Monday, June 30, 2008

Nursery Decorating

With our referral getting closer and closer, I've been having fun buying things for the nursery and for the bathroom we are decorating for Lauren. Check out the fun things I found here.

Also, I'd like to say thank you for the comments I got on the bookshelf bins. I decided to keep the wooden bins, but I exchanged two of the bright pink bins for soft pink. Since a few of you advised this, I'm going to keep the bins on the bottom shelf so they aren't falling on Lauren as she pulls them out. Also, I got a little concerned about baskets breaking and leaving sharp pieces of wicker behind. Thanks to Mary-Mia for putting that fear in my mind! ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Opinions needed on storage boxes...

I picked up these bright pink storage boxes at Target to go in the bookcase in Lauren's room. Now I can't decide if I like them. I've been moving them all around the bookcase trying to decide if I want to keep them...

If you have something like these at home, are they handy for putting small toys in? Are they user friendly for little ones? They are made of wood and I'm wondering if baskets would be better.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time for vacation??

An anonymous commenter on my last post asked the following question...

I'm confused. Why would you be burning vacation time when you are quickly approaching referral/travel? You are going to want a couple days off prior to referral and prior to your trip to do last-minute stuff. Trust me, in the days before my referral I was pacing around my house bleaching everything in sight and tossing things in the garbage like a MANIAC. :0) And before travel, I was packing like a loon. Have fun in Cali, but save some days when your brain will be mush and you want to nest.

Best wishes

Yes, I totally understand that I'll need some days off prior to travel and I plan on taking 3 days to a week off before our flight.

Even though our referral is quickly approaching, I've worked for my company for almost 23 years now and accumulate more vacation that I use. I accumulate almost 5 weeks a year now and have almost 500 hours of vacation leave on the books. They only let us roll over 450hours at the end of the year, so I'll have to burn about 100 hours by the end of the year. I know, poor me! ;)

I also have over 800 hours of sick time on the books, which will cover my entire 4 month maternity leave with 160 hours to spare.

With this said, I have plenty of vacation time to have a little fun before we get our referral. I'll definitely be taking some last minute time off before we travel because I know I'll be panicked and running around like a fool before we travel. I'll need some time to pull everything together before our flight. Anonymous, I know my head will totally be mush at the end too and I definitely have a plan in place. Thanks for looking out for me! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend trip...

We had a great time at Disneyland despite the heatwave in California at the time. Here I am in the It's a Bugs Life theater with my "bug eye" 3-D glasses.

I don't know what the temperature was on Saturday, but it had to be close to 100 degrees with stickiness in the air that knocked us out! Since we live in AZ, we're used to extreme heat, but the humidity could kill you! We felt wet the whole time. While waiting in line for the water ride in California Adventure, the older women in front of us got over heated, her knees buckled and down she went. We ended up calling first aid up to help her. We did end up making the best of the day and squeezed a lot of stuff in despite the weather.

On the way to Disneyland, we stopped at the Cabazon outlet malls outside Palm Springs and I picked up some cute things for Lauren and a few other things.

I picked up these cute little shoes in the Carter's store. I have no idea when Lauren will wear a size 6...does anyone have a clue?

I got this cute little shirt, dress and swimsuit cover up on the clearance rack at Ralph Lauren...

I picked up these place mats and pillows for our kitchen/family room at the Crate and Barrel outlet...

As many of you know, I love handbags. I didn't find any that I absolutely had to have, but I did find a couple of accessories at Coach and a wallet at Kate Spade.

I had my friend, Miyoung, along with me at the Coach store. She works Coach retail part-time and knows which items are from the retail store and which are made for the factory stores. These two items are originally from retail and I got them at a great price. The wallet (on the left) was originally $219 and I got it for $87 and the address/phone book jacket was originally $159 and it was only $63. I love them both...

I also picked up this Kate Spade wallet, which has a zipper all around and plenty of room inside...

All in all, we had a great trip. The best part is that I'm on vacation from work this week since I have a mega-ton of vacation time to burn before the end of the year. I'm looking forward to just doing whatever I want for the rest of the week!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Weekend trip...

I'm heading off tomorrow morning for a girls turnaround trip to Disneyland.

We're heading out early and doing some outlet mall shopping at Cabazon on the way to Anaheim. Saturday we'll be in the parks (we have a one day hopper pass) until we drop and then we get up Sunday and head home. It will be super quick, but lots of fun too.

I'm excited that 42% of those who voted in my poll from Wednesday say we'll have our referral in October. I'm REALLY hoping that's the case! It shouldn't be too long now until we start hearing rumors about the next batch. Nothing like living for the monthly rumors...what have our lives come to?? ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

28th LIDversary...

Yup, it's 28 months today. Yes, that's 2 years and 4 months of waiting and hoping. There has GOT to be a light at the end of this tunnel and lately we have been seeing a glimmer of that light as our DTC friends have started to get their referrals. Yes, our time IS actually coming and hopefully this year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This and that...

Hope everyone had a great Father's Day weekend. I had a nice, long chat on the phone with my dad. He lives in NY, so we don't see each other often but I love catching up on the phone.

Joe woke up yesterday morning to a card from our furbaby, Lucy. I also got him a daddy-to-be card...

and an adorable book called Daddy Hugs by my favorite children's book author, Karen Katz. I can't wait to watch him read this book to Lauren.

As we get closer to referral I can see Joe getting more and more excited. He's been pretty laid back during this whole process, but lately he's been more interested in looking at travel photos on bloggy friends' blogs and referral pics. Also, we were in Target over the weekend and HE actually wanted to go see what was on the clearance rack in the baby clothes section!

On another note, look what I got in the mail today...

This totally adorable headband is a thank you gift from Emily (her blog is password protected), who I "met" through my Yahoo DTC group. She is in China right now and will have Ellie Lu in her arms very soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's in the mail...

Our fingerprint clearance expires at the end of June, so I just mailed off a request for us to be re-fingerprinted.

At least this time it should be free, which saves us $160. When we got re-printed the second time around and renewed our I-171H, it was right before they started giving one freebie renewal.

I still can't figure out why they need to re-print us instead of just running the prints we already have on file. I understand why the clearance expires...I guess they need to be sure we haven't turned into homicidal maniacs over the past 18 months. Actually, this wait can flip a person out a bit. ;)

Our homestudy expires in early November, so we'll need to get started on renewing that. Unfortunately, this is NOT free. Our homestudy agency (different from our adoption agency) really makes out on these renewals...they charge $600!! Can you believe that? Had we known that there might be paperwork to renew during this process, we would have shopped around for this service.

Our I-171H expires on March 10, 2009, and it needs to be in effect during travel and until we get back home with Lauren. Once it gets a little bit closer, we'll decide if we need to renew this or now. I'm curious what my waiting bloggy friends are doing about this. Does anyone else have a Feb LID with an I-171H expiring in March?

Monday, June 09, 2008

The happy dance...

is what I've been doing since it seems we have at least an 8 day batch!! It hasn't yet been confirmed whether they got through January 20 or 22nd, but I'll take it either way! The larger batch this month came by surprise after so many tiny batches and is such a welcome change!

To celebrate, I'm gearing up on the nursery and picked up some decor at Pottery Barn Kids over the weekend. Check it our here.

It was great to cross off some days on my little sidebar calendar. Only 23 or 25 calendar days until our LID, depending on how far they got! This is such an exciting time with bloggy friends getting their referrals and others getting SO close!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Maybe a big batch??

Rumor has it that referrals may get through January 22nd. That's 10 days and sounds WAY too good to be true. Wouldn't it be great though??!!

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it's really hard not to be excited. On the Rumor Queen forum there is someone with a January 22nd LID that is saying her agency told them they should have a referral by next week. I find it strange that an agency would make these types of promises before referrals actually get here...I know my agency doesn't do this AT ALL. No way, no how.

On another note, I was flipping through my pocket calendar today and realized that I hadn't written in our LIDversaries for the rest of this year. I got to August 17th and found myself writing 30 months...that's 2.5 years! At that point my eyes filled with tears and I just couldn't go any further. Who would have ever imagined it would take this long. September through December will have to just stay blank for now.

I also wanted to mention that I got to meet a local mom, Ronda, her youngest son, and her beautiful daughter Ella yesterday for lunch. Ella has been home for six months and turned four years old while they were in China. Ronda, I really enjoyed meeting you and your little ones and hearing all about your China trip experience. Ella is such a happy and friendly little girl and I can tell that she's a perfect fit for your family. I don't know how China does it, but they always seem to get it just right.

Well, everyone...keep those fingers and toes crossed for that 10 day referral batch. It's just the thing we need to lift our spirits right now.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tiki Graduation Party...

My friend Christine's son, Colton, graduated from high school and we have been working on putting together a tiki themed party for him. The party was yesterday, and boy was it a BUSY day! We started out at 9:30am with a wake-up drink at Starbucks, then off to IKEA to pick-up some last minute party supplies.

By the time we got back to Christine's place, the tables and chairs had been delivered by the rental company and we were in full gear from that point forward. We spent the entire day building a tiki-bar, setting everything up, and doing the final food prep. By about 4pm, I was finally able to run home for a quick shower, get ready and head back over to help mix the rum punch and get the food ready to go out.

The party was a big success and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Everyone loved the video we made and our tiki-decor was a big hit.

Here's a little video so you can see what we did (if you have your computer volume turned on you can jam to a little Bob Marley)...