Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

*Update for those interested - The stroller is a Maclaren Techno XLR. The colors are brown and pink.

It's just not the same this year. No spooky decorations, no bats hanging from the ceiling and no old scary woman chained to the steps. None of that. Why? Well, lack of interest this year. Instead of decorating for Halloween, I chose to do a fall them so no jack-o-lanterns but plain ole pumpkins instead. I have a very busy next couple of days so no time for all that stuff.

I did manage to drag Debbie and Li Li along for my mad shopping last week. They patiently wondered around Babies R Us, Linens N' Things, A Baby's Room, and JoAnn's. Smack dab in the middle of the day, we stopped by Ian's school so they could have their teacher conference. I had the pleasure of watching Li Li pointing out letters, colors, etc, while Mom and Dad were with the teacher. I completed the big purchases that I had yet to get and now I'm done. Yeah! What a good feeling of having the major things out of the way. We kept piling each thing in the back of Debbie's car and headed on to the next stop.

Here is one of the big purchases. Sweet huh? - Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait! - I also bought a custom upholstered chair. It's supposed to take up to six weeks. In six weeks, I hope to be in CHINA!!! We made arrangements for Debbie to pick it up if we're gone. I also bought several other things but these were the major ones.

Once we got home and we were unloading from her car to mine, her phone rang. Her husband, Dan had an EKG done and they wanted him to go to the hospital to do another one. Scary! I stayed with the kids while they went to the ER together. Luckily it wasn't a heart attack and he's doing well now.

Saturday night we ventured over to Buford to Dan and Christine's for a Halloween party. The kids all dressed up and were so cute! Christine was so thrilled for us and had me pulling out my photo to show all her guests. It was quite an honor to be showing my daughter's photo to everyone and gushing about. Their house was AWESOME! Dan built a graveyard, complete with great hand made headstones and a wooden coffin that he built. It was something. There were cobwebs and decorations everywhere! We had a great time.

Then, onto the adoption, we were in Home Depot Monday when the phone rang. It was the travel agent who is doing our China visa. Apparently, the photos weren't good enough. What?!? - The ones that I had sent to them were the EXACT ones that I have on our passports. (Mine was just renewed.) She insisted that they wouldn't work and we had to redo them. So, Tuesday, we were off to get that done. The new ones are horrible, overexposed, washed out and we were not allowed to smile. What hideous looking photos we ended up with but oh well. LOL Hopefully not too many people will have to look at them but at this point, I'm like whatever gets the job done.

Our agency just announced that the next cutoff is the 8th of December. I was so hoping that they reached the 12th. Mick, you're definitely next!

Well, I'm off to wait for the first trick or treater to ding my bell. And yes, Lisa, I have my list ready. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Family

With our new addition to our family, I thought I'd take this time to talk about some of my immediate family. - I don't see them very often which is why I rarely talk about them but I wanted to give a shout out to them.

First of all there is my Mom and her husband, Ed. They live in Oklahoma and are getting ready to retire. They like to raise chickens, ducks and various kinds of birds. Mom is big into our family tree and often goes on trips researching it. She has been to many places and has met many extended family. They bought a new camper and have been camping here and there.

Next is Donna, Mark, Nathan and Justin. They live near Chicago. My sister is a stay at home Mom and has pretty much raised her boys. Her husband, Mark retired from the army after 20 years of service and now works with putting up and taking down those large cranes that are used to build buildings. Nathan recently made the management position at PetSmart and is working on his degree. He also has a new girlfriend, Kaitlin. Justin just got a new Chinese baby dwarf hamster and named it Kyu [key-you] It means nine in Japanese. He is in the ninth grade and also likes Manga and Anime.

Then, there is my sister Vicki and her kids, Brandi and Justin. Vicki is also a stay at home Mom and has a significant other, Chris. They also live in Oklahoma. Brandi has been growing up so fast and is very interested in the boys, especially her boyfriend, John. She is a typical teenage girl and loves to talk on the phone. She is in ninth grade and then there is Jake. He was the youngest until Chani. He is in the seventh grade and really likes Math, and being outside with his skateboard. He collects hot wheel cars and has over 400 of them.

I also have a brother, Josh. He lives in Iowa, which is where I'm from. He is single and works in the town where I grew up. He's the last of us who still lives there, near the rest of Dad's side of the family.

Okay, that sums up my family pretty much. You'll notice a few of their pictures in the slide show at the top of the blog. I'm so ready to bring in one more!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Our Visa Applications Arrived

We received our visa applications yesterday. It is going to cost us $360 to get them done, through our agency's travel agency. IF we lived in New York City, we could walk them in and have it done for $200. They won't allow us to mail them in anymore. This seems like a huge rip off to me but what can I do?

We also had a tiny bit of clarification from them. IF we go in December, we will go in the first couple of weeks and be home for Xmas. IF not, then it won't be until the first couple of weeks in January. It appears that we will be home on Xmas day either way.

We're inching closer and closer towards our goal.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Change of Plans - We're GOING!!


Do you ever have one of those times where you just can't decide what to do and once you do, you change your mind again and again?

This is one of those times. We've been debating whether or not to go to Boston, MA to our travel meeting. They usually hold it during the week but this time, they have decided to do it on a Monday so that's not so bad.

Last time we traveled with United, we were bumped and were given free travel vouchers to go anywhere in the USA. So, with travel vouchers paying for the majority of the trip, we decided let's go!! I just booked the flights using them, what a nightmare it is to get through to a live human being! - We're going to make a weekend out of it and visit Boston and perhaps visit Matt's parents while we're there. Now, this will be our LAST couples vacation. Yeah, yeah, I know I've said that before but this time it has to be because we're out of time!! - Our next trip should be China!!

Monthly Potluck

This last weekend, we had a fireless bonfire at Debbie and Dan's. Fireless because, no matter how many times they called and with each brilliant plan, they could not get a fire permit. No fire because Atlanta is having a HUGE drought. Even though, the potluck was a huge success! We had grilled hot dogs, hot apple cider, various desserts and a whole lot of talking, laughter and plain ole fun. Here are a few pictures from the evening. Thank you so much Debbie and Dan for opening up your home!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Hanging out my Shingle"


Okay, I've had several people ask about the bows that I've been making and If I would sell them. I never in a million years thought that so many would really want to send me money for them and I am thrilled and honored beyond belief. So, I'll be starting with these little ones for now and work on getting some better pictures and some of other kinds of bows. For now, though, these are available and are $12 for a set of two. They are handmade with a double alligator clip. If you're interested in them, please email me or post here. Thank you so much!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Baby Shower Details

I have the best friends EVER!!! Wow, is all I can say! Lisa and Mick, two of my best friends threw me a very nice shower. All the way from the beautiful invitations down to the parting favors. It couldn't have been any nicer. I felt like I was all smiles and laughing the whole time. It really was so special to have all my friends there for me. I can't thank them enough and the generosity everyone showed in the gift giving! - I've been working on picking out the best photos to put into a slide show. It was tough since there were so many great shots, thanks to Debbie! Here are a few.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Baby Shower and Photography

Oh, could it really be MY turn? Is it really happening to me? It seems so unreal. The total excitement of the last week and a half have been so much more than I anticipated. Now, this weekend, all of my friends will come together to celebrate with me. I get to show them all my photos which is so much fun!! Sometimes it gets so overwhelming with all the joy and being on cloud nine for so long. I can hardly wait to see everyone and play silly shower games. I'm so excited!

Today I met with Debbie and she patiently tried to teach me about my new camera. There is so much to learn and it too is overwhelming. But, this was my first lesson so hopefully with the homework I've been assigned, I'll learn to use it and be able to take some decent photos in China. One of my favorite things I learned today is about the circular polarizer filter. Check out what a simple but really cool thing this can do with a simple twist of the filter. Thank you so much Debbie for showing me these things and for being so patient with me while I try to figure it out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

SHE'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I have had this scrapbook page created for quiet some time and have been waiting for soooo long to finally change the pictures so I could post it! Now I can!!!!!!!!!!!

We are beyond thrilled, happy, giddy, and excited! I am sooo in love with her and her beautiful hair! I can't wait to be able to stick those bows in there!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

On Her Birthday


February 9, 2007 - My DAUGHTER was born!!!!!!!!!!
One day after I turned 29 again and again and again.....

If you have been a follower of my blog, you know that I've kept a handwritten journal to her from the beginning of the wait. Well, now there are four journals but who's counting? Every morning, after I have showered and dressed for the day, I go into her nursery, sit in my glider/rocker think about her and write.

So, once I found out her birthday, I went back though the journal to find out what we had done that day. Matt had spent the day with me. We went shopping at Babies R Us, Linens N Things, and a couple other stores. I bought a nightgown for her that day along with a shirt. We went to dinner at the Grand Asian Buffet and then went and sat in the car, waiting for Anna to finish her school play. We sat in the car, waiting for almost an hour, just talking.

I wanted to celebrate her referral in a small way so that's what we did. We went back to the Grand Asian Buffet for dinner but no shopping. After we returned, I grabbed the video camera and read what I had written to her. I hope I'm prepared for the referral packet with her photo so I can video tape that when it arrives. (I video taped the call too.)

A friend pointed out that perhaps she was born on my birthday. Since they are 12 hours ahead, if she was born before noon, she would have been because it still would have been the 8th here. How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thank you

Thank you
Referral day was one of the most exciting days. It was a great pleasure to hear so many comments and congratulations from so many. Most I've known, it seems, forever and a couple of new ones. If you've had a referral day, you know what I'm talking about and if you haven't, just wait. It's one of the best feelings you will ever have! It is so much fun to read through all the posts and see how many other babies are from the same province and orphanage. Now, I want to learn all about Nanchang, Jiangxi and Tai He and find out all I can before I go. Thank you to those who sent emails, posts and phone calls. Thank you to those who provided me with information on various sites and places to visit.
I am grateful to have all the support and friendships that I have found through the adoption community.

The day after our referral, I was sitting in my usual spot with my laptop in hand, writing an email to my social worker, thanking her for the information and asking a few questions. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something on the wall. It was a ladybug, not quite a foot from me. She was only there briefly but here are a couple of pictures. The day after our call.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

We have a Daughter!!!!!!!!!!!

Today at 12:50 pm, we received a call from Wide Horizons For Children informing us that we have been matched with a little girl from Jiangxi Province, China.

Her Chinese name is Dong Fang Mei Ren. We don't know what it means yet.

Soon to be Chani Nicole or Chani MeiRen Miller. - We're still undecided.

She is currently in the Tai He Social Welfare Institute.

Her birthday is February 9, 2007 and she is almost 8 months old. A young little girl!!!

This is ALL that I know for now.

We will get her referral packet in about a week and that will contain her transcribed medical file, all the rest of the information on her and the best part, her picture. I'll post that to the blog once I get it.

We are beyond thrilled. What a glorious day this has been!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Trying to stay busy

I've been trying to stay busy this last week so I'm not constantly online hitting the refresh button on RQ. Susan and Sarah took me to lunch on Thursday and we hit the mall. Friday, I met with Lisa and Briana for lunch and even shopping at Hobby Lobby. I wanted to get some ribbon for my new project that I've been busy doing. Then, on Saturday, we met with Mick and James & Jeff and Georgia at Stone Mountain for a chili cook off. We tried many, many kinds of chili. Matt, of course, didn't eat anything because he doesn't eat meat so it was not a good time for him. I rather enjoyed tasting all the different kinds. It was getting too crowded and so many inconsiderate people who think there is nothing wrong with smoking in a crowd, so we were getting anxious to get out of there. Neither of us likes large crowds. Matt went out shopping yesterday and bought some things to finish his project. He is building the baby gates to the stairs. He is almost finished with the first one. The last two should go pretty quickly as he now knows what to do.

I've also heard from my agency last week and I need to put a call into them this afternoon. I'm guessing that our "call" will come Tuesday or Wednesday. No news from when or if they have been mailed. I will try to find out something when I call them today.

Here are some of the things that I've been making with my ribbons.



All summer long we have had this garden spider hanging out at the window. At first she crawled between the screen and window and put up a web. She stayed here for awhile. It was really interesting to watch her. Then, she decided that it would be better and much more room if she moved back outside the screen. So, she built her web and it has to be at least three feet across. I read up on her and found out that she is a common garden spider. She is black and yellow. When she was frightened (as I'd walk up to her when I was outside - she didn't do it when I was closer, through the window,) she would start to shake her body and her web to appear larger. It was the funniest thing. I'd walk away and she would stop. She then laid her eggs in a large egg sack. I knew that she would die soon afterwards as is the life of a spider. I learned that from Charlotte's Web. Anyway, I noticed a couple days ago that she was gone from her web. I waited a few days but she never returned. So, I removed the egg sack and took it to the woods. Her web needs to be removed and I need to get the area cleaned back up. But, here she is.



Next are two other little critters. The praying mantis was sitting just on the post on the deck. The lizard crawled between the window and screen, just like the spider did. Matt had to remove the screen so he could run free and he wouldn't die in there.



These next two are the painted toy room that I posted about earlier. It turned out really great and I love the color! Oh, by the way, I made the valances. My first attempt at doing those.



And, just because I have the cutest dog ever,