Thursday, March 29, 2007

Update on I-797

I just received an email from Janet at the USCIS and she now has my home study on her desk. She said she will work on it tomorrow. Yeah!! - Hopefully it will be in the mail by the weekend.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lunch with the Girls

Yesterday, a few of the girls gathered for lunch here at the house. We met a new mommy to be, Amy, who is very close to submitting her paperwork. It was a lot of fun seeing the little girls, Deb's LiLi and Lisa's Maisie running around and playing with Chani's toys. At least the toys are being played with vs sitting in the toyroom collecting dust. Lunch was great, even if it was a bit hot to be eating outside. And, as always, it was fun seeing Lisa F. and Randi too.

I learned a lot about baby proofing and even started working on it. I moved some of the papers out of some of the baskets on the coffee table and put toys in them. Now, I need to figure out where to put the plants. Perhaps they will go upstairs until I can teach her NO! I need to lock up a few things and purchase some straps to lock up some drawers and anchor some bookcases. Guess it's a good enough reason to go shopping!!

Thanks everyone for coming yesterday. It was fun.

You Said What??

Okay, so after calling my local home study agency and getting an email address and phone number, I did both. The phone message was basically asking me to email them and that would be the fastest way to correspond with them.

To make a long story short, several emails were sent back and forth and I was told they DIDN'T HAVE my home study. Getting my updated home study to them back in November was quite the ordeal which I posted about back then.

Anyway, a copy of my home study with ORIGINAL signatures is being sent to them again today. As soon as they receive it, they will process it and get it mailed back to me.

The peace of mind that little piece of paper will provide is unreal. I can't believe all the hoops one must go through to adopt a child.

Thanks to all those who offered suggestions and help with it. I'll post when I find out more.

Monday, March 26, 2007

USCIS

Too much stress!

So, I tried to call the USCIS office, here in Atlanta with no luck. I've been trying to fax a letter to them but their fax line doesn't work and it just rings and rings. I tried calling Marla Jones whose number I got from Lisa but that number has been disconnected and is no longer in service. I try to call the customer service number only to hear 100 different options, all of which lead to them saying good-bye.

Does anyone know of any number of a live person that I can reach?

My adoption agency is out of state so they wouldn't have any information. I'm going to try to call my local social worker who did the home study and perhaps they can help. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kid’s BIG Toys Consignment Backyard Sale! - UPDATE

***Updated***

So I spent zero!!! I didn't buy a single thing but Lisa sure made out. She found her mailbox that she's been looking for. She also bought a Little Tikes Garden AND a cash register. Afterwards, we headed to Einstein's Bagel but they were packed so we drove down the road a bit further and found a Dunkin Donuts and got bagels there, although wouldn't you know it, we ended up behind this lady who kept adding to her order. Let's just say I hope she was going to a party of some sort because she had enough for one! I then stopped by Target and picked up a few things before heading home. Matt "should" get Chani's closet done today, well, all except for the painting part of it. But, at least all the measuring, cutting, drilling, etc will be done. Yeah!!




Today we're going to this sale. It's a large sale with tons of large toys that are all categorized in someones backyard. Lisa and I went last year and loaded down Matt's car. We're going to hit it again but I don't need anything or have the room for anything. Do you think that will stop me?? This wait has to be over soon so I can stop buying everything and can concentrate more on her age and ability. I'll post pictures later when we get back.

On another note, we're still waiting for our I-797C to get here. I have a phone number of a woman that I called awhile ago and so I'll dig it out and see what I can find out on Monday. Mick and Georgia, who both submitted after me, have received theirs already. I hate when things don't go as planned and now I have to worry about this.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Washing windows

Okay, so what do you do when you can't reach the windows to wash. Getting out the extention ladder and moving it back and forth would be a two person job, or, a royal pain in the butt. So, I had Matt buy that Windex window washer stuff that hooks onto your garden hose. It's not too impressive but it did get some soap up there where it never would have otherwise gone and slid down the window. I don't think it did too great of a job. My mom suggested that I use a small part of ammonia and mix it with water and try that. Has anyone ever had success with that? She said that it doesn't streak and I can use it on most anything that I would use Windex on. I need something that I don't have to wipe off or scrub. - Anyway, I did get the top row of windows done. Yeah!

We're still waiting on our I-797c to arrive but nothing yet. I know they received it early January. They sent the receipt and also have cashed the check. It has only been about 80 days or so. Mick sent hers in a couple weeks after mine to the same office and has received hers. I'm wondering where ours could be. Lisa sent hers in a couple weeks before we did and she has had hers back for about a month. I suppose I should just be patient and know that it will be coming soon. I still have plenty of time but oh, the peace of mind it would bring. I just wonder if perhaps they got the wrong address and sent it to the old one. I'll dig into it in a couple of weeks.

My mom wants to have a family reunion in August!! - I'm like Mom, I can't. I'll hopefully be in China then or fairly close to it. Once we are home, I won't want to travel either. So, I've been looking at places between all of us so we can get together possibly in late June, early July and between referral, showers and travel meetings but have been unsuccessful so far. The search continues.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's Spring time!!


I love this time of the year. Everything is so new and fresh and I can open the windows. Well, almost. Not quite warm enough yet but the back door is wide open. Perhaps in a couple more hours, it will be.

I want to wash the second story bay windows on the outside but the sun is shining and I'm afraid of streaks so I will wait until we get some clouds up there. It's supposed to be a cloudy day today but so far, that's not happening. Oh well, guess the windows will be dirty for one more day while I still enjoy the sunshine.

Anna and I got some pansies the other day and I finally planted them in the planters on the deck. We also moved the grill back out there and have been slowly cleaning up the garage. We have so much junk in the garage and basement that I think we need to have a garage sale. We are restricted by the homeowners association on that so unless the community does it, we can not. Guess I'll be donating tons to charity. I have three bags ready to go for that. Perhaps I'll give them a call today to come pick them up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Our New Pediatrician, sort of.

Okay, so I've been thinking more and more about looking into getting a pediatrician for Chani once we bring her home. Lisa F. had found one that she really seemed fond of and he was about 1/2 way between her and us so I thought why not, I'd check him out too. I called him up and made the appointment for a "Meet and Greet." The only time they do this is at 8AM. Needless to say, Matt wasn't too impressed but he forced himself out of bed and tagged along with me. We drove and missed the turn and had to use his blackberry to figure out where the office was located. We finally made it to the place, but we were still on time, yeah us! In the office, they have separate waiting rooms for sick kids, well kids, infants, teens, etc. It was really nice how they had it all set up. The doc comes into the waiting room, greets us and takes us back to his office. He really was super nice and he seemed to know about Chinese adoptions so we were pretty impressed with him. I only wish that they were closer to us and Matt thinks that we need to find one that is. I told him that I would go again to another one, IF he would do the legwork and find one and get it all set up. I'll keep this one and use him as a back up plan because I know my husband and he'll wait until the last minute if he does it at all. So, even though we have met him and have one, it seems pointless now since he's too far away. Our search continues...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Good Intentions...blah blah blah

Okay, so I promised to blog more but that obviously hasn't happened. Don't know why, perhaps just nothing interesting to say. Not that I ever have anything interesting to say or even to say now, but here goes.

In anticipation of our upcoming cruise, yesterday, Matt and I went to our favorite dive shop and handed over our gear for our annual service, new batteries, etc. We can never leave that shop without spending huge amounts of money so to stay true to that statement, in addition to the servicing, my big purchase yesterday was a new wetsuit. The guys, (Matt and Wyatt, the store owner) talked me into a 5 MIL suit. I'm thinking all the while, I'm going to be so hot on the boat. Not sexy hot, but sweating like a pig hot. Once we get in the water, I'll be nice and toasty but getting to that point won't be fun, especially if the air temp is in the 80's or above. Here is a stock picture of the suit.
Mine is black and gray and stretches quite a bit and is pretty flexible. With this amount of neoprene though, I will have to increase my weights which I don't really want to do. But, for the flexibility and warmth, I suppose it's a good trade off. Anyway, we'll see how it performs in the warm waters of Hawaii.

We booked two dive trips on two different Hawaiian islands. We tried for a third but it was booked already. I'd love to go diving more so perhaps we'll find a local dive shop while we're on the island and book it ourselves. We've done it both ways, with the cruise ship excursions and on our own. It's nice having the ship do it so we don't have to worry about anything except being there on time. However, they tend to be a little more expensive than going out on our own. Sometimes, it's just worth it.

This is our "anniversary trip that ends with the "e" sound." We had to put it off a couple weeks due to scheduling with Anna's school. On our actual anniversary, we went to Startime Comedy Club and saw John Heffron. He was hilarious. If you ever get the chance, I'd highly recommend seeing him, especially if you're mid to late 30s and married. The microphone wasn't working and he ad libbed so well. He is probably the funniest comedian I have ever heard.

That's about all that has happened this week.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ten Years Ago

Wow, has it really been ten years? Ten years ago today, Matt and I had our first date. A couple weeks prior, we had been introduced in a bar where we politely said hellos but that was about it. I do remember him walking by me a couple of times and watching him do so. I don't remember much else about that night except for that and, he was wearing a Marvin the Martian hat.

About two weeks later, he said hello to me while I was online in a local chat room. I was frustrated with my computer and he said that he knew a lot about them. He then offered to take a look at it in exchange for dinner and a movie. He was such a cheese ball but I agreed and set it up for March 9Th, 1997.

We went to a really nice Italian restaurant and then to a horrible movie, "Howard Stern's Private Parts." I don't know why we choose that one unless it just happened to be playing at the time. But, I'm sure Matt will tell you that it was me who wanted to see it. Even though, the night ended well.

Five years ago today, we were in Savusavu, Fiji where we got married and spent our honeymoon. We stayed at Namale Resort. This place was awesome! They have 13 Bures which are little houses, very exclusive and private. They only allow adults so only 26 could be on this island at one time, along with the staff. When we were there, for the most part, we were the only ones there. The first and last day, we had company but the entire week, it was just us and the locals and/or staff. A couple of the local villages gathered for the wedding which was at sunset on the beach. They sang their traditional Fijian songs and dance. We had a Kava ceremony where we drank their intoxicating drink. Putrid! It tasted like dirt. :) We then had a candlelight dinner and they sang "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. That has now become our song. I have such fond memories of them singing it. Their English wasn't quite right and when the song says, ..you just don't realize how much I love you...- They would say ...I lub you. It was so funny. That night/week was so beautiful.

Fast forward to tonight. We have tickets to see John Heffron at the Funny Farm. We watched him win the Last Comic Standing a couple of years ago. That was the only reality TV show that we both have liked and watched. We have also seen Alonzo Bodden, and Jay London who competed with John. I'm really excited for tonight and can't wait to laugh my ass off. Oh, Anna is staying at Sarah's again tonight and Adair's tomorrow night so we have another free weekend to ourselves!! Yippee

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

10/24/05

Okay, so the cutoff didn't make it as far as everyone had hoped. The CCAA did have time off for the holiday so it was expected, at least by me anyway, that they would have a short month. Okay, I can still deal with this and I'm still clinging to the June batch for us, or the third in line, whenever it may fall. We only have 37 days and divided by 3 is 13, 12 and 12. So, I'm thinking I would like to see them get through 11/6 by the next batch. If they hit 11/4, I think I'll still be close but would rather see the 6th or later. Then, I'd like the see the next one through 11/18 and then the last one through 11/30. There aren't any holidays or trade shows or anything in March or April, that I know of, so they should be able to get through many days. I'm still clinging to a glimmer of hope and really think it can be done. Positive thoughts to everyone!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Photos of our cruise

As posted earlier, we took a cruise to the Bahamas for "winter break." The Carnival Sensation was an older ship and you could see some wear but I think this was one of the best cruises we've been on. We had down comforters on the beds and bathrobes hanging in the closet. We only went with a window room instead of the balcony but it was still really nice. Although it was cold when we started, even in Freeport, it did warm up in Nassau and turned out really nice. Everything went according to plan with no issues with anything really.

We're headed to Hawaii soon on NCL. I'm really looking forward to that one. Anna will be staying at Susan's and this will be our last cruise as a couple. We won't have another chance before Chani gets here to do another trip so this one really counts. It's our fifth anniversary trip, although a couple weeks late. We are going to Maui in particular which ends in the "e" sound. This is our tradition on our anniversary trips. It started with our wedding in Fiji and then to Hawaii, Tahiti, Italy, Disney (since we were broke that year.) and finally, our fifth which will be Maui. Yeah, I know it's Hawaii too but we've used that one already! We were married exactly five years from the date we met so we're also celebrating ten years together.

Anyway, here are our photos from the cruise. I promise to have more time to blog this next week.

March 2007 Potluck

First of all, a very huge thank you to .Jason and Stephanie for opening up their doors to their Rainbow Play set Showroom . It is a fabulous place and I think we all had a blast. Also, thanks so much for providing the pizza and drinks! Everyone brought desserts and salads and as always, tons of food for us all to munch on all evening. Congrats to Jackie and Eric for hitting their one year of waiting mark. We ended up staying longer than planned but we were having such a good time we didn't want to leave. If we didn't need to get home to get Anna and let Bindi out, we would have stayed a bit longer. It was great seeing everyone and even meeting a couple new people. Thanks to everyone for coming. And now, only a couple of photos. For some reason, most of the photos of the women, with the exception of Amy and Emily's picture, were either blurry or not very good. So, here is that one, one of some of the guys and one of Matt on the swing with a halfass smile. (If you know him at all, getting him to smile for a camera is almost impossible.)