Saturday, April 29, 2006

Infamous brown envelope...

We got our brown envelope in the mail today from the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou. The envelope contains the documents we will need in China to apply for Lauren's immigration visa. From what I've heard, not everyone actually gets their envelope. If they don't, their agency has copies of all the paperwork they need. I figured we wouldn't receive one since we were DTC on 1/13 and it's been over 3 months now. The date on the cover letter is 1/23 and we just got the envelope today. The postmark is 4/25, so it sat around for 3 months before it was mailed.

I have to admit that it is kinda cool to get the envelope, since it's kind of acknowledgment that we ARE actually in the system. This is nice because it seems everything connected to the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) is a bit of a mystery.

Something for Lauren's room...

Check out my latest purchase here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Unplanned Adoption...

I forgot that I had this stashed away as a draft post and I don't remember where I copied it from, but it's good for a chuckle...

Have you ever noticed that you hear all the time about "accidental" pregnancies, but never about couples who experience "accidental" adoptions? Can you imagine:

Honey, sit down. I have some news for you.

What is it?

Well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it. I went out to the mailbox today and ... well, we got an I-171H.

A what?!? An I-171H? As in, we're going to have a(nother) baby?!?

It looks that way.

But how? We've been so careful! I put away all the blank I-600A forms. Didn't you hide our homestudy update?

Of course I did. But don't forget, there was that one night...

What night? (pauses) Ohhh, that night. But it was only once. We were just messing around. I didn't print clearly. I didn't even use ink! (pauses again) But it was kind of fun.


It was, wasn't it? I'll never forget how cute you looked getting your fingerprints.

So now we've got our I-171H, eh? But that doesn't always mean you'll adopt, does it? I mean, shouldn't you see the agency or something, make sure everything's okay?

I already did.


I'm five documents along.

Five documents! And they're all notarized, certified and authenticated okay?

Just great. There was one small scare when the agency couldn't see the Notary's middle initial, but it showed up just fine under the magnifying glass.

Thank God. And you, honey? Are you feeling okay?

I'm feeling fine. As long as I know you're happy about this.

Happy? I'm thrilled! It's always a shock at first when something like this happens, but of course I'm happy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April Showers Bring Mei Flowers...

is the theme for our secret pal gift this month. I know everyone THINKS they have the best Secret Pal, but sadly I need to inform you all that the position is already taken by my pal. ;)

This month I got two Little Suzy's Zoo books (Rainy Day Friends and Witzy's Colorful Garden) which are just too cute. The garden book is filled with ladybugs!

I also got three colorful rubber duckies and these really cool toys that fill with water and squirt out.

This is a hanging bath toy bag. Check out the cute little ladybug that matches the ladybug squirter...

Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite part. Check out this beautiful card personalized for Lauren. The bathtub bubbles and shower head are filled with sparkly glitter. This photo doesn't do the card justice, because the real thing is even cuter and will have a starring role in my Secret Pal scrapbook.

Thank you so much, Secret Pal, I LOVE everything! You are the BEST.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I've been tagged....

I've been tagged by Sandy, Michelle, Lisa, Kayce, and Christi to list six weird things about me, so here goes...
  1. Every weekday morning I beat the heck out of the alarm clock. I'm not one of those people who springs out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. I have to set my alarm about a 1/2 hour earlier than I need to be up so I can snooze it about four times. I have the smacking of the snooze button down to an art can only hear about 1/2 of the first beep before I reach over and whaaaap...I'm surprised I haven't broken it yet.

  2. I rarely, if ever, eat and drink at the same time. I always have a drink at the table during meals, but I eat my whole meal then I drink. I do the same thing with snacks. I also don't read while I eat. When we are having a long breakfast on a Sunday morning, I eat, then read the newspaper while sipping on my coffee. It drives me crazy how Joe reads the newspaper and lets his breakfast get cold...although he's perfectly happy with that.

  3. I can't stand foods to be past their expiration date, even if the date says "sell by such and such date" and the item still looks and smells fine. I throw this stuff straight in the garbage with no guilt at all.

  4. I listen to Howard Stern every morning on my drive into work. I know most women hate him and think he's a pig, but I love him and have been a listener for years. I even got Sirius satellite radio recently when he moved from regular radio to satellite just so I can still get the show.

  5. Every night before I go to bed I have to know where both our furbabies are and tell them goodnight. I can't go to bed before I know where they are laying and that they are safe and sound. If I forget one night, I have to get up and go look for them before I can go to sleep.

  6. I have a collection of cookbooks that I love, but I rarely acutally use them. I flip through the books once in a while and actually convince myself that I'm going to try some recipes by marking the pages, but never really do. The next time I pick the book up, I end up pulling all the sticky tags out from the last time and starting all over again.
Let's see....I'm tagging Michele, Heather, Colleen, and Katja.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Dinner with a Ladybug...

Our good friend, Linda Marie, had us over to dinner last night to celebrate our LID and Joe's birthday. When we got there we noticed a visitor sitting at the table...
Isn't she adorable?? Check out her ladybug wings...

Dinner was such a treat...she made broiled salmon with leek cream sauce, potatoes and broccoli. Everything was wonderful! For dessert she had two cute little cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla with little champagne bottle candles. Here's our leftovers to snack on later today...

Also, check out this bottle of wine she gave us. We haven't opened it yet and we're not sure if we'll open it now or save it for our referral.

Isn't it great to have such good friends! Thank you Linda...Joe and I so appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


When I pulled up my e-mail at the office this morning I had a great surprise from our agency....We were LID (logged in database) on 2/17/06 (we were DTC on 1/13)!!!

It feels SOOOO good to finally be logged in. We are now officially a "waiting" family!

Our agency said to expect at least a 10 month wait from LID to referral and then 5-8 weeks until travel, which could mean a referral around Christmas time and travel in February 2007. Maybe we'll meet Lauren around Valentine's Day. Now that would be the best Valentine's gift ever!

Today is Joe's birthday, so it's extra nice that we got news of our LID today! We'll be celebrating this weekend!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Couldn't pass them up...

Nope, I'm not on another clothes buying binge, but I couldn't leave these two outfits behind. I was in Kohl's with a friend of mine and walking past the children's clothes department and this little dress was on a sales rack of assorted dresses and it was right out in front. I took that as a sign. ;) Notice to cute little embroidered ladybugs and ladybug buttons at the shoulder.

This cute little outfit I picked up at Babies R Us while shopping for my Precious Panda cyber-shower gift. A group of us in my DTC group have swapped names and we're sending each other a gift that we'll open later during a scheduled "chat." Should be a lot of fun! There are a couple of ladybugs on this outfit too.

New Wish for Lauren...

Check out Jacquie's adorable furbabies on Lauren's latest wish page.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


We're in the postcard exchange for our Yahoo JanDTC group and it's been a lot of fun getting postcards from all over the world (we even have one from Japan). The postcards are from other waiting families and have a wish written on the back.

I was shopping at Target last weekend (shocking, I know) and found the cutest album to store the postcards in with a perfect saying on the front. Each page holds two 4x6 photos, so I'm going to put the card in the top holder and a copy of the back of the card in the bottom holder. Pretty cute, huh?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Documentary Interviews...

Karen, of Journey to Gwen, had this posted on her blog today and I thought it was pretty interesting and wanted to share. They are little video snippets on international/China adoption. There are different viewpoints represented, but listening to what the young women adopted from Korea had to say really made me think (and get a little teary eyed). Here's the on "Documentary Film" on the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Easter egg hunt...

I wanted to share some photos from an Easter event this past weekend. The company my mom works for hosts a big Easter egg hunt with all kinds of activities for the kids. I went with my mom, brother, and nieces and nephew. It was a beautiful day, although a tad bit warm in the sun (somehow I managed to get a sunburn on my shoulders and upper arms...only in April, in Phoenix). Here's the kids with the Big Guy....

Here's Emily on the run for eggs...

and here she is helping Josh out. She ran along next to him holding his bag so he could concentrate on grabbing the eggs...what else are big sisters for?

Katie helped Josh open all his eggs and bag the stash...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Craft/Computer Room...

We had to shuffle some of our back bedrooms around to make way for Lauren's room, and I finally got done with my new craft/computer room. I spend a LOT of time in here between crafting, blogging, and working on the check book. To me it feels very warm and comfortable and it's a great place to relax after a stressful day at the office. I sit down in there and just think....ahhhhhh.

The wall color is left-over from when it was a guest room and definitely isn't the greatest color in the world, but I didn't feel like re-painting so I just decided to just work with it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

LID Poll Results and Fortune...

I deleted our LID poll (it was causing advertising pop-ups), and here's the results...

We had 40 votes in all on what you think our LID will be based on our DTC of 1/13:

1/27 - 10% of votes
2/3 - 33%
2/10 - 20%
2/17 - 20%
2/24 - 10%
3/3 - 3%

So it looks like the majority is betting on February 3rd, and that works for us!

Gee, do you think notification of our LID is on the way?? Joe got this fortune yesterday and I thought it was definitely a good sign!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Pesky Navigation Bar...

I found the code for removing the ugly navigation bar from the top of my blog. I tried to paste the code into this post to share, but the code isn't visible when I publish the post.

If anyone is interested, e-mail me, and I'll send you the code.

Stephe, I already removed the bar from our Secret Pal and Nurseries blogs...much better now. :)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

LID...where are you?

On the 13th of this month, it will be three months since our dossier went to China and we still don't know what our LID (log in date) was. I'm hoping we were LID in early February, but it would be a really nice surprise to find out it was in January. On the other hand, it would be pretty disappointing to find out it was in March.

For those of you not "in the know" on all things adoption (in other words, YOU actually HAVE a life), the LID is basically the official start of the long wait until referral to a child. The wait between LID and referral is looking to be approx. 10 months now (it was 6-7 months when we started this process), but it's ever changing. If we were LID in early February, then we have 2 months of the long wait already under our belt!

Since we don't have word on our LID yet, why not take our LID Poll (in the right sidebar) and let us know what you all think based on your best guess.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

New Bear Friend...

While up north on our get-away over the weekend, I picked up this adorable bear to go on a shelf in Lauren's nursery.

They also had one in a red and black dress with ladybugs embroidered on it and she was holding a little ladybug. I like ladybugs and it was adorable, but it just didn't tie in with the nursery colors. You can see the ladybug bear here (you may need to search "Lady & Bug"). I'm not a huge bear collector person, but these bears are so cute I may collect a few for Lauren.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Back to Reality...

Just got back this afternoon from a nice, long weekend with a couple of friends up in northern Arizona's pine country. My friend, Kim, has a very cute cabin in a town called Overgaard, up past Payson.

Here's Jennifer and me on the front porch right before the ride back this morning.

Here's a couple of shots of where we called home for the past few days. Her cabin is so cute and she has it all decorated in a bear and moose theme.

We got up there on Thursday night and went to a local burger joint called the Red Onion. We knew our diets were blown from that point forward when we started the meal with deep fried zucchini with ranch dressing. Let's just say it went downhill from there! Friday we all got massages at a cute little salon owned by someone we know who now lives up there year-round. Saturday we headed further up north to Showlow and pretty much shopped all day in the cute little shops. Of course, the trip wouldn't be complete without me picking something up for Lauren or the nursery, so I got an adorable bear dressed in a pretty little outfit to go on a shelf in the nursery (I'll post a photo later).

Kim's husband, Johnny, is a Commander at the local Police Department at the City we all work for. I wanted to show you Mr. Police Bear who sits on a shelf near the front door.

We had a great trip, but it's back to reality starting tomorrow morning when my alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. (can't wait to get back to the office). Can you believe that I had over 450 new messages in my e-mail box just from our January Precious Pandas DTC's a good thing I keep a separate folder for these or else I'd never find my personal e-mail buried in there!