Thursday, August 31, 2006

We are the Precious Pandas!

In preparation for my upcoming Sept. trip, I ordered a few t-shirts. Rewind... a tidbit that I don't think I've posted is that I'm going to Philadelphia in Sept. to meet some of the member of my Yahoo January DTC Group. We are officially the Precious Pandas. We are planning an East Coast Girls trip. (of course, I'll share details of our fun after the trip!) So I finally ordered myself one of our group t-shirts which by the way was designed by one of our East Coast Girls! I was pleasantly surprised to get the package today.

I also ordered a tank-top in the design below (also designed by our dear EC computer guru!).

On another topic... did anyone notice that our official 6 month anniversary of our LID came and went this week? Of course, I'm aware of it but I'm trying oh so hard to let the time pass without me fretting over every single day. I'm playing the "if I don't think and worry about our referral date so much, it will happen sooner game." In fact, I'm learning that when people ask me about it, I just shrug it off and say "who knows?"

Who's That in Lexi's Crib??

Oh... that's just Lexi's first baby doll. I've been looking for Lexi a baby doll that will look like her for quite some time. Last weekend (while I was so bored) I finally broke down and ordered her one off the Internet. Isn't she just adorable?? I took her to school today and teased a few of my friends. I told them that we had our little China baby. I got some really confused looks! She's now in Lexi's crib waiting patiently for her playmate to arrive.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Geoff's home Part 2

I really missed Geoff over the weekend. I did get some things accomplished though. All the laundry is done (except what he brought home) and most importantly, I got a new draft ready for my dissertation. But this time, instead of mailing it to my advisor, I'm mailing it to an editor. Yes, I hired an editor. I'm so sick of my advisor telling me to write something one way and then changing it the next time we speak. I hope that by just mentioning that my paper has been through an APA editor will help him focus on the content and not my APA style. I know I make mistakes in my writing but I thought I was at least adequate. My advisor has made me think that maybe my years of teaching 2nd grade has stifled my writing ability. So I hired an expert. Sure hope it helps.
Next weekend we are going to Atlanta on an overnight trip. My dear friend Samantha and her hubby Dan had a baby a few weeks ago. Little Dan Jr. weighed in at 9 1/2 lbs! He's blonde like his mom and dad and is 21 1/2 in. long. I can't wait to meet the little fellow! We aren't planning to make a long trip because what new parents really need long term visitors??? But I must see the little guy. Geoff has already bought him a cute little outfit. I picked out the one for the shower. I can't wait to just smell this little guy and look at his little fingers and toes! In my heart I know that Dan Jr. and Lexi will be great friends! Who knows they may even share the same birthday!!

Daddy's Home!!!

Geoff came home this afternoon. Yea! The dogs were very happy. When he came in Sable did her "I'm so happy you're here" whine so much that I thought she may pee on his shoe! Not 15 minutes after he came home, things returned to normal. Patches and Muffin were in the study laying near his feet and Sable was at my feet. (Smokey as always is his own Man!) Now as I type, Patches in laying right next to him on the couch. Remember, these are the dogs that wouldn't do anything by lay around all weekend and didn't care if they had anything to do with me. I guess if Daddy ain't around, no one is happy. And to think, I thought I was the "top dog" around here!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Stinky Dog

I've stayed busy all day. One of the things I did was change the sheets and wash the comforter on the bed. Every time I do this, I get the same reaction out of Sable. This time I captured it on video. Believe me our dog is "special". I'm not sure if she just really likes the smell of fabric softener or if she wants her "stink" back on the bed! She'll do this on and off all night now.

Click here to see her video debut.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Lexi will know her ABC's

Aren't these letters the cutest things?? I bought them at school from one of those traveling book vendors. I thought they would be cool to use to begin teaching Lexi the alphabet.

Okay... I'm bored!

Geoff left this morning for a GUYS trip... golfing. I've gone on countless "girls" trips and will be leaving for another one in less than a month. And before I began going on girls trips, I spent 3 years of traveling by myself to FL for college classes 3 times a year in addition to school conference trips. Now here lately, Geoff has been going on overnight trips to Macon to take a CPA review class but he's always home by 7:00 PM on Saturday. So here I am on a Friday night by myself and I'm really missing my hubby. I'm very bored. So I'm blogging... and blogging. Don't read it if you are bored too. :) I wonder if he gets bored too while I'm away.

I'm not the only one bored. Take a look at these pictures.

This is Sable. She is our oldest. (She's 8 now.) She has refused to do anything but mope since I got home. Oh, she did get up to eat her "Frosty Paws" ice cream. You can see she is now almost laying on the empty cup. You can see her trusty old duck behind her. If anyone sees one of these in a store, please buy it for her. I'll pay you back. Sable fixates on one toy at a time and she's had this favorite for about 3 years now. I don't know what we will do when it finally wears out. Before this favorite, she had a tiger. We had about 3 of those. She really has a passion for furry toys with velor. She will not go outside without her duck.

And here is Patches. She is our pup with "separation anxiety". Most nights she would be in either Geoff's lap or mine trying to get as close to us as possible. Tonight she won't get off the couch. She's piled up in some towels that I need to fold. She also did get up long enough to eat her ice cream.

I need to get tonight over with. Tomorrow I am going to work on a new draft for my dissertation. I've also got plenty of cleaning to do. Right now I'm on the the second "City Confidental" episode... I've also watched Dr. Phil, American Justice, and Crossing Jordon. So why am I bored... I miss my hubby. :( And it's only just after 9:00!!

On a lighter note...

So WHY do children to the things they do??? Today I was trying to teach a group of kindergarteners. Emphasis on TRYING. We were using a Classroom Response System which is basically remote controls that send signals to a receiver connected to my computer. I can ask questions, they choose an alphabetical answer and my computer records it and then gives feedback. It was ultra hard because many kindergarteners do not know what A, B, and C look like. During the entire lesson there was one little guy who kept yelling, wiggling, scooting, and not listening to me for longer than 3 seconds. Trust me, I'll probably be calling his name in my sleep tonight. Well, as we were putting away our remotes and getting ready to leave the lab, he grabbed his remote back up and proceeded to LICK it like a popsicle!! Ugh... GERMS! I can see I've got to get some antibacterial wipes for the lab and some lysol... It's totally gross but funny in a sick sort of way!

New Referrals are out

Apparently the newest batch of referrals are out from CCAA. The bad news is that they only did 9 more days of referrals. They have now referred babies to those who were LID as of July 19, 05. Our agency only received 2 referrals this time. Last time it was 14. Here is an excerpt from our adoption web board.

"Many people ask "why" the wait has become so long. The answer given by the CCAA is that they do not have as many healthy children available for adoption. This makes sense, given that the economy in China has dramatically improved in recent years. It seems likely that as even the rural areas become more prosperous, there are fewer healthy children being abandoned. This, of course, is GOOD NEWS and something that we all want for China's children. The other side of the issue is that many of you are waiting and longing for a child to love. We can appreciate how difficult this process has become for adoptive parents. "

No one understands. I honestly feel that they really don't have a clue what is going on over in China. Afterall, not too long ago our adoption counselor sent us an email that said there were many abandoned children in China but there were not enough orphanages that were approved to "do" adoptions. She also said that it took a while for children to become "paper ready". I figured she would know because she goes to China all the time and she IS Chinese. I'm beginning to think that there are not any answers. All we can do hope and pray.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

6 Months???

Our LID ticker says that we have been LID for 5 months and 4 weeks today. Isn't that 6 months? I guess if you go month to month we still have 3 days... but hey! who's counting!! ME!! Even being 3 days closer is comforting!! And did anyone notice that our turtle has been decapitated??? First our ladybug disappears and now this!

Seriously, every now and then I stop and think. Really think. The days are going by and we ARE getting closer. The last 3 weeks since school began have totally flown by. Maybe that's why I felt so determined to take this job even though I honestly spent the first 9 days of teaching in the computer lab absolutely hating it. Last week I was so depressed that I couldn't even stand myself. Thank goodness Geoff always seems to "step up to the plate" when I get this way and thank goodness it doesn't happen often! The good news is that I can see that I DO love teaching in the computer lab and that I don't hate teaching Kindergarten and first grade afterall (last week was another story!). I've began to loosen up with them and have fun. Today I was telling a Kindergarten class about the parts of a computer. When we got to the CPU, I compared it to their brain. Then I asked them where their brain was and asked them to point to where the CPU would be if they were a computer. They of course pointed to their head. And then I told them that they would be a "block head" if they were a computer. It was all in fun of course, but they loved it and laughed like crazy.

And today at the beginning of my last class of the day, I was struck by the wonder of children when a first grader came in and as she walked up to get her name tag looked at me and said, "you're beautiful!". Ahhh... the sweet and innocence of children! I know my best beauty days are behind me but this was so sweet! I replied to her that she was beautiful too.

I've really enjoyed this entire week of teaching and am falling into my new position with a new attitude. I think next year when I greet my students for the first day, I'll be a lot more prepared and in the long run it WILL be easier than having a homeroom because at that point I won't be so "green" and will have alot of material ready on my school website. (take a look if you want at, I'm adding to it all the time) I can't wait to see what I can accomplish with these students this year. In my heart, I know that we will be at the end of the school year before we go get Lexi and as much as I hate it, it will be a good time. Over the past year, I've learned to be patient with the waiting. Now if only I could be patient with double clicking... like I've tried to teach my students. We've agreed to work on this "problem" together.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Scrapbook Swap

Last week, I mailed off a double layout that I created for a scrapbook swap. Yes, I belong to several Yahoo groups. This swap was for the Ladybug Hunters Scrapbooking Club. Each month they do a themed scrapbook layout swap. I decided to participate this month. I also recieved my layout from my swap partner but I have to put it together still. We've been a bit tied up with family so I haven't got there yet. I will post it as soon as I can. I made an extra set similar to the pages I sent for Lexi's baby book. So now I have 4 pages we can use for bath photos. I love scrapbooking. I just can't seem to find enough time to do all that I want. Plus I'm sure it will be even more fun when I've actually got photos of Lexi to work around.

Who's missing??

When I downloaed this picture I couldn't help but think someone is missing. Just before this picture was taken we were eating dinner. Next to us was a party of 5. Two of them were Chinese little girls. I wanted to go plop down at their table so badly and talk to them but knew better than to intrude. Maybe next time we go to Hilton Head, we'll have our little Lexi with us too.

In-laws Out of Virginia

Geoff's parents came to visit this Friday from Virginia. We all took off yesterday morning for an overnight trip to Hilton Head. Geoff and his Dad played golf and is Mom and I shopped around. Last night we went to dinner at the Crazy Crab in Harbor Town. It was a short visit as they are headed back up the road today. Unless Geoff's sister or sister-in-law has a baby soon, Lexi will be the first grandchild. Needless to say the future grandparents are anxiously awaiting the day we go get Lexi. They brought Lexi a bag full of cutie-pie outfits.

Diane told me that I was lucky Lexi didn't end up with a very LOUD striped jogging suit. Of course, I had to tell her that those are the kind of outfits that you put on the baby, take her picture and then she never wears it again.

We did have a very nice visit and now have some interesting stories to remember!!

Precious Pandas Hair Bow Swap

Last week a fellow Precious Panda member Dana from our DTC Yahoo Group sent Lexi a package full of hair bows. They are all adorable! The hair bands will definitely be in our suitcase when we go to China. Our group has monthly swaps. This month we are sending bows to two different people so I should be posting a second set sometime soon. These swaps help make the time go by quicker and helps make things more fun.

Keeping Busy

We've been busy with family the past week. My sister from NC has been visiting with her daughter and my great nephew. I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I wanted to because of school starting back up. She brought us some books for Lexi. One of them has a tape with it that has children singing first in Chinese and then in English. I'm going to start playing it in my car while I drive to see if I can pick up some of the songs. This was a really thoughtful gift from my sister!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Nice Surprise!

We just received this baby doll size kimono in the mail from our adoption agency. Isn't it adorable?? It was just a token to let us know that they are thinking of us. I thought it was very nice! I tried to find a stuffed animal in Lexi's room to wear it, but had no luck. So now I'm on a mission to find her a baby doll tiny enough to wear this cute thing!

Monday, August 07, 2006

I love this Woman!

This is a picture that I have been wanting to post every since I got home from SC. It seemed like every time I tried, something came up. Anyhow, the story behind the photo... This is mom right after finishing the stitching around and in the squares. I think she was saying a prayer of thanks that it was finally over! This picture will be framed and it will go into Lexi's scrapbook. I just love it!

Friday, August 04, 2006

No longer too much time on my hands...

So today was the first day of school. Thank goodness I didn't have students today. This week has flown by and yet, I still do not feel prepared for students next week. After 18 years of teaching, WHY do I feel so much like a fish out of water??? (I don't have a homeroom, I don't have a gradelevel to work with, and basically, I'm in the special areas group where a LOT of teachers just see you as a break for them. )I was especially worried today when some Kindergarten classes stopped by to see the computer lab and meet me. (Some days I have two classes at once.) Between the two classes that visited me, there were 28 five year olds! To me! One person!! I've had as many as 31 second graders in my career in one class but 28 five year olds???... IN A COMPUTER LAB??? I guess it is hard to tell that I'm freaking out just a bit!

On a different note, I'm trying to spend $100 during tax free weekend in our state. It's not my $100. It was a money card given to all teachers of students in our state. Everyone knows that it's a last ditch attempt by our governor to get teachers to continue to vote for him. It was teachers who got him in office, not because of the things he promised to do for us but to get the prior person out of office for NOT supporting us. Low and behold, teacher's got him office and then he didn't do anything for us until this year as he seeks reelection. I guess he suddenly remembered the power of teachers in our state. I'll spend his money... but I will NOT vote for him again. I have about $49 to go. But the aggravating part is that everyone and their brother is shopping during tax free weekend! I hate crowds and obnoxious people seeking a bargain!

So after today... 179 days to go until this school year is over (that doesn't not count weekends of course). In my brain, I just know that I will NOT be at school on the last day of school next year. Instead I will be in China with our Lexi in my arms. Now that's something that does not freak me out!