Friday, February 18, 2005

2009 Travel Schedule

June 7-13: Florida ~ Heading to Animal Kingdom on Thursday June 11, email if you'd like to meet up with us!

June 23-29: Boston, MA/ Hartford, CT/ Nashua, NH

July 9-14: Salt Lake City, UT

October: 7-day Western Caribbean cruise

December, 1st half: Aruba

Christmas - New Year: London, UK

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Chocolate mint brownies

1 box fudge brownie mix (for a 13 x 9-inch pan)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Peppermint Butter cream layer:
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter
1 (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Then prepare a 13 x 9-inch baking dish by spraying lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the width of the bottom of the pan and long enough to extend over the long edges. Spray parchment lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

To the brownie mix, add melted butter, water, eggs and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix by hand just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and bake according to package directions. Let cool completely.

To prepare the mint butter cream layer, beat together the powdered sugar and softened butter. Add the milk, peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix until smooth. Spread the butter cream evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. Place brownies in fridge to firm up the butter cream.

For the chocolate ganache, place the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50%until the butter has melted. Add the chocolate chips and mix with an electric mixer on low until the chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix until incorporated. Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar until frosting is smooth. Spread chocolate ganache over the mint butter cream on the brownies.

Place back in fridge for about an hour to firm up frosting. Using the parchment paper, remove the brownies from the pan and while cold, cut into squares. They must be cut when cold otherwise the layers mush. Though delicious cold, these brownies are even better when served at room temperature.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Yes you can go carry-on-only!!

Pack 4 shirts, wear 1
1 zip-up fleece (wear on plane)
Pack 2 pants, wear 1
Pack 4 prs Undies, wear 1
Pacl 1 set silk long underware
Pack 2 Bras, wear 1
Pack 4 prs socks, wear 1
Pack 2 Night shirts
Pack 1 pr slippers
1 pr Tennies (wear)1
Winter jacket, gloves & hat
Feminine products
6pk. contact lenses
1 Travel size saline solution
Contact lens case

Pack 4 shirts, wear 1
1 zip-up fleece (wear on plane)
Pack 2 prs Pants, wear 1
Pack 4 prs Boxers, wear 1
Pack 4 prs socks, wear 1
Pack 1 pr Lounge/sleep pants
Pack 1 pr slippers1
pr Tennies (wear)
1 Winter jacket & gloves
1 Travel size Shaving cream
After shave gel
Body Spray
Hair brush/comb

Shared Toiletries
2 small body wash
2 travel size shampoo
2 travel size conditioner
1 travel size mousse
1 Travel size Deodorant
2 Travel size Toothpaste
2 Travel size Mouth wash
1 Travel size Gold Bond Powder
1 Travel pack Q-tips
1 Dental floss
Nail clippers
Emery board
Ear plugs

Meds Lisa & Eammon
Allergy pills
Stomach relief tabs
Anti-diarrhea tabs
Laxative tabs
Mucinex tabs
E’s prescriptions
L’s prescriptions
Prescription antibiotics
Scabies cream
Medrol dose pak
Hydrocortisone cream
Triple antibiotic ointment
Cough drops
Dental repair kit
Paper tape & gauze

Non Specifics
3 pkgs. Travel Kleenex
2- 33 pk. Cottonelle Fresh wipes
2 Travel sz Purell on keychains
Travel size Dawn dish liquid
1 pr wooden chop sticks (for fishing nipples from hot water)
90 Antibacterial wipes
Ziploc bags, various sizes
Sewing kit
12 Granola/Protein Bars
Deck of playing cards
1 black sharpie pen
2 black ink pens
1 Small notebook/travel diary
1 Tide pen
1 Travel umbrella
2 Travel pillows
Memory sticks
Digital camera, cable, extra battery, charger
Video camera
Neck security wallet
2 copies of each passport
2 each passport photos
1 Book each
Travel Sudoku
Travel Tekkin
Red envelopes

8 Outfits (I plan to shop!)
2 Sweaters/jackets
1 Thermal unionsuit
1 Winter coat/hat/mittens
3 prs Footie PJ’s
1 Sleep hat
8 prs Socks
2 Blankets
1 Hat
Hair bows

Meds and Maisie Specific
2 Plastic coated bibs
2 Playtex bottles 8 oz
75 bottle liners
6 Fast flow nipples
Formula container
Nipple brush
Small thermos
Bottle toppers
Cheerios container
Disposable baby spoons
3 Disposable bowls with covers

6 Overnight diapers (In China buy green pks, avoid Red pkg diapers)
40 Baby wipes
50 Diaper disposal bags
Cornstarch powder
Diaper cream

14 Disp. dry foaming washcloths
Baby toothbrush and toothpaste

Baby Advil
Baby Motrin
Baby Tylenol
Baby Tylenol Cold & Cough
Baby Triaminic cough strips
Prescription Antibiotics
Prescription scabies cream
Mylicon gas drops
Baby Ora-Gel
Baby Glycerin suppositories
Baby nose spray
12 pkgs Pedialyte powder

Baby nail clippers
Diaper pins
Binky and clip (just in case)
Medicine syringes
3 Soft toys & teething toy
Baby books
Chinese lullaby CD
Blow up ball

More Stuff!
Hip Hammock
Baby Bjorn
Bum bags
When You Were Born in China book(for Nannies, travel mates & guides to sign)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Our Never Ending Adoption Timeline

(approx. 12-14 months)

  • 2/7/2005 Application sent to CCAI

  • 2/14/2005 Adoption application approved!

  • 3/12/2005 Home Study orientation meeting

  • 3/15/2005 Requests for marriage and birth certificates sent

  • 3/25/2005 First home study visit with both of us

  • 3/26/2005 Certified marriage certificate received

  • 3/28/2005 Eammon's required physical

  • 3/29/2005 Lisa's required physical

  • 4/1/2005 Lisa's birth certificate received

  • 4/1/2005 Received completed physical forms for both Lisa and Eammon

  • 4/1/2005 Police background checks run, and notarized

  • 4/5/2005 Lisa's passport renewal mailed

  • 4/5/2005 Lisa's birth certificate sent to Massachusetts Secretary of State

  • 4/9/2005 Eammon's individual home study visit

  • 4/9/2005 Lisa & Eammon's 2nd joint home study visit

  • 4/11/2005 Eammon's passport renewal mailed to the British Embassy

  • 4/13/2005 Lisa's individual home study visit

  • 4/14/2005 Lisa's certified birth certificate received from the Massachusetts Secretary of State

  • 4/18/2005 Lisa's new passport received

  • 4/27/2005 Eammon's fully authenticated birth certificate received

  • 4/27/2005 Lisa's birth certificate sent to the Chinese Embassy in NYC

  • 4/27/2005 I-600A mailed to USCIS

  • 5/3/2005 All required documents given to the social worker

  • 5/4/2005 Eammon's new passport received

  • 5/11/2005 I-600A fingerprint appointment letter received

  • 5/14/2005 Lisa's fully authenticated birth certificate received from the Chinese Embassy in NYC

  • 5/18/2005 Lisa and Eammon fingerprinted

  • 5/23/2005 Home study completed & filed with I-171H to USCIS

  • 5/24/2005 Home study & I-171H application received by Atlanta USCIS

  • 6/29/2005 I-171H approval received from Atlanta USCIS after 36 day wait

  • 6/30/2005 Documents sent to Chinese Consulate Houston for authentication

  • 7/2/2005 Documents received at Chinese Consulate Houston

  • 7/12/2005 Final Authenticated Documents received from Chinese Consulate Houston

  • 7/13/2005 Dossier documents overnighted to CCAI Denver

  • 7/14/2005 Dossier in critical review

  • 7/20/2005 Dossier passed critical review

  • 7/20/2005 Dossier being translated

  • 7/22/2005 Dossier sent to China (DTC)!!!

  • 8/10/2005 Infamous brown envelope arrives.

  • 8/10/2005 Official LID (log in date at CCAA)

  • 8/22/2006 Lisa and Eammon re-fingerprinted

  • 9/25/2006 Re-filed for I-600A/I-171H

  • Wait for Referral (approx. 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 month wait??)

  • 11/3/2006 REFERRAL!!!!! After being logged in for 451 days and 635 days since agency application approval

  • 12/7/2006 Travel to China

  • 12/11/2006 Maisie Day!!! We become a family of 3 this day!!!

  • 12/25/2006 Home from China!
  • Monday, February 14, 2005

    We've been accepted!

    Kathi from the Denver CCAI office called and informed us that our application has been accepted. We have now officially started the adoption process!

    Monday, February 07, 2005

    Our application is complete

    After waiting almost a month for our doctor to write a short letter, I was finally able to pick the letter up today, and I mailed our completed application to CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International).
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