-brainer to me but, what do I know.

Now, if 2006 isn't "the year", I'll be sure to post my new address at the mental asylum. I'll respond to all mail as soon as they let me out of the straight jacket. But please, when you talk about me to your friends, I prefer crazy to nuts.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

August Secret Pal Gifts

My August Secret Pal sent Ava these wonderful gifts. I love the ladybug blanket. I'll have to bring it along to China. A big thanks to my August Secret Pal.

Sammy enjoying the holiday decorations.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

gurgle, gurgle...

... that's my stomach you're hearing. Day 2 of a stomach virus. As I lay around the house doing absolutely nothing, which is all I can handle when I feel nauseated, I keep thinking about all those parents in China, spending their first days with their daughters and horribly sick from eating/drinking something they shouldn't have. An all too common situation for adoptive parents traveling to China. From the different blogs I've been following, it seems that about half the parents end up sick at least part of the trip. I really am useless when my stomach is upset, this will not due. For those of you out there that have BTDT, any advice on not getting sick while in China is appreciated.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas Tree

Christmas tree is up. No, it's not you, the tree actually is leaning to the right. I can get it to lean a little in any direction, it's straight that I'm having issues with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving tradition

For the past four years, my Thanksgiving morning has begun with a dip in my hot tub- most relaxing. If you're thinking "She OBVIOUSLY doesn't host Thanksgiving dinner if she has time to lounge in a hot tub", you're right. This huge undertaking goes to my mom. And no one does Thanksgiving dinner better than mom.

This very pleasing start to my favorite holiday almost wasn't going to happen this year due to a broken "FLO" valve. Well, the repair guy came out today and I'm back on track for Thursday morning. The water is reheating as I write. Of course, this repair came at a price. The hot tub repair guy asked to use my guest bathroom, no problem. After he left, I went in to put the hand towel in the laundry, no used hand towel. Okay, so maybe he dried his hands on his shirt. So, I look in the sink, no water - EEWW!! Now I need to go around and disinfect. In the end, a small price to pay to continue my Thanksgiving tradition.

Dolls for Ava

Ava's new dolls just arrived. I ordered the Barbie Chinese New Year Doll to honor her heritage and the Renaissance Princess doll to honor my Italian origins.

Renaissance Princess Doll

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Waiting families dinner

Last night I attended my first FCC (Families of Children from China) Waiting Families dinner. This is a monthly get together of Arizona families that are somewhere in the adoption process for China. I met a number of people- all very nice. Hopefully, I'll see them again at another dinner and hopefully, there will be nametags at that dinner since I am the absolute worst at remembering names - a trait I'm sure I inherited from my mother.

Since yesterday was National Adoption Day, our group leader, Maria, handed out the following poem:

The Daughters of China, Tim Chauvin
There's an unseen tie that binds them,
A red thread that will not break.
They are woven in a tapestry
It took five thousand years to make.

Their eyes are wide with wonder
Tiny hands reach out to touch
The faces of the families
Who have wanted them so much.

The daughters of China, they fly across the seas,
Off to unseen places and possibilities.
They are gifts to those who cherish them
By those who just could not.
Acts of hope and faith and love
That we never will forget.

They were given up for reasons
That most will never know.
Now they're daughters to the families
Who have come to take them home.

And someday they'll too be mothers
And have children and a home.
Thread by thread they will tie the knots
To weave new tapestries all their own.

The daughters of China, they fly across the seas,
Off to unseen places and possibilities.
They are gifts to those who cherish them
By those who just could not.
Acts of hope and faith and love
That we never will forget.

Gift time

My September Secret Pal sent me these wonderful gifts. The "Windows to Color" book uses paintings by the masters to show color- how fun.

I'd also like to thank my August Secret Pal for the bath tub mat. It certainly does make the time go by faster sending and receiving these monthly gifts.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rumor has it...

Let's face it, if we didn't have rumors, innuendo and total fabrication from fellow bloggers and chat groups, we'd have no info at all. So, to further the cause, here is what I've heard: the CCAA will be moving to a new office mid-November, the CCAA will be moving to a new office in January, there will be no April LIDs receiving their referral this month, there will be referrals for LIDs through April 11, LID to referral is 6-7 months, LID to referral is now 12 months. Hope this helps.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Logged in at last!

My ladybugs (pictured below) brought me good luck. I'm officially logged in at the CCAA (Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs). My LID (log in date) is 9/26, one month to the day of my DTC. Although I was hoping for it to be a little earlier in the month to ensure travel with the September group, I'm still happy and relieved to have this date. At least I know for sure that my dossier wasn't lost somewhere along the way. Also, since it took 9 weeks to find out this date, I'm already one month closer to getting Ava.

So what does this mean in referral time? Well, if the CCAA starts giving referrals for complete months (ie 1st of the month through the 30th) then I should get an early April referral and travel late May. If they continue to split months (ie 20th of a month through 20th of the following month) then I will end up getting an early May referral and travel late June.

Monday, October 24, 2005


My first ladybug sighting. These two cuties are my twin nieces, Kenzie and Kayla. Ladybugs are a symbol of good luck in China adoptions. Hopefully, they'll bring me luck and I'll hear about my LID soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Secret Pal Gift

My September DTC Secret Pal sent me these fun gifts this month. The theme was bath time. This is the first I've seen of the Burt's Baby Bee products. I can't wait to try them out on Ava.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ava's Room

I had lots of loving help to put this room together. My mom, Janet, did all the sewing: the quilt, bumpers, bed ruffle and a number of basket liners. My dad, Sal, installed the Italian Tule chandelier (that you can't see in the photo). Uncle Johnny and Uncle Chick built and installed the wood shutters and chair railing. My nephew, Alex, put the crib together for me and my nieces, Paige and Bianca, created beautiful self-portraits of themselves for the wall. And, I painted the room.
Ava's room is ready and waiting for her. Posted by Picasa
My nieces, Bianca and Paige created the self-portraits hanging on the wall. They did a great job! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ava's mom. Posted by Picasa

DTC Day!

Finally, the day I've been working towards- DTC (dossier to china). The end of months of paper chasing and the beginning of months of waiting for a referral (and then, more paper chasing).

I joined the DTC August 2005 Yahoo Group today and have already met a new friend who will most likely be in my same travel group (same agency, same DTC date). I also joined a Secret Pal Present Swap. I'll be assigned a "pal" that I will send a baby present to each month until referral time and someone will send me an annonymous gift each month- anything that combines baby shopping with gift getting can't be bad.