Monday, December 31, 2007

08'? What happend to 07'?

As I sit here sipping my cranberry margarita with only 3 hours and 3 minutes until we ring in 08' I can't help but wonder where 07' went. I hate to admit that as it would seem that it went by so quickly that waiting another 2-3 years for our turn in China will go by in a flash. But to be honest the year has gone by quickly....actually one of the quickest years I can remember, but there have been some very long moments.

I went back and reviewed my resolutions for 07' and the scary part is that most of those resolutions still need to be worked on, I have made progress on a few. We have seen and done a lot in 07' and had some additions and losses. I would say overall it was an okay year. I am looking forward to 08' and hope there are things that will happen, and some changes we will be able to make.

Here are a few highlights to our 07'

* We bought the BWM and I started my embroidery business, and while it was a slow start, I am overwhelmed with how well my business has done so far.

* We had a few great trips to NYC, San Diego, LA, Colorado and Las Vegas and 7 trips to KC(due to Karen's preganancy with Meggie and being on bedrest)

* We met up with some other adoptive families down in Austin, and had a great time. It amazes me when I think of the friends I have made during this journey. I feel so lucky to have met some, and the hope of meeting others in person. You all inspire me, and make this wait a whole lot more bearable. I look forward to the day I watch each one of you travel to pick up your children.

* We decided to host a Chinese exchange student for the school year. She will arrive in Aug and stay for 10 months. We think this will be a great way to learn about our daughters birth country, culture and heritage.

*While we continue to grieve the loss of our dear cocker Matty, we decide to get on the wait list for a labradoodle puppy. They will be born the end of May, and we will get our puppy the end of July. They end up being born May 29th and we become the proud owner of a black labradoodle that we name Gracie....even though I voted for Ruby. We have had Gracie now for 5 months and she is growing, and growing and growing. She is very smart, loves toys more than any dog I have ever met, and can run incredibly fast.

*We take a rafting trip down the Colorado river in June with Taylor as our guide. It was a ton of fun, and she is amazing at what she does. We were so proud of her!!!

* Our student arrives in August. Her name is Shiyu, and she is 16 almost 17. She has blended well with our family, and kept me very busy. She has transitioned well into American life, and she is doing well in school, and has been a wealth of information for our family in learning about China. What an experience this has been. I highly recommend this to anyone who has considered it. She will forever be a member of our family. We look forward to the fact that she will return to TX to go to college. We also look forward to the day we meet and visit her family in China.

*We welcomed my goddaughter Meggie after a very difficult pregnancy. She came into the world very small, but she has made a BIG impact on our family, and she is growing and thriving, and just your normal 7 month old now.

* I lost one of my sorority sisters in Oct after a brave battle with liver cancer. It had a big impact on me, as it just reminded me how important it is to live life to the fullest and know it is a gift that we are not guaranteed to have long term. LIVE WITH NO REGRET. I also decided that I had to stop living my life always waiting for something.

* I have watched several of my friends travel to pick up their little ones, and it means so much to have the honor and privilege of being a part of something so big and important. I know someday it will be our turn, but in the mean time we will make the most of each day, try to grow and learn as much as we can, and anticipate the day when we see the face of our daughter.

* The CCAA made it all the way through what 3 months this year. I don't know, actually I don't care. I never thought I would make it past obsessing over referrals each month, but I have moved to the place where I actually did not know the last 2 months that referrals even came out. Wow, that should be a resolution in itself. Here's to being a recovering RQ/referral addict.

I do hope that each of you have had a wonderful holiday season. I hope the New Year finds you safe and looking forward to what the year will bring for you and your family. From my family to yours..........Happy New Year!!!! Now make sure you eat your black eyed peas tomorrow for good luck.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Naughty or Nice?

* all of my friends in Chicago that understood why I had to cancel my trip. I promise I will come.

* all of my girlfriends here who are just the BEST!!

* my husband for always being willing to lend a hand, and listens to me whine, and for taking vacation time to be home with us the last half of Dec.

* all of my blog and adoption friends who always check in on me.

* my MIL for hosting Gracie at her house since Thanksgiving.... to let her 4 dogs socialize the little beast

* the lady who let me in front of her at Hobby Lobby yesterday b/c I had only one thing:)

* to the dr. office who got me in the same day I ROCK my world.

* Shiyu, for being excited for Christmas and understanding why we didn't get the lights up outside, and being okay with it when I told her we would put lights up outside for Spring Festival(Chinese New Year)

* To all of my customers.....the response has been overwhelming, thank you for doing business with me:)


CCAA..................shame on you, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Out of Review

Out of review!!! Thought it would feel better than this.
I guess it is one step closer.

Off to Chicago on Friday! Going with some friends and meeting up with some friends. Should be fun, and looking forward to some quality girl time, shopping time, eating and drinking time. I hope the weather is better than it is this weekend.

I am very busy with PinkPolkaDotz.....don't forget if you need a gift.....I am your girl. If you are looking for something for your secret pal, just enter secret pal into the coupon code for your discount.

Wish I had something more to talk about, but not much going on here at Casa Rock.

Hope things are good on your end.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bring on the Gobbler

Loaf of very fresh white bread-Check
Miracle whip-Check
Warm and comfy jammies-Check
Macy's Thanksgiving day parade-Check

That's what I will be eating, that is what I will be wearing, and that is what I will be watching.

It has been a grueling week thus far, and I am actually ready for next week to be here. But it is nice to know that we can take a few days off, sit back relax, sleep, eat, and be merry, and no one cares.

Happy Thankgiving, and I will see you on the other side of this one!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Still here

I am still here, still under the weather, and still have a million photos to post. Lot's going on around here, lot's of change, and lot's of upcoming visitors and hoopla with the holidays. Gotta make this a GREAT holiday season for Shiyu, she is very excited about celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, and mostly she is excited about the kids coming home from college.
She is counting it cute. I told her she will be counting the days until they leave after they have been here for a few days and invaded her space....all of her space with all of their crap!!

I will get around to the photos soon, this I promise. I figure you all are not going anywhere any time soon....I sure know that I am not.

Hope everyone has a Happy Gobble Day, and know that I don't really enjoy the Thanksgiving feast, but Shiyu is really looking forward to it....especially the pie part that D has told her about. I will be watching the Macy's parade, and then I will be waiting for the day after turkey sandwich on VERY fresh white bread with miracle that part I do like. D will have us out at 6:00 a.m. shopping for all of his Christmas bargains.....last year those bargains did not include one present for anyone but us.

I just have one question.....will this ever end??

**the nausea is I am not!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Song, Crap, and very important question.

* I heard this on this lovely person's blog and was immediately smitten with this song. It conjures up so many thoughts and feelings...............all in one little song. It took me a bit to figure out the autoplay, and still not positive what I did, but it seems to work now on it's own. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have(since I have now played it like 400 times....I swear I am still in 6th grade)

*I have so many pictures I need to put on here to update what has been going on the last few months with Shiyu. She has had a lot of first since she arrived, and we have documented them all, but I suck at getting everything done now.
But stay tuned, because they are coming, and hopefully you will enjoy the accompaniment of Vince Gill and Sarah Evans.

I have been VERY under the weather. As long as I stay horizontal I am okay(sorta) but the second I stand up it all becomes a very different story. It's the can't keep anything down diet, and I must say that my jeans will fit very nicely at the end of all of this......but there is nothing worse as far as I am concerned than feeling like you are going to blow. I have felt this way since Thursday afternoon, and I have moments(okay a few hours) in there that I feel sorta okay, and then the wave comes at me like a speeding train. Yesterday I slept from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 this morning. I think there is something wrong. But unlike my husband who is insisting that I go to the doctor(no, can't even think about getting dressed and getting myself into the car) all she is going to say is that is that it is viral and make sure I try and keep as many liquids down as I can and here is some nausea medicine(which I already have) So unless this is not better by Wednesday I am in my fuzzy robe and staying in a horizontal position, and dreaming that this is an excellent weight loss program as well as allowing me to wallow in pity with the new rounds of referrals.
Happy Sunday:)

**as a sidenote I was not able to attend Martha's services, but my friends were there, and I must say that now I am kind of glad that I was unable to go. I understand the concept of an open casket, but my personal beliefs are that you should remember the person as you knew them, and it is seldom that someone who has died looks like they did when you enjoyed their company.....especially when someone has been very ill. So it sounds like you would not have even known it was her had you not known who's funeral you were at. I want to remember her for the beautiful young girl I lived with in college, and for that visual to always remain, and not have it replaced by a visual of a different person. I know this is terribly immature, but I just think as a child I would want to remember my mother the way she always looked...especially in good health, and I just don't know if you could ever replace the site of her in her casket not looking like my mom.
I made D promise that if I die before him that he swears that the casket will be closed.

I am going to have to do some research into the history of open casket funerals.....I am sure there is some reason for this practice. Cremation is sounding better and better.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

With Fondest Memories.............

For the last few weeks I have felt very overwhelmed by the knowledge of knowing that one of my pledge sisters and college roommates was battling liver cancer. She was diagnosed almost exactly 2 years ago, and has been fighting for her life ever since.

I have been very fortunate to have not faced a lot of death in my life, and the death I have experienced has usually been with people that I cared deeply for, but they had lived very long lives. It just seems so wrong to me that a mom of a third and fifth grader who just turned 40 in April was fighting the fight of her life. For whatever reason it has just struck a very strong cord with me. I have spent a great deal of time these last few weeks thinking about what that must feel like, how do you spend time with your children each day knowing it could be your last, what do you say????? All of these questions that I have run through my brain a million times this month. Then I moved on to have I lived a life that I am very proud of? What would people say at my funeral? Do I make the things that are really important, and appreciate those important things and people?? What changes should I be making with these thoughts and feelings running loose? So many questions, and not as many answers as I would like.
It also puts time into perspective. The thought of waiting 2 more years for this baby is way too much for my brain to cope with, but what if you were told you only had 2 years to live?? Boy, that wouldn't seem quite as long now would it??

I met Martha in HS as we are from the same hometown. We only knew of one another then, but then freshman year we both pledged the same sorority and became pledge sisters. We then became very good friends, and Martha was one of those girls that everyone likes. She had a radiant smile, very friendly, smart, patient, happy, and she was one of the best dressed girls I have ever known. We lived together sophomore year with two other KD's; Missy and Kristy. That was a great room change for me, and I loved living with those girls. I transferred the next year to another college, but I remained active in the house, and enjoyed remaining friends with those girls. I always knew what Martha was up to through many of our friends.

Martha married a great guy and had two great boys...Alex and Clayton. She ran a successful business, and loved being a mom. Martha grew up without her mom, and I know that was always difficult for her. So it breaks my heart that she must have felt so much pain knowing that her kids would be growing up without her.

I really feel so much sadness with her passing, and my thoughts and prayers are with her family. This weekend a huge group of our pledge sisters will be getting together to attend her memorial. I am unable to attend, but I will be there in spirit, and I know that Martha is smiling knowing that all those girls will be together, laughing, spending time with each other and celebrating great friendship and memories.

Martha you will always be loved and remembered for being such a great friend and sister.
Love in AOT

Please keep this family in your thoughts!!

Mary Martha (Frech) Berry
Mary Martha (Frech) Berry, Bradenton, formerly of Columbia, Missouri died October 28, 2007. Visitation will be Wednesday, October 31, 2007 from 6p.m. to 8p.m. at Palms-Robarts Funeral Home, with a prayer service at 7p.m. Also, visitation will be Friday, November 2, 2007 from 4p.m. to 8p.m. at Krieghauser Funeral Home, 9450 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri with a funeral Mass on Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 10a.m. at St. Monica Church, 1236 Olive Blvd., St. Louis. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Survivors include her husband, Mark Berry; her two children, Clayton and Alex; her father, David and stepmother Linda Frech; her brother John Frech and her sister, Katherine Frech. Mrs. Berry graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1989 and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. After graduation she taught at Ellisville Elementary and earned her Masters of Education at Maryville University. Mrs. Berry and her husband Mark Berry moved to Bradenton, Florida in 2001 and she started her own Web design and advertising business. She was current President of the Lakewood Ranch Business Club of Bradenton, Florida. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care, 4151 37th Stree East, Palmetto, FL 34221.,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gracie, Gracie, Gracie

I am sure you all have been wondering what Gracie has been up to??? No, you say. Well let me just update you anyway.
Gracie is 5 months old tomorrow, and she has the energy of 5 dogs. She is growing very quickly, and in case you forgot let me remind you that I thought that we were getting a dog that weighed around 50 lbs, and at 4 months Gracie already weighed 33 lbs. I would guess she weighs about 40 lbs right now. The vet thinks she will at least weigh 70-90 lbs-Shiyu only weighs 90.

** Gracie is very, very smart, actually she may be the smartest person in the house. Trust me having a dog that is as smart as Gracie makes it very hard to train her.

** We have hired BarkBusters to come and help us train Gracie. We have our 3 rd visit tomorrow. Gracie is still training us. But we are slowly making progress in becoming the pack leader.

** Gracie is no Matty, and I still have moments when Gracie makes me miss Matty more than I ever thought possible.

** Gracie can run faster than any dog I have ever seen, and she will retrieve a ball or toy all day long if you are willing to throw it for her. In turn D is convinced that she can become a fly ball champion. If that works off some of her energy, I am voting yes on this proposition.

**Gracie loves to dig, and sometimes par take in her poop, so she can not be left outside unsupervised by a responsible adult. We are working on these things. Although if she can dig a hole to China I might not care so much about the digging. The latter must stop and we have the medicine to help curtail it. The vet seems to think this is very common, and that I should not be too concerned. Concerned?? Grossed out is more like it.

** Gracie will ride in the car now, she will even jump in and jump have no idea what progress this actually is.

** Gracie is basically housetrained. She never seems to have an accident in her living quarters(the gated kitchen) but we can't have her upstairs for much longer than 20 min or so and she is rooting around looking for a nice piece of carpet to potty on. I am not sure she will ever get to live outside of the kitchen. She does still do the submissive wetting thing with strangers or if she is punished. That sucks!!

** For the most part it is great to have a dog in the house again. I try to not compare Gracie to Matty. But it is hard when she chews up the baseboard, or tears up something(Matty never tore a thing up in her life) Matty was easy to housetrain, and never puddled. But Matty also never retrieved anything in her life, and she also had zero interest in toys. Gracie loves toys more than any dog I have ever met. I have to buy them in bulk. So it is very fun to play with her, she is not much on snuggling, but she sure can get to the ball quickly!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Now that is a beautiful baby!!

Little Miss Meggie had her first big photoshoot and I think it went exceptionally well. Who would ever know that this baby was born 10 weeks early and spent 5 weeks in the NICU? She even made it to a blog. Here is the link:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I know you have been waiting with baited breath

Sorry it has taken so long to get the answers to your questions. Shiyu has been very busy with school, and getting ready for her first homecoming. She answered all the questions(I think) and these are totally unedited. So we will do this again in a few months. If you ever have questions about China or Chongqing don't hesitate to email me and I know Shiyu will be happy to answer any questions you have.
We volunteered at our FCC culture day last weekend. Shiyu worked at the festival booth. I think she had a wonderful time, and enjoyed participating. I think she was totally blown away with seeing all of the children that day. She told me that it was great to see all of the children being taught about Chinese culture and history.
She searched out all of the kids that had come from Chongqing:)
I had her watch Lost Girls of China the night before culture day, because I wanted her to see the process that each of the families she was going to see the next day had gone through to get their children. I am not sure what she thought overall. I know she felt embarrassed, and she did not like the part where the lady put the sign up in the park. She said she too felt disgraced that she did that, and she felt that she should not have pointed it out to everyone that they had abandoned a child. All I can say is.......very interesting. I know she is very positive about our adoption, she can't wait for us to come to China, and she hopes that our baby comes from Chongqing. But in general it seems to me that very little talking goes on in China about this particular issue. I am not sure she knew or her family knew that Americans were coming to China to adopt their children before she met us.

Alrighty, enjoy, and again sorry it took so long.

What advice did your parents give you about America or Americans?

1.Be happy and we all believe you can do everything!***she told me that the Chinese think that all Americans are overweight. I am happy to report that she told me that she sees that is not true:)

Singing bird wanted to know if we would adopt more children. While I would love to do so, it won't be possible with the length of time this one is taking. We are basically aged out of being able to adopt from anywhere. I would just like this one to come to fruition.

What is your favorite kind of music?

2.I love pop music. Most time I listen to Chinese pop music at home. But I’ll try more different American songs here.

The differences between schools here and in China?
3. I think school is so different from China. At first most school in China is 6 years primary school, 3 years middle school, and 3 years high school. Most kids will go to college. But it doesn’t mean everyone can receive good education. Secondly, we can’t choose the subjects we like. All the students study Chinese, Math, and English. (English class at school mostly starts in middle school, but English is really popular in China and many parents think it very important. Many children study English when they are very young.) We also have Physics, Biology, Chemistry, History, Politics, Geography, and PE. Different grades have another classes such as Computer, Art, Music, and Health. My school in China focuses on Math and Science. But different cities and schools have different systems. The next is we don’t move to different classrooms, only teachers move. And some big schools have a lot of students. So the class is also huge. Like my school in China, we have total more than 6000 students (my school has middle and high school and 4 campus). I think schools here are much better. You can study what you are interested in. And you can choose easy or difficult classes, so you won’t feel easy in some classes or not be lost in class. Physics and math are easy for me, as long as I know the words. The biggest problem for me is vocabulary. Schools here have more teams, bands, choirs and another organizations. School life here is much colorful than in China. It’s pretty good.
The situation is very similar. We also have very rich people, middle class and poor people.
People in China are more conservative than here. So the interacting with the opposite gender hardly happens among middle or high school students. By the way, many Chinese parents and teachers won’t allow students to have boy/girl friend at school (before 18). Cliches are not as common in China because we don't have many groups to belong to, and we don't change classrooms, so our class of 50 or so students stay together all day. So we don't have athletes and cheerleaders, and most of the kids in my class are smart so we are all the same.

(Angela disappointing and miss the most about China):
The disappointing thing is nothing so far
I miss my best friends very much, as well as my family.

(wzgirl: DO you like Turnip cake?……. Favorite color? how do you like the weather?Has your exchange-mother convinced you to become a flight attendant?)
Don't know what turnip cake is.
The Dim sum is much different here than back home. It’s more delicious and sweet here. At home, we don’t usually have desert and only few snacks. My favorite color is Green. The weather here is perfect because I love sunny days. But it’s hot outside. The weather is similar to Chongqing’s weather. Nope, …..I’m too short to be a flight attendant. Haha. It’s a cool job that can fly all over the world!

(bbmomof2 boys: Best experience so far)
Always the movies wait for me! (there are so many movies to choose from. In China she says they wait for the movies, and here they movies are so plentiful they wait for her)
Football~ After I watched the first game, I fell in love with it. Em…..I hope I can play it. It’s true! Haha

(Beeb: where ….for holiday?)
My favorite is traveling. So every labor days, national days(both 7-days off) my dad and his friends will drive to travel. My dad said” Of course I want to travel to big, beautiful, and modern city to have a comfortable vacation. But for you, it’s the valuable time to travel to some place natural and beautiful. Although it’s not relaxing sometimes even hard. After you grow up, you won’t have chance to go to these places and I won’t have enough energy to drive for long time. After you grow up, you can go to any big city you want.” And in winter holiday (during Spring Festival) we enjoy our traditional new year and spend a lot of time with family. We usually go on a family vacation even take my dog. During summer holiday, I’ll travel with friends or my aunt and uncle take me to travel. We always go to another province.

(liene: think of American malls…….)
We also have as big shopping malls as American. I think clothes here are cheaper and more cute than in China. By the way, it’s hard to buy dress shoes! Haha. Not as crowded as in China.
Yes, I love football. “ Just do it.” probably can express my feeling!

My favorite food is Mexican food and milkshake.
The school surprised me most. I and a lot of people have thought the students here would be allowed to do anything they want and not really respect teacher. But we are wrong. Class is quieter when teacher is talking. The groups are amazing. I am shocked by my choir and our band, team and other organizations. We could never make such a huge united group in my school at home.

I think most Chinese people think you’re so kind and full of love with homeless children. Some can’t understand it even some think it’s China’s disgrace because we can’t make our own babies have a nice life and the government is not good enough what we expect.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Moon Festival-By the light of the silvery moon

By the light of the silvery moon.
Wow, we had an awesome dinner of hot pot and dumplings, and then sat outside and gazed at the moon looking for the girl with her rabbit(Chinese Folklore) and ate mooncakes. SHHHHHH dont tell anyone, but I actually like mooncakes. We had pinapple, lotus seed and red bean. I liked them all. But not as much as I enjoyed my dinner. WE love when Shiyu cooks for us. I do all of the chopping, and she does all of the cooking. No need to guess what I am eating for lunch tomorrow. I am a lucky girl, and I am getting very good at my using my chopsticks!!
**she has enough hot pot spice to almost get us through her 10 months here-thank god!!
**stay tuned to her answers to 20 questions. She has had a lot of homework, so she is about half way through her answers. We will try and have them by tomorrow or Thur.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Let's play 20 questions!

I think most of you know at this point that we have a Chinese exchange student living with us this school year. She is from Chongqing, she will be 17 on Saturday, and she is from a upper middle class family. She is so anxious to teach us anything and everything she can about China, the history, the language, the food, culture and heritage. She is very proud of her country. Anyway, she and I have decided that she will contribute to the blog when she has time, and we would like to start by allowing ya'll to ask her some questions. Please be polite, and respectful, but feel free to ask what you like. I will leave this up for a few days, we will reconcile the questions and try to get them answered later in the week.
You can ask questions of me too. But Shiyu is far more interesting than I will ever be:)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Secret Pal strikes again

To J's secret pal,
Thank you!! I love the gift very much! It will be a part of Shiyu's beautiful memories.


When mom gave me the gift, I couldn't believe this is for me! I was surprised but very happy. Then I read the nice letter that you sent out loud to my host family, and of course, the cute dog. They were also very happy. I told all my friends at school about the gift. How wonderful it is! I love to share my happiness with others.

***Thanks Secret pal!! You made her day, I can't tell you how big the smile was on her face when I gave her the box, and she opened it. The box for her U.S. memories will get filled rather quickly I think, and she loves the beautiful file with the matching cards to send never cease to amaze me. You are incredibly generous and thoughtful***

Monday, September 03, 2007

How do you say RIDICULOUS?

4 days........REALLY?

just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

if you ever wonder why I don't change my CCAA poster on my sidebar.....I don't know how is the first reason, and why bother? It is like a soap opera, you can just check in about every 6 months and not much has happened, and you can be updated quickly... so I figure it isn't worth learning how to make the change.

Thanks to this lovely friend I have an updated CCAA sidebar. It feels wonderful to see it updated because we are actually getting VERY close to being reveiwed. Wow, actually making some progress, it has been awhile since I said something felt wonderful regarding this adoption.
Thanks Headmeister for making that change for me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

America the beautiful!

Shiyu on the first day of school in her new Abercrombie clothes.
Doesn't she look so cute? Well all I can say is the last two weeks have been a BIG learning experience.

1. Registration took 4 days!! If you decide to host a student I advise you to take their immunization records to a doctor or the school nurse the second you receive the file(should have done this in May when that file arrived) She had to get a tetnus booster, and almost had to get a Polio/Measles....but we applied for a letter of conscious through the state to avoid this. But it could have all been avoided had we had someone look over the records when they arrived. It is also advisable to make them send you a very detailed transcript....something more than just Math, English, Geography. Needs more detail, maybe even some assessment test scores. Makes registration a whole lot easier.
2. It is hard to participate in a US History class regardless of your intelligence when you have not one speck of that history in your brain.
3. Kids are very, very resilant, and very strong.
4. Parenting is a very different job in China. Shiyu is shocked at how involved parents are in their kids lives, and in their school. I have had to sign every single sylabus that has been handed out....she has no understanding of this process.
5. Shiyu thinks that everyone in America must be rich, that we never have to wait in line for anything, that everyone is incredibly friendly and wants to be so helpful(except for her Math teacher-Bi$ch) Trust me I have tried to make sure she understands that none of this is accurate, and it only appears that way, and that she will get to see that this is not accurate.
6. We drive everywhere
7. That there is a store for everything
8. It is easy to learn to barracade yourself away from the dog so you can enjoy your breakfast in peace
9. That not all kids are created equal. Teenagers can be level headed, responsible, and can take on more than you would ever expect. So far this has been very different than having Taylor and Connor in our house. I don't know if this is a difference in parenting, or if it is a cultural difference, our it is just a personality difference. I would guess it is a combination of all of them. So far....she is the perfect child.
10. That we have a lot to learn about China
11. That the people in China think that George Bush looks like a monkey, and that they also think that most of the US thinks that he is a good president, and that we all want to be at war. We have had some very lengthy discussions about this, and she now understands that most of the US does not want to be at war, and that overwhelmingly our population is ready for a new president.

The list could go on and on. But this is just a few that come to mind. We are very lucky to have this opportunity. Let me just tell you how quickly someone becomes a member of your family, and quickly you become protective of that new family member.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


You must be thinking what a slacker I am....Not, I just have not stopped moving since last Sunday. This past week is a total blur, I have not had a moment to spare or to write a post.
All I have to say is if you are frustrated with the current wait times in China.....accept an exchange student to live with you for 10 months, and you won't have a moment to think about the wait times. I have been moving and doing constantly for exactly one week now. Don't get me wrong here, Shiyu(pronounced shhh- u- wee) is a wonderful addition to our family, we are thrilled to have her here, we are enjoying all the things we are learning from her.....but it has eaten this last week away like bagworms eats a tree..... it just disappears into think air.

So school starts tomorrow, she is working hard to get at least one of the summer reading books finished(Death of a Salesman) she will have a timed writing on it on Wednesday in English. So I am much more worried about it than she is. She is mostly just really excited to get the show on the road, and wear the new duds I bought her yesterday. I think she considered wearing the new jeans to bed!!

So I will write a real post in the coming days. Be prepared that our blog has gone from a blog about adoption, to a big white machine, to our many travels, to a new dog, and now it will be mostly about this amazing, brave 16 year old from China. Maybe someday it will make a full circle and be about a family adopting from China again:)

Hope your weekend was good, ours was full, fun, short!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

She made it safe and sound!

The girls made here a little late, but safe and sound, and no worse for the wear. We are so lucky, she is just great, and is so polite, and anxious to dig her heels in and make this a great experience. She is so little......and by the way she speaks Chinese. We are communicating just fine, but after a summer of emails, you forget that someone does not speak the same language. Anyway, she brought us some Chinese tea, a beautiful tea pot, and she made us a scrapbook of her family, friends, her home, dog, and some of the trips she has taken. So sweet, and her mom wrote us(in Chinese) a lovely letter about taking care of Shiyu, and that she knew she was in good hands. We hope someday that we will get to meet them.
Anyway, gotta go get her up from her 1 hour nap that I allowed(gotta get her adjusted to the time before school starts) and we are headed over to our friends house that is hosting too for swimming, and pizza.
Thanks for everyone's nice comments, and you were was fine the second I hugged her:)

Friday, August 17, 2007

She's leaving on a jet plane

Well our student will be headed for the airport in Chongqing in about 6 hours to make her long journey to Texas. I think her flight leaves at 2:55 p.m. and arrives here at 9:20 tomorrow night.

She emailed me to tell me her best friend had come over to stay the night and to celebrate her upcoming year, and her departure. How they had had so much fun, and how happy she was for her to have this experience.

She is 16 almost 17, and I am so impressed by the fact that she is so excited about this journey, this opportunity, and this life changing experience. I am not sure at that age I would have been mature enough, or brave enough to leave my parents, and fly 8000 miles to live with strangers for 10 months. What must she be thinking?? How must she be feeling? I worry that maybe her parents have encouraged this opportunity and her real desire is to stay at her own school with her friends, living with her parents just as all kids should do. Or is she thinking this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and will change her life forever....hopefully for the better! I can't imagine what must be running through her mind. Is she worried that she won't like us, or that we won't like her...I worry that she won't like us, or think that we are too strict, or wayyyyy too boring. I want her to feel comfortable in our house, and in her room, and with us, and at her new school, and with her new friends.....I worry about these things, and I am 40 years old with a lot of life experiences behind me. Does she not worry as much because she is too naive to worry?

We are just about 25 hours from her arrival, and I can't wait to see her, hug her, and introduce her to our life. I am not sure who's life will be changed more....

Monday, August 13, 2007

How did I get so lucky??

The secret pal strikes again. Man she rocks, and I am so lucky. She sends me stuff all the time. She has this amazing knack for knowing exactly what I like, and what I need. This months theme was something personal. There is some really cute stuff for the "princess" that beautiful blanket, and the Oink Piglet book. But most of the box was for the "Queen of the house" which included my favorite english breakfast tea(no I didn't care that it was Archer Farms) a cute new mug to enjoy my tea in, some calming bubble bath, a great new CD-which happens to have one of her favorite songs. It is Corinne Baily Rae, and the song which is #3 is "put your records on" so I can't wait to listen to it. I can tell you what I will be doing tonight. Thank you Secret Pal, and thanks for the book last month. She sent me "Your not my Real Mommy"
I can't wait for us to meet, and that desire grows stronger every single month, because it is like you know me so well, and we are already friends.
**she always wraps my gifts in the cutest paper, and even the box she sends it in looks cute. My mail lady always tells me that when she sees my box in her truck....she always thinks how lucky I am, and she always wonders what's inside(all because the box is always so cute)


This past Saturday was Miss Meggie's sip and see in Kansas City. I really wanted to go, and I really wanted to surprise "K" with my coming, but the fares were a bit high, and I have spent a lot on airfare this year going to KC. So I decided that it just was not going to happen. Well then my good friend "M" offered up a buddy pass on AA to go and surprise everyone at the party. Not only did she offer this pass to me, she insisted that I go, and she was just as excited about surprising "K" as I was. She checked the flights, she took care of getting me listed on the flight, she checked on me throughout the day. I can't thank her enough for allowing me the opportunity.
I must tell you it is very hard to surprise "K" and I was not for sure that she didn't have a clue of my impending arrival. She kept telling how bummed she was that I wasn't coming, and that she knew that I couldn't come, but that everyone would be asking where I was. So I boarded my flight early Sat morning, flew to KC(first class mind you) jumped in my rental car, stopped at Starbucks to pick up some iced lattes, and then knocked on her front door by 10:00 Sat morning. When she and the kids answered the door in their jammies, and the yelled OMG looks who is here....I knew that I had pulled it off. It was so fun, and I think everyone had a great time, and I am so glad that I got to go. Miss Meggie now weighs 7.5 lbs, and as you can see she is as cute as she can be. Her hair is still red, and she has a temper and a set of lungs to go with the red hair.
This is my friend Jamie....she has 3 adopted children, and would have loved to show you a picture of "K" and me, but there wasn't one that showed you how cute Miss Meggie looks. She was an angel at her party, and she received so many nice gifts.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yeah, She is coming!

*****This has been edited for you all to see it for yourself that Gracie does ring the bell*****
This is how we housetrained Matty too, it works beautifully!! I was only asking her if she wanted to go outside, and then Mr D was able to snap the picture.

I just found out this morning that our student(Shiyu, aka Amy) from Chongqing was approved for her visa, and she is for sure coming to spend 10 months with us this school year. We don't have her travel information yet, but we are expecting her around the 18th.

I have a lot to do between now and then. The list is really, really big.

We are very excited about this opportunity, and we think this is going to be great for all of us. The experience became even better when we learned that our good friends that live just 15 minutes away and have 2 adopted girls from China are now hosting a student from the same province. I think this will be a great support for both girls, and will be so easy for us to be able to do things together with the girls.

So we will keep you up to date on her arrival, as I am sure I will have lots of great stories to share about this experience.

*Gracie is doing great, still no accidents. She has learned to ring the bell that we have on the back door to let us know she would like to go out, she has learned "get in your house"(her crate) and she has learned "sit" So we are off to a good start. Her hair is growing about as fast as she is. She weighed 13 lbs when we went to the vet, and I am guessing that she will be up several pounds by the time we go back next week. We'll see. She doesn't look quite as awkward as had been when we first brought her home.

*Thanks for listening to the whining yesterday, I really didn't mean for it to sound like really. I just had nothing really to talk about, and it just wasn't the best day. I am chalking it up to the AC breaking again, and having to go through yesterday fighting with the HVAC people, and sweating my ass off. So sorry if it came across as a pity party. No pity going on here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Absolutely Nothing

I have nothing people. It is hot, there is nothing on TV, I am trying to train a puppy, I can't wait for my college age step son to go back to college, we are in limbo with our exchange student(she has another visa interview on Thur) we just went 3 weeks without a/c downstairs(that was the soonest they could come replace it) and in the end I am just pissed off. There are days when this wait feels like it is flying by, and then there are days when it just seems too much to bear. Today is one of those days, and the reality of 2 mores years has me wanting to climb back in bed-but I can't the dog just chewed through my usb cord that runs from my computer to my big white doesn't really work without it, so I guess I am going to Fry's this morning to get a new cord. Sucks to be me

Monday, July 30, 2007

Here she is in all of her Glory

Miss Gracie May
Here is what you have been waiting for! We think she is going through an awkward stage right now. We have a bit of puppy envy going on with my MIL's puppy(see below) being here, and well.... her little girl looks like one of the cutest puppies I have ever seen. they don't even look like the same breed, much less from the same litter.
We are certain that our little miss will grow into her cuteness. She is very friendly, and VERY CURIOUS, and seems very calm for a puppy. She has had a very good first day. No accidents at all!! However she REFUSES to walk on leash. That is going to have to change.
We are happy dog owners again!! Enjoy the scoop of sweet.

This one has been named......peekaboo. I didn't have any part in the naming of that cute baby.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The birthday celebration just keeps going

The Place: Cafe Pacific(very she'she', and very good)
Who: Some of my dearest friends
When: Today
Why: To Celebrate my "oldness"

Here I am modeling one of my favorite presents!! In the last few months I have been complaining that my eyesight is not what it use to be, and that I need to go to the eye doctor to see if I need glasses...yes I do need some specs, I can't see to read for godsakes, and I really don't need anyone but me to tell me that tidbit. But my friend "K"(dark hair next to me) was so kind to tell me not to waste money on expensive prescription glasses, but to just go to Target and buy 20 pairs of the $1 glasses and stash them everywhere. Well let me tell you that the pair she searched all over town for in her mission of funniness, was not the $1 aisle at Target, these pink rhinestone beauties are from Neiman's....what a gift and what a friend(by the way she is older than me, and has more experience in needing the glasses than I have.....maybe just 3 months more experience -LOL) Anyway, how cute are these? Love them, and they came in a REALLY neat case. It was accompanied by a candle that smells like white cake....could I ask for anything else?

The only semi downside to the lunch at the fancy schmancy place was the waiter "Ed" great waiter, very patient with a group of six gaggling women who couldn't make up their minds. He was very entertaining until he decided to share with us how his girlfriend is in from England for a month, and he has not had 8 continuous hours of sleep since she arrived....Ed, dude, TMI, now go get the birthday girl her dessert. eeeeeewwww yuck!

He did do a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday though.

Thanks Ed, you made the lunch very entertaining.I just want to tell you all that I am so lucky to have the circle of friends that I do. Some of these girls I have known for 20 years, and some for just a smiggen of that. But regardless of the time I have known them, I am so blessed to call them friend, and know that they would all be there in a time of celebration, or a time of need. Don't know what I would do without my girlfriends.
I had such a wonderful day my friends, thank you for welcoming me into the 40's club. But be reminded to half of that table who will be 40 next year.....paybacks are a b!*tch, and I will be there to welcome you to the club with open arms:)

Thank you,
The 40 year old soon to be mother(okay, to a 16 year old from China, but hey no need to split hairs here)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Well the week has come to a close, and I am feeling the pressure of the summer being almost over, and school starting one month from Monday. We are still waiting to hear when our exchange student will arrive. We did just find out that our good friends are hosting another teenager from that is really awesome news.
But I feel like I have so much to do to get ready for her arrival.
I have an extremely busy weekend ahead. Tomorrow all of my lovey girlfriends are planning a (belated) 40th birthday lunch for me at an undisclosed location. Just hoping that there is white cake involved.

Sunday is Connor's 20th birthday(hello, how did that little 4 year old become 20?)

We are also going to pick up our new puppy in Oklahoma. Promise there will be pictures to follow that trip. We are picking up my MIL's puppy too, as she decided that the 5 dogs(yes I said 5) that she already has are not enough, and that she needed one more so she bought Gracie's sister. So we will actually be coming home with two little scoops of sweet.
I have bought the clicker, the puppy mats, the BIG bottle of Natures Miracle, a new bed with her name embroidered on it, her new collar(with her name embroidered on it too) a new pink leash, I have read Puppies for Dummies once and now I am re-reading it and taking notes this time. I still need to spray down the crate, and put it together.....and then I would say we are as ready as we are ever going to be for our newest family member.
Mr D is so excited he can barely stand it!!
Puppy Breath here we come.

I have been very busy with my business lately. Working on lots of orders, ordering lots of merchandise, and working hard on my website. So keep checking it out, and see all the new items coming in almost weekly now. If you are needing a secret pal gift, go check it out as I have a program to help you out with your gift, keeping it a secret, and saving you a little $$$$$.

By the way congrats to all of the June families who just came out of review.
Man the review room has put it into high gear. We are just around the corner from having our dossier reviewed. That is at least be a baby step in the right direction, and we will feel a bit of relief when we have moved out of review, and go back to waiting some more.
Now maybe the matching room should take note, and put it into gear as well!!

Well hope you all have something fun planned this weekend.

I will see you on the flip side of non-dog owner to New puppy owner.

Now go on and check out my store, I have some really cute things , and even more REALLY cute things coming next week.

Peace Out:)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rapunzel I say

Okay, I will be the first to say that I can't believe that I am exposing my back (my arms look like vienna sausages at the top)-this is when you are glad that you don't have a big following. So look beyond the body attached to this mane.
I decided to start growing my hair out last year as we were finishing up our dossier. I had decided that it would be easier to have a ponytail in China, and I thought it would be awesome to use it as a benchmark of the time passing, with the plan to cut and donate my hair here when we return from China. You must have 10 inches from one end of a pony tail to the other.
This may turn into the story of Rapunzel before it all ends.
I normally keep my hair cut to my chin in a bob, and I actually really like that cut with my long facial structure, but I can't tell you how much I love being able to just put my hair in a clip or a pony. Piece of cake, and I don't have to wash my hair everyday(it is long and people it is thick, so let me tell you that blowing drying this mop takes a long time, so I love not having to wash it everyday...not complaining, just don't like having to spend 30 min blowing it out)
I am pretty sure that by the time we get back from China it will be more than half way down my back, so I guess I will have the option to still keep it relatively long and still donate at least 10 inches.
So I will take another picture in about 6 months and we will compare.
I may have enough for everyone to donate:)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Glamour at 30,000 feet

I was a flight attendant for 16 years for a major commercial carrier. I flew 10 of those 16 out of NYC. It was an amazing experience that I actually feel very blessed to have had. For a small Midwestern girl who never walked on a plane until she was 19....well I must say that I have seen the world, I have met people that I never thought in a million years I would meet. I have had the best of times, and the worst of times abroad an airplane. I met my husband, and some of the best friends that I have ever had on board an airplane. My children walk onto an airplane like they get into a car. I can't believe I got this lucky to have this job. But I must admit that there have been moments that I thought what in the hell am I doing here? The day the man spoke into the airvent as though he were ordering at Sonic was one of those days:)
But I find it my job now to try and make all of you the best passengers you can be. Most important rule of thumb. Give the f/a's your magazines and you will have a friend for life!
But this list is to just share with you in a nutshell what our job is really is not so glamorous. As a passenger you should be able to still relate. If you have done any of these.....all I can say is never do them are who we talk about in the galley!


1. You never unpack

2. You look to the ceiling when your doorbell goes off

3. You wish you had jet engines mounted in your bedroom so you could fall asleep faster

4. You don't ever write a full city name anymore(bugs your non airline friends) DTW MCO FCO BOM

5. You get excited over certain types of ice

6. You curse every "Bose headset wearing moron"--yes the electronic device announcement means you

7. You know how to look fresh in 5 day old clothes

8. No matter how many times you clean out your suitcase you still find ancient hidden treasures in there

9. You HATE boarding

10. You LOVE deplaning

11. Turbulence is not caused by clouds but caused by the initial movement of all beverage carts

12. You can't believe you've never been in a hotel van accident

13. You loathe your CEO

14. Businessmen on cell phones rank up there with the CEO

15. You remember the passengers with great manners(that's sad) .....we don't get many! Please and Thank you go a very long way!

16. You LOVE the Nicoderm commercial(if you have not seen it go to www, and search it)

17. You can't remember when UM's ( UNACCOMPANIED MINORS) actually became bigger than you , ou also can't believe how young the children are that parents put on the plane by themselves.

18. You love foreigners because they can't adequately complain in English

19. You despise foreigners because they can't communicate effectively

20. You secretly cheer when another flight attendant has to deal with the medical emergency

21. You HATE on board duty free

22. You can't stand the frequent flyer who says"I fly more than you..." NO YOU DON"T!

23. You hate seeing passengers at your layover hotel

24. #$K drink cup & tray stackers ...I promise we can do it just fine without you stacking them...they always fall, and spill everywhere.

25. You hate when drinkers start calling you by name(don't buddy up to me loser) We will still cut you off, and we will still say that will be $5

26. You long for the days when it was easy to rig the hotel TV for free movies

27. You want to smack the nail clipping ,finger nail polishing, perfume spraying, nose picking, snoring morons (oh I mean passengers)

28. You do not want passengers talking to you while nonreving(when we fly on our passes) It is why we put our ipods on people!!

29. You travel in uniform for the liquids creams and gel exemption

30. If passengers can't find the flush button on the toilet---they should stay in there till they do!!!!!!!!

31. No I don't have a pen (you can borrow)

32. You are excited to find a can of different soda that is not supposed to be on your airline

33. You never imagined you could pass gas all the way across the Atlantic(jet belly my friends)

34. You get tired of telling people what you have to drink and showing them how to use the traytable!

35. You LOVE to sleep more than you love Rome!

36. You hate early morning departures---Who in the hell HAS to fly at 6 am ?

37. You wish your manager actually WAS a f/a at one point in there life

38. You can't believe your senior f/a is in their 80's-(doesn't matter what airline - they all have them) Retire already!

39. You try not to go the bathroom on the plane but you sure can catch a good nap in there

40. You hate that passengers think they can hear you without taking off there headsets

41. You wish bassinets were never invented

42. You are glad there are no hidden cameras in the galley

43. Your friends truly don't get the commuting part---"so you have to fly when and your trip starts where?? "

44. YES, "Remain seated for the duration of our flight" DOES mean YOU

45. There is one person at the airline you can't stand to fly with(sorry I have more than 1)

46. You can't figure out why your manager is not held accountable for the same things you are ie....why is fine that she can't drive to JFK because of the snowstorm, but she can't figure out why I can't fly there??

47. Your jumpseat partner knows more about you than your spouse or life partner

48. You know every departure time and arrival of every airline that flies to your home city...we commute people, we know these things.

49. We really mean it when we say we want to depart or land as much as you do!!

50. You want to announce over the p.a system that we really don't give a rats ass if you bring your seat forward for landing, but it is our job to do so, so we do it:)

Please also remember that our day did not start when yours did, it does not end when yours does. Don't be offended if we don't act thrilled out of our minds that you are going to Disney or Hawaii for the first is just another day on the airplane going to some random city as far as we are concerned. Our smiles wore off 10 hours ago. Our average day is 12-13 hours on the airplane, and most crew commute now, so most of us have only a 16 hour day if we are lucky!We really do want to be nice to you, but don't forget that we are in the transportation industry, the objective is to get from point A to Point B safely, and we really do try to do it with a smile on our face.

****as an added note our student(Shiyu-aka Amy) just called from Chongqing. She played a very short song for us on the piano, and told us her visa interview is this week, and that she promises to do well on it. She is scheduled to arrive Aug 18th. Her mom also got on the phone to say "Hello, how you, and we are fine" So cute!! We can't wait for her to get her.***

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Meggie is in the house!

Megan Josephine
June 7, 2007
3 lbs 8 oz
13 1/2 inches

Is home sleeping in her beautiful princess room. She came home yesterday to much fanfare after 5 weeks and 1 day in the NICU. She is doing great, and growing at a very rapid pace. She now weighs in at a hearty 5.5 lbs and is now 18 1/2 inches long.
Jack and Katie seem to be adjusting well to their new housemate. Jack has been a big help, and well Katie just thinks that they have added a new American Girl to the line....her name is Meggie. Katie also seems to think the breast pump is REALLY neat, and I guess she thinks breast milk taste pretty good too, as she finished off Meggie's bottle yesterday after it was put down-oooops.
By the way she still has red hair...mommy says it is strawberry blonde.....Aunt J says it's RED!

Welcome Home Meggie, we waited a long time for you, and it was worth every second of waiting.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

All those that feel strange, raise your hand

Someone had a meme on their blog that named 6 weird things about them.

That same day someone else emailed me to say how very weird(maybe it was strange) I was.

So decided that I would just go ahead and share a few "weird" or "strange" facts about myself.

I have so many that I am going to do 10 for you just to add to the strangness.

1. I absolutely loathe going to the grocery store. I really dislike everything about it. I don't like to touch the cart(love that they have the wipes for you now) I don't like trying to think about what I might like to cook or worse yet what I might not want to cook. My grocery was just remodeled, and now I have no idea where anything is, so I wonder around like a lost child, and then they ask you when you check out if you found everything okay....NO!!! I like to put all of my groceries in order in the cart, so that hopefully when they check them and then bag them they will be like items in the bag....that never works out. I really don't like carrying them into the house, and putting them clutters my pantry and refrigerator. But the main reason I don't like to do it, regardless of what I buy or how much I spend, it still never seems like we have anything to eat!! Maybe not strange, but stupid and I unfortunately I can't take the grocery off my check list.

2. Regardless of the time of year I have to sleep with the down comforter on the bed, and pulled up around me. Plus I must have socks on my feet when I get into bed. By morning the socks are gone and the comforter is at the bottom, but must have them in order for me to fall asleep.

3. I also must have complete silence and darkness to go to sleep. If I get up in the night to go to the bathroom, I can't turn on a light or have anyone talk to me, as that is FAR TO MUCH stimulation and I will never go back to sleep.

4. I can't mix my food. I don't really like it to touch. I have to eat one thing at a time. The only thing I would ever mix is mashed potatoes and corn. Well unless it is suppose to touch.

5. I am obsessed by my gas tank in my car. I don't like it to not be full. So if I have just filled up my car, and then the next day need to go out and do something.....I really think about whether I really need to go out, as it will use up my gas......I think I have mentioned a time or two that I suffer from severe OCD!!! The guy at our Costco gas station knows me by name!! This is a problem since gas is $3 a gallon.

6. I am very strange about smells. I think my house always smells good, as I have those mounted air fresheners that spray every 38 min. But I only like citrus or fresh linen as the scents. I have a particular candle that I have a love affair with....Seda France Japanese Quince. It makes me happy just writing its name down. I am very quick to smell, and very quick to judge a smell, and can't be exposed very long if I don't(read, makes me gag) like the smell. That is one reason why broccoli rarely if ever gets steamed in my house. This was always a problem when I was flying to really smelly places, and boy are there some smelly places in the world.
7. This is weird and seems to be a huge problem for me. I really have trouble deleting emails. I need to put them in files for keeping(don't know how to do that yet) but this problem has been exacerbated by the adoption, as any tidbit of info, or advice I get, I am certain I will need it, and so it just stays in my inbox. I too embarrassed to tell you how many emails I have in my box at the moment. This is a strange obsession and very weird behavior for me as I am not a pack rat and am extremely organized. But I just can't bring myself to delete much!!
8. I change the linens on my bed at least twice a week. The notion of dirty linens just makes my skin crawl. Heeby jeebies!! So then I must admit that I also have a linen fetish. My linen closet is filled with sheet sets and fresh towels. I love to buy both!! I prefer white linens!!
9. I forget I like certain foods. For example I never remember I like bananas until I make myself eat one. I go through phases where I will eat the same thing over and over again, and then one day I just decide that I don't like it anymore. Plus, I can't eat anything that is just wrong. Like buttered popcorn jelly bellies, and I won't even taste the V8 splash fruit juice, as it is suppose to be tomato juice not "fruity tasting juice" If there is any question that the milk might be too close to its expiration date I throw it away...this one drives Mr D crazy!!
10. I am dyslexic, I have worked on this since 2nd grade, and overall I don't find it a HUGE problem, but it definitely creeps back in at the least opportune times.
Hopefully this list has helped you feel better about any of your strange or weird qualities. If you are thinking this poor girl needs to see a would be correct(but then I would disqualify as a parent in the eyes of the CCAA) I have actually cut the list down as I have gotten older. I already admitted that I have OCD issues, but at least they are not quite as serious as they were when I was in my 20's.
***by the way I also am not a morning person....AT ALL, but had a job for 16 years that required me to get up at 0'dark hundred! and I HATE to talk on the phone, but really struggle to end a phone call, even though I can't wait for it to end***
Let me know your weird or strange habits, qualities or eccentric behaviors. It might help me feel better about how strange I really seem on paper....I don't feel that strange:)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Lifes a beach

We are off to the beach for a week.

Wishing everyone a very happy and safe 4th of July!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lean on me!

Okay, I whined and complained enough yesterday that it got me an invite to coffee with this lovely friend
We met on our FCC waiting family board, she is a sky goddess just like me, and we live about 10 minutes apart. So I met "M" for the first time in person a few months ago, and instantly hit it off. She also has a home business making these really cute cross t-shirts(cute huh? I know you want one) Anyway enough with the twinky stuff. Bottom line, we were instant friends, it was as though we had known each other forever.
This adoption has brought so many things to my life that I would have never imagined. Friendship seems to be the real reward in this journey, and I have been truly blessed with some really amazing friends so far. I have always been fortunate to have a really tight circle of GREAT girlfriends, but this process has lead me to expand that circle to include some really amazing women.
Yesterday I was a little freaked out(now that is an understatement) and just needed to let the world know that I was feeling a little picked on. "M" instantly recognized that I needed a little TLC and Starbucks to mend my broken heart. So we met up this morning, and she brought me that incredibly cute t-shirt(you can have one too) a BIG hug, and some kind words to cheer this girl up. It worked magic, and while I still feel like this whole thing isn't fair, and a crock of crap. I realize that I am not here all by myself, and I am not feeling anything that anyone else isn't feeling. I also know that someday(hopefully sooner rather than later) I will be in a big room with all of my adoption friends watching our girls play together, and we will never think back to this crappy wait.
So anyway I will try and keep the whiny voice to a minimum, and if you have not made some adoptive friends, I heartily recommend that you head on out and find some. It helps so much have someone to complain to....mostly because you never have to wonder if they get it..... because they REALLY GET IT!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Adoption....not for the faint at heart!

Just having one of those weeks. 9 months of waiting, 14 months since starting the process, and there is NO end in sight. Getting older by the day, both of my stepchildren will have graduated from college by the time we get our referral. We would like to think about selling our house, but don't dare as it will be way too much work, and way to expensive to change our paperwork.
I realize that there are people in the world that have REAL problems. But I am taking today to just stomp my feet, and say in my best 5 year old voice; "THIS IS NOT FAIR"
By the way if one more person tells me that they are pregnant, or that their kids drive them crazy, or to have a nice day.........I am going to scream my head off!

I find myself reading other's adoption stories, and I actually feel deep in my soul that I can't even comprehend their feelings, as it truly feels as though this will never be a reality for us. 3 years from now? I can't even go there. What would be the point? I don't need any comments on this....I just need to vent. This sucks is all I have to say!!

Okay, back to having a pity party by myself, and eating Pepperidge Farm Tahiti cookies.

* I read someone's first 5, and thought I would comment as to my first 5 each day. Not unlike this person I wake every morning thinking that someday I won't get to sleep that late, that someday I won't wake to the sound of my alarm or D showering, I will awaken to the sound of a little voice in the room across the hall. I think maybe today is the day that we will finally see a turn or a change, or maybe today is the day that we will have a more definative answer, maybe today RQ will have some good news for us, maybe today will be the day that I find out when I might become a mother.
Somedays the order changes, but the same mantra runs through each and every morning.
This week, the mornings don't seem so bright. Did I already say this SUCKS?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Run don't walk!!

Okay, run as fast as you can, do not walk, do not pass go, and do not collect $200. Instead run straight for the cookie aisle and pick up a couple of packages of Pepperidge Farm Tahiti cookies, on your way out pick up a nice box of Twinings english breakfast tea, go home and have a lovely afternoon with a friend(if you dare share one of these amazing cookies)

Let me know if you pick some up, and I will be right over.

I hate loving things that taste good! Dreaming about cookies...what a loser!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Margarita's at my house, thanks to my SP!

I know I say this every month(we aren't even suppose to be getting gifts every month) but my Secret Pal is the best. I just know she and I would be great friends. We have the same taste. I am pretty sure that she must scrapbook or make cards as she always includes really cute tags, so I can tell that she at least has the supplies to do those crafts. She makes the packaging as cute as the gift is inside which is something I pride myself on.
I just love anticipating my box arriving from my secret friend.
That cute white dress you see, well you will see it again. We will be taking a really cute beach picture in that little white frock. I love that bathing suit. Miss Katie has that suit as well. The frame will look darling in her room(which you can see is blue at this moment) Please don't think I went and forgot that I invited everyone over for margarita's. Key lime margarita's to be more precise, you are all invited over this Saturday:) See, she thinks of everything.
So my dear friend out there, thank you, thank you, thank you. I really hope you are being spoiled by your SP. I have a treat for you that I will send to Nicole and she can forward on to you. Please enjoy, and again please know that I LOVE all the gifts.
P.S. please tell your niece that I loved the picture. Long hair, hands and feet!! What more could I ask for??

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The long weekend

Here we are roaring down the river. Yes that is my very buff and tan stepdaughter, D is in the front with the hat, and that is me(is that a smile on my face?) in the white hat. My BIL is across from me, and Uncle R is in the front with D.
Here we are in the middle of our horseback ride at 10,000 feet.

Well friends here we sit in the airport waiting to go home from one of the best trips we have done in a really long time. If I could recommend a trip to you for a ton of fun, great weather and amazing scenery this would be the trip. Buena Vista, Colorado.

My step-daughter is working her second summer as a raft guide. D came to visit her last summer, unfortunately I couldn't come with him. So we decided that we would make it a long weekend vacation to celebrate Father's day. We met up with my BIL and his longtime partner(they flew in from LA) on Thur and we drove to here. We stayed in the cabin that sits right on the Arkansas river. Friday morning we rose very early to drive the 1 1/2 hours to the rafting outfitters that "T" works for dropped her off and went to grab a good hearty breakfast. ***just want to interject the fact that I literally slept all of 2 hours as I was so completely freaked out about this rafting experience that I woke D up at 3:00 a.m. to tell him that there was not going to be any way that I could go, that I was terrified, and that I didn't want to hurt "T's" feelings but I just did not have it in me to go**** Needless to say I got up I decided that with my 40th birthday quickly approaching that I was not going to let this kick me in the arse, that I was going to go if it killed me......I was certain that it just might.

After we ate we headed back here and we suited up in our wetsuits(very slimming I might add)and our splash jackets as the water temperature was a balmy 50'. We got on the bus with about 17 kids from a youth group, and two other poor souls from Miami. Now on the bus ride they give you the whole safety spiel, and really try to scare you to death...if you weren't already. They do this as you are conveniently rolling past all of the rapids that you will soon be navigating. I looked at my BIL, who by the way was scared to death as well. We both had that look of: why are we doing this? and is it too late to bail?

We arrive at the putin place where fortunately for me there was a ladies room, as I used it 3 times before I actually put my body into the boat(not so easy in my slimming wetsuit) Finally we had our instructions of forward 1, forward 2, back paddle 1, and what to do if you become a "swimmer" and how to avoid boulders and rocks with our heads and spines...note to self: better to bounce off of the rocks with our feet and not our heads. Well we were finally in the boat, and moving down the Arkansas. Now I must admit that by this point I am actually feeling a little better about our situation. T seems to be in full control, the water is very cold which gives you good incentive to do whatever it takes to keep yourself in the boat. After about 15 minutes I forget that I am afraid, and I am actually having a great time. I realize that we haven't hit anything more than a class 1(bathtub experience) and we have 18 miles of river to still explore. But remarkably I along with my BIL were having a great time.

Once we started hitting some of the bigger rapids I have to say it was a ton of fun, didn't really seem that scary, and the frigid water actually felt good on our skin when we would get splashed. We didn't go into anything bigger than a class 3 rapid(it goes to 6....6 meaning you will not survive) But regardless, I was so impressed by my stepdaughter I can't even tell you. She was in charge, she knew what she was doing, she was funny, and made the trip really fun for all of us including the lucky two from Miami that were on our boat with us. We had 3 boats in on in our group.

We stopped for a nice lunch, and then back onto the river. By this point I felt very confident of my abilities(or lack thereof) Then we hit this hole that catapulted most of us into the center of the boat. My BIL landing on top of the poor little(I do mean little in a literal way) from Miami. She crawled out from underneath him(while he was apologizing profusely) and just busted out laughing. Then the whole boat broke out into full belly laughter, as thankfully no one swam, but we were drenched to say the least.

I can't begin to tell you how fun this day turned out to be. Whitewater river rafting is something that I have done Montana when I was 25 and single, and a lot more adventurous. I felt like I had been there done that, and didn't need to do it again. But I am so glad that I made myself go, as it was an experience that I will never forget, and I am glad to have seen T doing what she loves to do, and what she is incredibly good at doing. It was truly one of the most exciting days I have had in a really long time.

The next day we were scheduled to go for a 3 hour horseback ride here. I will share the story with you in the next installment of "the long weekend" I promise it will make you laugh to hear the tales of four 40 and up people atop of horses where they have not sat in over 10 years. I know you are already laughing, and I can't because it hurts too much!! So more to come.