Monday, July 31, 2006

Kacey Susan XiaoMei

Fellow local adopter Julie has a beautiful new daughter Lu Xiao Mei, soon to be Kacey Susan XiaoMei . She is from Anhui, 21 months old, born October 14, 2004. Checkout Julie's blog for all the details and updated information.

Congratulations to all the new parents who received their referral this month. Check out all the beautiful new babies, listed in the side bar under "We have our Referral."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Liza gets spoiled

Yesterday a group of Jill's friends held a beautiful shower for her. We all spoiled Liza with gifts whilst dining on delicious food. It was a fun afternoon!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pretty in pink

Red, white & blue, pretty in pink, I couldn't resist and more I couldn't resist. That's how the packages from my CCAI secret pal were labeled. Little Baby S is truly spoiled by my pal and all we can say is thank you, we love everything you send! I especially love that you are sending some larger clothing because I know in a few years when I put one of the outfits on Baby S, I'll still have great memories of my wonderful pal. Thank you my pal, I can't wait till the reveal so I can find out who you are!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sort of like pulling teeth

I've been busy trying to get myself organized before my trip to Utah. I've started cooking up some meals and freezing them so that Eammon won't starve while I'm away, I've been getting a few things around the house organized, making sure all the bills are paid ahead of time, trying to get people to RSVP for our upcoming local adopters gathering, some retail therapy, getting my secret pal gifts together, finishing the organization of the August dtc swap, getting out a letter and check so that we can be re-fingerprinted, working hard at avoiding rumors and spending too much time online and finally trying to do some yard work.

First thing this morning I printed off a cover letter to USCIS, asking for an appointment to be re-fingerprinted as ours expire in approximately 20 days. Our bank has recently changed from one to another, so I called them to find out if they still offered free bank checks only to find out that they're now $5 each. So, I called Wally world and for $0.46 I could get a money order. I asked if they would take a personal check for the money order, and they said yes, cash, check or debit card. I had $20 in my purse thanks to my bunco winnings last night but that wouldn't cut it and I don't believe in debit cards so I grabbed my check book, an envelope, a stamp and our current I-171H and headed over to get the required money order. The woman at customer-no-service was ringing things in only to tell me that they couldn't take a check, but that for $3 they could cash my check and then I'd have the cash to purchase the money order. OK, I was there and I didn't feel like running to the bank and burning $3 in gas, so go ahead. She punched stuff into the computer, got frustrated, confused and finally called over a manager. Payroll checks, they only take payroll checks! So it's like 150 degrees outside and wicked humid but I trekked over to the bank ATM and withdrew cash, returned to Wally world and finally got the money order, a photocopy of our current I-171H and I got everything in the mail. Strike another item from my to-do list.

I came home and figured before it got any hotter outside, I'd pull some weeds. The stinking things were having none of it though. Between our current drought and the Georgia red clay the roots of all the weeds were cemented into place. So unless I become King Arthur, those weeds are staying in place until we get some rain. So like it or not, weeds are staying and I'll deal with them when I return from my trip. The good thing about letting them remain is that by the time I go to pull them, they'll be hip height and I won't have to crouch down to pull them out, just walk along and grab them standing upright!

Off to try and get a few more items completed and off my to-do list.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

You've got to be kidding!

Let me start by saying, Eammon snores. It's generally loud, resonant, constant, rhythmic and in a weird, bizarre sort of way, somewhat soothing to know that he's next to me and still breathing. Every once in a while it gets too loud and if his snores alone don't wake him up, which they often do, I'll poke him in the ribs so that he turns over or changes his position. Funny thing is, I'm a super light sleeper and I wake up every time he turns over, gets out of bed and even if he wakes up in the middle of the night, he'll always find that I too am awake. Odd as it may sound, I can honestly say that his snoring doesn't bother me.

Well, last night I couldn't sleep because there was no snoring. Eammon was in bed, quiet, laying still and I couldn't hear his breathing. At various times I rested my hand on his back or chest and felt him breathing but where was the noise??? I was awake most of the night just laying quiet, resting my hand on him. This morning I asked him how he slept and he told me that he wasn't rested at all, that he spent a good part of the night just laying quiet, resting as he was having difficulty sleeping. I guess that we're a co-dependent couple and we both need for Eammon to snore at night, so that we can sleep. Who'da thunk it??

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All American Baby!

Next July Baby S is going to be the cutest and best dressed "all American baby" when she wears the adorable patriotic outfit, socks and bib that my August secret pal sent this month. The theme was patriotic baby and she hit the nail on the head! I had to check out all of the items really carefully because when she sent her "best dressed baby" gift back in May, I missed the fact that my crafty pal not only decorated the hat she sent but also hand beaded the socks! Check them out here in case you missed them.

In addition to the outfit, socks and bib, she sent a cute frame in the shape of a Teddy bear holding an American flag as well as a totally wonderful pop-up book. I loved pop-up books when I was a child, shoot I still love pop-up books! Eammon and I can't wait to sit with Baby S and read to her whilst playing with the pop-ups!! Each month my pal also includes an adorable little tag with the gifts which I've been saving so that I can add them to Baby S's scrap book.

Thank you my August pal, once again you've made my day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cute and comfortable too!

I've been looking for a gift for a friend and after hitting every little boutique and gift store I know, I finally broke down and went to the Mall. I really despise going to malls and all the chain stores, in fact I don't even remember the last time I was in a mall. I know this is my first time in 2006 and surprisingly it was worth the trip. I didn't find anything for my friend but I did find the cutest little Mary Jane Crocs for me!! I've been wearing them around for the past few days and so many people have stopped me asking where I found them and telling me how cute they are. Eammon thinks they are bright and have a life of their own, but he'll get used to them the more I wear them. They are so light, comfortable and fun. Well, off to try find that gift while sporting my new Crocs.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Where have all the babies gone?

Well, the weekend has started in China and no new updates to their website stating that matches have been made and referrals mailed. Hopefully next week we'll have some news of lots of babies being matched to waiting parents which will allow us to move up closer to the head of the queue and that much closer to Baby S.

Since I don't yet have a picture of Baby S and no new local adopters have been matched where I could post adorable pictures, I'll have to do the next best thing and show you how my babies have grown! As you can see, my little babies are all grown up...Where does the time go... The three at the door are the goslings! Remember just a few months ago when they looked like this?

Have a great weekend and keep your fingers, toes, arms, legs and even eyes crossed, that next week there'll be good news on the adoption front.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

So who is the incredible Kim Brown?

In a few posts I've made mention of the incredible Kim Brown, but nothing more. Well let me tell you about this girl. Kim lives in Utah with her husband Lee and their three beautiful daughters, Hillary, Madison and Grace. I met Kim through my August dtc group, as her family is also in the process of adopting a daughter from China and her name will be Pearl. I was the organizer of the August dtc secret pal swap and one day out of the blue a package arrived from Kim, thanking me for organizing the swap. The package contained a beautiful ladybug lanyard to hold my scissors when I sew or for when I was supposed to be working on Baby S's 100 Good Wishes Quilt.

She and I then started chatting back and forth through emails and she told me that she was making, as a gift for her secret pal, an 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Kim sent me a picture of her creation and it was absolutely beautiful! I told her that even though I had taken quilting lessons, there was no way I was going to be able to make Baby S's quilt. She then offered to make the quilt for us if I was interested. She does such beautiful work, I had to say yes please!! So off to Utah I sent a package containing 100 quilt squares along with a white on white fabric for the sashing and some super soft Minkee for the boarder. I loved the fabric that Kim had used on her pal's quilt and luckily she was able to get more of it so that it could also be used on the back of Baby S's quilt.

A couple of weeks ago a huge package, decorated with ladybugs, was delivered to my front door and it was from Kim and family. When I first opened the package, there were beautiful scrap book pages from Kim and the girls, they were all so sweet and the wish from Hillary made me cry. In the bottom of the box were five books for Baby S and one of them, A Quilt of Wishes, is even signed by the author.

(Click on images to enlarge)

I then opened up the quilt, (even though I can't seem to get a good picture) and I saw the most beautiful quilt in the world and I was overwhelmed! I look at the different squares and I think of the person who sent it and their wish for Baby S. I see how beautiful the overall quilt is and the detail work that went into it and I'm so grateful for the work, time, effort and love that Kim put into making this quilt.

(Click on images to enlarge)

In just a few short weeks I'll be traveling to Utah where I'll meet in person, for the first time, Kim and her family. I'm so excited to meet them all, I don't even have the words to express my feelings. Even though we live on opposite sides of the country, our families will always be connected in a big part because of Kim's generosity in making such a beautiful treasure for not only Baby S, but also for our family. Thanks Kim Brown, once again, you rock!!!

A big thank you to everyone who sent fabric and beautiful wishes for Baby S. We received just shy of 200 wishes and pieces of fabric, all of which will be going into Baby S's 100 Good Wishes Book. I look forward to the day when we'll be able to sit with Baby S, share all the good wishes with her and match the quilt squares to the wishes. Thank you!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Do they have salsa in Utah?

Well they will, as M3 is joining in on the fun, shopping, sight seeing, gossiping, gallivanting and trouble making as fellow friends and bloggers Kim, Donna, Julie, Lisa, Tiffany and I meet up and descend upon Salt Lake City!! Hopefully M3 will have her referral so that we can ooohhh and aaahhhh over Funshine's referral pic. Watch out SLC as you never know what's going to happen or be too careful when gangs of hormone crazed adoptive waiting Moms-to-be hit the town!

Finding out that M3 was joining us was the perfect ending of a great weekend. Yesterday I met for the first time, fellow adoptive Mom-to-be Stephanie. We just hit it off like old friends, nice lunch, window shopping and lots of talking. I can't wait to get together with her and her husband for a night of sushi and good new friends.

Today we had friends Venkat, Jaya and their adorable 3 year old son Rohan over for blacksmith pizzas*. Wow, are we ever going to be exhausted when Baby S gets here because kids are on the go, go, go! Rohan did help us out by showing us all the places where we need to child proof and what things need to be removed from the reach of small hands. Over all it was a fun lunch but now I think it's nap time.

* I call these grilled pizzas Blacksmith pizzas in honor of my blacksmith friend, George Martell. He's the one who taught me how to make these wonderful and delicious delicacies. Check out the fine metal furniture section of his site to see the award winning and beautiful teapot table and chair kitchen set that he made me.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Keeping busy, busy, busy!! (part 2)

During the paper chase phase of the adoption there were always things to do and to look forward to, short term goals. Sending off for all your official documents, doctor visits, home study orientation, home study, home study, and more home study, police background checks, finger printing, receiving all the paperwork, running to get everything notarized & certified. Then the big send off of all the documents to be authenticated, where you then received your first official document with Chinese writing on it! And let's not forget the daily stalking of the postman, that alone was a full time job. Then off to your agency went the precious documents where you anxiously waited to hear if everything was OK and done correctly so that you could be DTC and then you had a relatively short wait to LID, the final, the end of the paper chase. So much to do, so much to look forward to, there always seemed to be something you were grinding away at.

Then you became LID and life calmed down. You knew that you had done everything you could, it was out of your hands and you had approximately six months to wait until referral. So you planned your final vacation before baby, you worked on the nursery, started buying adorable clothes, joined numerous DTC groups and secret pal swaps, started collecting fabric for you child's 100 Good Wishes Quilt and even started a group of local adopters, all of whom were also waiting. But then somewhere along the way, referrals slowed down and life came to a grinding halt. Because your life was unpredictable and up in the air, not knowing when you'd receive your referral and travel to your baby, you put most of your plans on hold and all you did was wait and wait some more, obsess and even meltdown!

Well as I've said before, I'm sick of it!!! In my previous post I talked about all the local activities that we're looking forward to, but even more exciting, is that I now have two trips planned. I've already posted that Eammon and I have a wonderful trip planned for our Anniversary in September for eight days of all-inclusive fun in Barbados!! I've been asked, what would happen if by some miracle we receive our referral in August. Trust me, we'll happily postpone the Barbados trip as we'll be too busy getting everything ready to travel to Baby S, which is way more important! The second trip (which is actually the first as it's in August) is a girls trip. I'm flying off to Utah to first spend a few days with the incredible Kim Brown* and her family and then I'm hooking up for a number of days of fun, shopping, sight seeing, gossiping, gallivanting and trouble making with fellow bloggers Donna, Julie, Lisa & Tiffany. I'm so excited to meet all these girls, I feel as if I know them already from their blogs.

OK, to all you people out there wondering if I'm out of my mind, flying halfway across the country to meet and stay with strangers that I know nothing about or how they can allow me, a stranger into their lives and homes, think about the following. All these girls and families have been subjected to everything I spoke about above. I probably know more about them than I know about my neighbors. I know that all of these people are hepatitis and HIV negative, they all have clear police records and thanks to them all being fingerprinted, I know that they aren't wanted by the FBI for anything nefarious, overall I think that I have nothing to worry about other than having too good of a time.

*In an upcoming post I'll explain fully why I keep referring to Kim as the "incredible Kim Brown"...I promise!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Keeping busy, busy, busy!! (part 1)

In a previous post I mentioned that I have plenty to do, to keep myself busy for the hopefully few remaining months, of our wait to referral. Locally there are my favorite girls, the ladies-who-lunch and we try to meet as often as possible. This Saturday I'm meeting Stephanie, a fellow blogger and local adoptive Mom-to-be. This will be the first time that we meet and I know that we'll have a nice lunch together, plus I love meeting new people! In addition there are the upcoming monthly local adopters gatherings which are always so much fun! The next one on the calendar should be a blast as Melissa is hosting it and if anyone can make you laugh, it's her. Can't wait to see what she has planned!

Then there are the baby showers...Yes, three to be exact. There are so many adopters and people trying for a child who find baby showers depressing or sad and avoid them at all costs, but not me...Especially these showers. First, because these showers are for my girly girls but more importantly, each of these showers is one more person who has their referral and has gotten the heck outta my way in the CCAA queue. I love these baby showers, bring them on baby!!

Of course all these showers means shopping!! Since I'm not buying anything for Baby S until we get our referral, except for these socks which I bought Monday while out shopping for others, I now have a reason to shop again. Well, the showers and just a few more gifts for my secret pals and don't let me forget, a wedding gift! Eammon and I have been married for just shy of seven years and as hard as it is to believe, other than our own wedding, we've never been to a wedding together!! Well, all that will change in August and maybe I'll even get him to dance with me.

Well that about sums up our local activities. In part 2 I'll tell you about the activities which will require multiple flights and spending almost as much time traveling within the lower 48 as the flight to China will take. In addition, I still have to update you on Baby S's 100 Good Wishes Quilt but for now I'm going to try and sleep. Obviously it's not just the packing list which is keeping me from sleeping as I made good progress on that today and still have delusions think we can go Carry-on only!!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The past few nights both Eammon and I have had difficulty sleeping. I'm not sure what his problem is, but mine definitely has something to do with Baby S and the feeling that our referral isn't all that far away. I lay in bed, wide awake obsessing over packing lists. Sure I've collected a few hundred from those who've been there/done that as well as checking out every single packing list of those who are still planning and buying out all the travel item at Tar*jay. But I think the problem may be, that to date, I have no list of my own.

It's weird because I have no doubts that everything we'll need will fit into our bags even with our plans to go carry-on only*. I haven't done any test runs like Julie who has packed and re-packed her bags numerous times, but I just know everything will fit. Our doctor has said he has no problems in getting us whatever meds we want or need and I know that all the necessities can be easily found at the local stores, we have all the clothing we'll need for both us and Baby S and I know that in China we can purchase many of the items, so why is this keeping me awake?

I guess my only solution is to actually start my list, put it in writing, maybe purchase a few of the necessities and even possibly do a test run on the packing. So, what are my must have items? If you've btdt or know the secrets please help out this stressed out sleepless girl by letting me know the must have items, so I can get my list together and get some sleep!

* No, we're not crazy. We're actually both good travelers and we try to always go COO whenever possible. Of course usually we're only packing bathing suits and sunscreen, but we're going to give it our best effort for the China trip and plus, I know it will all fit. Wow, do I need some sleep!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Eleven months

Today marks the 11 month anniversary of our dossier being logged in at the CCAA. When we started this journey, who would have thought that we'd still be waiting at this point. Based on referrals and time lines when we started, we thought by July we'd have been home for 2 or 3 months and be old pros at the business of parenting. But alas, we wait and wait and wait!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Weekend in review

Saturday was a lovely day for the ladies as it was Sonia's shower. I've never seen so many gifts in one place in my entire life. That Kailee is going to be one spoiled little girl. She wasn't feeling too well so we only got to see her in her pretty dress for a short time, but she was adorable.

Saturday night I went to a dinner for one of my book club/bunco ladies who is moving to the Nutmeg state. Poor thing, she's going to have to invest in a snow blower!! I'll tell you, I do not, not, not miss winter and snow! When I left to go to the dinner at 6PM I told Eammon that I should be home by 9 or 10PM but we were both surprised when I came wandering in at 1:30am!! Sad part was, the party broke up around 9:30, but another girl and I were sitting outside the restaurant talking and man, can we ever talk!!

Sunday it was time to get dressed pretty again as it was off to Church for Kailee's Christening. Luckily she was feeling better and looked like a little angel in her white dress. I hope that Julie or someone else got a good picture which I can nick and add to this post sometime in the future!! Then it was back to Sonia's for another wonderful luncheon and more presents!!

With so much good food and good company, all I could manage when we got home late Sunday afternoon was to pretend to watch t.v. whilst laying on the sofa with my eyes firmly closed!!!

Another highlight of my weekend was that Sunday ended my current reign as a Football widow...Well at least until March when I become Rugby widow with the start of the European Rugby Union Championship.

I now have so many plans to keep myself busy during the wait so there's no chance of me spiraling down into the depths of depression again, but all those plans, that's another post. Also, keep checking back as I have a Fabu update on Baby S's 100 Good Wishes Quilt and the amazing Kim Brown!

Ta for now.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Today Cindy and Trixie helped me take my mind off the wait and Baby S. We all enjoyed a nice lunch date and as always shared lots of laughs. Trixie the crafty one, has been making bibs and onesies so she honored both Cindy and I with one of her creations. Of course mine has a giraffe on it, she know me so well!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Something in common

I'm learning a little something about my very special CCAI secret pal, at least her hometown. In addition to a lovely Father's Day, Father-to-be card for Eammon, she sent matching t-shirts from her hometown. What a very cool idea!! I'm always so careful when packages arrive not to look at return addresses or the post mark because I don't want to spoil the surprise and figure out who's my pal. So this makes it all the more intriguing and wonderful because I don't know anyone in Castaic!! Thanks my pal and I hope that soon, all of us will have our children home and each have our happy family.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ladies who lunch celebrate again!

Today the ladies-who-lunch celebrated with Stephanie (L) and Jill (R) and their referrals for Chloe and Liza. They are pictured with the obligatory pink and white balloons and the dessert du jour, little individual cheese cakes. They each got some really cute outfits for their girls, a fun toy and an adorable doll.

Each time we lunch our little group grows by another little baby. We have three little girls home, two more referrals with babies soon to be here and then there's Julie and last but not least me, still waiting, waiting, waiting!

Here are the little girls that lunch Amelia, Emily & Kailee.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Neigh, Oink, Moo

Today I met up with my friend Judy and not only did we enjoy a wonderful lunch and receive free muffins to take home, but she also surprised me with these three adorable books. I know Baby S will love the stories as well as the soft covers and the fun tails on each book. Thanks Judy!!
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