Thursday, June 29, 2006

14 days and counting

It has been almost a week since I've posted anything. We are busy getting everything organized, packing, etc. I started packing Lilli's stuff tonight and I just don't know how I am going to get everything in one bag. I am packing her stuff in the "big" suitcase and it is almost full. I subscribe to the packing philosophy that more is always better. I am going to have to abandon that philosophy for this trip. I have been threatened to not take more than two pairs of shoes. This is going to be very difficult for me. When my brother got married two weeks ago, I took six pairs of shoes for three days. I like to have options. I had planned on taking a pair of tennis shoes, my Dansko's, and a black pair of walking sandals to China. Unfortunately I have developed a rash from one of the pairs of shoes so now I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm trying to determine which pair of shoes is causing the rash. I had a similar occurance a few years ago with shoes. My mom is allergic to the glue used in shoes and has to be really careful when she buys shoes. I think I may have inherited this from her. I'm just hoping that it clears up between now and China. If not, I'm in big trouble!

I had my teaching license professionalized today. It was a pain in the butt, but I'm glad I finally got it over with. Now I have ten years before I have to take any more classes.

The shower went well on Sunday. There were tons of people and it was mighty hectic. I felt bad that I didn't get to spend more time with everybody. I think it may have been better to have a shower with friends and then a shower with family. Live and learn. We're still trying to clean up the house and get things put away. I have done enough laundry in the last 24 hours to do me for a lifetime--I know, I know, get used to it. If one more person says that to me, I may punch them in the face! I told Todd that we have a new category for laundry. We have whites, towels, light colors, dark colors, and now PINK! I did three entire loads of nothing but pink--pink and white, pink with flowers, pink with bunnies! When I cleaned the lint tray on the dryer it was PINK! I thought I had done a pretty good job of avoiding this girly color. Guess I haven't done as well as I thought! Oh well. Little girl clothes are just so darn cute!

Well, I think I've BS-ed enough for one evening. Todd wants to use the computer and I am only writing to appease my mil (LOL)! Just kidding Barb!

I'm off to repack Lil's clothes for the FOURTH time!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Travel arrangements have been made

We just booked our international flight to China. OMG--that one hurt the wallet! We leave the 13th of July and return the 26th! Gotcha day is the 17th. How crazy is that? In less than 30 days I will be a mom.

We have been running ourselves into the ground getting everything ready for the shower on Sunday. I've tried convincing Todd that all of this work isn't necessary, but he just continues to punish himself. I'm done. I'm cleaning the house tomorrow, but I am NOT doing anything extra for Sunday. He'll just have to deal.

I think I am coming down with a cold. I've got that scratchy throat/rundown feeling. It could be that we have been working our asses off.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I will be 33-years-old two months from today! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . .

Nothing new

We are in full "get the house ready for company" mode. As I type, I should be out draining the large pond so Todd can pressure wash it tomorrow. One can only take that fishy, dead animal smell for so long. I did have to actually get into the mucky water about ankle deep; there was a fish caught in the filter basket and I had to save it. The lengths I go to for animals! I also got to pick up one of our frogs. It startled me at first because he (she?) was lying on its back. I thought, hmm, that is a strange rock. When it moved I realized it wasn't a rock. I approached him cautiously and scooped him out of the fish net. We stared each other in the eye and then I put him in the small pond. I think we have a real bond!

Well, I was just telling my buddy Linda that it hasn't sunk in yet that within a month I am going to be a mom! It's just crazy. We were laughing at Todd because he has been so cute about the whole thing. I think he called everyone on the department yesterday to tell them we had travel dates. He is going to be a great dad. I'm a lucky girl.

The fish are calling me and Sherman needs to go out so I'm off to do some more fishin' and froggin'!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We have our TA!

We received our TA this afternoon. Looks like we are tentatively leaving on July 13. Our agency is requesting our CA for the week of July 24. So really we could leave sometime during the week of July 13. No firm dates yet but it is good news that China has approved us for travel. I guess my bitching and moaning got their attention! LOL!

Another poopy day at summer school. Imagine a group of 17 of the most unmotivated kids in the world. That paints a fairly accurate picture of my class. What is so frustrating about them is that they are all intelligent and capable of doing the work, they just choose not to. I am checking their folders and many of them are simply not completing their work, or they are completing just enough work to get half credit. It is completely insane. They are playing the same game in summer school that got them in their current position. I just don't understand. There is a quote from the movie 28 Days that I love. It says, "the meaning of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I know I wasn't the most motivated student but these guys are ultra-lazy. They make me look like a dynamo!

I'm off my soapbox.

I was trying to find a photo of someone lazy and all I could find was my hubby sleeping with my nephew, Aidan. The is an accurate photo of my students from where I am standing at the podium. He is going to kill me!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Travel approvals are coming in

. . . just not ours! Many other agencies are sending their people travel approvals. The travel approval (from here on known as the TA) is when you get approved to travel in China. We will receive tentative dates but still won't have anything in concrete. It will probably be a few days after we receive the TA before we know firm dates. Once the TA is out, then we have to wait for our CA (Consulate Appointment). This is the big one and travel will be scheduled around this appointment. It is probably the most important appointment we have in China, after receiving the baby. Unfortunately, I have no idea what we do when we meet with the Consulate, but I've heard that we have some kind of swearing ceremony (I ought to excel at that).

On another note, the pool is filled and the pump is running. It is SO quiet. It looks awesome. I will be adding chemicals to it before I retire for the evening.

Summer school only lasts for 8 more days. Our last day is next Thursday, not Friday like I had originally thought. Yee-ha! My kids were turds today and I came very close to asking one to leave. Why do they have to be such a-holes sometimes? Oh well. I think Todd wants to hand the border so I best go. He's a bit disappointed in me this evening because I took a 3 hour nap. It felt SO good and refreshing, though! I have told him that I do NOT want to get into doing a bunch of work before the shower. We always bite off more tasks than we can chew before we have an event at the house. I'm determined that we are NOT going to do that this time. He is fighting me tooth and nail. I guess I should be glad that he wants to make the house look nice. We'll see what we get done!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The most beautiful baby in the world!!!!!!!!!!!

Breathing a sigh of relief . . .

Well, the big wedding is finally over and life can return to normal for a few short days. It was a beautiful weekend and it was awesome to see my family and spend some time with them--I miss them! The pool has been installed as well--we are filling it as I type. And, only two more weeks of summer school. The shower is Sunday and hopefully we will know our travel dates by the end of the week. The boards are saying sometime between July 9 - 15. Works for me; I just want my daughter. I bought two of the cutest outfits this weekend in Chicago. I just can't help myself--girls clothes are too cute and if I go in to a store, I get sucked in by the cuteness. My granny told me I better "cool it." (I went shopping with her Friday.) When I got back to the hotel Todd was a bit disturbed that I had purchased more clothes. I told him I was done and looked at me a bit incredulously. I really shouldn't buy any more clothes and I don't plan on it at this point. I have been spending money on this kid as if it grows on trees. Can you say the word spoiled?

Well, I haven't been home in four days so I am going to veg-out for a bit and then retire to a comfortable bed!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Summer School blues . . .

OK, I'm over teaching summer school. I have a good class, but I am ready for it to be over. I had to harass my students a bit today because they were getting lazy.

We have mailed our visa applications! We had to go and have more passport photos made. They are flippin' expensive--$16.00 to have two 2 X 2 inch pictures made for both of us. Also, we found a courier service in Chicago that will take our application to the Chinese Consulate. I was so hoping that I would not have to make a day-trip to Shytown. There are only5 Chinese Consulate offices in the U.S. There is an office in Chicago, D.C., Houston, San Francisco, and another location that I'm not sure of.

Still no pool. We are not supposed to get any rain this week so hopefully on Thursday or Friday of this week they will finally install it! If they don't, I cannot be held responsible for my actions!

Peace . . .

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The most beautiful baby in the world . . .

Ahhh, finally . . .

I spent 5 hours shopping for a dress!!! 5 HOURS!! It was pure insanity. BUT, I finally found a dress, no, THE dress for the wedding. I look so good in this dress that I will probably upstage the bride! LOL! All kidding aside, when I put the dress on it was like the dress had been made just for me. The saleslady (who was the bomb-diggity) had to pick up her chin off the floor when I walked out of the dressing room. She even put one aside for herself. It is an awesome feeling to have that one large item off the checklist of things to do. Now all I have to do is find shoes . . .

Nothing new on the adoption front. We are working on filling out our visas. Lots of signatures and adresses and more passport photos! It is a never-ending maze of paperwork around here. We have guides for every aspect of the adoption laying around the house. Absolutely crazy!

We did have a major meltdown at the house today. Things were going fine and I was on the floor loving on the dogs. Todd decided to join in. Our lab is just a big old baby and he doesn't realize his size or the power behind his legs. He does this thing where he flips over on his back and stretches his legs; what he really wants is for you to rub his belly. Well, Todd was on the receiving end of one of his stretches and he got it right in the face. That sent hubby dear over the edge. He thumped Boom one good time on the nose (the poor dog is wondering what the heck is going on) and the tirade begins. He starts ranting about how if the dog does that to Lilly then he'll have to find some place else to live. I went OFF! I thought we had an understanding that we were going to be patient and work with the dogs. We have had many constructive conversations about how there will probably be some scratches and rough play and that every creature in this house is going to have to come to an understanding about the other ones. I just will NOT have a small infraction on the dogs' part be the end of them in our house. They are my babies as well and I know if we are patient, everything will work out. The dogs will have to learn their place and we will have to teach Lilly that she must be respectful of the dogs. Harmony in the house is really up to the two of us. We have to create a climate where the dogs are not jealous of Lilly and that they realize that she is a couple of notches higher than them in the pack. On the flip side, Lilly is going to have to learn that they are dogs and that they need respect, too. She will have to learn how to play properly and when she is to leave the dogs alone. I really, really want it to work with the dogs; I just need my husband to be a partner with me and believe that we can make it work. Oh the trials and tribulations . . .

I was very good on my shopping outing today. I did not purchase one thing for the baby. This is pretty incredible since I have purchased something every times I have gone out in the past several months--I mean EVERY time! I desperately need to go to BRU and register for a few more items. I checked our registry and found out that several of the "big" items have been discontinued. One day at a time.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Having a bad day . . .

I'm having one of those days. I haven't felt good; I've been nauseated since we had dinner last night. I think I may have gotten hold of something bad. On the phone with my buddy Amy, I burst into tears. She thinks I have an upset tummy due to nerves. She could be on to something. I don't know what it is. The flip side is that I will probably shed a few pounds since I'm not eating anything.

Todd brought me back to reality today. He commented that we have been so busy doing things around the house and preparing for the wedding that we have lost sight of what our most important priority is right now. I couldn't agree more. I've been obsessesed with finishing the ringbearer pillow and now I have to concentrate on finding something to wear. I have to be super careful about my attire because my mom will have a cow if I don't wear something she deems appropriate. I'm sure that is contributing to the upset stomach. I've been all over creation this week and haven't found anything I like or remotely would consider wearing. What I need to be doing with my time is preparing for Lilly instead of worrying about things that are not going to matter in a few days!

Tonight I spent some time babyproofing the kitchen. Todd is going to shit when he comes home and finds the drill in the kicthen. I installed several cabinet locks and I think I did a pretty good job! There is only one cabinet that I had to drill two sets of holes; I placed the latch too high. He becomes very uncomfortable when I want to use the power tools. There have been a several "near death" experiences involving myself and power tools (drills, saws, etc.) I am not afraid!!

Nothing much else to report. I've been reading the travel guide this evening. It has made for some interesting reading.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another long night . . .

Tonight has been a very busy night. We went to Target to register and I have worked on the shower invitations practically all afternoon. There were 23 new e-mail messages with about half of them coming from our agency. All kinds of new stuff is cropping up and it is beginning to get a bit stressful. We found out today that we have to go to Chicago to get our visas. As luck would have it, we will be in Chicago next Friday for the big wedding weekend. We are hoping to take care of the visa situation while we are there. If not, then I may be making another trip. It just feels like every time we turn around there is another fee or something that needs to be notarized or what not. I don't think anybody has ANY idea how difficult this road has been. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and wish that we hadn't picked this path. Then I look at Lilly's pic and I know we are doing the right thing. It can be overwhelming when everything has to be completed by a deadline and there is only so much we can do in a day. I think today is one of those days when I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sigh.

I know people don't mean to be hurtful but there have been some things said regarding us having a shower that have rubbed me the wrong way. My sil informed me that a family member doesn't understand why we are having a shower with no baby. My sil is AWESOME and totally backed me up by saying that we would be having a shower if I were pregnant. You go, girl. I just think people don't know how to handle the adoption and lots of people are really excited but they really don't know how to channel that excitement. I know everyone wants to see the baby but it may be awhile after we get back before Lilly is comfortable being around people. Heck, it may be awhile before anyone other than Todd and I can hold her. So now I'm sitting here with this information and questioning why we are having a shower and wondering if other people are going to feel the same way as this family member. Todd says I shouldn't care, but I do. A shower is essentially a party that I am throwing where people bring me gifts. It feels funky and uncomfortable. What upsets me is exactly what my sil said, there would be a shower, without question, if I were pregnant. I've never been a conventional person and I haven't changed that in regards to starting my family, but there are some things that are traditions and having a baby shower for your first child is a tradition--adoption, bio, stolen, whatever! I just wish people could understand how their remarks and opinions are insensitive. Maybe I just need to grow tougher skin.

So that was a brain-fart of a paragraph. I don't think I ever made a point. I'm in a state of confusion as to whether I should have this shower or not. Oh well. My dog just passed gas; it smells like bologna.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The real fun is starting . . .

I bought the cutest shirt for Lilly today. I just couldn't resist--it was on clearance. Anyway, we received the first e-mail from the "travel team" with our agency. Probably the biggest shocker is that there is a $2000 "Province fee" that we were oblivious to. Todd is NOT happy. In addition, we had planned on wiring the $3000 orphanage donation to China but Lilly's province does not accept wired money. My question is how will they know the difference? So it looks like we will have to take $5000 in cash with us to China. Not only do we have to take the money, but the bills have to be new or like new. Again, why? It doesn't make sense, but we've come this far so there is no backing out now. It's just been a weary road and the only thing that is going to make us happy right now is the travel arrangements.

The buzz in the groups is that we are not going to be traveling until the end of July. I am surprisingly not bothered by this. Everyday brings us closer to having her so I am not so concerned about when we go. I just want some concrete dates.

One post tonight did concern me a bit and it was about vaccinations. I checked the CDC and WHO and no vaccinations are required for China. One of my travel buddies was talking about vaccinations and I haven't had any. Some people get vaccinated for hepatitis. This hasn't been something that has been pushed by anybody in the organization and if it were extrememly important I think getting vaccinated would have been more stressed. I think my mind is working double over-time and looking for things that could go wrong at this point of the game. I would feel like dog doo-doo if that kept me from going to China!

Monday, June 05, 2006

I've lost my mind!

Remember how excited I was to have the whole summer off? Well, about an hour ago I accepted a position to teach summer school. Our principal called me and asked if I would be willing to do so. I think this is a blessing in disguise. The money will really help and I will make a shit-ton of it teaching summer school. We have been on a spending frenzy lately and I have been extremely nervous about living on one income. We have also bought some VERY BIG TICKET items (new pool) that we probably should have waited on. I got a call this afternoon from one of my peeps and he mentioned that they needed another English teacher for the first session. He said my name came up as the person to do it. Then, I was at the funeral home this evening and talked to my assistant principal and she said that it was a definite possibility. I thought about it and it wasn't a hard decision to make. I feel bad sitting on my tush all day when I could be bringing in an income. It is only for 4 weeks and I will have plenty of time to get ready for China. Summer School goes from 8 - 12 so I will still have almost the entire day. Plus, I think I am a better person when I have some routine and structure in my life.

One of the ladies in the June group who is in China right now has her "Gotcha" day video posted on her blog. It brought tears to my eyes. Todd and I watched it and we can't believe that will be us in a few short weeks. Still no word on when we will go. Our acceptance of Lilliana went to China on Friday. It will still be a few weeks before they give us the dates we will travel.

Here is the blog for "California Vicki": She has also included travel logs covering her first few days in China. Be sure to watch the gotcha video! Have some tissue handy, especially when you read her journal!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sleepless in Jeffersonville

Another sleepless night. I've been up since 3:30 A.M. Don't really know why. I think I may have restless leg syndrome.

Nothing much to report on the adoption front. We are busy preparing for Lilly's arrival. I have now found it easy to refer to her by name whereas before I thought that was incredibly odd and it felt funny to say. This evening I told Todd to put some items in "Lilly's room". It felt good to finally be able to say that. I'm totally babbling, but I guess it is better than my usual middle-of-the-night snack when I can't sleep. Speaking of eating, I have given up peanut butter permanently. I gave it up for Lent and it has been a PB-eating frenzy since Lent ended. I think I'm addicted and I really don't want to be forced into joining PBEA (Peanut Butter Eaters Anonymous). I'm giving it up . . .

We saw The Break-Up today. It was OK. My mind kept wandering and I couldn't concentrate on the movie--probably why I can't sleep right now. We have SO much we need to do before the baby! Right in the middle of all of our excitement, my brother is getting married in two weeks. I still need to find something to wear and something for Todd to wear. It is funny how I am now responsible for dressing two people and soon I will be responsible for dressing three! The really funny thing is that I have absolutely NO sense of style. I know what looks good together, but I can't accessorize to save my life. I love the necklaces and jewelry that everyone is wearing right now and everytime I get dressed I think to myself that my outfit could use some jewelry. What's a girl to do?

So, I'm cross-stitching the ring-bearer pillow for my brother's wedding. In true Lorie style, I waited until the last minute to start it. I'm about 3/4 of the way finished with it but it is still one of those things that weighs on your mind. As soon as I get that done I am going to concentrate on finding something to wear to the wedding. I'm feeling a trip to Value City!

We had dinner with the Godparents of Lilly Friday night. We had to go to Indy to have our fingerprints updated (do fingerprints change?) They live in Logansport and met us on the north side of Indy for dinner. We ate at P.F. Changs (how appropriate). It's a Chinese restaurant. Todd and I arrived several hours before them and spent the afternoon shopping at the Fashion Mall. That was a great trip! Todd the Spender came out to play and did we have fun! I bought a pair of sandals for China--my first pair of Dansko's. We also got sucked into buying an oil burner and some oils at the Body Shop. It smelled awesome! We bought Michael's wedding gift and of course some things for Lilly. I finally went to Gymboree. I didn't think it was all that expensive. Of course I was looking at the clearance racks!

OK, REALLY babbling now. I should probably end before I embarrass myself.