Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Heading up North...

I'll be away from Blogville for a few days. A friend of mine, Kim, has a cabin up in Arizona pine country and I'll be spending a nice, long weekend up there. We're taking off tomorrow evening after work....hope everyone has a great weekend!

Precious Pandas!

Our January 2006 DTC Yahoo group now has a name and a logo! We are officially the Precious Pandas and here is our logo.

Thanks goes out to Stephe for designing the winning logo. We had 20 logo ideas in all.

We even have a Cafepress logo shop set up, thanks again to Stephe, so we can order all kinds of fun logo items. I ordered a pair of Panda boxer shorts for to see if he will model them for everyone when they come in.

For those of you out of the loop on "all things adoption" the DTC group is a group of waiting parents (we have 242 members so far) who's dossiers have all gone over to China during the same month, which means we are all on the same timeframe. We are all there to support each other, swap ideas, exchange info, etc. Right now, we have a monthly secret pal gift exchange and a postcard exchange going on. We also meet for live on-line chats once in a while. We have a couple of cyber-showers coming up soon...we exchange gifts by mail and will open them up all at the same time during an on-line chat session.

All this activity helps to make the LONG wait more bearable and it SO helps to know that there are lots of other people enduring the wait along with you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Wish has Arrived!

I love checking the mail these days...between my Secret Pal gifts, the postcard exchange and Good Wishes pages, it seems there's always something fun in there! Today was a lousy day at work, so today's mail surprise was just what the doctor ordered. Check it out here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Waiting Families Meeting...

Our March FCC-AZ Waiting Families meeting this past Saturday was the most informative so far. Our speaker was one of the FCC-AZ board members who is a pharmacist by trade and has two daughters from China. What was great is that she was speaking from her own experiences in China as well as her professional knowledge of medications and dosing.

She gave us a handout on "Helpful Medical Items to take to China for Your Child" and went through the list of meds one by one explaining when and how to use them and the appropriate dosing. Everyone was all ears as she went through the list. She said the most important item to bring is an antibiotic and if your pediatrician will not prescribe one, you can order the Pediatric Medical Travel Kit (formally the Texas Medical Kit) from Orphan Allies. I've heard of this kit before and had always been skeptical about if it contains "real" antibiotics and how it's being administered without a prescription. Orphan Allies is a non-profit humanitarian aid organization who has an arrangement with the Texas medical board and a doctor on staff who takes liability for writing the antibiotic prescriptions. You can only order the kit once you have your referral because you need some information on your child to fill out the form to order the kit. If you visit the web-site, you can see a list of what the Kit contains. It's the first thing I'm going to order once we get our referral.

I also plan on making my own medical kit of everything that was on our presenter's list that isn't in the Kit. I posted the list here as a JPEG that you can enlarge and print, but I would also be happy to e-mail you a much clearer PDF version if you would like one. Just let me know.

She also handed out a list of medical tests we need to have run once we have our little ones home. She said that every test on the list is important and if your pediatrician resists, to insist that they are run. You can find the list on the FCC's website. I will be bringing a copy of this to Lauren's first appointment.

Also at the meeting, we got a good tip from a couple of families who have BTDT and another family packing right now for China. They said that Hefty 2.5 gallon ziplock bags are great for packing everything from clothes to medicines to bath products. When you pack clothes in them, push the bag flat and zip up the air-tight seal...a tall stack of baby clothes is suddenly much flatter and easy to pack.

One of our Waiting Families just got back from China a couple of weeks ago (we got to see their referral packet in January) and had their beautiful daughter Ellie with them. Another one of our families is in China right now and just met their daughter Myah. We also have a family who will be leaving for China in 2-3 weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing their little one soon. The family who hosted our meeting this month traveled to China in January 2005 for Olivia and we got to see their travel/gotcha video with little Olivia pulled up in a front row seat. It was so cute to see her watching the video, pointing and saying Mommy and Daddy. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room!

We sure do have a great group of families and Joe and I are having fun at the monthly meetings. Oh, I forgot to mention that I meet a family with my exact DTC date (1/13) who are also in my Yahoo DTC Group...pretty cool!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lazy morning...

Joe and I were having a lazy morning sitting around reading the paper this morning. Since the weather has been so gorgeous (high 70's), we had the door to the back yard opened so Addy and Lucy, our furbabies, could wander in and out. After a while I wondered what the "girls" were up to and headed out back to check it out.

As usual, Lucy was on the patio on geeko patrol, but I couldn't find Addy.

After a few minutes, I spotted Addy nestled in among our weed garden sitting in the shade. I should be ashamed to admit this, but our weeds are so high in this area I couldn't even see her. I thought it was so cute, I had to take a couple of shots.

By the way, some of you may remember that Addy is sick with cancer and was expected not to even make it to the end of last year. As you can see, she is a tuff old girl and is doing VERY well. Just wanted to give you all a little update on her.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sixteen Pandas...

Someone in my DTC group posted these darling photos of baby pandas born in China late last year and I think they are just about the cutest thing ever! They look like little stuffed animals.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New York Times Article...

My brother sent me a link to an article: Adopted in China, Seeking Identity in America. It's a short article about Asian teenagers who were adopted in the early 90's. One of the girls was adopted in 1991 and was one of only 61 children adopted from China by Americans that year. Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Word Cloud...

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a word cloud based on my blog.

You can click here to try it for your blog too. I guess you can have t-shirts printed with your word cloud on it. Pretty cute idea, huh?

Thank you Secret Pal!

My Secret Pal is so thoughtful and has really good timing too! Yesterday was my first day back to the office after my vacation, so I was buried in paperwork and pretty frazzled by the end of the day. It was so nice to come home to a box on my doorstep! The box was wrapped in red for Chinese New Year and check out all my goodies...

This puppy is totally adorable and check out his personalized tag...SO cute!

I LOVE this Chinese zodiac rubber stamp set! Since I'm a rubber stamper and scrapbooker, I'll get lots of use out of these and can't wait to do a "Year of the Dog" page for Lauren.

She included a card personalized for Lauren...

and even something for our furbabies, Addy & Lucy. It's their favorite peanut butter treats.

Thank you so much, Secret Pal. I LOVE everything and you made my day!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

We're Baaaaack!!

Hey all, we got home yesterday afternoon and had a GREAT time! We really enjoyed our week off just hanging out with my family and having fun. We started off at Disneyland and spent three days going back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventure. It was rainy for one of the days, but that didn't put a damper on our fun at all. We had some ladybug sightings, as you can see in these photos.

This is in front of one of the kiddie rides in California Adventure...
In our hotel parking lot, one of my nieces had me take a photo of this license plate she found...Joe is a really good sport...I love to make him try on those goofy hats and take photos of him. No matter how goofy the hat, he always plays along as you can see here...
In front of California Adventure, my nieces decided to pose at the "L" for Lauren...
You all know how amazing the landscaping is at Disney. I LOVE poppies, so these really caught my eye...
After a few days at Disney, we drove to my brother's condo in Rocky Point, Mexico to chill on the beach for a couple of days. Here's a photo of his condo development, Bella Sirena...These two group shots were taken on our last morning before heading back. It's me and Joe with my brother and family (my sister-in-law is taking the photos) and my dad and his wife, Joyce...
Besides escaping the office, housework, and everything else, silly me thought I would also escape all things adoption and rest my cluttered head for a while. Not a chance! I thought about Lauren constantly at the Disneyland parks and how our next trip would be with her. Then, when we got to Rocky Point and chilling on the beach, I had plenty of time to think about all my blogger friends and wondering what everyone was up to...I did miss catching up on my favorite blogs. I guess adoption is now just a part of us, even before we bring our little ones home, and we take it were ever we go.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Taking a break...

Friday morning Joe and I will be hitting the road for Anaheim, California along with my brother and his family. My dad and step-mom, Joyce, will be flying in from NY to meet us all there. We'll be staying at the Candy Cane Inn for four nights and we'll be playing at both Disneyland and California Adventure for three days. After that, we all pack up and head for my brother's condo in Rocky Point, Mexico for a couple of days of total vegging on the beach.

I haven't been this excited about a trip in a long time. I'm so looking forward to seeing my dad. We don't see each other often enough and everytime we do get together, I realize how much I miss him. Here's a photo of my last trip to NY in June 2004. Right now I'm battling a cold and I hope it clears up pretty quick. I almost never have a cold, so the timing kinda sucks. I've been knocking back the OJ and hitting the cold meds and trying to get some rest. Thanks to my friends Jennifer and Colleen who are both house sitting and taking care of our furbabies, Addy & Lucy. It makes me feel so much better knowing that they will be comfortable at home instead of going off to the kennel.

I'll be out of touch with the blogging world for a little while and will probably suffer withdrawals. Check back with me next weekend and I'll probably have some trip photos posted. Have a great week everyone!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Attention Target shoppers...

I was at Target yesterday and they have all their summer decor stuff out including a variety of little Asian lantern lights on strings for the patio. They had multi-colored lanterns, white with bamboo print, and a brick red with a cream print. They were all VERY cute and I'm sure a few strands will be hanging on my patio very soon.

I was also at Kohl's (it's just like Mervyn's with a much better home decor and housewares section) and look what I picked up in their summer section. This little lady is so cute that she's sitting in my craft room keeping me company as I blog instead of out on the patio.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tis the season...

to gain 5lbs on Girl Scout Thin Mints!!! These things are the work of the devil!!! My boxes are currently sitting in the deep freeze and every time I walk by the fridge I hear them calling. I can pass on all the other varieties of GS cookies, but the Thin Mints just do me in. If I grab a tube and sit down at the computer, the entire tube is gone before I even get through my favorite blogs. Thank God I'm smart enough not to bring in the whole box!

Now they even have recipes using Thin Mints. Like we all really need a new way to eat them...we don't already eat enough!!!

Come on guys, I can't be the ONLY one who can eat a tube without even batting an eye.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Straight from Texas...

Check out the latest addition to Lauren's Good Wishes book here.