Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Check these out...

A friend of mine at the office, Janet, gave me these Chinese stamps.

This one is my favorite...it's so pretty.

I'm going to tuck these away for scrapbooking later. Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Waiting families meeting...

This past Saturday evening Joe and I went to our monthly meeting of the FCC-AZ Waiting Families group. Michele, of My Baby Ava, was also there.

The meeting was a potluck at the beautiful 1930's home of a couple who have been back with their daughter since October. They have three mid to late teen aged sons and didn't like the idea of being empty nesters anytime soon. They told us all about their trip and answered everyone's questions. Their daughter is now 12 months old and she is a happy, healthy, beautiful, well adjusted little girl. There were two other couples with their adopted daughters and they were just as beautiful. It was really nice to see how well the girls are doing with their families and it made us feel so good.

There were two couples at the meeting who had just gotten their referrals and it was so cool to see what the actual referral photos, and all the paperwork that comes with them, looks like. They were so excited and their referral photos were just so cute. There was also a couple there who are leaving for China this Wednesday!

It was a really nice evening and really made the process seem so much more real for us. My hubby never gets real excited about things, but I think he was a little excited after seeing the referral photos and the daughters that were there.

On another note, I just posted a Good Wishes page and you can check it out here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival are the first and fifteenth days of the first moon on the lunar calendar and are the most celebrated of Chinese holidays.

2006 is the Year of the Dog on the Chinese zodiac. Dogs are considered the most loyal and honest in the zodiac and they get along best with horses, tigers, sheep, or rabbits. Lauren will most likely be a dog and Joe and I are both dragons.

Look what Google did for Chinese New Year...cute, huh? I love how they change their header for the holidays.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

More fun stuff...

My good friend Kim told me over lunch on Tuesday that she had something for me and Lauren, but wasn't sure if she was going to save it for later or not. Are you kidding??? I asked her if she was intentionally torturing me. There's no way you can tell me you have something for me and expect me to forget about it until later. No way, no how!

So, today at lunch she gave me this absolutely adorable outfit for Lauren. I love the mint green color and it's going to be so cute on Lauren.

She also gave me this ladybug door knocker...pretty cute, huh?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No fashion sense...

Yes, this is my hubby in his PJ's and yes, he's 40 yrs old and wearing Southpark pants (notice how well his shirt matches...not).

I guess I shouldn't complain since he IS washing the dishes! ;)

Do your hubbies wear stuff like this?

New Look...

Thanks to some help from Julie and Lisa, I've personalized the headers on each of my pages and changed my page colors a little bit to match.

I found this really cool HTML color chart to get the codes for a rainbow of colors. You can adjust the colors lighter or darker by just going a few digits up or down with the last couple of digits of the code numbers.

This stuff is fun!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What a great surprise!!

I had a really crazy afternoon at the office today and figured I would just come home and crash. When I pulled up to the house, there was a box at the door. Hmmm...I didn't order anything from Amazon last week, what can it be? It turns out the box is from my blogger friend Gen, of Bring back Baby and there were several fun things in it, including a surprise!

She sent me a scrapbook packet to do a page for their little one to be. Check out all the cute supplies she sent. I can't wait to start working on the page!

She also sent her completed Good Wishes page for Lauren and you can check that out here.

Now, for the surprise! There was a wrapped box that said "Happy DTC" on top...inside was this totally adorable hand painted mug with a lid to keep your drink hot. One side says "Enjoy" and the other says "Good things are going to happen".

Also, there was a little package of "Oh Baby" "Bag Ladies Tea." Each tea bag has a baby-related funny saying on the tag.

Gen, thank you SO much...I love the mug and tea bags and plan on having a relaxing evening very soon just sipping on some tea and reading one of the adoption books in my stack of books to read.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A new friend and more wishes...

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm a Starbucks fanatic. Well, I stopped in yesterday morning for my peppermint mocha fix and spotted this darling little momma bear at the Valentine's display. I just had to get her for Lauren's stuffed animal collection.

Check out the new wishes I got for Lauren's book on Friday. Her Good Wishes book is really coming along and I have a wonderful collection of pages!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Carter's store...

I stopped at the new Carter's store this past weekend, which by the way is dangerously close by and in the same plaza as Target (my favorite store), and got this adorable sweater and embroidered jeans on a sale rack for $7 each! I also got these cute soft soled shoes, which look kind of like Robeez. Aren't they cute?

I got everything in a 12 month size. They had so many adorable things at Carter's...I'm not quite sure how I'm going to keep myself out of there, especially since I'm at Target pretty much every weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I wonder if she's born yet...

I've been wondering lately if Lauren is born yet. If it's 10 months from LID to referral and she's between 9-11 months at referral she would be born sometime this month through March.

Lauren, our sweet girl, this poem is for you...

Child of My Heart
Oh my child, child of my heart.
There is so much to tell you, where shall I start?
I know you're out there, maybe even now.
I know that God will lead you to me, someway somehow.

I may never feel you kick or hear your heart beat for that first time.
But, from the moment that I hold you, there will be no doubt that you are mine.

Maybe even now, your birth mom is considering what to do.
I can only imagine what she is going through.
Maybe she is a child herself, with dreams yet to fulfill.
Maybe she is not ready for a little one, but I know she loves you still.
I know her heart must be breaking, and at night she cannot sleep.
I know if it were possible, it's you she'd want to keep.

On the other side, I am waiting here.
I can sense her love for you and also her fear.
I wish that I could tell her of all the sleepless nights,
of all the tests and procedures and the prayers that this time just maybe it would be right.

I could tell her of all the tears, of all the prayers I've had.
Of the times that I felt so lost, of all the times I've been sad.

I can offer a Mom to kiss away the hurt and tuck you in at night,
I can offer a Dad to teach you to play ball and how to fly a kite.
I can offer a home and a family complete with Aunts, Uncles,Cousins,Granny and Grandpa.
They are all waiting for you, and loving you from afar.

I will share my love with you each and every day.
I will tell you of the woman who loved you in every single way.

I will make sure that you know just the sacrifice she made.
And if you someday want to meet her,
I will never try to dissuade.

For without this special woman,
I would have never had the chance to love you.
My dream of being a Mom, would have never come true.

So, please if you are out there.
Please know I care.
I know what a sacrifice you are making and I would never judge you, that would be unfair.

I am praying for you even now and please know from the very start.
This child will always be a part of you and a child
of my "heart".


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Check out Lauren's latest wishes here. I'm having so much fun getting all these wishes in.

Furniture assembly...

Check out the first piece of furniture for Lauren's room here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My girls...

Since MLK Day is a holiday at my office, I met a few friends at a local scrapbook store that has a studio to work in. On Mondays they charge only $5.00 (instead of the usual $15.00) to use the studio space and all their supplies. They have Sizzix machines and tons of die cutting plates, punches, scissors, stamps, etc.

I decided to do an 8"x8" layout of each of my "girls."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I've been tagged again...

I've been tagged by Karen of Gwenblog...

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, I was 31 and Joe and I were married for two years. We had just bought our starter home and were getting settled in there.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
One year ago, we hadn't even thought about China adoption yet, which is so hard to imagine since we are well on our way now. We were actually getting settled into the house we are in now...Probably painting or decorating something.

Five snacks I enjoy
Starbucks Cafe Mochas
Thin mint Girl Scout cookies
Popcorn (especially at the movie theater)
Hershey Kisses
Dairy Queen Blizzards (especially Resees Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard)

Five songs to which I know all the lyrics
1. American Pie - the long version (Don McLean)
2. Paradise by the Dashboard Lights (Meatloaf)
3. Crazy (Patsy Cline)
4. Yellow (Coldplay)
5. Round Here (Counting Crows)

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire
Pay off our mortgage
Pay off all our bills
Put money away for Lauren's education
Quit my job so I can stay home with Lauren
Re-decorate and re-furnish the house

Five bad habits
Overeating - stress or no stress
Biting my fingernails when I'm stressed
The big pile of clothes in my closet
Starbucks Mochas
Watching too much TV

Five things I like doing
Go shopping with my hubby (yes, he likes to shop)
Hanging out with my nieces and nephew
In the summer, hanging out by the pool at Linda's house
Spending the day crafting with friends
Spending time with my furbabies (Lucy & Addy)

Five things I would never wear, buy or get new again
I'm with you all on the stirrup pants - what were we thinking?
Would never wear clothes that are orange - this is the death color for me
Would never buy a motorcycle
Would never wear obnoxious, floral perfume that enters the room before you do
Would never get a new hubby...I like the one I have ;)

Five favorite toys
My Revo Styler round brush thingy I use with my blow dryer
My digital camera and Canon printer
My Sirius satellite radio
My cell phone
My Scene It games

So here's the deal: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot

An Elephant's Gestation
So, it's come down to this
Waiting for Lauren Elizabeth

Then select five people to tag:
How about Gen of Bringing Back Baby, Lisa of Lisa & Tate, Julie W of Wandering Child, Lisa of Baby Shanahan and Karen of Paper Pregnant

Thursday, January 12, 2006

We're DTC!!!

After five months of filling out applications, standing in line at government offices, getting fingerprinted, meeting with our Social Worker, answering questions about our childhood and marriage, writing big checks, getting to know the FedEx guy and the nice ladies at the post office, and chewing my fingernails down to nothing, we're FINALLY DTC (dossier to China) on Friday, 1/13!!!!

It's such a relief to know that our dossier is complete and on its way to our agency's Beijing office. Once they receive it, it's forwarded onto Bridge of Love to be translated and then off to the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) were it will sit waiting to be logged into the database (LID). My agency estimates LID to be about 2-4 weeks from DTC, although we won't have our official LID date until a month or so after LID.

I don't expect to hear back from our agency for about 2 months from now, which is when I hope to hear that we have our LID. Once our LID is established we are simply waiting for our referral, which at this point is running 8 to 10 months from LID. So, I'm estimating that we would receive our referral sometime between October to December of this year and travel to China between November 2006 to January 2007. If referrals pick back up, all our dates will also move up. It seems things are ever changing.

This past five months has been quite an experience and I've really enjoyed journaling through this blog and chatting on-line with other adoptive parents. I've met some really nice people, and I'm looking forward to joining a DTC group and getting to know other adoptive parents who are on the same timeline as we are. If it weren't for the on-line community, I don't know how any of us could stand the LONG WAIT!

I've been tagged...

I've been tagged by Susan to list weird/strange things about myself:

1. I'm a bit obsessive compulsive and like to check things multiple times, especially the alarm clock, which I have to check at least 3 times before I can go to sleep.

2. I'm addicted to Starbucks cafe mochas....actually, it's a 1/2 caf, grande non-fat, no-whip mocha in "Starbucks speak". The weird fact is that I pride myself in being able to actually call out any drink in the "speak."

3. I do my part to keep our house picked up and relatively clean, but if you look in our master bedroom closet there's a giant pile of my clothes on the floor at all times. I keep telling Joe that one of my resolutions this year is to get rid of the pile...I would probably be surprised to see what's on the bottom.

4. Besides my clothes pile, everything has a place and should be in it's place at all times. This goes for home and my cubicle at work. I'm pretty sure I'll have to get over this one real quick when Lauren comes home.

5. I hate to fly and practically have panic attacks over it, but somehow I think it's a good idea to get on a 15 hour flight to China!

Gen, Amy, Donna, and Michele consider yourself tagged...you're IT now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Don't know yet...

My poor fingernails are taking a beating this week, since I'm still waiting to hear if we'll be DTC this Friday. Plus, I have this awful cold that has swept through my office so I spent all day yesterday on the sofa. Today, I dragged myself into the office since I only work until 12n on Wednesdays and have spent the rest of today back on the sofa.

Wish I had something new and exciting to report, but I just don't. :(

Monday, January 09, 2006

Could be a great week!

Well, we survived hanging out with the kids over the weekend while my brother & sister-in-law were out of town! We had a great, activity filled couple of days, but now we need to recouperate. We all had dinner at our place last night before my Mom took the kids back to their place. As we stood at the door giving hugs and kisses and my 3yr old nephew, Josh, walked out the door he said I'm gonna miss you guys. I thought that was so cute!

I'm still waiting to hear if we will be DTC this Friday, but I have a really good feeling that we will! My agency is just waiting for our dossier docs to get back from the Washington courier who had them authenticated. They should be back tomorrow or Wednesday. Please keep your fingers crossed and send good vibes in this direction!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Wish from Michigan...

Check out Lauren's latest wish page here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Meet Sue Lyn...

My brother and sister-in-law left on Thursday morning for a long ski weekend, leaving my mother and I to tag team it with the kids. When they are out of town and we have the kids, it turns into a weekend of activities and one very tired Grandma, Aunt Donna and Uncle Joe.

Thursday, I took the day off work to hang out with the kids. After Mommy and Dadddy left I asked them what they wanted to do and all my nephew wanted was to go to Old McDonald (aka...McDonalds) for lunch. The girls won't have anything to do with McDonalds after catching a glimpse of the movie Supersize Me. After some debate, we decided to go to the mall since there was something for everyone (including an Old McDonald). So, off we went.

After lunch and some shopping (just try and get two young girls out of a Claires store), we headed over to Build-a-Bear to make a bear for Lauren. We picked out a white bear (since she looked like a girl) and a lullaby for the sound to be inserted in her paw. We told the employee at the stuffing machine that this was a very special bear and all three cousins had to put a heart inside. So, she had all three select a heart and make a wish. Then she had all of them do a snuggle test to be sure the stuffing was right....very cute. After that, it was onto the "washing" and brushing table, which Josh took very seriously. ;)

Now, to pick an outfit...they wanted something Asian and what luck, they had the Disney princesses so they picked the Mulan outfit. Once we got her dressed, it was off to make a birth certificate. Now Sue Lyn is officially Lauren's first Build-a-Bear and a gift from her cousins (complete with three hearts).

Tonight, it's off to dinner and Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo. I have a feeling that we'll drop from exhaustion by the end of the weekend. I don't know how you parents do this!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Doing a little happy dance!

Well, I got the little snag with our documents resolved in lightning speed (remember, I forgot to have my marriage license state certified...dumb). After some running around by me, that last document is in my agency's hands and was sent to their Washington courier to be expedited through the authentification process to catch up with the rest of my dossier.

I just got word from my agency this afternoon that they see no reason why we shouldn't be DTC next Friday, January 13th! ...pause for happy dance... Now, I'm not superstitious, but driving home today it dawned on me...oh no, Friday the 13th! I hope this isn't some weird sign or something. Oh well, I'm just going to continue the happy dance for now! :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Look what I got in the mail today!

It was a worthy trip to the mail box today! Check out this adorable Discovery Ladybug that my Aunt Judi in New York sent for Lauren. Her ladybug wings are filled with that material that crinkles when you grab it and her little feet rattle and squeak. On the bottom, she has a soft story book with bright colors, flaps, textures and sounds. What more could a baby ask for! I think her official name will be Lacy Lu Ladybug...named after a special doggie we know. ;)

If anyone is interested in one, the company is SoftPlay. Thank you Aunt Judi...I think Lacy Lu is going to China with us!

Not only did I get the ladybug surprise, but I also got three beautiful good wishes pages. Check them out here.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Wishes update...

I posted an update on my 100 Good Wishes project here.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Eve...

We had a nice, quite dinner at our good friend Linda Marie's house. She made a wonderful dinner starting with homemade french onion soup that can rival any restaurant's version. We also had shrimp with linguine and her wonderful homemade red sauce. For dessert, coffee with Baily's and whipped cream and brownies. YUM!

After dinner we hung out and played the TV edition of the DVD game Scene It. If you've never played this game, you have to pick one up. It's interactive with the TV and lots of fun. We have the movie version too, but the TV sitcom version seemed a little easier...I guess that proves I do watch way too much TV. When Dick Clark's show started, we cracked open the champagne and rang in 2006...hopefully the year Joe and I become parents.

When I first sat down for dinner, there was a little package at my table setting from Linda's Aunt Diane. They were these adorable little embroidered shoes, which are magnets, and are handmade by local women in Yunnan. She got them through her church from an agency called Threads of Yunnan which is a ministry designed to raise the standard of living for countryside women in the Yunnan province. It was really nice of her to think of me, and Linda, thank you for a very nice evening!

Fun stuff...

What do you do when you're too lazy to take down all the Christmas decorations?? Well...go shopping, of course!!!

We hit the outlet mall yesterday because we heard they had a new Disney Store outlet (for those of you who don't know, I'm a BIG Disney fan and Joe has become one too). We hold some Disney stock, so when we make our annual pilgrimage to Disneyland we use the excuse that we're checking on our investment. Yah, right!

I couldn't help but pick up a few things for Lauren, and believe me, I held back big time! Look at this adorable, very soft Eeyore in all lavender to match Lauren's crib bedding.

My all time favorite character is Pooh bear. Look at this precious, pink striped sweater with Pooh embroidered on.

Last, but not least, I couldn't resist this plush Marie with her puffy pink bows on her collar and head.