Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mia's Growing Library

I love books. I have great memories as a kid of sitting and reading. Getting lost for hours in other worlds. I still love to read. But don't seem to have the time for it as much as I'd like. And honestly, although I have a great fondness for sitting around on my arse, lately I've had a very short attention span. So not much reading going on.

But I hope to encourage the love of reading to Mia. I plan on being the mom who reads bedtime stories. I already have a big cushy chair picked out for the nursery. I have visions of the two of us curled up in that chair. Mia in her penguin pj's sitting on my lap while I read to her. And of course she sits still, not ripping pages, all snuggled up with me, listening intently to the story. Then I give her a kiss goodnight and lay her down to sleep without a fuss. Where she sleeps peacefully through the entire night and wakes promptly at 7:15am in the most fantastic mood. 9am on the weekends.'s my vision. I can fantasize it any way I like. LOL!

Along the way, I've picked up books here and there. Sometimes there's just a really great sale (which is always a good reason to shop). Some have been from second hand stores. I've found some really nice board books there. Sometimes I see one that I just have to have right that second. And some have been gifts. But Mia's library is growing. And I love it.

There's going to be a special place in Mia's room for China books. I've already bought the coolest book rack from PB. Click the link to see it. It will hold the important books.... out of reach of little hands.
Here are her newest arrivals. "China ABC's" came highly recommended from Jazzie & Thalia. Maryellen had "Three Names of Me" as a gift for someone else. But I got to check it out while she was here and fell in love with it. It's a beautiful story about an adopted Chinese girl who has the western name her adopted parents gave her, the Chinese name her orphanage nannies gave her and the name her birthmother whispered to her when she was born that she can't remember but keeps hidden away in her heart. "Families are Forever" was my gift from Maryellen. It's written from the perspective of a 6 yr old girl telling her story of being adopted from China by her single mom. Thanks Mare!
I'd heard buzz of "Motherbridge of Love" floating around the internet lately. So I decided that I'd add that to Mia's collection also. I'm so glad I did. It's absolutely breathtaking. I can't recommend it enough. It's an adaptation of this poem which I've always loved. The illustrations are beautiful. Love love love this book! And the mom looks kinda like me. Well, we both have long hair at least. LOL!
These are some of our other China specific books. "Shaoey & Dot" I got at a discount store for $4! "Happy New Year" was in the donation bin at the place where I work my second job. They give the books away when they have too many. I couldn't believe it when I was digging through and found it. Jackpot! "When You Were Born In China" and "Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragonboats" were gifts from Mia's grandma.
What China adoptive mom doesn't have at least one copy of "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes"? I think I'm up to about four right now. LOL! And the follow up from the same author is "Every Year On Your Birthday". Another great book.
This is another of my favorites. "Mama's Wish/Daughter's Wish" is another beautifully illustrated book. One side of the book is written from the mom's perspective and if you flip it over the other side was written by her 4 yr old daughter.
It's doesn't specifically say in the story that mom is single but there's no mention of a dad. So it fits us well. But it's a beautiful story of a woman's wish to be a mother and would appeal to all types of families.
I love how it shows mom swooning over her referral pics and showing them to anyone who'll listen to her.
Then looking a little stressed while packing and flying on the plane to China......
until her bundled up daughter is finally placed in her arms!
It's a very sweet book. There's a red banner at the bottom of every page in honor of the Chinese proverb very popular amongst adopters about the *Red Thread. The banner shows the story translated into Mandarin. I love this book!
What's your favorite adoption or China related book?

* For my family & friends who may not be aware of all the red thread-ladybug worship that is prevalent amongst the China adoption community here's what I'm talking about.
"An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." - Chinese Proverb

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Re-cap

My mother cooked Thanksgiving dinner as usual. So about 2pm, we all met at my brother's house to eat. My mom lives with him. Well, she's an over the road semi truck driver so she's rarely home anyway. But when she is, she has a room at my brother's house. So that's where the whole gang gathered. Except for my brother's girlfriend who had to work. Bummer for her.

I didn't take many pics but at least managed to get one of each kid. My brother is a master gamer. So our nephews think he's the coolest uncle ever since he seems to always have the latest thing. Tanner was entranced playing Gu-itar He-ro.
Braeden had just woken up from his nap and was snuggling with Big Travis. Since his mom had to work, he stuck close to Travis most of the night. It wasn't until late evening that he started to warm up to the rest of us. But he liked playing with the kids for the most part. Although they all seem to have trouble with the whole sharing toys concept.
Tatum enjoying her red pop as you can see by the red mustache. She spent the night with her grandma the night before to help make pies and cookies. My mom said this is a new tradition she wanted to start with her grandaughters and that Mia will come too when she's old enough. Tatum may be off to college by then. LOL! Tatum slept in bed with grandma. When I got there I asked if she enjoyed spending the night all by herself (cuz individual time is always a rare treat). She said she did and excitedly reported "I didn't even kick Grandma." Apparently, she's a sleep thrasher but it just sounded really funny when she said it.
Teagan playing with toys before dinner was ready.
After stuffing ourselves with way too much food, we retired upstairs to mom's bedroom to check out her new Wii* games. I'd never played before but heard that it's pretty sweet. Lil' Travis showed me how to golf but I didn't like it. I was much better at bowling. Before long, the whole family ended up stuffed into the bedroom watching and playing. That was fun.
It was a very nice, relaxing day. The food was great. I even brought home some leftovers. Yesterday, I slept late and then spent the whole day in my jammies watching TV, taking naps and playing on the computer. There was no way I was going out shopping in all the craziness. It was heavenly. I'm enjoying these lazy days pre-baby while I can. Today I'm dragging all the Christmas stuff up from the basement and starting the decorating. This is one of those few days I wish I had a husband..... to make him do the heavy lifting. LOL! Right now, I'm not really feeling it. But maybe I'll turn on some Christmas music to get me in the mood. Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving, too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This is the exact same post from last year just tweaked a tiny bit. I'm always grateful for the blessings in my life and today it just seems right to say them out loud again.

Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For

10. The ability to become a mother in a non-traditional way. Sometimes life just works out that way...... whether we like it or not. I'll be eternally grateful that something in this universe nudged me to go to that adoption fair in '06 instead of '07. Otherwise I would have missed my opportunity with the rule changes in China that no longer allow single applicants.

9. Griffey, my furry soulmate. And the fact that he is home safe and sound where he belongs.

8. My house. I love that I'm able to own a house and create a home for myself and Mia. Every year it gets a little better with the improvements I do and I fall in love with it again. That and every year I owe less on the mortgage. Which really makes me love it even more.

7. My job. I truly love what I do and it gives me the ability to comfortably provide for myself on my own. I'm also grateful that I started at such a young age. That will afford me the ability to retire early.

6. The opportunities & freedom that I have as an American citizen. Especially as a woman.

5. Mia's birthmother... whose choices will help me to find my daughter.

4. My friends, both new and old.

3. My daughter, Mia, who I don't know yet but I feel in my heart every second.

2. My family whom I love dearly.....enough said. And that they're all healthy.

And finally.......the number one thing I'm thankful for........
1. My health.... any of you who know my history knows why this is at the top of the list. :)

I hope you all enjoy this day and are able to spend it with those that you love. And always remember to remain grateful for the blessings in your lives.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

For Soph & Mare

Griffey loves his new dishes. He told me to send out a big thank you for thinking of him. He thinks they're pretty sweet.
I've had the most fun hanging out with you both for the last couple of weeks. It was absolutely my pleasure. I was just glad I was able to be there when you needed some company. But I'm gonna miss you two so much!! Have a safe trip back on Thursday. I'll be down to NC to visit next summer so get the guest room ready. Love you guys!

PS. This is for Hannah. Sorry I only took one picture today while me and your Mom were shopping at the mall. She decided to let Sophie sit with Santa. As you can see she was not real impressed. Maybe she'll do better when her big sis goes with her.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Food & Friends

Yesterday was a wonderful day spent with several of my bloggity buddies. Sandra was kind enough to host us at her beautiful home. Well, actually I kind of invited us over. Since Maryellen & Sophie got sprung from the hospital a little earlier than expected we had no place to go. We were all supposed to spend the day together anyway. So I called Sandra and asked if she'd mind if we all came over to her place. She graciously agreed. Thank goodness.
Robin & Maddy came down to hang out even though yesterday was THE GAME OF THE SEASON. You know, OSU & Michigan! As expected, they were wearing their team gear. No, the kid jersey didn't come with fairy wings. Those were thanks to Jazzie & Thalia. We turned the TV on to keep tabs on the score. The Buckeyes were victorious! But we didn't doubt it for a second.
Sophie was trying out a new look here. She wasn't so sure about it as you can tell by the look on her face. But we thought it was funny.
Stacy is a trooper. She had an almost 3 hour drive over. We were all so glad she came to visit. There was lots of girlie gab and way too much chocolate. But those are always the best ingredients for a perfect day, aren't they? Unfortunately, I-Con couldn't join us since her dad just had surgery. But she did what she called "drive by cheesecaking". Popped in, dropped us off a cheesecake, gave hugs and split. She even left the car running outside that's how fast she was in and out. LOL! Thanks for the calories, girl! The cheesecake was delish.
Jazzie & Thalia both demonstrated their gymnastics with the help of their dad. Yes she really is that high off the ground. They're both little daredevils.
Maddy took quite a liking to Stacy. I think they'll be friends forever now. They just crack each other up.
Sophie took quite a liking to Sandra's hubby, Matt. She loved sitting in his lap while he read to her. She also cuddled with him for quite awhile. Which I think he may have enjoyed even more than she did. They're good buddies now, too.
Sophie was given a pair of wooden shoes by fellow Dutch girl, Sandra. What? Sophie doesn't look Dutch to you? LOL! Okay seriously though, Maryellen's mother is Dutch Indonesian. So she and Sandra share many customs and traditions which they reminisced about throughout the afternoon. One of which are the wooden shoes. Sophie loved them. It was hysterical watching her walk around. She was so serious, deeply concentrating. Check out that furrowed brow.
The girls decided to play beauty shop with me. It was only slightly painful. But they had fun and that's all that mattered. I mean, I can always just comb my hair over that new bald spot. Hair grows back, right? LOL!
My pics didn't come out well so I swiped these from Sandra. As you can tell by the look on my face, I was so impressed with their work when I was finally allowed to look in the mirror.
But now the girls are my best buddies. So that hairstyle was totally worth it.
Thanks for entertaining us all day and letting us trash your house, Sandra. It was a great day of food and friends. You can't ask for much more than that in life! Looking forward to next time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Warm Legs & Cheerios On Her Mind

I bought these cute penguin leg warmers for Mia. But with all the liquid being pumped through Sophie, her diapers were leaking bad. Which means all of her pj bottoms are in the dirty clothes pile. So I decided she needed these more than Mia. (Plus I just ordered another pair. LOL!)

Perfect solution. And what a great coincidence when I got there tonight and found her dressed in this sweet little green gown. What a stylish ensemble! She's looking at me like... "Dude what's with these socks? They have no feet." I wish I knew how to work the video function on my digital. Cuz I would've loved to have shown you all Maryellen's re-enactment of that scene in Flashdance. You know the one. Where Jennifer Beals legs move faster than any humans ever should. I think the woman has spent too much time in that little room. She's gone cuckoo.Sophie's doing so well that the hospital is kicking her out tomorrow. Yay Sophie!! Momma is very happy, too. That's 3 days ahead of schedule. So they'll be stuck at the Ronald McDonald House until Thanksgiving when they fly home. There are some follow up appointments she has to stay in town for. Cutie patootie is just excited about eating Cheerios tomorrow. She told me the no food- no drink thing really sucked. See how happy she is....Cheerios rock!And this is what she chose to play with in the playroom today. Future blogger. Just like momma.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Okay not so much. But as is the current trend, I'm going with the bullets tonight. Cuz you know how I like to keep up with all the fads. I don't really know who started them. Although Johnny is claiming copyright. (Yes.. I do still check in with you.) But whatever the case may be, they're the lazy way to post....
and I'm all about lazy.
  • The Invisible Fence is working like a charm. Griffey chased a cat through the yard the other day but put the skids on right when he got to the edge of the driveway. I think his paws were smoking. I've gotten more comfortable with leaving him outside by himself. I've managed an entire 30 minutes so far. :)

  • I started my Christmas shopping already. Even though I'm a major procrastinator the "lazy" and "hates crowds" gene wins when it comes to this. I hate the craziness of last minute shopping. Yes... I know I'm going to China at some point and the "hates crowds" part will be a problem. Hopefully, I'll be so blissfully happy it won't matter. Or too exhausted. Whichever the case may be.

  • There's a local weatherman who runs a well known donation campaign every year for people to donate winter coats for kids who are less fortunate. I was at work the other day and heard a call come over the radio on a "disturbance". Apparently, they were handing out the coats but ran out before everyone got one and some of the "less fortunate" were being disorderly and unruly. Are you f*cking kidding me? Whatever happened to being grateful and showing some appreciation? Why do some people have such a sense of entitlement? I hate that. No one owes your kid a freakin coat. Go get a job if you want one that bad.

  • Had another visit at the hospital last night with my homegirls. Sophie is doing better. They had a rough day Monday. But things were more even keeled yesterday. She's learned how to stand on her IV pole and ride it down the hallway. It's so stinkin' cute! Sometimes she pushes off with one leg like she's on a scooter. Maryellen's gonna try to capture it on video. She's managed to charm all the nurses on her floor. Of course.
  • I'm bummed that one of my other homegirls is shutting down her blog. But after a phone conversation with her I understand why. But it still sucks. Sophie told me to say thanks, Mel. She loves her bear.

  • I donated over 1000 grains of rice today at Hey, I'm smarter than I look, people. Who knew I had such a colorful vocabulary?

  • Oh yeah... and today is my 17 month LID-versary. Woo freakin Hoo... as one of my other homegirls likes to say. But at least I'm 17 months closer to Mia. Blah-blah-blah.

  • All this talk about my homegirls makes me realize just how much I miss all of them. And how much fun our weekend was last summer. Great memories.

  • That's it folks. Have a nice day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Visit With S & M

Bet that title made you look twice. No people... I'm not experimenting with bondage. I spent the day at the hospital keeping Sophie & Maryellen company. I thought you might like to hear how they are and see little Miss Cuteness in action. But this is gonna be quick. I just got in and need to head to bed soon. But who are we kidding? I know you just wanna see the cute kid pics anyway.

When I first arrived, baby girl was knocked out. She was getting a good snooze in.
But she awoke a short time later to meet the new penguin friend I'd brought along for her.
She wasn't sure if she liked him at first.
But then she changed her mind and decided he was pretty cool. Plus he's so soft and snuggly.

She's doing very well. She's got a tiny scratch on her face from the tape that held a tube in her nose. She also has several IV lines under that pink bandage on her arm. But they don't seem to slow her down too much.

In fact, we took a trip down to the playroom while I was there. Sophie was digging the train table. She could of cared less about the dollhouse.
Momma had just given her a dose of pain meds so her buzz was just starting to kick in here. Which explains the look on her face. But she wasn't letting go of her balloons.
All in all, they're both doing well. Maryellen's husband was there until yesterday. Now she's on her own until they're discharged which won't be for at least another week. But the hospital seems to be taking good care of them. I plan on stopping in a few more times before they head home. I'll be sure to update when I do.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sophie's Surgery Update

From Maryellen's blog :

"Sophie's surgery went well and her prognosis is good. We are trying to help manage her pain so she can rest. It is hard to say how long she is going to be down, some kids bounce back quicker than others. I can say that she is pissed that she has an arm board with an IV and a heart monitor thingy on her toe! Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers. I would have been lost without them. "

Get well soon Sophie !!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cute Sophie

I know I promised lots of cute Sophie pics and I will deliver. But I have some bad news.

I forgot my camera at home on Monday when we went to the children's museum. I know... I know. I was really pissed, too. You'll just have to go over to Robin's post to see Sophie, Maddy and Tahlia in action at the museum.

But I'll give you some highlights from Sunday. I picked Maryellen & Sophie up at the airport just before 5pm. We headed to my house to relax. The girls needed some down time after their busy travel day. We hung out, played, ordered pizza, had a few cocktails (the big girls...not the little one), watched some TV and talked until it was way later than it should've been.
Sophie is so freakin' adorable. Isn't she though? She's just an absolute riot once she starts to relax and feel more comfortable. She has so much personality. But she decided her shoes were much more fun to play with than my toy box full of stuff.

However, she did love playing with Griffey. She thought he was pretty cool. She kept saying "Gog... gog!" That translates to "dog" for those who don't understand baby gibberish. Their faces are just about on the same level. So Griffey kept giving her face lots of doggy love in the way of sloppy licking. She tried to play it like she was annoyed.
But then we caught her leaning in for the smooches. Nice try, girlfriend. You loved every minute of it.
Later, we got into pj's and watched the season premiere of Amazing Race. How stinkin' sweet is this? Momma and her girl snuggling up.
Momma had brought her own kiddie size aerobed. Which actually just turned out to be an overpriced pool raft from the looks of it. But Sophie seemed to like it.
We slept in a little Monday morning. Got up and grabbed a quick breakfast. We rushed out the door running a bit late already. I know you're surprised by that, right? And this is how the camera inadvertently got left behind. We made it to the Cincinnati Children's Museum where Robin & Maddy and Sandra & Tahlia were waiting. Jazzie couldn't make it. She had to go to school. But she joined us for dinner later.

The girls played for most of the afternoon only stopping briefly for a quick lunch. Oh and a major poop catastrophe. TMI? Well, just say I learned to always...ALWAYS...pack an extra outfit for the kid when we leave the house after two babies had major blow outs. Hmmm... what are the odds of that happening to two different girls on the same day at the same time.

Later, we went over to check S & M into their hotel. No....not THAT kind of S & M, you freaks. I mean, Sophie & Maryellen. Then we headed out to meet back up with Sandra, who now had both of her girls in tow. I-Con also joined us for dinner. We have photographic proof that she is still alive and kicking. But only because I swiped this pic from Sandra seeing as how I forgot my camera and all.
We had a lovely dinner. And a wonderful day. Thanks for joining us ladies and helping to keep Sophie & Maryellen entertained. They check into the hospital tomorrow and the surgery is scheduled for Thursday. I'll keep you posted with updates as I get them. But say a little prayer if you believe in that sort of thing.