Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Today is Chinese Valentine's Day. I certainly had forgotten this until I got an e-card from Geoff. I don't know how he keeps up with dates like this but I'm glad he does. This picture was part of the card that he sent. I thought it was very, very sweet!
Here's a few links to some history about this day in China. It's very different than our Valentine's Day.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Babies finding early voice through sign language By Jill Serjeant
Thu Jul 27, 8:35 AM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nine-month-old Alexandra lets her mother know when she is hungry. Andrew, 11 months, makes it clear he wants some milk.
They may be too young to speak, but Alexandra and Andrew have joined the growing numbers of hearing babies who are learning sign language to tell their parents what they are thinking.
Once confined to communicating with the deaf, sign language is undergoing a rebirth as a way for new parents to understand the needs of their offspring long before they can talk.
"It is about empowering children to communicate. They can communicate with you at an early age and not be frustrated," said Etel Leit who runs baby sign language classes in Los Angeles.
Dismissed by some critics as a fad or part of the over-achieving parent syndrome, baby signing is spreading in many parts of the United States but seems biggest in California where it began about seven years ago.
Devotees include actress Debra Messing of "Will & Grace" and a toddler signed with Robert de Niro in the 2004 Hollywood comedy "Meet the Fockers."
"The biggest interest is in California. People in California love new and interesting things," said Professor Deena Bernstein, head of speech language hearing sciences at Lehman College in New York.
Books, flashcards, videos and classes hail the benefits of teaching babies as young as 6 months old to sign with their parents, promising improved IQ, accelerated speech development and less frustration for everyone during the "terrible twos."
Leit spent 16 years as a language teacher before setting up her own signing business and says she is getting workshop requests from daycare centers and playschools.
DEALING WITH DIAPERS
On a Monday morning in west Los Angeles, Leit lead a handful of mothers, babies and some of their nannies in an hour-long class featuring action songs, games and the week's special topic -- "dealing with diapers."
The infants -- around a year old -- looked mostly bemused or laughed as their mothers wiggled their hands and fingers to make gestures for "diaper," "wet," "dirty" and "clean."
Some mothers are meeting opposition from older relatives who feel the classes will delay language development. Leit, however, stresses combining signing with talking to one's baby rather than replacing speech with signs.
And she has some encouraging success stories, like the one about the mother who went into her crying 13-month-old at night and the child signed that she was scared. A car alarm was blaring outside and when the window was closed the child went back to sleep.
"The mom would never have realized that without signing because at 13 months a child can't say, 'I'm afraid'." said Leit.
Psychology professor and mom Susan Murphy said she joined the class because of research that suggested signing reduces frustration. "Andrew (11 months) is also very active and I think he has a lot to say," she added.
Liza Roser Atwood has spent years working with deaf children and wanted her own hearing daughter Alexandra, 9 months, to reap the benefits.
"She makes the sign for 'eat' so I know when she is hungry and when I make the sign for 'daddy' she turns round and looks back," she said.
Professor Bernstein is skeptical of some of the loftier claims. She said more scientifically controlled evidence was needed to persuade her that signing alone accelerates intellect or language development any more than long periods of one-on-one attention, reading and stimulating play.
"I find that people in Los Angeles try to hook on to any new fad that comes along. They also have the money for it. You are not going to find this in areas where there is poverty," Bernstein said.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
About an hour ago, I am sitting in the living room watching tv, checking email, etc... Then I hear, "Wanda, can you come here for a second??". I don't usually get this kind of request so I got up and walked toward the master bath. As I approached I asked Geoff what he wanted... then he asks me if we have any spider spray or any other kind of spray that he could use. I asked him if there was a spider in the bathroom and he said, "you can either get me some spray or YOU can watch this spider while I look... you may not want to look because it's HUGE!!". He also informs me that just a few moments before when I used our bathroom, it was there! Agh... did you know that I HATE spiders!! Spiders rank right up there with snakes! Yuck!!
Anyhow, I found some flying insect spray but no spider spray. So I gave it to him. I told him to apply the spray so that the spider would flee toward our sunken tub and not toward him. It worked but only seemed to annoy this enormous spider! Then I suggested that maybe I should have brought the Clorox Cleanup instead. He looked in the closet and found the Lysol bathroom spray and sprayed it on the spider and low and behold... the spider fell over and curled up! Geoff scooped it up (it was really HUGE!!) and now it's in the trash in a zip-loc bag! TAKE THAT BIG OLE UGLY BLACK SPIDER!
The end result is that my bathroom smells totally fresh even though it has NOT been cleaned and in the 7 years we have been married, Geoff finally used some Lysol bathroom cleaner! Yea ME!!
I'm sitting here with a frozen pack of corn on my neck. I've had a pain in my neck for a couple of days now. I think the return of our ladybug and some referrals from CCAA would make it all better.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
The bad thing is I came home sneezing, eyes and nose itching, and all stuffed up. It could be that last night in my favorite hotel ever (The Westin... totally because of their Heavenly beds) I may have slept on the feather pillow by mistake and got my allergy to feathers all riled up or maybe I've had too many climates and beds this week. It was such a great week though and a great way to be ending the summer. I may as well stop sleeping late and get myself back into a work routine. I only have 5 more official week days before we are back to school! It would just be so my luck to have a sinus infection the last few days that I have. And speaking of lucky signs... what happened to my ladybug on our DTC ticker??? Does this mean that even the ladybug is tired of waiting for Lexi??
P.S. I totally recommend Hilton Head as an escape spot ANY time of the year. It's a beautiful place, with wonderful restaurants and relaxing beaches. (Thanks Geoff for sending us off on another sister trip!)
Thursday, July 20, 2006
They had made it about this far when I arrived. On Monday they worked until 11:30 that night! My cousin Kay told me that it was funny to watch them because the first step before beginning was having a piece of cake!
The meticulously stitched in and around each square. At this point, I was still a spectator.
This PCV frame was made by my Uncle David. They told me that in "the old days" the quilt frames that they used were made of wood and the quilt rolled up on it. At night they lifted it to the ceiling to get it out of the way. All of my aunts have quilted before. Mom said that my Grandmother used to show them how to do it but she hasn't ever made one until now. I remember visiting my Grandmother and sleeping under several quilts to keep warm in winter. The old house they lived in was made of wood and had a wood burning stove in the kitchen and the living room so the rooms were very cold at night. Being the youngest, I had the earliest bedtime so I always went to bed first. I remember running and jumping in the bed and shivering like mad for the first few minutes until the quilts and my body heat got me warm. It was then that my sisters would ALWAYS come to bed and scoot me out of my warm spot and claim it as their own. As much as I fussed about it as a child, it's a fond memory now. I loved that old house and we had so much fun visiting our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.
But back to the quilt, each time they finished stitching a section, they had to make sure the backing was not bunching up anywhere and attach it perfectly to the frame. Each time I took at least 10 minutes to do and each time, my Aunt Alice ended up UNDER the frame and the quilt. It was so funny!
This is the back of the quilt. You can see all the stitching and the quilt is taking shape. Yesterday in the sunlight, you could see the squares behind the backing. It was beautiful but I couldn't seem to photograph it. I wonder how many stitches this quilt will have??
I needed to leave just after lunch today if I was to see Geoff off on a business trip but before I left I stitched Geoff's square. It took me about an hour to do this one square. I love this picture. Everyone says me and Mom are beginning to look more like each other.
This is a close up of the individual stitches for each square. I never dreamed so many stitches would go into this quilt!
This is a picture we took today. It "looks" like the quilt is finished but they still have many hours of work to do. When I left today, they were on the last two rows of squares. Then they were going to design a pattern to go all around in the pink gingham. Mom is going to do the binding around the outside once she comes home. The quilt gets more beautiful every time I look at it!
Before I left, I drove down the dirt road where my Aunts live and took this picture of the property where my Grandparents house stood when I was growing up. It burned down when I was still a teenager. The only building left is a smokehouse but yet when I look at it, I can still see that old house surrounded by big oak trees with the red brick chimney. What fond memories it holds!
Part of what has made this quilt so special all along has been that it has brought so many people into and even back into our lives. I'm going to title my scrapbook pages "Making Memories" because that's exactly what this experience has been . I'm so glad that I went to SC even if I couldn't stay the entire time. I'll forever have wonderful memories of all the love and time that have gone into this quilt.
I stayed with my cousin Kay, and her husband Ronnie and son, Will. I had really lost touch with Kay even though we were so close growing up. It was great to reconnect. The first night I was there we were all up until 2:30 talking! I slept in Will's room. That was the first challenge of the week! Will has a corn snake... IN his room. Being in the "country" we had exchanged a few "snake" stories during the evening. When I went to bed that night, I knew the snake was there but figured I could do it... As I was going to bed I looked on the wall to see Will's poster of a bunch of snakes. That's when I decided that I better take an Ambien "just in case". :) Well, it all went well. I slept soundly and "made nice" with Mr. Snake. That's just another story for me to share with Lexi now.
I know this has been a long post... but this blog is really for Lexi. I use it to keep track of things while we wait and the last few days are certainly some days I do not want to forget. Even scrapbooking these memories will not enable me to share it all. And in the end, this experience has been so much for me too. I know my Mom and Aunts love me very much to do this for Lexi. I can't wait for her to meet this wonderful people in our lives. We're truly blessed!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Last week we received a scrapbook page from Geoff's Uncle Phil and Aunt Holly. It's taken me way too long to post it but suffice it to say... I Love it! We called last night to thank them and I learned that this was Holly's very first scrapbook page. Not only is it totally awesome, it's very creative and heartfelt. Holly must have researched China adoptions to know about the invisible red thread connection in American-Chinese adoptions. (I'll post this info one day soon.) I need to do a page in Lexi's adoption album about the red thread.
Inside the box with the scrapbook page was a Gymboree box with the cutest little summer dress with matching sunglasses. Yea! Another dress for Little Lexi! What a cute little girly girl she will be! This was an unexpected surprise for us. Phil and Holly... we love and appreciate you both very much! We can't wait for Lexi to meet you both!
P.S. Thanks Holly for your thoughtfulness and Phil for cheering her on as she worked so hard!
On a side note... has anyone noticed the disappearing ladybug at the top of our page??? Does this mean that once the lady bug "waits" herself right off of our page Lexi will appear??? I wish!
I'm trying to get a bunch of things wrapped up before I head up to SC tomorrow. Mom left today after the funeral of one of our oldest dearest family friends. (We love you and will miss you Ms. Betty!) I'm going up tomorrow to join mom and her 3 sisters (Aunt Alice, Louise, and Lucille) as they begin hand stitching the quilt. I'm trying to bake a cake to take... cause what else can I do but help feed them! I only WISH I was talented enough to make a quilt! I've still got to pack and hopefully get some sleep tonight so that I can drive in the morning. As an insomniac, I tend to have NO trouble at all sleeping while I drive! Last night it was 4 AM before I drifted off. And what happens but some kind of glitch that will make me repost!! So here I am trying again, just to see if I CAN post... and complaining a bit while I'm at it!!
So here we are one year passed. It's doesn't feel like it's been a year already but yet the 9 - 10 months that we probably still have to wait until we hold her seems so far away. This is why I pray every night and do my very best to put it all in God's hands.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Well, in the "Waiting for Lexi Saga", I accomplished a few things today and added a few unnecessary, YET FUN, things for her. I made a trip back to St. Simons to the quilt shop today. Mom has been sewing meticulously and could now determine how much fabric the quilt needed for the backing. So I went back for some fabric that I totally fell in love with last time. Let me digress... once it was determined that the quilt would NOT fit a double bed without looking silly, my dear sweet mother went on a mission to add some squares. Within a couple of days, she has sewn enough more squares to go across the top and down one side again. She used some left over fabric for some of the squares (meaning, some people will have their fabric in more than one spot and for the rest, she is counting them as hers. Given the time, devotion and quest for perfection... I think she can do that!). So, low and behold, Lexi will have a full size quilt. The fabric I chose for the back was pastel colored stars. I felt this was perfect for a quilt of good wishes!
Mom is going to SC next week to join her 3 sisters. Together, they will hand stitch the quilting. I have no idea how this works! I will be going up for a couple of days to document it and just maybe learn a thing or two.
After leaving the quilt shop, I couldn't help but stop by this Children's shop called "Baily's Boys". St. Simons is full of little boutiques with unusual items. Well, they were having a 40% sale... you know what that means! Lexi Jayne has a new dress! I was thinking about the clothing we have purchased for her. Geoff tends to pick out the fun everyday clothes and I on the other hand choose the cute little dresses. I thought I had bought a lot but really I've only bought 4 total. That's really not bad. This one was too cute to pass up.
I also bought her this little stuffed horse. Sable is so jealous! She would just love to lick it and pull it's hair out. This horse is even softer than the little pink puppy Geoff bought her months ago!
And I bought Lexi this cute little bunny pillow. I can just imagine she will enjoy this pillow for many years to come. I don't know why exactly, but shopping for Lexi is so much more fun than shopping for me.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I haven't even tried to post all of my scrapbook pages even though, I am thinking of creating a link on the side bar to share some of my creations. However my niece, Kelly, has been dying to see her page. Well, I've been feeling under the weather today and decided to scrapbook. I made a double layout for wishes from Sara and Chris, my sister Shirley and her Chris, Kelly and Kim and Alyson. So Kelly.... check these out! I hope you like your page.
I've really run out of wishes to do. I've now got a pile of fabric pieces from a couple of people that I think I can still get their wish. And then I have the pile of pieces that I don't really think I will be sucessful. These I'm thinking of doing a double layout titled "Wishes in their hearts..." I don't want to leave them out, but also don't want to write their wish. Some people just didn't get the 100 Good wishes quilt idea but yet they wanted to participate. The quilt has 63 squares. That's enough for 126 people. We really only got fabric from around 108 people... I think! It got hard to keep up with. I've still got to double check. It's turning out awesome. So is the Wish Book. Mom sewed all the green around the squares. It's turning out to be a bit smaller than we wanted but I keep telling mom I don't care. It's the thoughts, time, and patience that have gone into it. If it won't cover her double bed enough to be used as a "comforter", she can still use it for warmth or she can use it on her toddler bed.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I've been wanting to post this picture, but with our Internet and wireless misbehaving, I haven't gotten very far. We shall see if I can it to work today.
We have had the nursery mostly ready for some time but I have been waiting to put things on the wall until I got everything I wanted. I've been eyeing some sheers in the Pottery Barn catalog since early Spring. I wanted them to go on sale. Well finally last week they did and we ordered them. I wanted to bring in some pinks to liven up the colors.
This photo shows the last piece of furniture that we have added. Geoff's parents brought it down in April. I didn't have the knobs on it so I've waited to post. I love this piece! It was Geoff's dads growing up, then they used it with his brother, and now for Lexi. Granpa Jake painted it match Lexi's other furniture. It's really lovely!
To see the rest of her nursery go to http://lexisnursery.blogspot.com or click on the link that I added to the sidebar.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Happy Fourth of July!! (A day late... our internet was down last night.) We went to my parent's house today for a cookout with most of the family that live here near town. It was delicious! After lunch, my mom, Carolyn, and I laid out the squares for the quilt. Mom is ready to begin sewing the border onto the squares. I've known all along that this quilt is going to be precious but we could really get a feel for what the finished quilt will look like. The first picture shows all the squares arranged in the order they will be sewn.
Here is a sample of what the quilt will look like with the background and the borders. The length of the pink gingham will depend on how long we need it to be on her double bed.
Within a few hours of getting home yesterday, Mom called to say that she had already sewn some of the green background to some squares. This is getting soooo exciting! I haven't scrapbooked any wishes in a while so this just makes me want to get busy on it again and finish it! I had to order a second Creative Memories book to put the wishes in. It's turning out to be a 2 volume set!
We're also very excited that we are finally finished with the nursery. I'm going to post pictures later. Hopefully, I'll have a new "Nursery" section on the blog very soon.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Our January DTC group is at it again with a Sock Swap! When I got home from my Atlanta trip I had two packages waiting for me. This pair is from Lori H. She had these made especially for our swap. They are adorable!
This pair is from Cindy P. Pink! Gotta love it! These will match just about everything in Lexi's closet.
These ladies are very thoughtful!