Friday, March 31, 2006

Stop to smell the roses

As is the case with all projects in my home, Sammy likes to play a part.
Here she is giving basic craft instructions before we get started.
Sammy is always willing to lend a hand, especially if it's sitting on top of the project you're working on.

The completed rose vases. They did a great job.

It is a craft night sleep over for my two oldest nieces, Paige and Bianca. In addition to the roses, they went on an Easter egg hunt, had their nails painted (orange), baked chocolate chip cookies, and colored Easter eggs- tomorrows lunch.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Helpful medical items for trip

The AZ FCC Waiting Families dinner was last night. Kathy, from FCCAZ , mother of two daughters from China and pharmacist, was our guest speaker. She handed out a great list of medical items to bring on the trip. Here is a shortened explanation of the items:

1. Antibiotics- 10 day supply. Some that do not require refrigeration include: Zithromax, Biaxin, Bactrim or Septra. Antibotics may be needed for ear infections, skin infections and pneumonia. Cefzil covers all three conditions.

2. Syringe- to give medications.

3. Elimite or Eurax cream- prescription cream to treat scabies.

4. Nix cream rinse or Permethin 1% - head lice. Nix is safe for children.

5. Acetaminophen drops- for an irritable child running a fever of 101 or more. Dose: 1 dropperful (1/2 tsp) for child 13 to 17 pounds. Can give every 4 to 6 hours. As a pharmacist, she DOES NOT recommend giving baby Motrin.

6. Digital Rectal thermometer- they're safer than glass and the ear thermometers are not that accurate on babies.

7. Benadryl- It is safe to give 1/4 to 1/2 tsp every 6 hours during the flight home if your child is not consolable.

8. Mylicon drops- for gas and irritability caused by stomach upset. May dose up to 20 x per day- very safe. One dropperful per dose.

9. Hydrocortisone cream 1%- may be helpful with rashes due to bug bites, new soap, clothes, etc. Do not use if rash looks infected.

10. Desitin diaper rash cream- diaper rash is dry, red, irritated skin- it's not weepy.

11. Nystatin cream or Lotrimin cream- may be used for diaper rashes that are red and weepy, often caused by a yeast infection. This often occurs when children are on antibotics.

12. Babylax or glycerin suppositories- useful for constipation. It may be helpful to try mixing apple juice in a one to one ratio with water before going to this extreme.

13. Saline nose drops- such as Ocean, Nasal or Ayr. For restoring moisture and for nasal congestion. It is especially helpful before eating or going down for a nap when the nose gets congested.

14. Pedialyte or KaoLectrolyte- formula substitute to use incase of diarrhea. NOTE: if you run out of pedialyte, you can mix a pinch of salt and 1/2 a sugar packet with water in bottle- will work the same. Kathy mentioned that she did this with all water bottles while they were in China.

15. Small ear syringe- Put one spray of saline solution in nose then suction the nose once (not repeatedly) with the ear syringe (smaller than the nose syringe) for nasal congestion.

16. Adult medications- if you are prone to sinus infections, it is suggested that you bring along a prescription sinus medication for the adults. Also, I didn't realize that prescription medications should all have a pharmacy label on them.

17. Eucerin, Cetaphil or Aveeno Baby lotion- Asian children have very dry skin so a good lotion is needed. Stay away from scented lotions.

Note: most of this list was provided by Deborah Borchers, MD

Another really helpful thing that Kathy provided was the web address for the Pediatric Medical Kit (formally the Texas Medical Kit). It costs $85 but includes presciption antibotics and scabby cream as well as a number of other over the counter items. I don't think you can order until you have a referral and some specific baby info. The address is:

The last thing she handed out was a 6 page document that comes from the FCC website on "Medical testing recommended for International Adoptees" Some really good info. Kathy suggested bringing this list to your pediatrician since most are not well versed in international adoptions and what they should be testing and vaccinating for. I've heard mixed views on re-vaccinating your child. She recommended it but this is something each family will need to decide.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

6 months from LID

Tomorrow will mark the 6 month anniversary from my LID of Sept 26. The crappy thing is that I don't know if that puts me 75%, 50% or just 25% through the process. I could adjust to any timeframe if I just knew what to expect.

After spending the past four days at a Photoshop World conference in South Miami Beach with no computer access, I was looking forward to coming back to some good referral news. Instead, I'm hearing some nonsense about the next group only covering 5 days worth of LIDs- May 26 to May 30. Say it isn't so. If this turns out to be true, I can't even think about where that would put my referral timeframe.

The CCAA also posted that they've reviewed dossiers through August 31. This makes the referral rumors even more puzzling. If the reason things seem to be going slower is because there are more dossiers to process, doesn't it make sense that the back up would take place in the review room where they are actually reading and approving your dossier?? By the time a dossier goes to the referral room, it should be a pretty simple process. As far as there not being enough paper-ready babies, that seems pretty simple to fix as well. From everything I've ready, less than 10% of the babies in the SWI system are adopted. There definitely doesn't seem to be a shortage of babies.

I'm really trying to not let this bring me down but I can't help it. The process has already been so long and I need some good news for a change.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Horray for Zena!!

Three cheers for my August Secret Pal, Zena. Thank you so much for the absolutely adorable cheerleader outfit- it is so cute! The bath stuff will come in handy this evening as I sooth my sore back with a hot bath.
You have been a truly wonderful secret pal and I can't thank you enough for all the gifts you've sent over the past 8 months (has it really been that long).

Zena and I have been "chatting" since the early DTC days. We actually share the same agency, DTC day and LID day. With one big difference, Zena got an expedited referral so she already has pictures of her beautiful baby Katrena and will hopefully travel in about another month or so. I'm very happy for you and Tat. I know you guys have also waited a long time to be parents.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

September Secret Pal Revealed

My wonderful September secret pal is Krista of "And baby makes three". If you haven't already, check out Krista's site to see referral pictures of her beautiful daughter, Becca.

Krista, thank you so much for all the wonderful, thoughtful gifts you have sent over the past seven months. You have been so generous and I love all the gifts you've sent. This month is no exception. Check out the adorable baby doll below. Ava is going to love her.

Close-up of the baby doll (with Sammy in the backgroud).
The Wee Sing cassette and song book have kids songs from all over the world. It also shows the words in English. I hadn't seen the Monkey King book before but look forward to reading it later on. And, the panda items are very fun. Thank you again, Krista!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snow Day

Yesterday marked the end of 143 days of no rain in the Greater Phoenix Area (Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa). Not only did it rain all day but it actually snowed in North Scottsdale. Now, snow is no big deal for most of you out there but it generally does not snow in Scottsdale, Arizona. Yes, we'll get some snow capped moutains here and there but very rarely would you see the mountains covered in snow like this.

By Wednesday- Thursday, the temperature is supposed to be back to the normal 75 to 78 degrees.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

New Secret Pal

March marks the last month of the original August Secret Pal swap and the first month of the new pal swap. So, these beautiful gifts are from my new August Secret Pal (after this month, she'll be my only secret pal with the September swap ending this month as well).

The theme this time was ABC. "Adorable" bib, bug book, and catipillar toy. Very clever. I know I'm going to love my new pal because we have the same taste. I've actually purchased one of these items for my new Aug secret pal- can't tell you which since she might see this post.

The ladybug opens up to a book. It's hard to tell from the photo but the center of the flower is a mirror. So cute.
This is Ava (top) and Michele written out in Chinese. I've been wanting to find the translations to add to Ava's scrapbook- you read my mind!!

Thank you for the wonderful presents. I really do love them.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My first baby is growing up...

This is my adorable nephew, Alex. He is 17 now and getting ready to graduate high school. I spent a lot of time with Alex as he grew up, especially when he was younger so I've always considered Alex to be my first child. These are his year book photos. We're all very proud of the sweet, generous, intelligent, loving young man he is growing into.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New timeline

With the February referrals behind us, it's time to start thinking about the March referrals. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't very disappointed with the 12 days worth of LIDs from this last batch. On the upside, there were only 3 working weeks from Jan. 23 to Feb 23 and there were more referrals assigned this time than in previous batches even though the timeframe of the LIDs doesn't reflect that.

So, I'm going to go out on a limb and post my updated referral timeline (subject to change and change and then, change again). I'm sure we have at least one more batch of referrals that will cover only 2 weeks of LIDs but I do believe that some of the batches will be for 4 weeks worth of LIDs. If the CCAA produces at least 2 referral batches that cover 4 weeks worth of LIDs over the next 5 months with the remainder only covering 2 weeks worth of LIDs, then I should still be able to get an August referral.

March 24 = May 26 to June 15 LIDs
April 24 = June 16 to July 15 LIDs
May 24 = July 16 to Aug 15 LIDs
June 24 = Aug 16 to Aug 30 LIDs
July 24 = Sept 1 to Sept 15 LIDs
Aug 24 = Sept 16 to Oct 15 LIDs

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Big Thanks to August Pal

A huge thank you to my August Secret Pal. I LOVE the gifts!! The ladybug bib and blanket match an outfit I received as a gift from a friend last week. Perfect! And, the little people and bunny will be great for the trip. Thanks so much and I look forward to finding out who you are - you've been a great pal!