Monday, November 24, 2008

This and that...

This past Saturday Joe and I headed over to IKEA to pick up some fun stuff to turn our spare bedroom (aka...junk room) into a play room for Lauren and a place to store her toys. This pile will help turn the room into a bright, fun place for her to be creative and play...

We are going to use IKEA's Trofast system for toy storage. I like the idea of pulling the bins out to carry into other rooms and then being able to put the mess away and tuck the bins back into place.

We got flower and ladybug lights that mount on the wall and a couple of these big leaves to hang on the wall as a canopy.

Joe has a few use or loose vacation days that need to be taken in December, so he is going to clear out the junk and paint the walls. I'm really excited about this project and can't wait to see it done. I'm looking forward to hours of playing with Lauren in that room while I'm on maternity leave.

On another note, I finally ordered a KozyPal. I had ordered one a while back, but had a change of heart on the fabric and cancelled the order. By the time I finally decided to place an order, they had closed down their custom order site for the holidays. They have new fabric choices coming in January, but since they had a special on in-stock, pre-made cart covers with free shipping I decided to order now and save a little money. Here's the one I got...there will be no chance of missing us in a store!

I like the way the cover rolls up and the safety belt is used as a handle to sling it over your shoulder.

One last picture for today since I couldn't help but snap this picture of Lucy all curled up on her bed...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Care package...

This evening Joe and I went shopping for Lauren's care package. I will be packing the items up and sending my box to Ann at Red Thread China. She is going to translate our letter to the orphanage staff and mail our box to Lauren's orphanage.

I love the soft, baby photo album we found at Target. It even has Chinese characters on the front and a spot for Lauren's picture so they will remember who's album it is. Thanks, Michele, those extra little photos you gave me came in really handy for this! We filled the album with family photos and a picture of our furbaby, Lucy (click to enlarge)...

I also love the Discovery Ladybug. We received two as gifts, so I'm sending one in the package. It makes crinkly noises when you touch the ladybug wings and the bottom is a soft book with fun little things to touch and play with...

We are also including a nice soft blanket, two disposable cameras and a couple packages of Jelly Belly candies for the nannies. It was so much fun picking out the items and putting this package together. I'll be sending it off to Ann early next week. I still need to write a letter to the orphanage staff for her to translate.

Ann is also going to help us try to get updated photos of Lauren and measurements. She will contact the orphanage and see if they will agree to this. I can't wait to find out if we'll get updated pictures! I was on the phone with our friend, Karen (from our travel group), when her updated pictures of Kaelie came through. Oh my gosh, it was SO exciting. Karen, my ears are still ringing! Ha! ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great weekend...

I'm sitting here thinking about how very lucky we are to have such good friends. We have a small group of local waiting families who have shared this wait with us for so long. Several families in our group have brought their children home and now it's finally our turn! Michele and Ava hosted a shower for us this afternoon and it was such a nice time.

Check out these great favors she had for everyone. Dipped pretzel rods and fortune cookies, little framed pictures of Lauren and aprons in a great ladybug print. Michele, you are so creative and sweet to do all this!
Here we are with the cake...

Michele embroidered Lauren's name on this totally adorable outfit. I can't wait to see her in this...

Lauren now has her very own little kitchen to play with (thanks Nancy, Brian and Lily). It has lots of little buttons to press with fun sights and sounds.

We got some great bibs, including this "Bumkins" bib (thanks Kim, Scott and kids) which is super big to cover up the whole shirt. It should help out a lot if Lauren is a messy eater!

Michele, thank you SO much for hosting our are the perfect hostess and we had a great time visiting with everyone.

I received a special gift this past week. Julie and Tess sent me this beautiful pendant of Lauren's photo. I LOVE it and have gotten quite a few compliments on it already! I can keep Lauren close while we wait these final weeks.
We also received a special package addressed to Lauren from Lisa. It's a beautiful hand-made bear and he's wearing a red thread bracelet for Lauren...

Lisa, I LOVE this bear and the bracelet. I'm bringing the bracelet to China for Lauren to wear, but the bear will be safely tucked away in her crib waiting for us to get home. It goes great with the nursery colors. Thank you SO much!

There are only 7 more full weeks until we leave to get Lauren! Oh my God, I guess it's time to get ready! Ha!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Any resemblance?

A while back we were chatting on my Yahoo group about how they match the babies and we were talking about them matching to our passport photos. We challenged each other to post our passport photos with our referral photo to see if there is any resemblance. Keep in mind that our photos were taken back in August 2005 and I've packed on 20 stress pounds since then and now...sad, but true.

So, do you see any resemblance? Click on image to enlarge.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Referral day and video...

Several people have asked where Lauren's province is in China. You can see on this map, where the Guangdong province is and where Maoming is.

Here are some recent photos I found of her social welfare institute...

Last week, when the call came in it felt like it was out of nowhere. That morning there were rumors that referrals were starting to arrive in Europe, so I figured our call would come the next day. I got off work at 12n and stopped to pick up some lunch. By the time I got home and turned the laptop on it was about 1pm. The first message I saw was from Stephe saying that she just got her call!! Since she's with our agency, I knew this was it. After running around for a few minutes thinking...OMG, OMG, OMG...I called answer...called answer. OMG, am I going to get the call all alone?? What the heck...they are supposed to be on red alert! Finally, I get my mom on the phone and all I had to say was "Stephe got her call...get over here". She was here in a flash. I finally got Joe on the phone and said "this is it, you've got to get home". About 10 minutes later, the phone rings and the caller ID is the agency!! OMG, this is it!!! I picked up the phone and mom started the video. My agency was able to conference Joe in on his cell while he was on the way home. As soon as our agency rep said "you have a daughter", everything after that was a blur! It was so surreal and thank goodness I have my notes and the video so I actually know what he said after that.

Once he was done with the details he had, he said "I just e-mailed you photos"...OMG, OMG, of our daughter and Joe isn't here yet! Luckily, by this time he was only about 5 minutes from home. As soon as he walked in the door, I was pulling up the e-mail and mom had the video rolling...

After we stared at the photos for a little while, I started making phone calls. My brother and his family came over and my sister-in-law brought everything to make dinner for us. My nieces and nephew brought a gift for Lauren...a panda they made at Build-a-Bear named Precious Joy. My niece, Emily, brought me a special gift she had been waiting to give me. It's the Angel of Patience from Willow Tree. We placed it in the nursery watching over a photo of Lauren.

It was such an amazing day that I will never forget! We feel so blessed to have been matched with Nan Qi Qing and can't wait to hold her in our arms.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekend stuff...

Well, this weekend Joe and I signed the letter officially accepting Lauren as our daughter! I'm overnighting that, along with some other paperwork, back to our agency tomorrow morning. The next step is our travel conference call on Monday the 17th. We should find out lots of details about our trip at that point. All I really know at this point is that we are traveling with 8 or 9 other families including our friends Stephe and Karen.

Joe and I went on a little shopping spree for cold weather clothes in Lauren's size. We think that while we're in China she will be about 32" tall and weigh about 20lbs. We bought everything in 12-18 month size. Check out the shirt and matching pants with the panda face on the back. How cute is that!

I ended up clearing some things out of Lauren's closet...all the items smaller than 12 months. Luckily, it didn't put that big a dent in her clothes selection...I've had LOTS of fun shopping over the past three years! I still have lots of 12/18 month clothes in the closet, but we didn't have any cold weather stuff yet.

We are still on cloud 9 and I haven't quite come down to earth yet. I still can't believe we have a daughter and are traveling to China in 2 months!!! It was so much more fun to shop for her today with the image of her sweet face in my head. With all the things we still need to do and the holidays, the time is going to fly by!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's been a whirlwind since we received our referral! I'll be updating with more details later. I took off today to wait for the "stork" and he finally landed about 11:30. Here's the sign he was greeted with at the door...

My mom caught a glimpse of him through the window while I scrambled for the camera and she saw him snickering. Here he is...

He was really funny and didn't mind the photo one bit. He said he's been called many things, but never the stork!!! I bet he has a good story for his wife tonight!

Here's all the photos we received with our referral...for your viewing pleasure. Double click on the image to enlarge it.

I can't stop staring at her pictures! I went out to lunch today and even took her along! ;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Oh my God, my heart is beating out of my chest right now and I'm still shaking. We have a daughter!!!! I can't believe I just typed that!

Here's the info:

Name: Nan Qi Qing
Age: 19 months
Province: Guangdong (a southern gal)
City: Maoming
Orphange: Maonan District
Height: 30.7"
Weight: 18.9 lbs

And I didn't mention yet, that she's BEAUTIFUL!!!! We fell in love at first sight!

As you can see, I'm going to work on changing up my blog. I had all this done last week, but I still need to finish up my sidebar.

Oh my God...we have a daughter!!! After three plus years our dreams have come true. Oh, and did I mention that she's beautiful? ;)

Monday, November 03, 2008

No stork in sight...

Looks like our stork is walking all the way from China!!!

Ok, stork, I'm running out of patience here...flap those wings and get your feathered self up in the air and headed this way!

It's Monday night and not a juicy rumor to be found out there. If Rumor Queen isn't reporting some good news by tomorrow, I may start loosing hope for this week and I really don't want to go there. Come on CCAA, get those referrals in the air!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Next week!

I feel like I'm totally watching the clock today waiting for next week to come. These last days before referral are brutal!

This weekend Joe and I need to decide how we are going to handle it when the call comes in. We really want to be together and at home if possible. This is hard since the call will come out of the blue and we both work. We are debating between two options right now and can use some advice from those who have BTDT. Assuming the call comes to me at work:

Option 1 - Take the call and conference Joe in; put the call on speaker phone; have a co-worker do the video taping; and have our agency e-mail the photo to both of us at work so we can see it separately, but at the same time.

Option 2 - Take the call and tell our agency that we'll call them back; both of us head come and have my mom meet us there; call the agency back and take the call together with my mom video taping.

I want to go with Option 2, but it hinges on Joe being able to leave work at a moments notice (not likely) and what time the call comes in. If it comes in later in the day, the agency may not be opened still by the time we get home (there's a two hour time difference). Those of you who have been through the call...can you give me your opinion on this?

So, here I sit waiting for Monday to come and hoping for a rumor that referrals are on the way!! I'm getting SOOO anxious! How old is she, what does she look like, is she healthy, where is she now? I have a million questions running through my mind. I feel like I can't concentrate on anything else until I get these answers.

Well, onto another subject...we dressed up in a 60's theme at work this year and decorated the office complete with beaded curtains in our office doorways. Here we are (I'm the hippie in the skirt)...

We have been dressing up every year. Here we are last year. We try to have fun and laugh whenever possible...if we didn't loosen up once in a while we'd probably snap!