Friday, October 27, 2006

Eight easy steps...

and you can have your own comfy fleece blanket! Several of you asked for the instructions on how to make this blanket, so here is goes...

I used one yard each of the printed fleece and the contrasting solid fleece. This made a blanket that's a nice size for a stroller or crib. Lay the printed fleece right side up on the solid fleece and trim all the edges so they are straight and even. Cut a square through both fabrics from each corner the same size as you would like the trim. I made a 6" square from cardstock and used that as a guide for each corner. Once you have the corners cut out, cut the edges into even strips (I did mine 1.5" wide). Now your blanket should look like the diagram below.

To "tie" the strips, make a small slit (about 1/4") with a seam ripper through both fabric layers ending slightly above end of strip cut.
Lift the top layer up...

and feed it through the bottom layer through the slit you just cut.

Once you feed the top layer all the way through, pull the bottom layer up so you can find the slit... and then feed the bottom layer through the slit...

pulling it tight to make the edge border.That's all there is to it. Although it's a lot of steps to show with photos, it's actually super easy to do. If you try it and get stuck or if you have any question, just e-mail me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Secret Pal Revealed!!

After nine months of receiving the most wonderful Secret Pal gifts ever, I finally know who my pal is!!! Drumroll,'s STEPHE, our Philly trip hostess extraordinare and a fellow China travel group mate!!!

This adorable Panda Bear was the first item I opened from the box. When I pressed his left paw he said "It's me, Stephe, your Secret Pal." Leave it to Stephe to come up with such a creative way to reveal herself. I was laughing so's the cutest thing!

Lauren is going to have so much fun with this Panda recording herself and playing back over and over.

The second gift I opened was this beautiful framed print of the red thread proverb with our Precious Panda bear personalized for Lauren from Stephe, Giorgia and her furbaby, Pirate. Double click on photo to enlarge. Seeing Lauren's name on this, brought tears to my eyes. It was one of those moments when it hit me that this is real...I've talked about those "moments" before.

I LOVE piggy banks and check out this totally adorable piggy with a pink bow, rosy cheeks and Chinese character. Soooo cute.

I also love this little Dora dressed in a Chinese outfit. Isn't she cute?

Here's a shot of my entire box of goodies.

Stephe, you have played such a HUGE part in making this long wait so much more bearable and even fun. Between our e-mail "chatting", our DTC group, the Philly trip and all the wonderful gifts you have sent, you have really played an important part in this adoption process for me. I so appreciate all your thoughtfulness, creativity, and the generosity you have showed me.

Luv ya and can't wait for Giorgia and Lauren to be playing together soon!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Yahoo Group...

As a follow-up from my previous post, I've created a new Yahoo group called China Bound Weighting Mommas for any of you who would like some weight lose buddies.

If you're interested in joining, send an e-mail to this address. I'm hoping this group will be a place for support and also sharing recipes, tips, menu ideas, etc. I can use all the help I can get!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm finally motivated...

to start back up on Weight Watchers before it's too late to loose some weight before the China trip. This has been in the back of my mind since we started the paperchase and if I don't get my butt in gear now, the next thing I know we'll be getting our referral and I wouldn't have lost a pound.

I've been struggling with my weight since as long as I can remember and have been on and off Weight Watchers over the years. I lost 40 pounds once and 50 pounds another time, but always gain it back slowly when I get tired of following the program and start slacking off. I've been on the program long enough to know how to eat right, but my main problem is overeating to relieve stress and for comfort and God knows between this seemingly never ending wait and my job, I certainly have my share of stress.

Well, it's time to tackle my weight problem head on and see if I can loose some weight before we travel...50 lbs is my goal. That's my short-term goal, since I would have more to loose after that. I figured if I track my progress here then maybe that would give me an added boost to stay on track. I'm going to join Weight Watchers on the web and use their on-line food journal and points calculator.

If there is anyone else out there who's had this on their minds and wants to join too, let me know...I would love to have a weight lose "buddy". Heck, maybe we can start a Yahoo group to support and cheer each other on!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Eight months down...

We've been logged in for eight months today. I'm really hoping that this puts us firmly at the half way mark to referral. If things speed up at the CCAA that would be great, but I'm trying to accept that realistically we are at the half way point right now.

I know that we all complain about the wait, God knows that I've had my moments, but I have to admit that these first eight months have really flown by pretty quickly. I'm sure that those of you who are further along are going to tell me that the closer you get, the slower time goes. That's kind of what I'm expecting. Is is true?

I finished my first fleece blanket project and sent it off to my Secret Pal. It has a really cool edge finish that Nancy taught Heather and I a while back. Of course, I never actually finished my own blanket that I had started back then, but I did this blanket in one evening.

The back is done in a contrasting color...

and the way the strips are done it makes a really cool border on the front of the blanket. Pretty cute, huh?

I hope my Secret Pal likes it. This is the last month of our exchange, so it's reveal time!

*** Update: Since several of you have asked, I will be posting photos of how to do the border on this blanket very soon! ***

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thank God it's finally Saturday...

It's been a really long week, so thank goodness the weekend is finally here! For one thing, we were short staffed at the office and it was super busy. Also, Joe left for a business trip on Monday morning and just got home Thursday night.

With Joe out of town, I was on official doggie duty (no pun intended), which means waking up at the crack of dawn to feed and walk the girls and somehow still making it to work by 7am! Then, feeding them and walking them in the evening after work and then collapsing on the couch. How in the world am I going to handle a baby if taking care of my furbabies solo for the week got me exhausted?? Needless to say, I really missed my hubby!!

When Joe's flight landed and he called me on the way home one of the first things out of his mouth was "guess who was on my flight, sitting right in front of me?" So, I'm thinking celebrity and trying to guess who would be on a flight from Ohio to Phx. It turned out to be a women with her adopted daughter from China. I think it was so sweet that Joe was excited about that. The little girl was 4 years old (adopted 3 yrs ago) and from the Hunan province. Joe said she was happy, very bright and beautiful.

Well, tonight Nancy & Brian are throwing a referral party for Kim & Scott. They just got referred twin girls with this last batch. I can't wait to see their actual referral packet and photos.

I know a couple of my Blogville buddies live in Ohio. Joe was in Columbus and said the changing of the leaves was just beautiful. We don't get to enjoy that kind of thing here in Phoenix. He also said it's a total college town and Ohio State rules...I guess people go as far as to have huge, blow-up mascots on their lawns. Ok, Robin, fess you have a mascot on your lawn?? ;)

Monday, October 09, 2006

New York, New York...

My brother and his family are in New York visiting my Dad and sent some photos. I thought I'd share a few with you...

World Trade Center site...

Cross at the site...
Sculpture that was originally in the plaza at the Trade Center...

When I was back in New York a couple of years ago, I got to see the site in person and it truly is heart wrenching. I've been up in the towers several times over the years and to be at the spot where they used to stand is just surreal. I can't imagine how New Yorkers who pass the site on a daily basis must feel.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Something to pack for the trip....

This was the theme for my September Secret Pal gift and my Pal didn't forget a thing! Did I mention already in a previous post that I have the best SP ever? Hmmm...I'm pretty sure I did, but I must say it again...SP, you're the BEST!

This month's box was decorated with adorable Asian cherubs (double click any photo to enlarge)...

aren't they too cute??

I had so much fun opening up all these little packages...

Check out all the items we have now to put away for the trip...

The items include:

  • Chopsticks
  • Luggage strap
  • Bibs
  • Chinese Dictionary
  • Travel clock
  • Drink mixes for bottled water
  • Rolaids for after a dinner of stuff we don't recognize
  • Purell
  • Clip-on calculator
  • Scented diaper disposal bags
  • Air freshener
  • Baby wipes in portable container
  • Oxyclean for stains
  • Travel toothbrushes & paste
  • Little stuffed ladybug bear for Lauren to play with
  • Charmin to go....very important item ;)
  • Jet-alert caffeine pills for dealing with the time change
  • Plastic loops for hooks things to diaper bag/stroller
Even with all these things, my VERY favorite item is this quick reference book chock full of all kinds of information we'll need in China.

When I first opened this I saw our address info, photo and an adorable little card that says "On our Way to Lauren Elizabeth." At that moment, it hit me...we ARE actually going to China and I got teary eyed. Sometimes I have those moments were it feels more real than other times and it just hits me. I think all you waiting mommas totally understand this and have your own "moments."

Inside this book, there is tons of information that we might need while in China like our pet-sitter, passport and agency info; symptoms and treatments for all sorts of conditions that we could encounter; medicine info, info on how to get medical treatment while there; info about the food, water, and making phone calls to the U.S., info on American friendly restaurants and shopping in Guangzhou, and more!

This reference book is SO thoughtful and SO very appreciated. It's just the right size to slip into our backback while in China so we have everything we need with us while we're on the go.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Secret Pal!! Next month we find out who our Secret Pals are, but this organized little book is a GIANT hint to who my pal is.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

For those waiting to travel...

This poem is dedicated to all the waiting mommas who have their referral and are waiting to travel, including Christi, Tiffany, Mary-Mia, and Kim...

A Baby Asks God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth
tomorrow,but how am I going to live there being so small and

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take
care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I
don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."
God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile
for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to
understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"
God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet
words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel
will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"
God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach
you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"
God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will
teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next
to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from
Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to
leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

"You will simply call her, "Mom."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thanks & Wishes....

Thank you to all my Blogville friends for your kind words on my previous post about our 7th month anniversary. You all always know the right thing to say, and I can always count on you all to lift my spirits. :)

I just posted a couple of new wish pages you can check out here.