Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Auntie Chris

The morning after we returned from Barbados (will post about the trip once I have my pictures and all my posting about the current batch of referrals is finished) our sister-in-law Christine, (Eammon's brother's wife) who is visiting from England came to stay at our home for the week. She has been busy running all over the place visiting lots of sites, but today was a shopping day for the two of us.

With the pound being as strong as it is and the prices here in the U.S. being so low compared to England, Chris was able to go shopping mad without even coming close to her budget. She bought a great little camera for herself along with a lovely watch and matching bracelet. In addition she bought some wonderful gifts for her two daughters Tammy and Kelly and of course many, many items for her granddaughter Molly.

Then she decided to spoil her new niece-to-be, Baby S with two items off our gift registry. Thanks to Auntie Chris and Uncle Kevin, Baby S now has the fabulous Jeep Liberty Limited stroller which she is modeling with in the picture. The second item that she is spoiled Baby S with is the Fisher Price Easy Clean High chair which sports an adorable giraffe on the seat.

Thank you so much Auntie Chris and Uncle Kevin and the next time we see you, we'll have Baby S with us!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Babies, babies, babies!!!

Three of my wonderful friends, all of whom we had wanted to travel with because our LID's were only one day apart, received their referrals today.

Local adopters Elizabeth and Jeff have a beautiful daughter You Fu Jian, soon to be known as Eliza. She was born December 28, 2005 and is currently residing at the Fu Ling District Social Welfare Institute in the Chongqing Province. She will hopefully be home soon to meet her older brother Slayden and younger brother Shipley. Follow along on their journey to Eliza on their blog Eliza's Journey Home.

Heather and Billy, also local adopters received their referral for the lovely daughter You Fu Bi, soon to be Lela Rose. She was born December 20, 2005 and is also currently residing at the Fu Ling District Social Welfare Institute in the Chongqing Province. I know that her older brother Jack is very excited to have a new sister. Follow along on their blog for more information on Lela Rose.

Last but not least is my Utah buddy Tiffany who just received her referral for her adorable daughter Zhou Ran, soon to be Eliza Michelle ZhouRan. She was born Feb 20, 2006 and is in the Neimenggu Province (Inner Mongolia). Follow along as Tiffany travels to her daughter by visiting her blog.

Congratulations to everyone who received their referral this month. To see more referrals and follow along as people travel to their children, please check out the "We have our Referral" and "We're in China" links in my side bar.

And oh by the way, Eammon and I are NEXT!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

August secret pal revealed

My wonderful, crafty and generous August secret pal is none other than Michele!

Michele, you've been a great pal over the past seven months and we've loved everything that you've sent to us and Baby S. Each month I looked forward to your packages as they really made the wait so much more bearable and truly even enjoyable. This month your gift was of course no different, we love the giraffe rattle and the precious outfit, it is soooo cute! I'm so honored that you sent one of your beautiful Ava Totes, it's so pretty I love the fabric and can't wait to use it. I also love the ladybug bookmark, I'm always reading so it's the perfect gift for me and I know that I'll use it all the time and think of you. I love the little tags that you made and added each month. I've saved all of them and will be adding them to Baby S's scrap book.

This has been a great week and it's only Monday!! Finding out that Eammon and I will be receiving our referral next month, so many of our friends in China with their children and even more getting their referrals this week, your package just topped it off!! Remember, you're almost up for your referral too and I can't wait to get a picture of Ava for the beautiful frame that you sent. I hope that once we have our little ones home, we stay in touch and hopefully one day we'll be able to meet. Thank you again for being such a wonderful pal.

If anyone would like to see all the wonderful things that Michele sent to us and Baby S, just click on the links to see what she sent each month: March, April, May, June, July, August

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We are next!!

Well it's virtually guaranteed now that we'll be receiving our referral for Baby S next month!!! CCAA has matched families with LIDs through August 9th, so with us being August 10th, we're next!! Holy moly, next month Eammon and I will be parents!!

Am I disappointed about missing the cut-off this month? Yes and no. With the current pattern of matches I honestly didn't expect them to match to August 9th, but now, knowing that we are next, OMG!!!

Just in case you missed it, we are getting our referral in October, we are next!!!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Home again

Eammon and I are back from our wonderful and relaxing Barbados holiday. I'm going to post all about it in a day or two, once we're settled and unpacked. For now, please scroll down and see all the make-up posts showing all the fabulous things that have happened while we were away especially Kacey day and Pearl day!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bloggy tour of homes week 8

backyard2 This is the final week in the bloggy parade of homes. Where we started with the front entrance, we're ending with the back yard. Eammon and I love our back yard and if you frequent this blog I know that you've seen it in many pictures.

When I first brought Eammon to look at the house, he walked in the front door and immediately out the back door, saw the view and said that if I wanted the house, yes. He didn't even realize that there was an upstairs with more rooms because he was just captivated by the view as this is the view from our back yard.

backyard1.0This is the back of our home from a neighbor's dock. I love taking one of our deck chairs to the end of our dock so that I can sit there soaking up the sun whilst reading a book. The pond is stocked with bass, catfish, grass eating carp and is home to turtles, frogs and a myriad of other wildlife so it's fun to watch when one of our neighbor's fish from their dock or are out in their boat. It is so peaceful hearing all the birds singing, the ducks and the geese are always around and my favorite is when one of the blue herons comes in and stands at the waters edge.

Well, that concludes the official bloggy tour of homes, I hope that you've enjoyed the tour. To see previous posts, click on the links below.

Previous bloggy tour home posts:
Week 7: Bonus rooms
Week 6: Bedrooms
Week 5: Bathrooms
Week 4: Kitchen
Week 3: Dining room
Week 2: Living room/ Family room/ den
Week 1: Foyers/ Entrances

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's Pearl Day!!

Yesterday my Utah buddy, quilter extraordinaire Kim Brown and hubby Lee were united with their newest daughter Pearl. Follow along on their website to see how much Pearl is loving her new family and how much they love her. Hillary, Madison and Grace are adoring their new sister and Pearl is loving them right back. A big shout of congrats to the entire Brown family!

Monday, September 18, 2006

It's Kacey Day!!

Today, local adopter Julie became a Mom!! A big congrats to Julie and Kacey for becoming a family and to Nana Susan on her first grandchild. Follow along on Julie and Nana Susan's trip to Kacey at Julie's Journey to Kacey website.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bloggy tour of homes week 7

This week in the bloggy parade of homes we're looking at bonus rooms. So, I'm going to give you a peek inside of not only the bonus room but also Eammon's office. These are the two rooms that Eammon claims as his space. What that means to me is that other than to vacuum and dust, it's not my place to mess with or clean up anything in these rooms.

gym2 The room over the garage is set up as Eammon's gym. It's a nice large, bright space with a skylight. My favorite part of this room is the huge 9' x 16' walk in storage room at the far end of the room, and trust me, that is MY space! It's a great space to store future Baby S clothing, toys & gifts as well as all the holiday decorations, suitcases and a myriad of other things.

office3 This is Eammon's office, but these are older pictures. As I said, all I do is dust and vacuum when I can actually make my way into the room and the way it looks now, I wouldn't want to display on my blog. Actually it isn't all that bad it's just that he's working on so many projects, there's just a lot of paper everywhere.

office1 There are really only two differences in the room now. The curtains that are in the picture were left by the previous owner and have been changed to a valance made out of blue, grey and white sailcloth. The other change is the small T.V. seen in the picture has been moved to the gym and he has a new larger T.V. along with a nice unit that matches the bookshelf.

office2 Eammon loves Sponge Bob and Patrick and not only does he have these pillows at home to snuggle with while sitting in his giant chair, he also has a duplicate set of pillows in his office. What he does with them there, you'll have to ask him!

I like the nautical theme in this room with the Chelsea Ship's Bell being my absolute favorite piece in the room. This clock came from my Maternal Grandfather and based on its serial number, it was made somewhere between 1940-1944 and I've just always loved this clock.

That concludes this week's tour, join me next Friday when we look at our back yard.

Previous bloggy tour home posts:
Week 6: Bedrooms
Week 5: Bathrooms
Week 4: Kitchen
Week 3: Dining room
Week 2: Living room/ Family room/ den
Week 1: Foyers/ Entrances

Thursday, September 14, 2006

On their way


My good friends Kim Brown and Julie are both on their way to meet their waiting daughters. Please follow along on their wonderful journeys. Kim's Journey to Pearl and Julie's Journey to Kacey. I can't wait for them to get their little ones home!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Julie spoils Baby S again!!

Super crafty Utah summit bloggy gal pal Julie sent this adorable letter for Baby S's room. Many months ago she surprised me with a package containing the pink giraffe. Look how great the colors of the M match the rocker recliner and giraffe in Baby S's room.

Thank you Julie, we love the letter and it looks perfect in Baby S's room!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Looking forward

(Amelia, Kailee, Amelia, Evelyn, Emily, Chloe & Mary Claire)

Yesterday marked thirteen months since our dossier was logged in at CCAA. Did we wallow in self pity and act all miserable? NO! Instead we celebrated with other families, Amelia's 1st birthday and her Baptism. After spending a long morning in Church and then partying with all the adorable girls above, who had time to think about thirteen long months. Hopefully soon little Baby S will be part of the picture too. Think about upcoming vacation, think about upcoming vacation...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

13

Never did we expect that we would have to say, our dossier has been logged in at CCAA for 13 months!! OMG will this wait ever end?? We are going to get away, relax on the beach and maybe CCAA will surprise us with a huge number of referrals later this month. Keeping my fingers crossed as my patience is wearing thin.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Social worker v. Mailbox

Thursday night the social worker (MS) came to our home to do the necessary update for our home study. The visit was to be short because other than Eammon becoming a U.S. citizen and us getting a lot older during the endless wait, nothing has changed. I had our water and sewer bill all printed out for her, she did the house tour again, checked our fire alarms, did the home safety check and told me to fax the doctor reports to her once I received them and then we said our goodbye's.

About two minutes later, Eammon and I were in the kitchen when he asked what was that bang? I hadn't heard anything but when we looked out front, the social worker's car was firmly planted into the side of our mailbox. I feel so bad for MS, she was visibly shaken. Eammon (the Brit) knowing exactly what to do offered and made tea, the elixir that cures all injury and stress. I on the other hand called AAA only to find out that there was at least a 2 1/2 hour wait for a tow. So after numerous calls I drove MS to her friend's home which was nearby and I drove home to then receive a call from AAA telling me the wait would now be 3 1/2 - 4 hours which would put it after midnight. So we decided to leave the car kissing the mailbox for the night and deal with it in the morning. Luckily we're at the head of a cul-de-sac so having a car half way out of the driveway was not an issue or a safety problem.

By the light of day, things didn't look any better but it gave MS the opportunity to contact her insurance and locate the best facility to have the repair work done. Around lunch time the tow truck arrived and carted the car away. Luckily no one was injured and cars and mailboxes can be repaired.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bloggy tour of homes week 6

Master entrance1 Bedrooms, bedrooms, bedrooms. That's what we're touring this week in the bloggy tour of homes.

We have four bedrooms in our home. The master and Baby S's room are on the main level while upstairs we have a guest room with an en suite bathroom, as well as the fourth bedroom which we use as an office. The entrance to the master suite has double doors which lead to the hall as seen in the picture above. This hall, like the dining room is trapezoidal, the builder of this home seemed to like lots of angles. The pocket door to the right of the giraffe painting is the master bathroom, the door to the left of the painting is a large walk-in closet which extends out behind the painting. Where you see the light switch in the foreground, that is a short hall to the bedroom.

Master bed2 When you enter the bedroom we have a nice king sized bed on the wall to the right. The bed is currently in summer mode, to see how it looks in the cold weather, click here. If you look closely or blow up the picture, you'll see my giraffe Gregory on the bed. (I know it's a Geoffrey giraffe, but everyone has a Geoffrey so mine is unique and his name is Gregory.) Yes, I do sleep with him tucked in next to me every night.

Master view The wall directly in front of you when you enter the room is all windows so that we can enjoy the view of the pond. I've had new blinds ready to be installed for the past nine months or so, but have yet to get those put up.

Master dresserThe three case good pieces came from my paternal grandparents. Growing up I always loved this furniture so I feel lucky to have it in my home.

Master Chest I've always loved the depression furniture with it's unique patterns and lines. I also love that the mirrors are somewhat imperfect and they look old.

Master vanity1.0 Originally as part of this set was a headboard, foot board and night stand. I still have the night stand but the head and foot boards were for a full sized bed, so years ago those were sold.

This bloggy tour of homes has made me realize that the only rooms in our home that we haven't done work on are the master suite and the office. The public areas of our home are pretty and finished. The guest room has color and personality but our private space still has white walls and old blinds. Guess I know what my next project is going to be.

Welcome to the guest room. Guest 2a I love the color of this room even though it's not showing its true color in the pictures. The color is called wedgewinkle and is a cross between wedgewood blue and periwinkle. This is the second home where I have used this color for the guest room. To me this room just feels cheerful, welcoming and comfortable for a guest.

When I was looking for a bed for this room, I knew that I wanted white wicker, but not any of the usual wicker designs. I was out shopping with my friend Teresa and I said that I wish I could find a sleigh bed in wicker and the next store that we entered had this bed in the clearance department. Originally it was a wheat color so I spray painted it white and voilĂ !!

Guest 1a The wall to the left of the bed has a desk area where if you blow up the picture, you'll see my little cow stool with the pink udder. I also love the wooden girls that hang on the wall. There is a third girl which you'll see in the bathroom picture.

Guest view 6a It's too bad that the windows of this room are so small and high as the view is really pretty. Unfortunately the roof of the covered patio comes to the base of these windows so we don't have the option of making them longer.

Guest closet4a The entire wall at the foot of the bed is taken up by closets. Behind the mirrored doors is one big closet which is about 3 1/2 feet deep so amazing storage space. The door to the left of the mirrored doors is the largest linen closet I've ever encountered, being the same depth as the adjacent closet.

Guest en suite3a The wall to the right of the bed has the entrance to the room and the private bathroom. The color of the bathroom is the same as the room, but the skylight in there makes the room look lighter. To the left of the bathroom are lots of old stuffed animals and my Mrs. Beasley doll from when I was a child.

Guest mobile Above them are my mermaids, which I love and Eammon despises. Years ago when I was living up north, Karen Rossi would have an open house at her studio and these are two of her pieces that I bought. I'd love to have these mermaids downstairs but because Eammon doesn't care for them and they match the guest room so well, the guest room they will stay.

Last but not least is my favorite bedroom, Baby S's nursery. Nursery Entrance1 I love this room and other than adding her name to the wall above the stepped bookcase and installing a ceiling fan, the room is complete. I love to go into the room and sit in the glider to read or sometimes I sit there whilst chatting on the phone. To see a short video of the room click here. Or to see a full set of pictures, click here.

Well, that concludes this week's tour, join me next Friday when we look at bonus rooms.

Previous bloggy tour home posts:
Week 5: Bathrooms
Week 4: Kitchen
Week 3: Dining room
Week 2: Living room/ Family room/ den
Week 1: Foyers/ Entrances

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Paper chasing again!

Nope not for number two, just doing it all over again for number one. Man this wait stinks...focus on upcoming holiday, focus on upcoming holiday.

  • I've downloaded the re-filing information pack from our agency.
  • I've filled out and sent off the child placement services and fee agreement along with the credit card authorization form so that we can have our home study updated.
  • I've filled out the DHR release & request for information form and have that ready to mail.
  • I've written a cover letter to the USCIS Adoption Unit explaining why we need to re-apply and asking them to please attach our recently re-printed fingerprints to this new file.
  • I've filled out and downloaded the I-600A from USCIS.
  • Tomorrow I'll go get a money order for that fee.
  • I've gathered all the necessary documents; previous I-171H, fingerprint verification pages, marriage certificate, birth certificates and passports and will get those all photocopied later today or tomorrow.
  • Eammon had a physical scheduled for today so he took our adoptive family health forms to be filled out by our doctor.
  • Tonight I'll get Eammon to sign his name to all the necessary documents.

and

  • Tomorrow everything will be mailed off and this mini paper chase will be finished...Except for having the actual home visit from the social worker and stalking the postman waiting for our new I-171H.

Our original I-171H expires on December 26th so I'm hoping that this is all for naught because I can't even fathom that we won't be back with Baby S by then......focus on upcoming holiday, focus on upcoming holiday, think positive, focus on holiday...I'm trying here!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Focusing on the positive

Just like everyone else, we're sick of this endless wait. Based on the recent referrals and Tuesday's call from our agency telling us it's time to re-do the home study, doctor visits, DHR background check, fingerprints, I-600A and I-171H, it doesn't appear that we'll be receiving our referral this month. So we'll do what we have to do but mainly we'll focus on the positive, our upcoming holiday. Soon we'll be away from all the rumors and craziness of the wait, enjoying nine days of all-inclusive fun in the sun in Barbados.

Today I went shopping for sun lotion and didn't even glance at the baby products or look at any cute baby clothing, as they're not even on my radar right now. I'm trying really hard to only focus on the positive. I have my beach bag all ready, enough lotion in all the factors that we each like and I'm already dreaming about relaxing and swimming in crystal clear water. Last time we were in Barbados I went out on a catamaran and was able to swim with sea turtles. Maybe I'll do it again and possibly even convince Eammon to join me.

So based on these pictures from our last beach holiday, can you guess who wears the factor 4 and who wears factors 8, 15 and 30? I'll bet you'd be wrong in your guess though.

Eammon, a.k.a. white boy, begrudgingly wears factor 4 and if I could find it, he'd love to wear factor 2. How this English/Irish blue eyed boy sits in the sun all day long and doesn't burn is beyond me. If he does get a little pink, he might put on a little factor 8 but would never think of using the 15 or 30, those are all mine!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bloggy tour of homes week 5

WCe This week in the bloggy tour of homes we're taking a look at bathrooms. We have four bathrooms, two up and two down, all of which I really don't care for but I'll try to say something positive about each. They all have this bad 80's look to them and are in desperate need of a gut rehab which we'll get to one day, but for now we make due. To the left is the door to the downstairs guest bath. The door is rather narrow and for some reason no one could find the bathroom thinking this was a closet or something.  So to keep the guests out of the Master bathroom, I put up these cute metal signs.

3 downstairs.0 The only changes we've made to this bathroom is the addition of the cute round mirror and of course the giraffe hand towels. This bathroom does have a fun shape to it, being a very small seven sided room. In the winter this is the warmest bathroom in the house as it's the only one without a skylight. It also has an in-ceiling heater and since it's such a small room it's warm almost instantly.

2 master.1 I do have to say, the worst bathroom in the entire house is the Master. It does have a nice large corner shower which we enjoy but there is a very deep Jacuzzi tub which is on a 45 degree angle in the corner, just wasting space and it's so big we never use it. This bathroom only has one sink and for some reason the sink is very low. The little separate room with the toilet isn't too bad as it has its own window so it's bright. The main space of the bathroom has a large glass block window and a sky light so it too is a very bright room. This bathroom also has a ceiling heater but since the room is so much larger than the guest bath it never gets quite as warm. To this room we have done nothing!! The room needs so much help, we're just waiting until we can pull everything out and start all over again. The best part of the room is the lovely flower arrangement made by my friend Teresa that helps fill up some of the wasted space behind the tub.

It's funny, the two least used bathrooms in the house, the upstairs guest bath and the upstairs hall bath have had the most work done to them. Both of these bathrooms have skylights, so once again they are nice and bright. Both rooms originally had wallpaper but we had that removed and painted the walls and cabinets and changed the light fixtures.

5 upstairs hall.0 The sage room is the hall bath and it's good sized with a shower, vanity sink and toilet. The skylight in this room faces west so when the sun is shining, as you can tell by the sunspot on the wall, it's very bright.

4 guest.0 The guest bedroom bath, I would have to say, is the nicest bathroom in the house. It's painted the same color as the guest bedroom, has a nice big vanity, toilet and a tub/shower combo. Well, I'm glad this week is over because of all the rooms in the house, these four are my least favorite.

That concludes this week's tour, join me next Friday when we look at bedrooms.

Previous bloggy tour home posts:
Week 4: Kitchen
Week 3: Dining room
Week 2: Living room/ Family room/ den
Week 1: Foyers/ Entrances

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