Monday, July 30, 2007

Two more things for today

Lisa and Doug finally wrapped their arms around their new daughter early this morning. Seeing this family come together has been a truly amazing experience. Check out the great photos and their experience here.

Secondly, we received an email from our agency today saying that the 21st is the cutoff. The referrals had NOT been sent, as of the email, but they are done and will be sent soon.

20 Long Months (Take II) - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
To honor our 20th month of being logged in, here are 20 things that have happened during our wait.

1. Hosted an exchange student for an entire school year.
2. Lost my father and my cat.
3. Vacationed in Hawaii.
4. Went to Disney World, twice.
5. Took two cruises.
6. Went to three art auctions.
7. Went to 13 waiting families potlucks and countless lunches with the girls.
8. Went to three baby showers.
9. Met several awesome people.
10. Bought our new house.
11. Sold our old house.
12. Became fascinated with ladybugs.
13. Planted a tree. (Hand dug the hole myself.)
14. Lost a friend but gained two closer ones.
15. Went bowling twice.
16. Played a full year plus of Bunco.
17. Became fascinated with Panda Bears.
18. Went to the Asian Cultural Experience, The Dragon Boat races and two FCC picnics.
19. Went to the Georgia Aquarium three times and the Atlanta Zoo once.
20. Started this blog, along with 4, so far, hand written journals to Chani.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our Monthly Dinner was last night, held at the Classic Gourmet Restaurant in Marietta last night. We had a great time visiting with everyone and watching the little girls run around. Maisie even let me hold her for a bit. I didn't get any really great shots so no photos for the blog.

On to other news, we wait and we wait. About another 11 hours and some of our dearest friends are going to become parents. Their daughter will be placed in their arms after so many years of waiting. We are beyond thrilled and can't wait to see the photos and then, welcome them home in a couple of weeks. A very exciting time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Positive" Rumors - Is this true?

Yesterday morning there was a rumor that the 21st was the cut off. The caseworker who told the client said that they were positive of the cut off and that they would arrive next week. She didn't know if they had been mailed yet. There are other rumors that several agencies are tracking packages that probably contain referrals. Yippee!!

October seems to be a much greater possibility for us now!!!
Love referral time! - Congrats to all those about to see their babies for the first time!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Last Weekend

First of all, thank you Tracy for putting together this awesome video. For anyone who hasn't seen it on the other bloggy sites, here it is.

I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the group, even though as a local, I wasn't able to spend as much time there and get to know each other as well as a lot of you had. I had a great time and I thank you all for letting me be a part of it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Almost Next"

Micha asked in the previous comment section, "are you almost next?" and it got me to thinking.

Being this close yet so far is HARD on the heart. The roller coaster of rumors is also hard on the heart. One day I'm like all excited because we "could" be next but then I'll do a reality check with my friends who tell me that there is no way it could happen that soon. (Thank you all for being patient with me here when I talk about it over and over. I need to be told a few times before it sinks in.) In all reality and in my brain, I feel it will be October for us.

I've been hearing rumors of orphanage donations increasing, visa application fees increasing as well as our agency fees and let's not forget the update of the paperwork fees. That and the never ending wait has been getting to me lately. I've been preparing for this child for so long. I just want it over with. I want the waiting to be done, finally.

Going back to Micha's question has put the excitement back in there because I can answer YES to her question. I am almost next. I can also say that I am next with our agency. I am also next in our circle of friends and Yes, I am almost next with the world. Two more referral days without me and then, I can drop the "almost".

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bodacious Blogger Break 07

Yesterday I spent the day with a few locals and a lot of other bloggers from all over. Melissa opened up her house to 17 adoption bloggers. It was a fabulous day filled with lot of laughs, glorious sunshine and even ended with tons of presents. Everyone attending was so generous and so skilled with handmade gifts for all and they all were such great women who are on this adoption journey. How cool it was for everyone to assemble all in one place. I sincerely wish everyone a speed up with their referrals.

I did not even bring out my camera once. Shame on me, so, I swiped this one from Debbie's blog who sadly isn't in this photo. Perhaps someone else posting will have one with her in it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Day at the Zoo

Wednesday, Debbie, LiLi and I all went to the zoo in lieu of our weekly lunch. I had been wanting to go see the baby panda for awhile now but Matt doesn't like the zoo so we never went. When our friends were here from Texas, we all went to the aquarium and I bought a combo ticket so I could see both places at a discount.

I ended up taking quite a few more pictures of LiLi than I did the animals. LOL She is such a beautiful little girl and so photogenic. I can not wait until Chani gets home so I can take thousands of pictures of her. I hopefully will have a new camera by then and I can get some better shots. I dislike my camera that I have now. It seems that about 1/2 of the photos are blurry. Hopefully a new camera will fix that.

It seemed to be "in season" for a lot of the animals. The turtles were absolutely hysterical. Two different kinds were at it, as well as the sea otters. At the aquarium, last week, it was the Beluga whales.

Anyhow, here are some photos and video of the trip. Enjoy! - Listen over the talking in the first one so you can hear the turtles.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What a week

What a week we've had. I had 1 1/2 days to clean my house after the party on the 4th to get ready for our next guests. Pam and Steve, who we've known for many years and travel with frequently came to our house, all the way from Texas for the past week. We started out with a quiet day at home, drinking wine and playing Pictionary, girls against boys and we ended with each of us winning a game. Other than that, we just sat around, relaxing and catching up.

On Sunday, we took a road trip to Savannah, GA. After checking into our hotel, we stopped by the visitor's center and walked along with waterfront, doing some some shopping where I found the most adorable ladybug teapot. We all had fru fru drinks, even Matt, at Wet Willies and later on, dined on some Greek food. The last thing we did that evening was a ghost town trolley tour of the town that ended with a tour of the Sorrel-Weed House that is supposedly haunted. They told us the ghosts like to hide out in the corners of the room so everyone, including me, was taking photos of the empty corners, as you can see in the slide show. It was interesting to hear all of the stories of this beautiful southern town, even though we saw no ghosts. HA!

I had been listening to the story, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," on cassette tapes that I borrowed from the library. Whoa, those take a long time to get through. I only managed a little over half of them but I still got a good feeling for the story of Jim Mercer and his home. One of the things I wanted to do while we were in Savannah was to just go and see the house and tour it if possible. Well, we did and it was. Not too impressed with the tour but it was still fun. I only wished that I had been able to finish the book before going. I've ordered the movie on Netflix so that will be fun to watch it now. We then drove to Tybee Island, stopping along the way and touring Fort Pulaski. They did a cannon firing and we had to cover our ears because it was so loud. It rocked, or it seemed, the whole ground. We drove past the lighthouse but didn't even get out. We had lunch on the coast and then we headed to Brunswick to our new centrally located hotel room and all but me, went for a swim. Afterwards, we all walked next door to a bowling alley and played a couple of games there. Matt even drank fru fru drinks here too!

The next day, we headed to Jekyll Island where we rented a little golf cart like car and tried our hand at Geocaching. The guy told us that most of the boxes had been picked up so he didn't charge us for the GPS system. Woohoo, a freebie. Well, we started out going to the first place and, after walking into the wooded area and getting eaten up by mosquitoes, we found a box. Inside was a notepad with no pencil and a bookmark. Not too impressed so far. We then found a campground with a little store, bought some bug spray, a pen and some doodads to leave in the next box and set out for box number two. We didn't find it, nor three, four or five so we gave up. We still had fun and did a bit of shopping before the car ran out of energy. We dropped off the car to recharge and drove our car to find some more shopping before heading back to the hotel for another round of swimming. I just had to have crab legs on this trip so for dinner, we found a great place to eat. After dinner, we dropped the guys off at the arcade in the bowling alley and the girls went on to the rooms.

We then started home, but had one last lighthouse to view. We found it and walked around a little bit but didn't want to wait to tour it. Wanting to time the Atlanta traffic, we stopped at an outlet mall and walked around. Once in Georgia, we stopped at the Tanger Outlet Mall and walked around there too. It was nice being able to get out and stretch before coming back home.

Thursday, we did the local Canton things, drinking margaritas and playing Cranium.

Friday, we headed downtown to the Georgia Aquarium and then the new Coke building.

Saturday, we had to say goodbye but along the way to the airport, we stopped at The Varsity so they could experience that local attraction. After seeing them off, we stopped by the movie theater and watched Harry Potter. I liked it but Matt thought it was wasn't as well done as the others. It's been awhile since I've read the book so I didn't remember it. It seemed like a good movie to me.

We hung around the house yesterday, not doing too much. I did a bit of cleaning and Matt did some work.

That brings us back to Monday and up to date. At least I think it does and I think I remembered all the stuff we did.

And now on to the fun stuff.

Friday, July 06, 2007

4th of July

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First of all, I want to thank everyone who came to our Bar-B-Que. We had such a good time and enjoyed every minute of it, including the burnt burgers. Poor Matt. HAHA The grilled corn, on the other hand was some of the best ever! This was the first time we ever put it on the grill and oh, what a treat. Thanks Deb for showing and helping me unwrap it. Matt still managed to grill up some great burgers and hot dogs. The only ones that got burnt were the last four, which we didn't need and he forgot about. Eammon was the only brave one to try one of the well done ones. He said it wasn't bad but I think he was just being polite. Everyone walked away from the table stuffed!

Here are a few photos, taken by others, Lisa and Deb. How stinkin cute are they? Maisie LOVES going for the spice drawer and she'll bring them all out, shake em, bang em and takes them all over the house. Having little ones over surely teaches me the hot spots that I need to baby proof. (The spice drawer for sure.) LiLi spied the stacking cups and she was having so much fun with them. She would stack them in my hands and then knock them over, giggling every single time. It was soooo funny to watch her and see her laugh. She took one and threw it but Momma stopped her and then, she got all sad and this little beauty has soo many facial expressions. She would just stand there with this serious, hurt look on her face. It was priceless. She then got over it after a couple of minutes of coaxing and then she was fine again. I think she learned her lesson, not to throw them.

The last part of the evening, Debbie, Dan, Ian, LiLi, Matt and I all went to the Kohl's parking lot for fireworks. We ran in to check if they were still having them but since we're technically still in a drought, they cancelled them. We did find out that they were still having them in Canton - go figure. Anyhoo, we ran into Target where Ian could pick out some of his own and went back to their place to set them off. We opened up a bottle of wine and sat and chatted while Ian did the honors. Not too bad of a show! This brings me to the best part of the whole day! I don't know if LiLi was a little scared, tired or just wanting some cuddle time but she choose me! I love this last picture that Debbie took. LiLi crawled up into my lap, snuggled in close, face to face while Ian lit the fireworks. Then she would sit up just a little bit, about six inches from my face and took my hair in both of her hands and stroked it. She looked at it, felt it, studied it and kept running her fingers through it. It didn't matter that she had just eaten two sugar cookies with frosting. I bet we sat there for 30-45 minutes or so. Every time the fireworks would go, she would glance around to see them then cuddle in closer. Having her reach out to me was so awesome. She really melted my heart and made me wish for Chani to come home. Debbie said that she's never let anyone else hold her for that long. Awwww, talk about cloud nine! I'll end with my two most favorite photos of the day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Guesstimate

Okay, it appears the cut off date for July's batch is going to be the 14th. Since they did a day more than I thought they would, my new guesstimate is...

August - through 11/21
September - through 11/28
October - through 12/6

I don't know why I feel so confident about this estimate this time though but I do. I hope this is the worse it gets. The 22nd is a huge day BUT I don't think they can pull it off in August. IF they do, and that's a huge if, we could possibly barely squeak by in September with the 30th being the cutoff. I just don't see that happening though. So, I'm still thinking October for now and travel early to mid December.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The closet and my madness

Matt, aka Daddy, finally finished Chani's closet. Well, pretty much anyway. He still has to make the drawers and paint the four adjustable shelves that he missed when he painted the rest of the frame. Here it is, a custom built closet for his little girl. Not a bad job for a beginner.

Oh, and if it looks like a mess, believe me, it's not. I have it all coordinated. All her 0-9 months are on purple hangers. The 9 month winters are on the side and the summers are in the front on the bottom row. Then, from left to right, are her 12 month summer on the bottom and then continuing on the top, left to right again, are her 12 month winters. (The few pinks on the top are 12's but I ran out of white hangers.) Then, the pink hangers are her 12-18 month summers on the side and back to the middle shelf in front for her 12-18 winters. (I had to fold these because I ran out of rod space.) - The bottom left hand shelf contains her 18 months, the middle shelf, her 18-24 months and the top shelf has her 24 months to 2T's. (I have a few 3's and up, mostly gifts from people that I have in one of the boxes at the top. In the other boxes are things like matching outfit hats, other hats, swimsuits and misc items. In her drawers for the time being, are the lids from the totes until Matt finishes the drawers. Her first drawer contains her 0-12 months socks. Her older socks are in the box at the top. The second drawer has her Gymboree socks that match an outfit along with her Gymboree hair clips. All others are in a separate box. Then, it's her pajamas in the next two drawers. On the shelf above the drawers are her shoes. All her shoes, except for her two Gymboree pair and her slippers, are consignment ones that I didn't pay more than $.50 each. Next comes her summer blankets and then the winter ones and finally on the top are her crib sheets and her burp cloths. I know this is probably tons more information than you need. I've been waiting for sooooo long! Can you tell? Am I insane? Oh, and one more thing, in each section, all her skirts with short sleeves are together, her pants with short sleeves, etc are together too. If I call this my hobby or collection, do you still think I'm nuts?

Back to Monday

First of all, I really, really hope referrals come this week. One of our local families, Brent and Cindy will receive their referral this time. Another one of our local families, Ann and John have just returned home with their little Katie. I can hardly wait til the next potluck so we can see them. And, Lisa and Doug just received their visas so hopefully they will be traveling soon. So, as you can see, it's an exciting time once again in our little corner of the world.

Happenings of last week - Saturday, Lisa S. and I went to A Dinner A'Fare and prepared 13 meals. Before doing that, I did a bit of shopping so by the time I was done, I was too tired to fix anything that I had made so I ended up stopping for take out. Go figure!

Tuesday brought another dental visit! This one spend a total of three minutes with me, telling me that yes, indeed, I needed a root canal. Oh joy. After that wonderful news, I headed to Lisa's for lunch. Lisa prepared a great broccoli and chicken dish along with some salad, rolls, and Mac and cheese for the kids. Debbie always takes such beautiful shots of the girls so have a little peak of them on her blog.

Thursday, Mick and I went furniture shopping. We then hit the mall where we stopped by the Swarovski store in the mall. I have always thought they were cool but my fascination with these little crystal items actually came to light when I received this one from Mick a few months ago.

Since then, I had been wanting to get these next two items.

Okay, when we went to pay for these things, the woman said something like it seems like everyone around is having babies. I told her that we were both adopting and she asked where. When I told her, she said, "So am I." We chatted for awhile and invited her to our next potluck. I had printed up some business cards just for such an occasion but do you think I had any with me? Oh well, I got her information and hopefully, we'll see her again at the next potluck. Oh, I also got the ladybug at the top of the post.

Saturday, we went to Georgia and Jeff's for a fun filled evening playing Wii. Mick summed it up really well in her description on her blog. I am sore from the boxing, bowling and tennis games I played. You get a really good workout playing with this game. I'm surprised they haven't marketed the weight loss industry yet, or have they?

The missing days were pretty uneventful. On to a new week and another day of waiting marked off the calendar. We did hit a full 19 months this last week too. Woohoo! I'm guessing we'll see No. 22 before we see her face.