Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I was off this afternoon...

so I decided to work on digital scrapbook pages. Click here to see them...I think they turned out pretty darn cute.

At the rate I'm going, the album may change to weekly pages rather than daily. ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Furbaby's letter to Santa...

My little furry friend, Izzie, wrote quite a meaningful letter to Santa this year. Check it out here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday deals...

I'm one of those crazy people who gets up at the crack of dawn to start my Christmas shopping on black Friday and Joe ( holiday shopping assistant) was actually up before me to feed and walk the girls before we went out.

I rolled out of bed about 3:15am and shortly after we were on our way to Kohls, which opened at 4am. At Kohls we were to meet up with my friend Christine along with her daughter and cousins. The place was wall to wall people just grabbing things right and left. By the time I made it to the display I needed, the door buster deal I was there for was already gone! At that moment, my cell phone rang and it was Christine telling me she already had the item for me. Thankfully, she got there a few minutes before me and grabbed the last one.

After battling Kohls, we headed over to Starbucks for a caffeine pick-me up and then off to Target to stand in line for the 6am opening. There were two BIG deals I needed to get. We waited in line for about 45 was chilly, so the hot drinks were definitely a good thing. While in line we tallied up what everyone wanted and came up with a plan to each run to a separate item and grab as many as we needed. My job was to battle the electronics department, Joe was to head straight to luggage and Christine was heading straight for the DVD's. Then we would meet up and head for the toys. As soon as we cleared the doors, we sprinted to our sections and got everything we went for....score!

All our shopping the entire day was gifts, except for this 8 piece luggage set we picked up at Target for the China trip. We've been wanting "disposable" luggage since we've heard how beat up and smelly the luggage gets by the time we get home from China. I figure we wanted a single use set that we could donate to Goodwill when we get back, and this one was ONLY $49. Here it is...

The set includes:
  • 29" rotating wheel suitcase
  • 25" rotating wheel suitcase
  • 20" rolling upright
  • backpack
  • duffle

It also includes these three packing organizers, which I think will come in pretty handy for a medical kit and other small items that need to stay together.

All in all, between yesterday and today, it's been a very successful shopping weekend. We pretty much got all our gifts, except a few. I love to have all the shopping out of the way and to be able to concentrate on other things.

Our fubaby, Addy, is never too sure about change and her new Costco doggie bed was no exception. She couldn't quite figure out how to lay on this bed. Here's how I found her when I got out of the shower this morning...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thankgiving...

One of the things I'm most thankful for today is the love and support of all my bloggy friends during this wait. There's no way I'd get through it without you all!

For those of you already home with your children, hold them extra close today. If Lauren is already born, I'm thankful to her birth-mother for taking her to a safe place to be cared for until we can bring her home. Baby, momma is thinking of you today and hoping you are safe and sound.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New blog...

I created a new blog for my 8" x 8" scrapbook pages for Lauren's first year book. I'll be posting my new pages on there as I make them. I figure it will keep me motivated to work on them and maybe give new scrappers some ideas.

Several of you have asked what program I use for digital scrapbooking. I use a simple little program called Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 Editor. Microsoft just discontinued this program. I think it just couldn't compete against all the programs out there. It's still available until stock runs out. I love's not complicated like some of the popular graphic design software.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The day started...

just like any other Monday, me beating the heck out of the alarm clock as I search for the snooze button, and is ending in me wearing this lovely arm wear and typing with one finger.

On the daily morning walk with my co-workers over to Starbucks, I was happily walking along one minute and falling face first the next. The only thing that stopped me from going face first onto the sidewalk was the palm of my left hand with the full force of my weight (and there's a lot of that) jarring my wrist and arm. Also, my left knee has a lovely cement burn and was bleeding as I limped back to the office.

I spent my entire morning at the urgent care center getting my wrist and arm x-rayed, while my work piled up on my desk. Hmmmm...this week is off to a great start.

I've never had this bad of a hurts like hell! All I could think of this morning is...I'm glad I'm not making Thankgiving dinner this year and I hope it's healed up in time to shop on Friday!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another month...

Yesterday was our 21st LIDversary.

We are still hanging in there and hoping for a July/August 2008 referral. Well, actually we are hoping for one a lot sooner, but trying to be realistic here.

I think after two Christmas' of saying "this is our last Christmas without Lauren", I think this Christmas will REALLY be the last one without our little girl.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Great movie line...

I saw Martian Child with John Cusak (my fav) over the weekend. There was a line in the movie that gave me chills since it hit so very close to home...
Why bring a child into the world when you can love one who's already here?
Great line, huh?

The movie is about a bestselling sci-fi author (Cusak) who is widowed. A couple of years after his wife's death he decides to adopt as a single father, since him and his wife were planning on adopting before she died. He adopts this boy who has been abandoned by parents in the past and has put a wall up around him by pretending to be a martian. He plays this martian thing to the hilt and has been passed around from person to person since no one really knows what to do with him. The story is about how Cusak breaks through his shell and ends up allowing the boy to let his defenses down. Pretty good movie...if you're a Cusak fan, like me, you'll like it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Book advice please...

I'm going to place a book order on Amazon soon and I'm wondering if I could get some advice.

Should I get both the What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Toddler Years or should I get just one of them. Keep in mind that we are pretty clueless when it comes to babies.

I'm starting to get nervous about baby care while in China and feel like I should be reading one of these books or something similar. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Here's some more daily scrapbook pages I put together today...I'm having fun using all the digital supplies I've been downloading over the past 6 months or so...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lazy weekend...

When I say lazy, I really mean it to! Yesterday, all I got accomplished was the laundry. I spent the entire day in my PJ's just lounging around and watching TV and movies. It's actually kind of nice to have a whole day to do nothing. Guess I'd better enjoy this guilty pleasure now, because pretty soon it will be a distance memory.

This morning I actually got myself up and in the shower because we had an FCC presentation given by Dr. Rena Li. She discussed how to incorporate Chinese culture into our child's life. It was pretty interesting and I took some notes to tuck away for later. We met with Heather & Damon and Nancy, Brian and Lily beforehand and had a nice lunch. It always does my heart good to see Lily and how well she is doing. Nancy and Brian have been home with her a year this coming January and I can remember their referral party like it was just a few months ago! Time really has flown.

After seeing all the kids at the presentation today, I got motivated to FINALLY start my daily scrapbook for Lauren. My friend, Michele, did a daily book for Ava and it's so nice to flip through it and see how Ava has changed throughout the year. My pages are 8" x 8", just big enough for one photo and some embellishments. My plan is to get about 100 pages done before our trip so I can get off to a good start. These are quick and easy pages...nothing fancy or time consuming. Here's my first seven pages (double click to see them better)...

I'm going to keep kicking these out and hopefully I'll have a bunch done by the time we travel. I'm also planning on doing a larger scrapbook and a lifebook...the kind of lifebook that is written as just the facts of Lauren's life...once she is old enough it will be something she can read and we can work on together.

Monday, November 05, 2007

If you like chocolate....

you MUST bake this from scratch chocolate cake and chocolate cream cheese frosting.

This is just the thing for that monthly referral baking AND eating! I'm all for cake mixes and never really bake a cake from scratch, but this is WELL worth it and it's pretty quick too. It's not too sweet and the moist cocoa flavor in the cake is SO yummy!

Chocolate Cake
2 1/3 cups of strong brewed coffee (lukewarm, not hot)
3/4 cup vegatable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat oven to 325 F degrees.

Place first 6 ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed for one minute until blended. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and beat two minutes until smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Batter will be thin. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1 pound (3 1/4 cups) confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted according to package directions

Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and milk in a large mixer bowl at low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate until blended. Beat on medium speed, adding more milk, a teaspoon at a time, until frosting is spreadable.

If you try it, let me know how you like it! Happy baking.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's official...

the CCAA issued referrals for LID's through December 8, 2005!

They FINALLY, after seven months, broke the seven or less day curse!! For the past seven months, the number of days worth of LID's they got through were 2, 6, 6, 7, 7, 4, and 5....and now finally 8!

If they can keep up with an 8 day pace, we're looking at July/August. There are 70 days between December 8th and our LID. My birthday is July 28th....a referral sure would make a great b-day present, don't ya think?

There's another reason why I'm so happy to see them get through December 8th...this means that Shannon will get to see her daughter, Emily, for the first time ever tomorrow. Shannon, I am SOOO happy for you and can't wait to see the photo tomorrow!

***Update*** Shannon ended up not getting her referral as expected and it's SO unfair!! Other families with an LID of 12/8 got theirs! Shannon, my heart totally goes out to you and I feel so bad. We'll all be waiting another month right along with you and can't wait to share your happiness next month!