Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lost (possible spoiler if you didn't watch the show yet)

Well, what did everyone think of Lost? Here's what we kind of know now. Do you agree, disagree or have anything to add?

  • Somehow six of them leave the island at some point in the future.
  • At least Jack, Kate and Hurley live in LA in the future.
  • I think the ones who leave the island suffer from unbearable guilt, possibily over leaving people behind. It seems Jack starts out fine in the flash forwards, but ends up eaten up alive by the feeling of needing to go back. Knowing Jack's history of always needing to save people, I'm thinking he is guilt ridden. Also, Hurley is so messed up, he's back in the mental ward.
  • The people on the freighter are NOT there to rescue them.

Ok, now the questions:

  • What do the people from the freighter really want?
  • Why do only six people leave the island?
  • How do they decide who gets to leave? Do they make some kind of deal with someone?
  • Who's funeral was it that Jack read about and attended, but no one else did?
  • Who or what is Jacob?
  • Why do the pregnant women die?
  • Who was the man who went to see Hurley in the mental institute?
  • What happens to those left behind on the island and what secret are the six who left the island keeping?

Notice how there are still more questions than things we know?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FINALLY we find out what's happening with the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, with the start of Season 4. I've been rewatching the first three seasons over the past couple of months with a friend and I'm all ready for this season to start (I know, I'm pathetic and I have no life). I'll be glued to the TV tomorrow night along with a couple of friends and chowing on pizza. I've been extra good on my healthy eating this week, so I can enjoy a couple of slices without too much guilt.

Now, bring on the show!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Growth chart & playroom question...

Pop over to Lauren's room blog to check out my new purchase.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New fur-nephew...

We just got back from meeting our new furry little nephew, Leo.

He's a Labradoodle, a cross between a Lab and a Poodle. Isn't he a cute little guy? He has that adorable puppy bounce when he walks and he's so soft. My brother and his family just picked him up from the breeder last week.

Here's my niece, Katie, with her new furry friend...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Diet is a dirty word...

so I refuse to call it a diet, but I'm trying like heck to make some changes to my eating habits. It's not the New Year that has gotten me motivated, but it's the fact that my next annual physical is due in July/August. At my last physical, a couple of my blood test results were not quite where I would like them to be. Since diabetes and heart problems run in my family, it's time to make some changes so I can see some better results at this year's physical. God knows, I still have plenty of waiting time to concentrate on this.

Over the past 1.5 weeks, I've lost 5 pounds on my non-diet (I think I shocked my system...what, no fries?). I've got about 10 more pounds to get back to my dossier weight (yes, I'm a stress eater), then another 50 pounds to start feeling more comfortable in my skin. Here's my non-diet plan:

  • Eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies - 2 to 3 servings of fruit per day and fresh veggies (raw, grilled, sauteed)
  • Eating whole grain breads, oatmeal and high fiber cereals - We tried the new Ronzoni pasta last night that's between regular pasta and whole wheat pasta. It has 3x the fiber than regular pasta and added calcium...tasted like the regular stuff to me.
  • Reducing saturated fats in favor of olive oil and nuts (better for you fats).
  • Reducing the amount of "processed" foods and eating more fresh foods.
  • Cooking with fresh herbs, garlic and citrus. Dill and a little olive oil is fabulous on roasted baby carrots. I've also discovered that home-made pesto is really good and just a few spins of the food processor (makes me wish I had a basil plant).
  • Eating grilled fish once or twice a week. We are having grilled honey teriyaki salmon with garlic parmesan green beans tonight.
  • Drastically reducing Starbucks non-fat mochas have gone from daily to once or twice a week. The rest of the time I make my own Starbucks breakfast blend at the office.
  • Eating healthy, small snacks between meals - a few wheat crackers and one of those Laughing Cow cheese wedges, oranges, apples, grapes, popcorn, etc...
  • Last, but definitely not least since this is the hardest part for me, is drastically reducing my serving sizes. If something tastes good, I have no control and just keep eating until I'm stuffed. I'm trying to be more conscience of when I'm starting to get full and backing away from the plate!

I know that my non-diet is really just plain, old-fashioned healthy eating, but for me it's some pretty big changes and you know what they say about's not always easy. It takes effort, especially at dinner time to come up with quick and healthy alternatives to fast food and restaurant take-out.

Well, wish me luck and jump on the bandwagon if you can muster up the motivation. I know it's hard, but at some point you need to just make the decision to start. Also, I'd love any suggestions or recipes you all may have for fresh, healthy dinner options.

Monday, January 21, 2008

News article...

Here's an article for today's Yahoo News...

Higher fines for stars breaking China's one-child rule: state media

BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing plans to make an example of celebrities who flout
China's one-child policy by dramatically raising fines to prevent them buying
their way past the rule, state media said Monday.

"Celebrities and wealthy people will be more heavily fined for giving
birth to more than one child," Xinhua news agency quoted city family planning
chief Deng Xingzhou as saying.

The government and its media outlets have recently played up reports of celebrities
and other wealthy citizens skirting the policy, which limits urban families to one child.

The rocketing incomes of the wealthy have allowed them to increasingly
get past the rule by paying a fine officially set at around 100,000 yuan (13,800
dollars) for Beijing residents, but which is typically much lower, Xinhua said.

It cited the case of Hao Haidong, a player in China's domestic football league,
who was fined just 50,000 yuan for having a second child despite an annual salary
of five million yuan, one of China's highest soccer salaries.

Deng, who heads the Beijing Municipal Commission on Family Planning, said
during a government meeting that the level of the new fines for celebrities was still
being worked out. China's family planning policy began in the late 1970s as a way
to prevent the world's largest population -- now at 1.3 billion people -- from exceeding the country's capacity to feed it.

Generally, urban families can have one child and rural families can have two if the
first is a girl. The policy has averted about 400 million births, the government has said.

I think it's interesting that they state how many births were averted, but not how many children are now living life in an orphanage because of this policy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Blogging with a Purpose Award...

Thank you Stephe for nominating me for the Blogging with a Purpose Award.

You have been such an inspiration for me and many others during this wait. I think it's because you totally have your act together. You are organized and well read on the topic of adoption, which makes you such a great resource. I really feel like we are in this together since we'll be traveling in the same group to get our daughters...wouldn't that be amazing if they were crib-mates right now! Few waiting mommas have the opportunity to actually get together in person with a friend who has the same LID and with the same agency who lives on the opposite coast. We've been lucky enough to have this opportunity not once, but twice. This had been quite a ride and I'm SO GLAD to have you along for it!

I understand these are the following guidelines for said award:

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.
2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.
3. In their post about the award they need to link back to the original entry.
4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to Eric Novak's site.

So without further ado, here are my five nominations in no particular order. I'm telling you, getting this list down to five was NOT easy. There are a few others I would like to add to the list:

Julie - To Tess & Back
I met Julie in August 2006 in Salt Lake when Lisa hosted a waiting mommas weekend, although I had been following her blog before that. It's hard to believe it's been 1.5 years since then and that Julie is all settled in with her beautiful daughter, Tess. I nominated Julie because of her wonderful creativity and her insight. I find myself really contemplating some of the thoughts Julie shares on her blog, like this post on things she's learned in 2007. My favorite insight from that post is "When people show you who they are, believe them. Don't be a fool."...I found myself thinking about how true that is.

Shelley - Mager Madness
I love keeping up on what's going on at the Mager household. Shelley has two beautiful daughters and always has a story to share. She has such a knack for telling stories in a really funny way and she always makes me smile. Also, I admire how she puts herself out there on her blog and has shared her struggle with weight loss, which has really hit home for me. She's been an incredible inspiration in that regard and has been a great shoulder to cry on when I need a little push. Plus, she is just a really sweet person.

Christie - The Adoption of Keira Joy
This brave women is waiting for two international adoptions...her daughter from China and her son from Ethiopia. Christie is one cool chickie and really has a way with words. She's open and honest and doesn't hold anything back. Her and Anton have got to be the cutest, most in love couple ever...they are SO cute together. They will make the best parents ever, because I know they have tons of love to share.

Lisa - Tate-r-Bug
I'm nominating Lisa because through all the ups and downs of this crazy process, she has an unwavering hope that her time will come and that Tate is out there waiting for her. Everyone has their good days and bad, but she has a knack for focusing on the positive and trying not to get all wrapped up with the negative stuff. This is something I really admire and wish she could rub this off on me! Besides this, she is a LOT of fun to be around...ready for another Disney trip, Lisa?

Mary-Mia - Salsa in China
Who doesn't love to keep up with the antics of Rose and Marie? Mary-Mia has her hands totally full with those two adorable little tornadoes and still continues to share her life with us. She is SO well spoken and writes so well, her posts have a way of sucking me in. Even if I pop over to her blog for a quick peek at the twins, I find myself reading all about their day. Another thing I like about Mary-Mia is that even though her blog has reached "celebrity" status in the adoption blogging community, she has her feet firmly planted in the ground, she is SOOOO down to earth and a heck of a nice person (she was in on our Salt Lake waiting mommas get together).

Well, that's my list of five but if I could go on, I'd list Tiffany, Jacquie, Gen, and Kim (password protected). I've been following their journeys for a long time and this wait just wouldn't be the same without them. I feel they have saved my sanity many times!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today marks 23 months of waiting for Lauren. Not that I'm counting or anything, but that amounts to 699 days with another 300 or so to go.

Any way you slice it, it's been a LONG time with a long time to go.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Best and worst case scenarios...

I just read Rumor Queen's post from yesterday with her spreadsheets on what she predicts for the future. I'm sure most of you have already checked it out and have your best and worst case scenario in mind.

For friends and family who don't frequent the Queen's site, here's what it boils down to for us. The wait depends on how many referrals China issues each month. Our absolute best case scenario (based on 15 days referred each month) would be a referral in May '08 (27 month total wait) and the worst case scenario (based on 5 days referred each month) would be a referral in Jan '09 (35 month total wait).

The best case scenario is only a dream at this point, as there is absolutely no indication that monthly referrals will pick up that much. It's actually been just the opposite. Although I do think they will end up fluctuating between 5 days per month and 8 days per month, over the next 8 months or so. This would put us at about November, which I think might be pretty realistic. This amounts to a 33 month total wait...a mere 25 months longer than we expected back in August '05 when we naively submitted our adoption application.

Now if the Olympics drastically effect the monthly referrals, although the CCAA has made no formal announcements, our wait could possibly extend past the Jan '09 worst case scenario. It's actually anyone's guess at this point. What do other February/March LID'ers think?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The weekend and random stuff...

Happy Sunday everyone! This weekend has been really nice so far. Hope you all are having a good one.

On Friday morning heading into work I decided on a whim that if we had enough coverage for the day, I was going to take off at 11am and get a jump start on the weekend. It was a really busy work week and I was getting SO burnt out. Driving home on Friday I gave my friend, Christine, a call and she had been wanting to go to Crate & Barrel. Shopping?? Well, count me in! Retail therapy is JUST what I needed. So, off we go. Of course, Crate & Barrel is at the upscale I figured my retail therapy was sure to cause some damage.

Actually, I was very good and only picked up a few things. In Sephora I got some Amazing Grace by Philosophy. I got the lotion and spray in one box. I LOVE this's light and feminine and oh so nice.

Julie mentioned the other day that there is a Janie and Jack at this mall, so I had to check that out. Oh my, talk about out of my price range! But what beautiful clothes! They just happened to have a few sales racks and look at the beautiful dress I got for Lauren...

It's silk, fully lined, and has the light netting fabric under the dress to make it puff out a little bit. It's totally impractical, but what a great holiday or photo dress. It was originally $75 (I know, crazy, huh), but it was on sale for $19.99 and it's a size 2T, so I know it will fit.

Look at how pretty they package up the outfits...

I guess if you're spending the regular price at this store, you expect stuff like this. The outfits I usually buy are just stuffed into a plastic bag...ha!

Yesterday I spent some time with my mother and nephew. We took him to Target to pick out a toy and then to lunch. Sometimes the things kids say just surprise you. We were in the dog food aisle and I asked Josh to help me pick out some treats for Lucy. As he's picking up the container he says..."Addy can't eat treats anymore because she's dead now". It just took me by surprise. I guess they just say whatever comes to mind. I'm sure you mommies have surprises like this all the time.

I wanted to share this book with you all...

Top 100 Baby Purees - 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby. This book is filled with easy recipes using vegetables, fruits, pastas, beef, chicken and fish. The recipes look like stuff I'd actually make. A friend of mine gave this to me...thanks, Miyoung!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A little ditty sung to the tune of Oh Where, Oh Where Has Our Little Dog Gone...

Why, oh why has our info box gone...
Oh where, oh where can it be...
We really rely on our monthly updates...
Oh where, oh where can it be...

Endless waiting is hard enough...
Oh where, oh where can it be...
Must you take our box from us...
Oh where, oh where can it be...

Here's our new box. Pretty informative, huh?

There have been rumors for months now that the CCAA might stop publishing date information on their website, but the timing of this just feels like another blow to us waiting families. Our New Year's gift was a five day referral batch, and now this!

Frustration, sadness and dissapointment are just a few of the emotions I'm feeling right now.

Monday, January 07, 2008

New stamp series...

In observance of the Chinese New Year, the U.S. Postal Service will debut a new stamp series for the 12 different animals in the Chinese calendar. The series will continue through 2019.

The first stamp in the series is for the Year of the Rat. This stamp will be unveiled this Wednesday in San Francisco. I can't wait to see what it looks like. Of course, I'll be in line to buy several packs of to tuck away for Lauren.

Wouldn't these stamps be adorable for mailing referral announcements? Of course, by the time some of us get our referrals, the postage rate will change again! ;)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

This is not good...

I knew today wasn't going to be good when I saw my coffee cake was pissed off this morning. I guess someone was trying to clue me in to the CCAA web-site update of a measly five days worth of LID's!

(This is not really my photo, but I thought it was just perfect for today.)

Five days worth of files matched up over the past month. I have some really choice words for how I feel about this, but want to keep it clean.

Referrals are creeping along so slowly that I can't help but wonder if they are grinding to a halt. The rumors of no referrals being issued around the Olympics is really starting to scare me and the low number of referrals just seems to support them winding down.

There is absolutely no reason I can imagine to cause this kind of slow down. It is quite obvious to me that China has made a conscious decision to drastically reduce the number of children leaving China. I'm assuming they feel it looks bad to be referring out large numbers of children while the spotlight is on them during the Olympics, but good God, that's still eight months away!

If this is going to be the pace for the next eight months, they would only get through January 29th LID's by August referrals (40 calendar days). We are 60 calendar days away, so that would be a December referral. This is based on five days per month and assuming they don't actually stop issuing referrals for the Olympics.

The very idea of being only 60 calendar days away from a referral and having the very real possibility of this actually taking another year makes me physically sick. I feel our dream of a 2008 referral slipping away, and I was SO hopeful about the new year until reality slapped me in the face this morning.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's not looking good...

It's rumored that this is the number of days worth of files the CCAA got through over the past month...

This is how fast the CCAA seems to be moving these days...

This is how fast I wish they would move...

This is how I feel right now...