Monday, April 30, 2007
I'm supposed to nominate 5 other blogs that make me think. Hmmmm.... this is a tough one. Every blog means something different for me and I take something from all of them. Thank goddess (stole Connie's word today) for Bloglines or I'd never get anything done since I'm checking in on over 100 of you at this point. Okay here goes...
1.Connie over at Somewhere in China has been mentioned several times but I've gotta give her another shout out. She's one of the first blogs I found when I started this process. She designed my blog template so all of the beauty here is thanks to her computer genius. We started e-mailing and instantly clicked. I was so excited to find that she lived only 45 minutes from me. We have so much in common ... our journey to this place, our loves and losses, our raunchy sense of humor. She's my soul sister and I know will be a lifelong friend. Her blog always makes me think, sometimes makes me cry but more often keeps me laughing.
2. Alison at My Chinese Dream is another that I've read from the beginning. I went through her archives and watched as she traveled to China for Mali. She's also a single momma. I've learned so much from her as far as how I want to parent my daughter. She's honest and doesn't sugarcoat the struggles. I have so much respect and admiration for her for that. I'm over the moon excited that I get to meet them both this summer. :)
3. Sandra at The Daily Grind I chose for a lot of the same reasons. She's an amazing mom to Jazzie & Thalia. She always gives me a lot to think about with the sometimes difficult reality of Chinese adoption. She's honest about the struggle and in the same breath shares her absolute joy in parenting these beautiful girls. I've learned so much from her, too. And she's exactly the same in real life.
4. Dawn at Eggrolls & Chopsticks always makes me smile. I love to see all the pics and videos of their gorgeous daughter, Lily. She is exactly the kind of mom I see myself being. She's funny, silly, spontaneous, and a little crazy. She truly enjoys her daughter and has so much fun being her mom.
5. And yes, this may seem like a cop out but my last pick is for all the rest that I read. I enjoy all of them in one way or another. I'm amazed that I can be so totally emotional invested in the lives of people I've never met. But I truly do share your struggles, your sadness, your joy. I can't wait until each and every one finally gets their daughters (or sons) in their arms. I find myself cheering along for the ones already home when they take their first steps or eat ice cream for the first time. I love this little community and am grateful to be a part of it.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
We started the day meeting some new friends. Sandra invited us to her beautiful home where we were blessed to finally meet her gorgeous daughters, Jazzie and Tahlia. They are even more delicious in person. Another new blogger friend, Carol, joined us. She brought her sweet little girl, Kate. We spent some time getting to know each other while the girls played. Then Sandra served us lunch. Her husband, Matt, joined us. We had some very interesting conversation around the table. I brought my camera but was so distracted with the great food, friends, daughters, and gab that I totally forgot to pull it out. It was a wonderful time.
Thank you for being such a great hostess, Sandra. We thought of you and the block party when it started to pour down rain later. Hope you guys didn't get drenched. You have a beautiful family and an amazing home. Can't wait to do it again!
And I enjoyed meeting you, Carol. Your daughter is amazing. I wish we'd had more time to spend. I'll definitely be buying some of those bibs! I look forward to getting together again for some more BTDT advice from an experienced single momma.
Connie, Stacy, and I then went over to C's place. We got a first hand look at the new playroom. Just one word... WOW! The mural is stunning. C did an awesome job. The pics don't even do it justice. It's beautiful! I can't wait for the day when all three of us are sitting in there having a chat while our girls play. Sigh.........someday.
Of course, we gabbed for far too long. It only took us about 2 hours to decide where to eat cuz every time we'd start the "Well where do you want to go?" discussion, we'd end up way off topic. Then we closed the place down. And even stood in the parking lot freezing our arses off for another freakin' hour cuz we just couldn't shut up.
Meeting the little ones made my heart smile. I got to see some glimpses into what my life will be like someday once my daughter is finally home. It was just the pick me up I needed to keep trudging along through the wait. And every day with my girlfriends is always a good one. I love my homegirls! (I'm stealing your word Melissa cuz it fits so well!)
I had the best day........ :)
Friday, April 27, 2007
Guess where I am?
Nobody likes me in South Dakota. Maybe they don't have internet access there. Okay if there are any South Dakotians that have visited, then I apologize. Maybe I missed you somehow. So next time you show up ...... leave me a shout out in the comments section. Then I'll have conquered the entire US. Woohoo!
Know what else I found out?
A lot of you read from work. Naughty naughty. You better hope your boss doesn't find out you're wasting company time. LOL! But you guys have some really cool jobs. Universities, corporations, hospitals, investment and insurance companies, and many more. Here's a shout out to whoever you are at NASA. Welcome to my place. :)
My family doesn't visit nearly enough. (Yes I can see you out there.) One of the reasons I set the blog up was so the distant ones could keep in touch more. Maybe get to know me a little better, too. They stop in sporadically but I wouldn't say they're regulars. Except my cousin Lisa B. ( Hey Lisa!) She reads from work and complains when I don't blog often enough. She has now developed an addiction to blogs and reads many of yours, too. I take full responsibility for that.
My mom always shows up as the Flying J in Perris, California. She's never actually IN California. She's an over the road semi truck driver. (We like choosing traditionally male dominated careers in this family. My sister was in the Navy for awhile, too.) Mom fires up her laptop at this particular truck stop whose server is apparently routed thru Cali. It doesn't matter where she is in the country. It always says Cali.
I've had hits from all over the world. There are some daily readers in France. Bonjour to you!
I've had hits from the White Swan Hotel in China. Those always make me smile. Cuz I'm here dreaming about being in China getting my baby. And you're there doing that but still check in to see what's going on in my world. Awesome! But the other China hits make me a little nervous. I hope those guys like me. Just in case they're ...well, you know who.
Always lots of hits from my Canadian friends. Wazzzup to my northern homies!
Here's a partial list of places I never would've imagined would be interested in my silly life:
Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, Japan, Germany, Finland, Egypt, Iceland, Norway, Columbia, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Kuwait, Puerto Rico, Chile, Algeria, Israel, Spain, Austria, Greece, Singapore, Hong Kong, even one that shows up as the Russian Federation!! Can you believe that? The world is not as big as we think it is.
So to all of you anonymous lurkers out there........ Welcome! Make yourself at home. Feel free to join in. Drop me a comment. Give me a shout out. Introduce yourselves. Say hello. I won't bite. Usually....
Thursday, April 26, 2007
At 4:36pm jackass calls me and tells me it's ready. After I'm already at my second job. I tell him I'll see him tomorrow. Cuz there's no way I can get it tonight. By my tone he can tell I'm not happy. Again he says in a completely oblivious tone that "sometimes these things just happen". That's what pisses me off the most. No real concern. No apology.
So today my partner and I go up to his shop to pick up my car. He's already dropped his ridiculously inflated price from $160 to $115 to appease me. He lays the invoice on the counter with my keys on top of it. I lay two $50 bills on top of the invoice, look him square in the eye and say "THIS is what I'm paying you because you kept my car for a couple of days instead of a couple of hours." He must be married ....cuz he knew better than to argue with a clearly pissed off woman, especially one with a gun strapped to her hip, so he just said "Okay. Sign here." Damn!! I shoulda went lower.
My check engine light is no longer on. But guess what the invoice said?
Somehow his hard work was supposed to be worth $142?
Bite me asshole. Sometimes these things just happen..........
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
So when I start to argue this the guy on the phone tells me that I need to speak to Justin because he is the representative in my "service tier". WTF is a service tier? Ok whatever. Maybe he can help me but he's at lunch so call back later. Well, of course, I'm a busy girl and don't get back to calling Justin for a few days. By now he's on vacation and won't be back until next week. Okay fine. My ride is running okay so clearly this check engine light thingy can't be anything of great importance so it can wait. In the meantime, I arm myself with several arguments as to why I'm not paying him $75 to plug it into a machine that will diagnose the problem. How hard can that really be? Definitely not $75 worth of hard. Plus, according to my brother and confirmed by me when I called and asked, Autozone does it for free.
So I call Justin when he gets back from his vacation ready to argue. But I don't have to cuz he says just bring it in and we'll hook it up to the machine- no charge. As any good service tier representative should have. Well, turns out the thermostat was "not functioning to it's maximum" but was "working intermittently" which "could cause it to overheat at some point if it ever got stuck open or closed".
Okay how much to replace the thermostat, the gasket you said I needed and that gallon of antifreeze, I ask innocently. "$275 plus tax. So can we get started on it right away for you?" was the reply. I know that mechanics see a sucker when a chick walks in alone with a Ms. in front of her name. But I'm not a stupid woman by any stretch of the imagination. I casually mention that my brother-in-law is a mechanic and I want to check with him first to see if that's a fair price. Justin begins to stutter and stammer a bit and then throws out that I qualify for the "preferred customer" discount so he can knock off 10%. I guess I became "preferred" in that second because he wanted me as a customer. I tell him thanks and I'll get back to him after I talk to the bro-n-law.
My phone rings about 3 minutes later. It's Justin. Apparently he "goofed". My price would actually be $199 minus my 10% "P.C." discount plus tax. He had "accidentally" added in the $75 diagnostic check fee even though he said he'd do it for free and had "luckily" just caught it. Yeah right J. I'll call ya back.
So I get referred to a mechanic through a co-worker who's father owns a garage of his own. Unfortunately, co-worker's dad is out of town for a week. I call this other guy up and ask him how much. I didn't even bother to throw out the name drop of the co-worker. Even without the friend discount, he tells me it'll be about $65. Geez.... the effing dealership mechanics are thieves. I call J back and tell him thanks but no thanks. Then I tell my ride we really need to hightail it up there to pick up my Toyota before something else mysteriously goes wrong with it. That's all I needed was some sabotage.
We drive it over to the referred mechanic. I'm a bit leery since his "shop" is the garage behind his house. But he does have a sign out front so I guess that makes it officially a business. Right? But I'm still cool with it cuz I trust the co-worker who suggested him. So I pull around back to the garage and meet the mechanic. Think Larry the cable guy but much skinnier and less teeth. He opens up the hood and looks around. "Well I reck'un that thermostat's in here somewheres. I just gotta find that dang thang. We don't get many new cars in here." Uh oh. Luckily, he finds it but unfortunately, doesn't have the proper tool to fix it. Well, it IS a foreign job and "new" according to Larry's standards. Fruck!
He sends me "down the road a piece" to another guy that'll "do me right". This guy does have the proper tool and says he can fix it but the price from him is $160 total. Dammit. But still cheaper than the dealership so fine... just fix it. I get a call a few hours later. Seems mechanic #2 has accidentally broken the alternator belt which has rendered my car inoperable until it's fixed. Which can't happen til tomorrow cuz the part had to be ordered. Double Fruck!
But he's nice enough to not charge me for the belt or the labor to install it. I let that comment slide for the time being. In a very friendly, professional way I advise him that this is my only means of transportation. This is not what the plan was. I was supposed to have my ride back in a just a few hours. What are you willing to do to help me out here? Which translates to "let's talk about lowering the price". He again says he's not going to charge me for the belt or the labor. Now I'm getting pissed. Are you frucking serious dude!? But instead I say, in a sweet as pie but stern I'm-not-gonna-take-no-bullshit-from-you-voice "I know you're not. Because YOU broke it. That's just good conscientious business practice. To correct a mistake you made. But what are you going to do about the price seeing as how I'm now inconvenienced and have to find a way to get home from work and then back to work in the morning?" (Yes for those that pay attention, I have my unmarked car that I drive for work but dumbass mechanic didn't need to know that.)So the price is now $115 total. Not great but not hateful either.
It went from $275 + tax .....to $250-ish + tax with my "PC" discount..... to $199 (cuz of the accidental charge... smirk) minus the discount + tax .....to $65 but no tool.......back up to $160.... and then down to a final $115. Boy I'm tired just writing that. But it just goes to show you, ladies. Just because we have breasts .....doesn't mean we don't have a brain. It costs too much to allow yourselves to be a doormat. So don't.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I also owe Doris a very belated thank you for the candy and card you sent on Easter. It was appreciated. I'm sorry it took so long to say thank you but my brain has been a little fried lately. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.
Nothing new to report here. Most days I don't know whether I'm coming or going. I'm working a whole bunch. Hopefully, that'll only last about another month or so. This weekend was another 17 hours of overtime. Good for the baby fund ....but boy does it suck not having a day off work. Not only am I exhausted and not getting much done around my house and yard, but I feel very disconnected lately. Just not enough time in the week to see the people I want to see. And I'm starting to feel that. Not hanging with my friends like I should be. Not seeing my niece and nephews like I should be. Not blogging like I should be....
I'm feeling very detached from the whole adoption right now, too. I think that's going around. I've noticed it on the blogs of others who are waiting in limbo like me. Waiting, waiting, waiting. The 2 day batch this month really knocked the wind out of most of us. And the news that agencies are beginning to advise their clients that this wait could extend up to 30 months. Depressing. I'm really tired of my response to the question of "So when do you think you'll get your baby?" being "Oh in about a year." As so many have recently pointed out to me, I've been saying that for the last year. Yes, I know. And next month is Mother's Day. Another one without my baby.
On Friday, Griffey and I came home from our still-working-on-the-new-year-resolution-diet-and-fitness-plan walk to find our lawn mowed. Did Connie's mystery mower come to visit? Actually, I was talking to my neighbors who were out playing in their backyard with the kids just before we left. I mentioned my work schedule and how tired I am when they said they hadn't seen much of me lately. (Which I always clarify with the point that I've CHOSEN to work this much. You gotta take the extra hours when they come cuz they might not come again for awhile. And the baby fund needs the extra dough!) So we get home after our 45 minute trek through the 'hood and see the grass mowed. I actually gasped out loud. I haven't been that happy or that grateful for awhile. The fun part was when I yelled over to thank them, they acted like they had no idea what I was talking about. I love my neighbors. Really love them. No I mean really really. It sucks that their house is for sale. I hope I don't go to hell for doing a bad ju ju dance every time they have an open house.
Do you think it's uncivilized to stand in the kitchen and eat unheated green beans straight from the can with your fingers? Just checking. In case I were to do that.
This is what happens when you spend too much time away from your spoiled dog. As soon as I sit down for more than 3 seconds, he is in my face. Literally. Breathing his stinky doggie breath in my mouth with those pleading puppy eyes. Laying his head on my chest trying to look pitiful. Yes, that's the TV behind his head. That I can't see because he's in the way demanding attention. Okay, dude. I get it.Well, I was lucky to get something that made sense out of my head tonight. At least, I hope it did. That's about all I can muster this evening. I'm going to go check in on all of you now. If I don't comment, it's only due to the lack of time but just know that I'm there in spirit.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
For those who are not completely consumed by all China adoption related gossip (because those who are already know this...... but for the sake of friends and family who are not addicted to RQ), CCAA sent out referrals for this month and it was very disappointing. They only matched 2 days worth of log in dates. Oct 25 & 26. This news was devastating for those of us waiting because it just extends the wait even more. It's going to take them 4 months just to get through the month of Oct '05. So when will they get to me with my June '06 LID? Not anytime soon is my only answer. Best guess is sometime in 2008. Maybe spring but very possibly summer or even later. Why only 2 days? CCAA says they matched the same number of babies as in previous months. It's just that Oct '05 was a very big month with many families sending their paperwork over during that time. Unfortunately, it's reported that Nov '05 is a very big month as well. Oy vey!
In good news, Griffey went to the vet for his required yearly shots and we found out that the new year's resolution diet is working for him. We've been trying to walk more and I put him on some weight control dog food cuz he was a little "fluffier" than he should be for his breed. Happy to report that he has lost 1 lb. Woo Hoo! Not only that but the vet said he really is just "big boned". Seriously. She said he has a good taut abdomen and good muscle tone with no real fat. So she only wants him to lose maybe another 1/2 lb but said it's not really necessary. More proof that we need to accept the body size we were born with and not feel pressure to conform to what society thinks is "normal". My dog is not a supermodel! And neither am I.
For some comic relief click here and here for the conversations my sister must endure with her four children. I about peed my pants laughing at this.
Oh and it's Friday the 13th so I decided to stay in my house in my pajamas all day. Okay I'm kidding.....well, not about the pajama part. I really did take the day off of work but not because I'm superstitious. Just because I've been running so non-stop for the past month that I needed a break. My house is a mess. My TV has so many things recorded on the DVR that it's running out of room and starting to erase things. My dog is so lonely that when I do try to sit down for a second, he climbs up and lays his head on my chest staring me down and breathing in my face until I pay attention to him. And I felt like sleeping in. So I took a vacation day since there appears to be no more need to bank all of my time off for that trip to China I thought I might take this year. Today is my time to do whatever the hell I want or don't want to do. No schedule and no responsibility. 24 hours of pure freedom. Ahhhh... it's been heavenly so far.
Monday, April 09, 2007
So the old ISP tells me I have 30 days before my e-mail is shut off. That was on January 29th. It's worked consistently since then. So I continued to use it. Hey if they forgot to flip a switch or something, that's not my fault. Well, the free ride was over with today. Somebody finally figured it out and I could no longer access my e-mail. It only took them 69 days.
So from here on out, anyone who needs to contact me can use the e-mail link on my sidebar. I now only have one address for everything. I used to use a separate one for the blog. But to make it easier on my already taxed brain, now I only have to deal with one. In case it's too much effort for you to click there, it's firstname.lastname@example.org. So please update me in your address books.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I've been crazy busy with work. Between my primary job and the second only-to-build-the-adoption-fund job, I've been logging a minimum of 53 hours a week. Good for the fund but a little tiring for me. Hopefully it'll only last a couple of months. Maybe less.
My evenings are spent trying to find time for everything else that needs to be done like dishes, laundry, errands, etc. Which means something had to give. So less blogging. But I'm still checking in and reading everyone else's like I regularly do. Just not commenting as much. Too time consuming, ya know.
So here's the dish about Krista's world... in short form.
1. Finally got my new beautiful hot pink I-Pod. Been having fun learning how to use it and downloading music.
2. Doing fairly okay on my new year's resolution diet. Down 15 pounds since Jan 1st. Now trying to actually exercise so it'll come off a little quicker. I swear I'm going to make it up the Great Wall! Carla, I'm going to make you tape me doing the happy dance when I get to the top. (BTW that means you must also make it up The Wall so consider yourself warned.)
3. STILL painting in my bedroom. Only have the time and energy for a little at a time so it's slow going. Almost done though. It's going to look awesome.
4. Got a belated birthday gift from my brother and his girlfriend. Very cool stuff. So cool that it's going to get it's own post as soon as I get some pics taken. So stay tuned for that.
5. Went shopping last Friday with Sam and a group of other China adopters. They were all waiting families in 2005 that met and started this annual shopping trip to a local outlet mall. It was a lot of fun. Met some great people and their beautiful girls. My new friend, Qing, also went. (And I found out that I had spelled her name wrong in the first post about her. Sorry.) Great day!
6. Can't wait for this next batch of referrals! Very interested to see how far they get. Plus some fellow blogger friends are up next and some others are on the bubble. I love referral time but it's so much more fun when I know friends who get referrals. Come on Hannah! And congratulations to another blogger buddy, Johnny, who is in China and just met his son, Christopher! Oh happy day. Lots of babies coming home. Gotta love that.
Can't think of anything else at the moment so that'll have to entertain you for now. I'll stop back by soon.