Thursday, March 29, 2007

Easter Pig??

My sweet friend, Melaine, brought me a present today. It's a chocolate Easter Pig!! When she gave it to me she said that this just HAD to be the year we will get Lexi because if they are making Easter Pigs, it MUST really be the Year of the Pig. Check it out! His name is Pigglesworth! He's way too cute to ever eat!

... counting up???

Yesterday marked the 13th month of official waiting. I sure hope when referrals come out (hopefully next week) that the wait will hold at 18 months. Our agency says it will likely get longer. I'm hoping that it will just stay. Imagine if it would. It would mean a referral in September. That would be nice. Although, I'm kind of thinking our referral will not come until October. I can handle that. We will have lots to be thankful for at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I Hope. At work we have to change our passwords every 90 days. I've been playing with words. I've been "wishful", "hopeful", and was really hoping that by the end of the school year I could be "thankful". With the extended wait, I may have to try out "patiently" or "justdarntiredofwaiting". Oh, the things I do to amuse myself as we wait.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Do you know what this is???

It's a ladybug larva. Yes... a ladybug! I ordered a ladybug land kit from It came with a ladybug habitat and live ladybug larva. I had no idea this could turn into a ladybug. The sad news is all of mine died. They never changed into the pupa stage. So last week I called the company and they are supposed to send me replacements.

Let me stop here and just say... I love teaching in the spring. It's so much fun. I like to hatch chicks and ducks, raise butterflies, watch praying mantids hatch, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Teaching computers makes it less likely that I have opportunities to do this kind of thing but I figured I could work it into research.

Last week our praying mantids hatched. These are totally cool insects! They are clean and friendly and love to walk and hop on your hands. However, we turned them loose so they would live withing 24 hours of them hatching. After I let the kids let them go, I discovered that I have a crop of aphids on our day lilies. So I ordered LIVE ladybugs.

We're going to observe them at school for a few days and then I'm going to turn them loose on my day lilies. Of course I hope they make a home here because I really love watching them and they are so good for the plants. My neighbors probably think I'm nuts because I've been outside picking aphids off the lilies two days in a row to feed the ladybugs. I also give them soaked raisins to eat. Tomorrow I'm going to put a ladybug and some aphids in a clear container and put it under a microscope that is connected to the computer and the SmartBoard. We'll take photos and video of the insects. We should be able to get an extra close look at nature. Then we should be able to make a movie about ladybugs. This is fun stuff. I think it's time to order some caterpillars... oh yeah!

Just Ducky Secret Pal!

Wow! Our secret pal struck again. This month is reveal month and the theme was bathtime. First of all . . . Thanks AMY!! for all of the wonderful gifts you have sent over the months. Amy out-did herself this month! The entire package was themed around ducks and then she said she moved into chicks after Easter items began to appear. I love both ducks and chicks. As a teacher, I've hatched both in the classroom with my former 2nd graders. Ducks were always the cutest because they imprint and will follow you anywhere once they see you and think you are their mommy. (Oops, I digress!)

Anyhow, the package was filled with all kinds of ducky, chicky kinds of things. .. two ducky frames, ducky blanket, ducky tag-blanky, rubber ducks, ducky bath scrunchy, jelly beans in a ducked shaped tray, two board books, bath mit, duck hair barettes, ducky bath towel, duck stuffed animal that quacks, bubbles, and all kinds of sweet smelling baby oils, lotions, shampoo, powder, and body wash.

Sable really loves the stuffed duck. Oh, she would so love to play with it. Her favorite dog toy is a duck that she has had for probably 3 years or more. She's loved it to shreads! When I showed her the duck, she went nuts. And the fact that it quacks makes her even more insane. She's got to learn that Lexi's toys aren't her toys so she may as well begin now. :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

This and That . . .

So what's been going on. Blogging gets boring when the wait last forever. I continue to blog because I want to remember everything we did as we waited for Lexi. How we prepared, how we longed for her, the ups and even the downs because all of it will be a part of how our family begins. Our agency now says that the wait is at 18 months. They also say it is likely to get a bit longer before it's over. We will find our way to her though and hopefully it will be in 2007.

School will get out soon. We have about 43 days to go. Yippie! The sooner summer break comes and goes, the sooner we will be getting closer to going to get Lexi. In the meantime, we're trying to decide on a trip for the summer. We are leaning pretty hard towards heading to New Orleans to meet some more people from our Precious Pandas January DTC Yahoo group. It's so much fun meeting all of these wonderful people. When we first started the adoption, we kept thinking that we couldn't splurge on any trips but now that the wait just gets longer, it gets harder to justify putting everything on hold. We've made so many new friendships and added to our support system. It's really nice and I really love everyone we have met.

Geoff and I have been making some changes as well. I've been getting up early (yes, ME) and while I get ready for work, he cooks breakfast. It's a nice way to start the day and I find that I don't get hungry until it's time for lunch. We enjoy having nice breakfasts on Sunday mornings and now we're doing it every morning. This is just one of the things we can do to help us get used to having a baby in the house.

Every since I went to the dentist last week, I've had so much an easier time sleeping. He made me a stint for my mouth to stop me from clinching. When I feel myself starting to clinch, I put it in and I can't do it. After stopping the vicious clinching cycle, my sleeping is improving. The downside is that when I put it in, I can't enunciate my words completely and end up sounding like a 3 year old. It's particularly hard to say words with the "s" and "sh" sound. Geoff finds this very funny and begs me to say "suffering succotash" all the time. I find the whole thing comforting but annoying at the same time. Whatever it takes to make it better.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shots and more shots!

It's Spring Break and so far, I've had appointments every day. This is what teachers do... wait until breaks and take care of as much as possible. Yesterday, I went to the dentist and today we went to get shots for the China trip. Shots aren't required but we went ahead and got Hep A and B and tetanus. Geoff also got the Chicken Pox vaccine. He's never had them so he went ahead and got it. The Tetanus shot hurts the worst. Tomorrow I'm going back to the dentist and then to the doctor with Sara. I'll get to hear the Brennan's heart beat. I think finally on Friday, I don't have anything planned. Spring Break goes by way too fast.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A New Blog To Follow

Here's a link for a couple we met at the Savannah FCC Chinese New Year Luncheon that live near us. They are on their way to China today!! They were the first couple we met at the event this year. Dale had his proud daddy brag book with him. I can't wait to follow their journey. Just think, this will be us one day!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Grandma... I'm Lovin' it!!

Sara went with me today to an appointment in Savannah. Then we had another mother-daughter day. Just how much time can two future mom's spend shopping? A LOT! I bought Sara lunch and after we finished she went to the restroom. After she had been gone a little too long, I started to worry. When she finally came back her eyes were teared up and her face was red. I knew immediately something was wrong. Apparently, lunch didn't settle well with her and came back up as quickly as I paid for it! :-) Poor thing! She still has days of "morning sickness". I bought Brennen his first complete Gymboree outfit complete with overalls, shirt, socks, bib and hat. Too cute! Then we made the mistake of going by my favorite local scrapbooking store where I purchased his first scrapbook to match his nursery. Now I will find some time to make him his first scrapbook. Finally, on the way home we stopped by Target where I got the biggest chuckle. Sara had to buy a size medium bathing suit! The suits must have been sized wrong because the shorts she got were XS. I think there IS a conspiracy among bathing suit makers to make every single woman in the world feel awful about herself no matter how small she is. How else can an XS woman go to a Medium that quickly? Sara's tummy is getting bigger but she is all tummy. I absolutely love watching her grow and couldn't be more proud. I can't wait until Lexi can meet Brennen. Heck... we can't wait to meet Lexi!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Muffin has a stalker!

Look closely at the mailbox. (front yard)

We think Muffin is being stalked by a Hawk. (minutes later.... backyard)
Muffin is very confused...
She's decided to take on her own prey!
For now, she's staying close to the house!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pigs, pigs, and more pigs!

I've been meaning to post this picture for a few weeks now. It was a gift from my dear friends Melane and Melissa. They gave me this porcelin Miss Piggy and sweet note for Chinese New Year. I love that they put "It's my year" on the front of the card. I thought it was extra special of them to think of me and care enough to even know it's the Year of the Pig. It's just sweetness. Pure and Simple. Thanks so much M & M!

Speaking of Pigs...

My JanuaryDTC group decided to have a Year of the Pig Swap. I have always loved pigs. I used to have an entire week of pig-themed activities link around books with pig characters. That was before National Child Left Behind and when they let us make decisions as educators as to how we wanted to teach skills. (That's another story.) Anyhow, I gathered all kinds of things to send to my swap partner. I saw some cute onesies and t-shirts on the internet but they were quite expensive so I opted to "borrow" the idea and made my own. I made Lexi some too. I thought they turned out really cute.

Onsie front...
Onsie back...
T-shirt #1 front...
t-shirt #1 back
T-shirt #2
Oh, the fun we have passing the time!


Okay, we can check off getting re-fingerprinted from the list of things to do before we get our referral. It was a quick uneventful trip. I did briefly meet a fellow China Peach (this is the GA. Yahoo group of people who have or will adopt from China). We didn't get to talk but a minute because I was called to get my prints done. The guy who did my prints had just done hers as well. He asked me if we knew each other. He said he's never seen anyone else come in that knew anyone else there. It was hard to explain how we know each other. :-) For some reason, I had my external hard drive in my purse. That brought up a question from the security guy. He was like, "WHAT is that?". Our appointment was at 8:00 AM and we were back home at 1:00. Now we are back to waiting until about June when we will send for an updated I600.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fellow Feb. 27, 06 LID'er's

I've found a few other blogs with LID's the same day as us.

* Eggrolls and Chopsticks
* Our Not-So-Patient Wait for Mia From China

Does anyone out there know of any more?? I wonder if it's possible that we will meet up in China. Seems like we should as long as we all stay at the White Swan. Interesting.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Atlanta Bound

Yesterday, we received our fingerprint appointment from Homeland Security. That was faster than I expected! We have to be there at 8:00 AM on Friday. It's not so much a problem for me as it Geoff. It's always hard for him to get away during tax season and after he took off last weekend, it's even harder. It will be a quick trip. Up on Thursday night and home on Friday. I'd really love to have time to make a trip to Archiever's (my FAVORITE scrapbook store in the whole world that is way too far away for frequent visits!).

Last time we were fingerprinted, I had no idea that you could not have cuts on your fingers. The instructions they sent us had been copied so many times that we couldn't read it and frankly, we were just ecstatic to have our appointment. Well, this time I know and I've already had a bad dream. We only got our appointment yesterday, and last night I dreamed that I cut my fingers and they wouldn't let me be fingerprinted. Wouldn't that be awful??

So I guess my brother, Richard, will be coming to dog-sit for us yet again.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Savannah Weekend - A Gathering of Little Friends

Geoff and I had a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend (say that three times as fast as you can)! It began on Friday night at Wendy's house. When Geoff and I got there, the house was full of people, most of whom we were meeting for the first time. Wendy was a great host and was showing everyone how to make Chinese dumplings. The girls were having a great time making them as well. After a delicious Chinese dinner, Wendy lead us all into a Q&A about going to China and adoption. She had invited a doctor(Dr. Jene) from Savannah who has adopted 2 adorable girls (who were there of course!). It was very informative.

On Saturday, we all met at Starbucks in downtown Savannah. Geoff took Andy and Gary golfing and the rest of us headed out for a tour of downtown Savannah. At 2:30 the ladies went for tea at the Gryphon Tea Room, while the guys went out for pizza. Wendy's girls did so great! They so freely share their love. They hung in there with us and were just perfectly behaved. After a long day, we all went to dinner at Paula Dean's Lady and Sons Restaurant. Delicious!! You know, we live so close to Savannah. It's amazing that everything we did today was new for us. It was like we WERE out of town somewhere new.

This morning we all met up again at J. Christopher's for brunch. Again... delicious! The company was even better. It was sad to say good-bye. It's like we were in our own little world over the weekend. Now it's back to reality.

I've said it before, but I have to say it again. Adoption has brought so much to our lives. The internet has made it possible to expand our support group to include some very special people. We'll all be connected by our daughters. It's truly a wonderful thing.

New friends we met this weekend:
Diane and Gary from Michigan, Rhonda and Mike from Alabama, Lori (my Philly roomie) and Andy from Florida, Cheri and Shane from Ohio, Sharon from Florida, Susan and Jonathan from Georgia, and Karen from Georgia

Friends we reconnected with:
Wendy and her girls, and Susan and Riz

We're honored to know you all and share this adoption journey together.

I'm hoping to post some pictures that others took as well. I didn't do the best job capturing the essence of the moment... as usual!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This is LONG... but hey! I'm catchin' up!!

I really have planned to post lately but never made it. I've been pouring myself into all things dissertation. Tonight, I'm taking a much needed break and will watch Survivor. So catching up...

* We were logged in exactly 12 months on Feb. 27th. We didn't exactly celebrate but did feel great satisfaction in that we have reached such a milestone. Our agency's website now says the wait from LID to referral is 16-18 months. I've resigned myself to the fact that we may not be going to China until sometime in the fall. I've come to realize that this whole process is progressive. One.Step.At.A.Time.

* I've reached a milestone in my dissertation as well. I've received an approval for my proposal idea. It's only taken me almost a year to do this. I have to remind myself that this is the second idea that was approved. My first topic was also approved but fell apart just as I reached the proposal stage as the war in Iraq began. My subjects basically all moved away. For those who are wondering... yes, I've been at this quest in my career for a very long time. I should be finished by now. Actually I should have finished a long time ago. However, it was during my studies that Geoff and I made the decision to have a baby. Staying focused on extending a family via IVF, domestic adoption, foster-care/adoption, and finally International adoption has taken its toll on my progress. Not to mention that I've switched jobs 4 times during a process that depends upon my job situation. I hate that it has taken me this long but as they say, "that's life". I hope things are on the upswing again. I hope that chapters 1-3 will be submitted by the end of March. I hope that the actual study will occur in May. I need the better part of this to be finished by referral time. That's a lot of hope situated upon alot of things well beyond my control.

* Something I've not shared on the blog... last December we got a new special needs list from our agency. I happened to discover it during my workday. I immediately saw not just one but two girls that I could see as being Lexi. I sent Geoff an email and then called him to see if he could see Lexi on the list. Amazingly, he identified the same two girls. I know this may sound weird that more than one picture could "feel" like she was our Lexi, but the truth is we don't really know who she is. We just "feel" her. We actually emailed our agency about either of the girls but they were both already spoken for. I did find a great sense of relief in this whole experience because I really got a taste for how it would feel when we finally see our Lexi's face. I felt the immediate love for a child that is only a dream at this point. It was comforting to me to know that once we do receive our referral, my love for our Lexi will be real. It will be confirmed.

* So today, I saw another email from our agency for a little girl whose adoption has fallen through so rather than delay her adoption, they were "offering" her to families who were LID between Jan. and Mar. of 2006. That fits us. I looked at her information and emailed Geoff. Then I called him to make sure he saw my message. I wanted this to be Lexi even though I really didn't "feel" it. Neither did Geoff. And when I allowed myself to really internalize it, I knew that it wasn't our "time"/our Lexi. I even had an internal panic that if we did get this child, I would probably be going to get her by May and "wholly-cow!!!" if we did get her, would I ever have the focus required to finish my dissertation. I guess that says it all. It's not our time. We still have much to do before Lexi. What a realization...

* Movin' on... Tomorrow begins the GOLF weekend... (A Gathering of Little Friends). This time it's close to home. I don't have to fly anywhere. Tomorrow night, a bunch of Dec. and Jan. DTC cyber-friends will meet for the first time. We have a big weekend planned in Savannah. I can't wait to meet some more fellow "adopters" and reunite with some of the ladies (and their hubbies) that I met in Philly. I'll post some weekend details later on. It is sure to be a fantastic weekend.

So basically, I think I'm caught up at least for tonight. Now I'm going to watch Survivor. Whew!!