Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One more Halloween Post!!

I couldn't resist this one last post. Jenna and Charlie brought my great-nephew trick-or-treating tonight. Poor Josh hates to have his picture taken so I opened the door and snapped a picture. Then I felt bad afterwards because the poor baby was just totally embarrassed to be dressed as Sponge Bob! He finally started acting like himself after they took off his costume. Seeing Josh tonight reminded me of something that I haven't really thought of. Josh is one of the reasons for Lexi. We were perfectly happy (so we thought) not having a baby until Josh was born and we babysat him. It was like a light went off in us and gave me a glimpse of what a great Dad Geoff would make. I had long suppressed my longing for another child and honestly was afraid to unleash that feeling again. Within two months Geoff had convinced me that it was possible and that we COULD and WOULD find a way. Here we are almost 4 years later. So I give you "Sponge Bob-Josh Pants!"

Christmas on Halloween! Our Secret Pal Revealed!

Yesterday, we got a notice from the post office that we had two packages waiting there. Knowing that it was time to reveal secret pals, I just knew the packages were from ours. I begged Geoff to go pick them up this morning and bring them to me at work but he couldn't. I had to wait all day! So when he got home with them today, I couldn't wait to open them.

As you can see, our SP wraps packages that are not short of tape! I had to use a knife to get in them and put some elbow grease behind it. She must have gotten lessons from my daughter Sara!

Turns out, our secret pal was no "stranger"! Ours was Carol and Bill! How exciting and funny! We've been buying for each other all this time! This is after we opened everything. The package included two dresses, a pants outfit, a pad of stickers with Lexi's name on a bunch of different stickers (something we thought we'd never see because everything we have seen with Lexi spelled on it has the e at the end), a cute little ladybug sign, and an Infant-to-Toddler feeding set! (This is ultra nice! We have a modern type dining room set that has a counter-top height table and tall chairs. This will be perfect Lexi so she'll be at our height!) It felt like opening packages at Christmas. The outfits had a special note that explained the outfit choices.
There was a cute blue jean outfit was for "shopping for "Bling" with Mommy! I'm sure my fellow Precious Pandas would love this!
This daisy dress is for "the perfect little tea party for the THREE" of us.
A ladybug dress for "twirling for Daddy!" It's so adorable!

This sign says "County Your Blessings". I love the ladybugs of course! And everytime I see it, I'll be reminded of my wonderful secret pals and what a blessing they are and have been to us!
Included in the package with instructions to open last were a pair of glasses. I was certainly confused of this item until I read the reveal letter. At the very end of a very nice letter was a the statement "I hope my rose-colored glasses serve you well!" Carol has been the most positive person on our Yahoo Group. She swore up and down last spring that they would be going to get Emily this fall even as the wait grew longer and longer! She kept refering to her "Rose colored glasses". I have to say I'll HAPPILY and GRATEFULLY wear them. I put them right on! Don't they look so nice with my new haircut! I'll have to try to not sit on these in the car! :)

I also had to post this picture of the mess Sable made with the tissue paper that wrapped the outfits. My title reflected how I felt like it was Christmas... well, Sable agreed. This is what she loves to do with Christmas paper. She had a ball!

Carol and Bill leave for China in the morning. I am so happy for them. I can't wait to hear Emily stories. I also can't wait to introduce our daughters one day. We will go to the Mid-West to meet them one day. We have been so blessed and I hope they can somehow know how much we love and appreciate them.

Oh, and there was one more thing. It was a feather decorated with beautiful ribbons tied with heart in the middle. It had a poem next to it. I'll finish this post with it. I teared up reading it and can just feel our special connection. It just gives me chills.

An Angel's Touch...


The other day I looked above

and saw an Angel near

I asked for a favor for someone I love

and hoped my message was clear.

Please Angel,

let my Friend see

She's loved so very much

And Angel

will you promise me

to let her feel your touch.

The Angel spoke and moved my way

That's when it's feather fell...

"This gift is yours to

give her this day,

It proves my promise well."

So sweet! Thank you Carol and Bill from the bottom of my heart!

Happy Halloween

Here it is Halloween 2006. So what's it like at our house tonight? Interesting! Geoff is at the front door stalking for trick or treaters. Not to scare them or anything, just to keep them from ringing the doorbell and driving the dogs nuts. Of course, we have them in the bedroom chewing on a chewstick.

When we do get trick or treaters, he lets me know and we both go to the door. It drives Geoff crazy when they skip us! He cracks me up because he NEVER, EVER comes home without first turning on the tv but tonight, he's been too involved with the trick or treaters. Before the kids started coming we agreed to give them 4 pieces of candy but when the kids come and he grabs a handful of the candy!

This has been fun. We actually got to tell the people we "Booed" who we were. The funny thing was they had NO IDEA!

We had a couple come to our house with about a 9 month old baby dressed as a baby bear. So how do you know when you are ready for a baby? When you ooh and awh over the baby bear and want to tell them that this is our last Halloween without Lexi and to come on in and see the nursery. (I wanted to... but I didn't!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

How do you know you use the laptop too much?

My right hand.

My left hand.

See the callus on my right hand near my wrist? It really hurts too. I've noticed that the more I blog, check my Yahoo groups, and read other's blogs, the worse it gets. I use the computer all day at work but I don't think that's the cause of my callus. I'm trying to use a mouse now instead of the pad on the computer. Maybe I need to invent some kind of hand/wrist wrap to avoid disfiguring of hands for extreme Internet addicts. Of maybe start my own 12 step program. Who would of thought adoption would lead to this?? I can see it now... Lexi, your mother has odd shaped hands and carpel tunnel syndrome from waiting for you!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

We actually made it to our 8th month of waiting. I knew it was coming but missed it this month. Good thing. It means I was busy and not obscessing. As bad as I hate to say it, our wait may be at the half-way mark. Our agency is telling new people that the wait from LID is anywhere from 14 - 16 months. I still hope it will shorten but right now I've somehow managed to mentally prepare for not having a referral until around June. That would mean traveling in August or September. And if she will be between 8 - 12 months that means Lexi has probably been born or will be soon. Geoff had a dream a couple of weeks ago that we had Lexi. She had pigtails and walked on her tippy toes. We just keep on dreaming day and night that the upcoming holidays will really be last ones we have to go through without her.

Squatty Potties Revealed

Apparently my earlier post of the "Magic Cone" has stimulated some conversations among some of our blog readers. So I decided to post a link about Squatty Potties. This post is brought to us by my dear fellow East Coast Precious Panda, Stephe. I think of everything we will encounter in China this scares me the most. I can avoid the Open Markets and the floor of the Wal Mart that everyone advises not to go to but I can't avoid having to go potty. Anyone who knows me, knows exactly WHY this bothers me. I can just imagine that anyone else out there that has 4 kidneys feels exactly the same way!! I've told Geoff that I will be dehydrated the entire time we're there. I am that's what I do now when we travel to keep from stopping at a reststop every 30 minutes.

By the way, Stephe is so great about researching everything and sharing it on her blog. I read her blog all the time to stay up to speed on various topics. She thinks of things that I probably won't think of until after our referral. I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of planner.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Visions of a future Dad and good times!

We've had some really nice weekends lately. Last Sunday, Geoff and I had lunch with fellow Jan. DTC'er Susan and her husband Riz. We also met Wendy from the group and her two daughters. We had a great time! Afterwards, we went to Wendy's house and bonded. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful the people are that we have met on this adoption journey.

This is Geoff with Kate. Kate wrapped Geoff around her little finger in no time flat! She had him reading with her and drawing. She's such a great little artist.

This is a group photo of Susan, Wendy, me and her darling daughters. We had the best afternoon. I hated to leave. I can't wait until we can do this again.

And here is Geoff with baby Dan a few weeks ago when we went to Atlanta to see Samantha, Dan and the baby. He's such a cute-pie. I just love to see Geoff with little kids. He's going to be such a fantastic dad!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm a Butterfly Mommy!

Remember my caterpillars? I came home today and went right out back to check on my chyrsallis' and found this! Imagine Geoff's surprise when he walked in and I told him I was a Mommy. He was quite confused!

Of the 8 caterpillars, I only found 4 chyrsallis'. The rest must of crawled off somewhere so I couldn't find them. There's another one that is getting close to hatching. You can tell because the of the difference in color. This is a picture of one that was taken about a week ago.

This is the same one almost ready to hatch! This is just the coolest thing! I sure hope these babies make their way to Mexico for the winter!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Secret Pal #1 Revealed!!

My January DTC Group decided to reveal ourselves to our Secret Pals this month. Mine was Carol and Bill. I have absolutely loved buying things for them. I have followed their adoption story since they joined the group. They found their daughter back in July on a waiting child list. She's just beautiful! For my final gift, I decided to make them a scrapbook. They will be traveling next month to get their daughter. I'm so very happy for them. I hope that one day in the future we can meet them in person and bring our daughters up to be friends.

My New Secret Pal Strikes for October!

It's funny all the things we (as in the adoption community) do to make the time pass the wait. Our Jan. DTC Yahoo Group has begun another Secret Pal Swap for those of us who wanted to continue having a SP. Orginally, we thought we'd have our daughters by now so the first SP swap was due to end in November. So of course, I signed up!

Yesterday, I got my first package from my new SP. This month's theme was "Toys to Take to China". My SP did such a great job! Everything is just perfect for taking along to China. I have to say she made my day yesterday. I was sort of down in the dumps over the seemingly ever increasing wait and was feeling a bit under the weather. It really helped lift my spirits!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I've Been "Booed" Part 2

I went shopping today for my supplies to "Boo" two neighbors. I couldn't wait for it to get dark so I could make deliveries. Geoff very willingly accepted the challenge of being my get-away driver. I picked two families that also teach school. When we went to the first house, no one was home. Ugh! So I figured I'd leave the the package on the doorstep for them to find it. As I was walking up to the door I noticed what looked like a dog but it was so still I thought it was a statue. Then it barked at me! I screamed and about wet my pants! Thankfully they WERE gone because surely if had been home they would have heard me. I opted to leave the package on the bricks by the driveway rather than risk a dog bite.

So off we go to the next neighbor. I quietly walk to the door where ANOTHER dog barks at me but at least this one was inside! I put the package down, rang the door bell and ran like crazy to the car. Again, no one was home! That just took the fun out of my booing.

We came home watched some tv and about an hour later went back out to check to see if the packages had been discovered. YES!! Not as much fun as having them home like I was when my package arrived but still fun. I can't wait to see what happens!

Rambling and Complaining

Posting has been hard lately. I seem to have trouble finding the time and the will to do it. It's really great that I'm busy and that the time is passing but the truth is we really thought we'd have Lexi by now.

When we started the adoption process I think we were just so happy to have have an avenue to have a child together that we didn't really foresee what would lie ahead. There have been so many ups and downs. It took us 6 months to prepare the dossier. That was unexpected. I thought it would be a breeze. I keep thinking back to the homestudy process... why on earth did they make us do so many things to prepare for the baby??? The baby gate is my biggest complaint. It's right in the kitchen blocking off the laundry room. Every time I go in there it's like a huge reminder that we don't have a baby. I asked Geoff to take it down last week but he hasn't done it yet.

Another thing that is a constant reminder of no baby are the blasted outlet covers that Geoff bought... he didn't buy the cheapy kind that pop right out. These are Mommy and Daddy proof as well. I can't even get them off. And when I do manage to get one off, I've been tossing them in the trash. I'll be using the ones my Secret Pal gave me instead. Then there are the cabinet door locks. I hate those too! But considering it took my Dad about 4 hours to get them installed, they will never be removed. I also had to redo all the cabinet arrangements for the homestudy and move the knives and sharp objects to the highest shelf. All of this just seems to be an unnecessary step until we actually have a referral. Then they should check the house. We've had all of this in place a year now and at the current rate of referrals, I won't be anytime soon that we will actually need these changes in our house.

And of course, there is the nursery. I go in there at least once a week and ask Geoff where the baby is. Yesterday, we had our Fall Festival at school. I hate these things as does every other teacher in the school. They feed us pizza before it starts and a bunch of us were eating and talking. One of the girls told me that Lexi wasn't going to just be our baby, she was going to be the whole schools. Everyone is waiting for our baby. I thought it was a very sweet thing to say.

I think I'm in a funky mood today because I finally took the time to read my Yahoo group posts and one woman posted that she had 8 months of waiting behind her. (We have 7 1/2) Then she said that she thought she had 10 more months of waiting. I can't even entertain the thought of 10 more months. I just CAN'T. I keep thinking that referrals will speed up and that we only have until March for our referral. That I can handle. When I allow myself to think about the wait going to 18 months, I just go into denial mode. I know I'm rambling but hey, this is my blog and it's for my thoughts and today I just feel the need to purge all these negative thoughts from my brain.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I've Been Booed!!

Last night, I was sitting in my recliner watching an old episode of "Ray" when the door bell rang. After getting past our fierce dogs , I opened the door to find no one in sight. I finally looked down and found a Halloween Basket full of goodies! At first, I thought it must be from my school Secret Pal but then I thought, no... she has already "gifted" me for October. Well, the basket contained a poem that explained it all.

The Phantom Ghost has come to town,
To leave goodies you have found.
If you do not wish a curse to fall
You must continue this ghostly call.

First, post this ghost where it can be seen
And leave it there till Halloween.
This will scare other visiting ghosts away.
Be sure to participate, don't delay.

Second, make two treats,
Two ghosts, and
Two notes like this.

Deliver it to two neighbors that might have been missed.
Don't let them see you, be sneaky, no doubt...
(And make sure they put their Booed Ghosts out!)***

Next, you will have only one day to act, so be quick!
Leave it at the doors where the ghost has not hit!
Deliver it at dark when there is no light...
Ring the doorbell and run, and stay out of sight!!!

And last but not least, enjoy the season.
Don't worry, be happy for all the right reasons.
Be cool, have fun and remember, don't be seen!
Share the Spirit of Halloween!!

It was so much fun!! Unfortunately, I had our Fall Festival for school tonight and couldn't exactly make the one night turn around for the "Booed" chain but I WILL be "Booing" two fellow neighbors tomorrow night!!

I just love stuff like this!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Goodies from the ECG Panda Trip!

Here are some tidbits from the Philly Trip...

Some of the girls brought some gift items for the trip. Here's some of my stash!

Let's test my memory (ECG please correct me if I am wrong) .... the notepad, pen and magnets are from Melissa. The candy bar was part of Stephe's goody bag which was filled with all kinds of useful items! (I ate the Butterfinger mini's on the plane on the way home!) The teddy bear, take-out box, fan magnet, chopsticks, and rubber ducky are from Lori (my dear roomie!).

Awww... the Magic Cone is from Sheryl. The magic cone gift made a very funny, memorable moment at Stephe's house. As a group, we had discussed the magic cone and it's usefulness (OR NOT) in China. Sheryl ordered us all one for our trip and of course, about made us pee our pants when she gave them to us!!

This is my China Teddy Bear as he is now... wearing my "bling" from Kathy. We wore these all weekend too! We also had tiara's from Hope AND Sheryl.

And of course, this is my dear China Teddy again before I rescued him from Muffin. As soon as I took him out of my suitcase, Muffin tried to claim him as her own. Of course, I had to rescue the poor Teddy!

We ate well also! We had, Texas Salsa from Cheryl, Derby Pies made by Hope from Kentucky, Whoopie Pies made by Kathy from N.H., and a delicious dinner of baked Ziti and meatballs made by Susan from FL. I brought pralines from Savannah Sweets. I had the best Hoagie I've ever tasted in Philly in the market and tasted cannolis for the first time. Yum! I, however, did not taste the China take out lunch that they sold on the streets of Chinatown. It was two flavors (sweet and salty) of rice with meat wrapped in a Lotus leaf and tied up with some kind of string. $1.00. Price was right... but my courage was not.

September Secret Pal Gift!!

Our SP has done it again! September's theme was "something to take on the trip to China". Our Pals just had the most useful ideas ever!! They sent us some electrical adapter plugs, an ID security kit, a security neck pouch, baby Orajel, some Johnson's wipes, and a ladybug address book. Wow! This is the perfect gift!! I didn't even have any idea where to get all the travel plugs and the pouch thingy! Agencies advise to use these instead of wallets while traveling to China because although the crime level is low in China, pick-pocketing is common. All of these items will be necessary for the trip. Thanks Secret Pals... you are the best!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm a Blogger Slacker!

I've slowed down on my posts on the blog. It's not that I don't want to, I've just found myself taking on extra things (like teaching in the after school program!) I still plan to post some more pictures of our trip but haven't found the time yet. This past weekend, I worked like a crazy person on my paper. Yesterday, I stepped out back with the dogs and as usual walked over to check on my Milkweed plants. I've had a few of these plants for 5 years! I protect them in the winter and try to keep the bad bugs off of them. I bought them one year while teaching about butterflies along with some monarch caterpillars. I planted them in hopes that one day, I would have some butterflies lay eggs on them. This summer, I almost lost them to some kind of bug but I also managed to sow some of their seeds to grow new plants. Imagine my surprise when I noticed the leaves were being eaten. Then I noticed the caterpillars!! I have 7 caterpillars!! After all this time, I finally have caterpillars!! Geoff says it takes so little to excite me but hey... this is awesome! I love butterflies! I love the cycle of life they grow through and I love their beauty. As I was watching them today and thinking about how long I've waiting for nature to bless me with caterpillars, I couldn't help but be reminded of the wait for Lexi. (Thank goodness that's not 5 years!) I can only imagine how excited I will be when we see her face for the first time. Now that will be excitement!!