Monday, August 28, 2006

Just for a few seconds..........

I had a mini-pity party. A blog I read often posted their referral today after missing the cut off by one day last month and they were referred twins!! (See Salsa in China) For a few tiny sleep-deprived seconds I was wishing EFP had been twins. We were approved for twins and although I knew it would be sooooo hard I kind of knew we would want two and twins would have been... well twins! So for the briefest of moments I though - Hey, why didn't we get twins? But as I wiped applesauce off the ceiling and two cats this evening after EFP made several quasi-successful attempts at getting the spoon with applesauce on it into her mouth... I realized I would have given up a while ago of even giving the appearance of maintaining some household order!

Well - perhaps because I would have to have been insane to think I could handle twins! Because I am sort of tired all the time now... not that EFP isn't sleeping she is, but child-rearing is tiring! You are 'on' 100% of the time even while you are supposedly sleeping! I do not think I have had a really "good" night's sleep since we met her. I am not, by any means, complaining. I, tired as I may be, have only known real happiness since the second that little child smiled into my face!!

I suppose this is really due to my growing concern over providing a sibling for her. Ever one to obsess about something - and to move from serious project to serious project - I am now trying to figure out the circumstances under which we will be able to add another child to our little family! How is it I have free-time to be thinking about this? Well - I did it. Tonight I signed the papers for our new car... the MiniVan! We bought a brand spanking new Odyssey EXL Can you believe it? I can't. Weeks of research and dealer shopping, price comparisons and soul searching - do I really want to drive a minivan? Its a done deal. I am picking it up Wednesday. And yes, it is Silver just like I wanted!

Are you wondering how in the world a minivan is at all related to our ideal number of children? Well - if I weren't considering our options for a second child I would not be moving all my Coldplay CDs to the behemoth! Luckily, newbie has a 6-CD Changer so I can still listen to all the Coldplay AND the Philadelphia Chickens!! Yes, the minivan is totally related to our wish for a second child. I just don't know if I am as ready as some of my Moonbeam Sisters who have already signed papers! One is actively paperchasing, another has her LOI off for a waiting child and a whole bunch more are begining the paperchase all over again! I am still trying to get all my post-placement reports matched up with the correct photos!

Besides - I am so in love with my child I am just not ready to contemplate another so quickly. I will know my next child when I see him/her. We are committed to finding our child on a waiting child list. I just know that is how it will happen. I have no idea where in the world - though I suspect it will be either China or the USA, but I really believe we will know his/her face as soon as we see it. Aside from the horrendous wait (now about 14 months from the date the paperwork is logged into China) there are so many unknowns. Most importantly - we believe we are in a good position to offer an amazing opportunity to a child waiting for surgery or in need of something a little extra. You will notice I have been very careful in not saying that our next child will be younger than our current child! I am not sure why - but for some reason I just don't feel like EFP should be the older child - not by very much anyway. I did recently inquire about a child who was 2 weeks younger than EFP, but that child had a family working to adopt her.

I think its just the excitement of referrals and how maternal I feel these days. Both because of EFP and the minivan. Its interesting - I never before felt like this was an inevitability, but it feels so right. Now if I could just get the rest of the scenario to work with me......

So big congrats to this month's referred families..... I am not really wishing for twins... one look at the baby the universe meant for me is enough to convince me, that sometimes (ok, usually) its more than OK that I don't get what I wished for! I don't always have my own best interest at heart! LOL

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Calling all Angels...............

Yes!! This is my baby! Enough talking!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Why these are my two favorite girls...............

These are my two favorite girls in the world!! One is my daughter and the other is my god-daughter. They are both terrific kids but I have known one of them a whole lot longer than the other so I have loved her a really long time - all her life in fact!!

Here are my TOP TEN Favorite Things about Miss T:

10. Pink is also her favorite color (mine too!)
9. She has an innate and excellent sense of style
8. She tells great jokes and always has
7. She has an extremely kind heart
6. She always wanted to wear a crown and now she does - and she does it very well!
5. All girl all the time - hair, nails, shopping and very fancy parties!
4. She loves her Mommy, Daddy, litte brother and her whole family with her whole heart!
3. Because to know her is to love her - completely because she is passionate about everything she loves.
2. Those pointy toes, big cheesy smile, high knees and bouncy curls (even when they are fake!)
1. She is an intuitive, bright, strong, extremely talented young woman and she makes me proud to be her Aunt every day!

Here are my Top Ten Favorite Things about EFP:

10. Pink seems to be her favorite color
9. She is a very funny baby - with a real sense of humor all her own
8. She has a real desire to be helpful
7. Goodnight Moon is her favorite book (Brown Bear is a close second)
6. Her favorite time of day seems to be rocking chair time with Mama
5. Her other favorite time of day is when we sing in the car on the way to child care
4. The kid can eat - especially pasta of any kind or nationality
3. That baby smell, that baby smile and that baby laugh!!
2. That amazingly she does seem to love us an awful lot!
1. Because she is the best thing about life to date!

So there you have it! The top ten things I love about my two favorite girls!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Vacation.. Had to get away....

We ARE HOME! And not a moment too soon. We had a great time. EFP really liked having the family around and the dogs cracked her up. She liked having a playmate around all the time also. The last few days though were very tough. For some reason known only to her imperial self, she decide sleep was completely superfluous!! She screamed whenever we put her to bed and having her sleep with us was a invite to play! We were NOT AMUSED! It didn't help (at all!) that I felt that her behavior was making me look bad in front of the ILs!!!!!! They were pretty good about it but still - no one wants a screaming baby on vacation... luckily (or not) her cousin Prince R. screamed for a few days... a lot. Toward the end it was clear the EFP was a bit under the weather. Indeed there was puking and it was on Yours Truly of course. So we missed the mini-reunion in New Hampshire. I am sure it pained us more than anyone else. But it was such a long drive home that we decided a stop (even for yummy Italian food and to visit our travel mates) was a bit risky. IN the end it still took us over 10 hours to make it home. Plenty of stops and crying... and EFP wasn't that happy either. LOL I believe we will try to get up that way in late September or early October so a mini-reunion may still work out. We are also going to plan a bigger reunion for our one-year anniversary in February or March. That will be fun. The last six month went so fast I am sure the next will fly as well.

Still it was relaxing and laid back, which after the year we have had was just what the social worker ordered. I should prescribe family vacations more often!

Unfortunately - I am still trying to figure out how to email me the picture of the moose I took with my phone camera - since I was foolish enough to leave the camera at home when we went moose watching and FINALLY saw a moose on this trip. In the past we have seen tons of moose but the whole Rangeley area has seen a real boom in building and we fear the moose have gone deeper into the wilderness. It remains to be seen.

We spent a lot of time in the pool. The less said about that the better I think. I do love my new shoes..... I can wear them in the pool too.....

We had a lot of good food and great times. I also regained my title as 500 Rummy Champion from Toenail which really wasn't that hard considering the current score is 3,999 wins for me and 1 for him... LOL

DH played a lot of golf, drank some beer, swam in the lake and worked out in a place where the view is unmatched, sunned, snacked, napped and lounged. All in all a great time had by the whole family.

A few holiday snaps for your viewing pleasure!

The Empress is careful with her eyesite!

She dines promptly at 6pm whether home or out!
Here she is sampling the finest pub fare at the Rangeley Inn Pub!

Yes - this is the pool we spent most of our vacation in. If you are laughing because there is a GIGANTIC LAKE 100 feet away - laugh on!! Rangeley Lake is over 100' deep in spots and COLD! (well too cold for me - DH likes to swim in it!)

If doggie can hang under the table so can EFP! Here she is with Princess Nala! Princess Leia is near and their cousin MacCallan (Actually Leia's half-sister) is also nearby!

My two fishies!! Love Love Love the Fishies!

My lovely new shoes and where I spent a lot of time... staring at the lake!

My girlie loves the noodles! She had a blast the whole time!
Yes, that is my foot in my brand new crocs!

Sunset over the lake!
It's quite a sight and the meteor shower is breathtaking from this vantage point!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vacation... all I ever wanted.....

It has been GREAT up here this past week! The weather has been a little unpredictable but nice. A little too cool for swimming but great for taking walks, going to the swings, moose-watching and ice cream eating! EFP has been enjoying herself immensely - all her aunts and uncles have been attentive and loads of fun! We saw a giant bull moose last night - but EFP was nicely asleep so she missed it!

We are relaxing A WHOLE BUNCH!! We did great on the drive up and EFP really liked having her Mommy in the back seat for a little while.. but she slept a bit on both ends and we managed it in 9 hours. I wish the restrooms on the way were a bit more acomodating to diaper changes but whatever! We managed just fine.

We are visiting all our usual haunts especially PTF (Pine Tree Frosty) for black raspberry ice cream but we have already visited some of our other favs and got some cool croc clogs - which are SOOOO comfy and cool! I got hot pink and I am talking DH into the chartruese! LOL

Well this pic will have to do till I have better access to the net. I am currently in the public library on their wireless internet with my laptop but I don't want to hog the access and I left EFP napping with her Daddy. Last night we left her sleeping and the grans were on the monitor and what do you thknk happened???? That's right - Night Terror! We hadn't left her this whole time.. we finally sneak out to have some ice cream and go on a Moose Watch and sure enough she was doing great this whole time and then she goes and falls apart. GranD finally yelled at her to STOP! and apparently that woke her from the cycle and she stopped screaming - I think she scared the heck out of her granparents!

Still we are having fun and she is really having such fun here. I hope she doesn't mind that everyone has left over the last few days.. so now it is just us and the grans. Today we are hoping the water warms up a bit and we can have a swim.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Countdown to Road Trip!

This is the view from a nearby hill in Maine overlooking Rangeley Lake

Another view from the hill in Rangeley Maine

The backyard with gazebo

Yes - our summer vacation will actually begin tomorrow! With the arrival of Three of my favorite people (and relatives) of all time!! My fabby sister and her two chillies Miss T & Mr T! I am SOOOOOO Excited! They have not been here in a while and I miss them all the time. It is better now that we live closer but I still don't see them near enough! I know EFP will love seeing her cousins!! She and Miss T are two peas in a pod and quite a pair!


After having a great weekend including a dynamite time at the Long Island Feis where I am sure Miss T is going to WOW them big time with her really big smile, pointy toes and high-stepping kicks! After we exhaust ourselves with them we will say goodbye and head North for our two-weeks in Rangeley, Maine with a possible stop in Vermont. Did I mention that the whole family will be there? My DH's whole family. What's left of my family will be here this weekend. We have been going to Rangely for the last 11 years and for many of them the whole family has been there. Lots of laughs and silliness and some well-established rituals.. like every day we swear we will not eat ice cream again. Then around 7:45 we all look at each other and say - "well, the Pine Tree Frosty will be closing in 15 minutes........guess we better get there before they close!" Then we pile into a car or two and head out - then we eat ice cream in the car while we look for Moose and other wild animals!

We are also hoping to see some of the folks we traveled with in our China trip. We will stop in New Hampshire for that. I can not wait to see the girls!! I know ours has changed so much it will be great to see how the others have grown also. We had a great group of people to travel with and it will be nice to see them again.

I am continuing on my path to figure out how to pack for this trip with out having to drag a bunch of cr-p behind the car! I would really like to be able to pack what we will need to keep her majesty happy! The Grans have gone ahead and bought a kiddie pool because the lake can be cold sometimes and we may not want to let the babies go swimming. Just the equipment alone may fill up our car.. hence the whole "now we hafta get a minivan angst." But I am really digging the idea of the power sliding doors! Do I dare get a moonroof? Hmmm.... I am also seriously considering the onboard entertainment and navigation system... well, we'll see.

I am hoping the weather is good (not too hot or cold) up there and I believe I have some shopping to do... I realized I NEED to go to Freeport ME I mean Baby NEEDS new shoes, a winter coat, some galoshes, a new coach bag, some socks/tights, a few long sleeved shirts, cute things, fall shoes and perhaps some killer hair bows! Yup, I see a side trip in our near future. I also need to do a little shopping before we go - since we decided to take a portable DVD player and I think I need to get her a life jacket. Oh Maaaan!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Five Whole Months

Five Whole Months!

August 2nd is the mark of 5 months since our return from China with EFP. Sometimes it seems all too short a time. Like we are still unpacking and other times I can not remember what my life was before she came to take center stage. That is what it is… I am merely a stage hand. I don’t mind though.

This is me and EFP the day we met!

And here is my darling 2 weeks ago at the Grans!!!

Five Months ago we stepped off a plane from a far away land with a child who until then had probably not traveled more than a few miles… well until February 20th that is. On that day our child traveled for nearly 4 hours on a bus in the cold and rain to the civil affairs office where a person employed by the social welfare institution she was assigned to handed her over to us. It was the farthest she had ever traveled to that point. Little did she know that within the next two weeks she would travel on three planes, sleep in 3 different cities and hotels before arriving home here in the states. Now, the way my daughter skarfs down chicken nuggets and French fries you would never suspect she was not born in the USA!

I know that everything changed for her. Absolutely everything. Although – in her previous life she had a foster mom who is a saintly woman. The care she took with our child – the love she gave to this baby is (I am convinced) the real reason she is so happy and healthy today. I am certain that she loved this child as her own. I am also sure that she must still miss this baby. I miss her when I am only away at work!! Yes, everything changed in her little life. She wears much fewer clothes these days and she is so physically active now! She has all she wants to eat (though you could hardly consider her anything less than plump when we received her!) and believe me the child eats! I know that the second she stepped into our life HER whole future changed. Perhaps you could say that the second the orphanage director chose to send her paperwork to Beijing – her future changed.

I also know that everything changed for me also. Not just in the way I live my daily life – but something essential inside of me has changed because she is in my life. I suppose all mothers (and fathers) must feel that way – that who you are at the core is essentially and irrevocably altered when a child arrives. That must be so. I won’t say that becoming a mother has made me better or anything….. just that I have changed at a deep level how I view things and how I take information in etc. How I even process things or make decisions. I could not have predicted some of the changes. I know I have been saying that I am hormonal or something that causes excessive weepiness… though that is not what I really mean. I am also not referring to my being a kinder-gentler me, since that is hardly the point. I probably am less so of each – since now I have someone to protect at all costs. Now I get my hackles raised and – there is no such thing as kind or gentle. I am more thoughtful I think (no pun intended, well maybe a little).

I also have a new found sense of bewilderment that I thought had disappeared long ago. Being a mother bewilders me all the time. How do you speak rationally to someone who insists on being irrational and acting in ways that are inherently dangerous and beyond their ability? How do you ‘explain’ to a child that kitties neither appreciate nor tolerate noodles being flung in their faces? Or that fish crackers should not be flying fish crackers? Or that Mommy has to be in the front seat in order to drive the car and the law insists that baby be in the back seat safe and sound while locked in a baby protection device? Or that stepping is a lot of fun….. stepping on a toy the size of a matchbox car is foolish and baby is gonna get hurt? I ask you – how is it possible to do any or all of those things? And yet everyday I must try to do any or all of them!

Today, I had to keep her home because she has a slight ear infection probably from the swimming pool or perhaps the germ pool (aka daycare) whatever. Her pediatrician said she had to stay home today. EFP stayed home with g-ma and I went to work. I cried on the way to work and then fought the tears all day… well occasionally I stepped out of my office and proclaimed to any who cared to hear that I was very sad that I had to leave my baby home with a stupid ear infection…. Oddly the students seemed not to care! (not really my grad students are very kind and caring… ) I felt guilty and irresponsible for her getting an ear infection in the first place. Either because I have been taking her to the pool or because she must be in day care. SO much for I can fry up the bacon and blah blah blah….

I was thinking about all this, in part because I was thinking about referrals… still so happy for the people who got their referrals yesterday!!! And two because it is our 5 month anniversary of arriving home with our baby. So naturally we are trying to think of how we can begin to think about thinking about a second child. Really the issue is that the wait is now so long and unpredictable that we might have to consider getting the paperwork ready to submit the minute we are eligible in order to begin to wait in line again. It is just so hard to think about. Oh, so why are we, well in this paper intense world we inhabit – our 6 month post-placement report may be able to be combined into a home study update – and thereby putting us on the time line to have our paperwork submitted in February 2007 (we are ineligible until February 21, 2007 – since we must wait one full year from the time of EFP’s formal adoption). Though I hold out hope that we will find our next child on a waiting child list – who knows.

No the real reason is the absolute panic I am in over our pending vacation. We now have to think in terms of “family vacation” rather than merely a vacation. Which means, in short, that I can not wear anything other than what I will actually be wearing when we leave home. I can not take any books or meds or make up, no slr camera, certainly no painting implements. In fact, our vacation packing will be all about the baby. SO we are learning about family vacations the easy way – by taking one! Actually planning for this trip has become so stressful we are 1. considering not going or 2. scheduling a short trip to Bermuda to recover from our 2-week family vacation!!!

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