Monday, February 28, 2011

The Queen Has Spoken....

Even with her worst case scenario projection, Rumor Queen is predicting I'll be in the next batch. Okay ... I may actually be freaking out a little right now.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Referrals arrived outta the blue yesterday!! It was a completely unexpected batch. The last one had only been about 21 days before. That's a super quick turnaround! Plus add in the fact that Chinese New Year was early this month and February is a short month anyway. No one was expecting this. No one.

We just heard the very first rumor on Weds that China was "preparing to match". Generally referrals come out a week or two after we hear that. But instead, phone calls started being made first thing Thursday.

And sure enough.....
China has matched through June 9th.

Which means I'm only 5 days away!!

It's almost certain I'll get my referral in the next batch!
Can y'all believe that?!

Now I say "almost" cuz we're all used to the unpredictable world of China adoption by now, aren't we? They could always surprise us and do a very small batch. It's unlikely. But it could certainly happen. So I have to be prepared for it. Have to try to guard my heart a little.

When the next batch will come is the big question. The average is about 30-35 days between batches. But they've stretched as long as 45 days before. And as we saw with this batch ...a quick 21 days in between.

But I'm guessing it will come at the very end of March or the first few days of April. I can't believe this wait is finally almost over. Could I be within a month of finally seeing my daughter's face? Of knowing who she is? Where she is? How old she is?

Could I really be NEXT!?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The D Word

I'm not skinny. Never have been and never will be. I'm just not built that way unfortunately. I've dieted and failed so many times that I've learned to keep my mouth shut about it. But I've been doing pretty good on this one and broke my own rule recently when I mentioned a weight loss. That brought up some questions about this dieting thing and what I'm doing to lose. So I decided to share.

When I got on the scale last March during the physical for my homestudy update, I was quite shocked by the number. It was bad. Really bad. As I've mentioned here before, I'm an emotional eater. Big time. And the stress of the last 5 years of this adoption had taken it's toll. It's called "The Wait" weight. LOL!

I started working on it right away. But I still wasn't that committed. Six months later, I was only down about 25 lbs or so. And trust me when I say there's a lot more than that to lose. Then I went up and down struggling over 10 lbs during my vacation in October, then Thanksgiving and finally Christmas. By the first of the year, I was back to my 25-26 lb loss.

But the clock was ticking. This referral is right around the corner. And I knew I had to take drastic measures and get really serious if I wanted to be smaller before going to China. There are all kinds of reasons why I want that.

First and foremost, I want to be a healthier mom. I wanna be able to run after my daughter and roll around on the floor with her. And as a single parent, I need to be more conscious of my health for her sake. I also know the trip to China is physically very difficult. I'm so not looking forward to that uncomfortable plane ride. Ugh! I just didn't need to stack the deck against me before I even got there.

Then there are the vain reasons, of course. I wanna look better in my clothes. I don't wanna be disgusted at myself as I look at all of our photos of the China trip. These aren't photos I'll be able to hide away and never look at again. They'll be a part of our lives permanently and looked at year after year. And even when I'm in a good place about myself .... I'm still not real happy with having my picture taken.

I knew I needed to get as much weight off as fast as I could. I really wish I hadn't procrastinated this. It would've been a lot easier to do this sooner rather than later. But here I am.

I'm doing the Medifast plan. Several people I work with have been very successful on it. So I thought I'd give it a shot. Let me just say.... it's horrible. But it's effective so I'm sticking with it.

It's one of those very low calorie, low carb meal replacement plans. I buy food from them. And when I say "food" I use that term very loosely. LOL! Pretty much all of it tastes like crap. But you get used to it.

This is what I eat. All bought from Medifast except my "lean and green" meal. Breakfast is oatmeal. A couple hours later I have a granola bar type thing. Then lunch is a soup. Another bar two hours or so later. Then my lean and green. And another snack later. For me that's usually a shake, pretzels, hot cocoa or this other thing that looks like Kix cereal but is supposed to be cheese puffs.

You can configure the plan however you want as long as you eat five of their things and the "lean and green" meal. If you like the bars, you could actually eat five bars all day. Or mix it up any way you like. My way is just what works for me.

It's VERY restrictive. I have a list of acceptable meats and veggies and portion sizes. Even the condiments are super restrictive. You have to be really dedicated to it. It's hard. I'm not gonna lie. But it's exactly what I needed right now. I needed something where there was no thinking involved. I know exactly what to expect every day with my eating.

And I needed something that didn't allow me to cheat. Cuz I will if you let me. That's why Weight Watchers won't work for me right now. If you tell me I can have pizza.... then I'll eat too much. I just know how I am. I've done WW before successfully. And will probably go back to something like that in the future. It's a much more realistic way of eating long term.

But in the short term, this is exactly what I needed. A no BS, set in stone, no thinking kind of plan. And because it's so restrictive the weight comes off faster. Which helps you to remain motivated to keep going.

Yesterday was my week 4 weigh in and I'm down 18 lbs!! Added to my loss from what my "homestudy weight" was... I weigh 43 lbs less than last year. I haven't been this weight since maybe 2008. I'm fitting into clothes I haven't worn in years. I feel great physically. But more importantly, emotionally. I'm working my way back to my happy place. And it feels good.

I haven't started any exercise yet. But that's coming soon. If you're not physically active, they want you to wait three weeks while your body adjusts to the huge carb reduction. The first week was hell. I was in serious carb withdrawals. Headaches, shaky. But now... I feel fantastic!

My first goal was to be about 10 lbs less than where I am right now before referral. I think I'll make it. After that, I just want to get off as much as I can before going to China. Whatever that number is.

I still won't be in my ideal place. Not by quite a bit actually since I put on so much weight in the last 5 yrs and then procrastinated trying to take it off. But wherever I end up will be better than where I started. And that's a good thing. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What I'm Happy About

The Grammys. Loved them this year. Some really great performances. But there were a couple of awards where I was scratching my head going.... who?

Survivor starts tomorrow. I really like TV. LOL!

I got a brand new I-Phone. I'm a first timer. I adore it so far. I still have a lot to learn but I'm having fun with it.

I just renewed my immigration paperwork for the last time. Hallelujer!

I've lost about 15 lbs on this new diet since starting it 3 weeks ago. I haven't been in this weight range in about 2 years. Or these pants. And it feels fabulous!

There are only 12 days until the CCAA gets to me. Yay! I'm really feeling April. Could I be a mom before Mother's Day?

My master bedroom is being completely re-done. New carpet, paint, furniture, decor, everything. Nesting anyone? I can't wait to see it finished.

There are two baby showers being planned for me. That's right...two! I can't wait to celebrate this baby with all the people who have supported me and waited with me all these years. Oh and the presents. Presents are pretty cool, too. Wink, wink.

The clasp on my Pandora bracelet broke. That part didn't make me happy. But them replacing it at no cost to me did. Wonderful customer service.

My dog is okay. We had a scare this week. Much more than a scare actually. A terrifying moment where his life flashed before my eyes. But our guardian angels were watching over the both of us. And we're okay.

I had a birthday on Sunday. And while getting another year older wasn't so great.... my birthday present was. What was it? The most active burglar in my district getting caught in the act. A strange gift, right? Let me explain.

This guy is my archnemesis. He just turned 19 a week ago but I've been dealing with him for years. And he's probably responsible for 30-50% of all the burglaries in my district. Just him. I put him away, he does a little time, gets out and starts hammering me again. But this is the first solid case I've had against him as an adult.

Not only that... but during my interrogation I was able to get him to confess to two other burglaries as well. Cuz I'm just that good, people. Interview is an art and I'm a master. LOL! Well, maybe. He refused to budge on the other 15 I believe he's done recently. But seriously... I'm very happy to be sending him to prison. Real prison. Not juvenile detention. Maybe he might actually get it this time.

And best of all... the burglary rate in my district is guaranteed to go down while he's away. Which means a smaller case load for me. :)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

We've Hit June!

CCAA has referred through June 2nd, 2006. There were times I wondered if we'd ever get here. To the month of June, I mean. But here we are. Freakin' finally! This is my month.

My Month!

And there are only 12 days in front of me. Which is both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.

My optimistic prediction is that they could match me in the next batch. But I don't really believe that's going to happen. More realistically I think it'll be the next next batch.

Now the question is when? Will they send the next batch in February? Not likely. March then? But are we talking early, middle or late March? So would that put my referral in April?

Stay tuned to see where the rollercoaster ends.....

Saturday, February 05, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

The power was out from 8pm Tuesday night until about 2pm on Friday. And it was a very long 3 days. Luckily, the pipes in the house didn't freeze. My next water bill may be a little higher since I left water dripping in every faucet for several days. But it's a small price to pay to prevent a pipe bursting.

Griffey and I spent those days at my sister's. All the T's were off school during that time because of the bad weather. And one night my mom stayed over as well because she lost power. It made for a full house. A little loud and crazy at times. But it was nice to hang out with the kids. It made me realize how much they're all growing up.

Griffey and I are thrilled to finally be home now. I don't think my bed as ever been more comfortable than it was last night. LOL! I absolutely love my house. It's my sanctuary. My calm, my peace, my sanity, my happy place. I know we shouldn't put so much value in material things. But I was absolutely sick during that ice storm worrying about the risk of damage to my baby. I was so thankful that I got through it with just the annoyance of having to clean the backyard up and replace the gutter. It could have been a lot worse.

And I appreciate my house even more now after being forced out for several days. It may not be perfect. But it's mine. Filled with a lot of my blood, sweat and tears. It's seen me through a wedding, marriage, divorce, illness that nearly took my life, and soon .... motherhood. My heart, soul and many memories live within these walls. It's unique and colorful... just like me. I love this space I've created for myself. There's no other place I'd rather be. It feels good to be home.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ice Ice Baby... sorry couldn't resist

When the weatherman said we were bracing for a really horrific storm, I underestimated him. In my defense, the guy screams blizzard over every little flake of snow. I mean, this is Ohio. It snows here. That's not freak out worthy. But this....
this was absolutely freak out worthy! We had a pretty good freezing rain-ice mixture dump on us Monday night. But I had salted my sidewalks and driveway so it wasn't too bad. I got to work without any issues on Tuesday. It just took me awhile to chip the ice off the car.
It started again right as I was leaving work at 4pm. And it didn't stop. Ice freezing on top of ice.. is bad. Just really bad. I lost power about 8pm. No electricity, no heat, no phone. And about 5 minutes later my cell phone crashed. (Stupid Blackberry... but that's another story.) I gingerly made my way across the ice skating rink that used to be my street to borrow the neighbor's cell and call off work. I figured things were about to go from bad to worse. And boy did they.
I can honestly say I was pretty damn terrified the rest of the night. The giant tree that hovers over my house had branches breaking off all night long. I felt them bouncing off the house and would just hold my breath praying no windows would be taken out and the roof would hold up. The whole neighborhood was stressed out. We didn't really know what to do. So 4 different neighbors and I just stood out on our front porches for an hour or so watching each others trees fall. Which worked out well since we were on opposite sides of the street. That way when a tree crashed whoever was across the street could yell out whether it hit the house or not. We didn't plan it but it turned out to be a good system. LOL!
And let me just tell you... a heavy tree limb covered in ice is LOUD when it hits the ground. It shatters just like glass. The transformers were blowing up all over the place, too. I bet I saw 10 of those suckers explode. It was the strangest thing. The whole sky would light up purple and green like a nuclear bomb was going off. Then the loud buzz as it fizzled out. It was absolutely insane. And scary.

In the light of day it appears there's no major damage. My garage gutter was ripped off. I think one of my chairs may be demolished under that big branch. Hoping the retaining wall is okay. I won't know until this weekend when a co-worker is coming over with his chain saw. But I'm so grateful the house and deck seem to have held.

The power is still out now 24 hours later. I packed Griffey and I up about noon, dug the car out and headed to my sister's. Cuz baby it's cold outside...and now INSIDE my house, too. Just praying my pipes don't burst and the power is restored soon. For now I'm hanging out with the T's. But I really want to go home. :(