Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary Waiting Hearts!

Today marks a very special anniversary. It was 6 years ago today that our dossier was logged in to China. Our paperchase was officially over, & the wait began.

There was nothing left to do other than make lifelong friends who would be there with me for what was an agonizing time. The February Waiting Hearts was filled with an amazing bunch of people. We had a cyber shower, online scrapbook supply swaps, & of course, Wednesday night chats. We went through the Virginia/DC sniper, SARS & so much more.

Susan & her family have become close family friends. While we don't live close to each other, we visit a few times a year. We both used Great Wall China Adoption, were in the same travel group, and adopted daughters from the same SWI - Yangchun in Guangdong Province.

Gretchen always joined in on the fun. We were able to meet in China while staying at The White Swan hotel. It was so neat to finally meet her & get to see her sweet Elise.

Sandra was the person who kept me going. I looked forward to Wednesday night chats because we always had to talk about The Bachelor - her ultimate favorite show at the time. She was my cheerleader even when she didn't know it.

All that was to get me to the most precious gift of all - my beautiful daughter Erin. I can't say enough about what this child means to David & me. I don't know how the CCAA does it, but the staff there seems to match each child to their Forever Family perfectly. Thank G-d for their insight.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Huh? I can't register her? Why not?

I decided that since I'm on vacation this week, I would get Erin registered for 1st grade at her new school. David & I decided that since we have an "A" school right down the block, we would take advantage of it rather than pay thousands for a private school that isn't any better.
I went to the school, found my way to the main office & spoke with someone who looks young enough to be my younger sister about getting Erin registered for next year. Imagine my shock when I was told that I can't register her till the end of April!
WHAT!? What do you mean I have to WAIT!? I have time off NOW!! They didn't even have any paperwork that I could take with me. Right as I was leaving the office, I saw one of those literature carousels & picked through it. I was able to find some paperwork about which store I need to go to so I can buy school uniforms, what supplies are needed for the 1st grade supplies, info on the aftercare program.
Could someone please tell me why I need to send my 6 year old 1st grader to school with not 1, but 2 boxes of baby wipes & a change of clothing? We haven't used wipes since Erin was 4. And, just why would she need a change of clothing? Are they planning a fashion show? Then there are the tissues, crayons, markers, pencils - colored & regular, mind you - dry erase markers & more. What the heck!? Why am I supplying her class for a year's worth of supplies? Just what will she need 6 glue sticks for? I know things have changed, but this is ridiculous. Even worse is the fact that there will definitely be parents who don't send this stuff in for their children. Basically I feel as if I'm supposed to send in enough supplies for Erin & the rest of her classmates.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Two Weeks of Vacation!? What to do? What to do?

I love vacations. Really I do. It's been absolutely ages since I've 2 weeks off at one time. In fact, the last time I had this much time was in 2003 when I had off 3 months for maternity leave. Since then, the only other time was 2 years ago when I visited my dad & stepmother in CA. Even then I had to beg to get that time off.
I have off this whole next week also. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I did. Last week was all about CNY & having time with Susan & her family. This week I have lots of plans.
  • Trip to IKEA - my first. Going with my friend Lisa so we can enjoy our first time together. Our friend Mich is never going to believe that we finally made it there so I'll be snapping pics.
  • Scrapping - yay! I have some neat pages planned.
  • Reorganize the mess that is currently known as my home. Specifically, I'm going to try & rearrange Erin's room.
  • Friday I'm going to Erin's school show. They've been working really hard on this, & it's her last so David is coming also.
  • Butterfly World this weekend
  • Relax
  • Relax
  • Relax
  • Relax
  • Have lunch with hubby hopefully

Not much is planned as you can see. I really need this week & am looking forward to not clogging the brain cells with too much.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vacation Fun

Every year Erin & I go to visit with our friends Art & Susan & their children.

Susan & I met online when our families become DTC (Dossier to China) which is now known as LID (Log In Date). As part of the February Waiting Hearts & the GW DTC groups, we spent a long time chatting online & eventually got to meet in person Christmas of 2002. David & I went to breakfast to meet total strangers who offered to sit with us & answer whatever questions we might have. We to meet the incomparable Hannah & the beautiful Olivia their first 2 daughters. David was won over immediately by their girls, & the rest is history.

We've been home 4.5 years now & have visits every few months between our families. Since then, Susan & Art have completed their family with Erin's orphanage sister Julianna & the sweet Isabella. And of course our family is complete with our beautiful Erin.
Chinese New Year is the one time of year that Erin & I go to visit them. We go up the day before our agency CNY celebration so the I can help Susan with the preparations & also remind her to relax a bit herself. We invade their lovely home, relax, play & have fun. Susan & I hunt down all the Starbucks so we can sip our beverage of choice & just generally enjoy doing nothing much.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chinese New Year Pics

Erin loved getting dressed up to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Oh! What's in the goody bag!?

S Florida's incomparable Marc & Lori.

Erin & her mama.
(Thanks for snapping this Shannon.)
Erin was hiding under a table outside during the Lion Dance.
It kills me that at times like this, Erin doesn't know in her heart & soul that I'll always do my best to protect her.

Erin & her buddy Ethan.
He's her standard for a brother.

Erin really enjoyed herself at CNY 2008.

Here they are. A few of the gazillion pics I took at the CNY 2008 party. Everyone had a total blast!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008 Party

Wow! What a fabulous day!

My friend Susan busts her buns over this party each year.  And each year she worries about how it will go.  Will everyone have a good time?  How will we raise enough money to send back to China for all the Waiting Children?  Should she sit down & eat or should she socialize.  I'm glad to say that this year Susan sat down & ate.  Yes.  She still worried about everything, but at least she wasn't passing out from hunger by the time we got home last night.  All the girls were exhausted but fighting sleep.  Somehow we managed to stay up & watch Perry Mason.  Man! That movie was old!

My friends from S FL were at the party too.  All of the children had fun running around, screaming & playing.  They looked great in their Chinese finery.  There was an arts & crafts table where the children got to make Chinese lanterns.  There were vendors selling their wares.  And, yes, I purchased.  Oh boy did I spend money!  I can't wait to show everything to David.  You know that he's going to look at me like I'm nuts.  But the money all goes to a good cause.

Since I'm away on vacation right now, I can't upload pics but I promise to upload some soon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yay! Vacation Here we are!

We're here! We're here! Yes.  Our trip to Spring Hill has finally happened.  Erin & I finally got on the plane this morning.  No sooner than we buckled up, than Erin asked me where Uncle Art & Aunt Susan were.  She d h to know why they weren't waiting for her on the plane.  I could have died laughing!

At the Tampa airport there is a shuttle that takes you from where the plane lands to the actual baggage claim area.  Again Erin wanted to know where Aunt Susan was.  Before I could answero her, Isabella came running up to us with the other girls following behind.  As soon as we said our hellos, Susan & I headed over to Starbucks.  Yummy!!

The rest of the day has been spent getting ready for the Chinese New Year luncheon.  Shopping for material so we could have red couch photos.  Making name tags for everyone attending.  Seating arrangements.  And so much more.

It's been a great day this first day of my vacation!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

This morning I realized that David & I have been living together 20 years. I moved in with him 6 months before we got married & haven't looked back since. David is definitely not your typical romantic guy. No flowers or jewelery for me. That's fine since I don't really want or need jewelery although I'll admit I'd like flowers every once in a while. On the other hand, my life is filled with hugs, love, friendship & laughter.
Each year I struggle with what little sweet nothing to get him along with his box of chocolates. I always get him a few cards that he finds throughout the day. This morning he found his first card after getting out of the shower. He founds his 2nd card & sweet nothing when he got into his truck to leave for work. And of course I gave him his final card & a box of Dove chocolates when I got home.
The best part of the day was this morning when Erin climbed into her carseat & found a HUGE stuffed dachshund there. She started screaming "Thank you for my dog!" She didn't know what to do when I told her that I didn't give it to her. It actually took her a while to figure out that it came from David, but when she did, her grin was amazing. Then she named her new pet - Bulldozer. Go figure.
BTW, I did get my very own box of yummy chocolates - also tucked in my car so I could find them & think of my wonderful hubby throughout the day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Birthday Celebration

Today is my dear friend Lisa's birthday. She is a heck of a friend, wife & mother, & I wanted to take the time to wish her the happiest of birthdays.
May G-d smile upon you & grant you all that you wish for.
I love you friend.

Stress? What stress?

I am so thankful. Most of the things stressing me out are either completed or on their way to completion.
The bank merger is complete. Now all we have to do is welcome our new clients & get them used to the new way of doing things. And let's face it. That in & of itself is stressful. People don't like change. I have a feeling that it won't be as hard this time as it was on the last go around.
My second job now worries me no more. My decision is done. Finished. Completed. At the end of the school year, I am out of there. I will miss it, but I will be saner. For the first time in over 20 years, I will have my Sunday mornings to myself - oh, & David too. I will get to be one of those mothers who drop their child off at school & go for coffee or work in the school as a volunteer. I've waited a lifetime for this, & next year is my turn. Yay!
Now if I could only start sleeping through the night. This blogging at 4:00 am is for the birds. I guess I still have some things on my mind. Like getting on a plane this coming Saturday for Erin & my vacation. I hate flying. Uh oh. I see I've found something else to stress about. Go figure. I can't have it easy, can I?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

The other day at work I had some clients come in to my office. Many times people will stare at Erin's photo, look at me, look at her photo again, & then say nothing. This couple is Chinese & felt comfortable enough to mention that Erin looked Chinese. Of course I got into a total discussion with them about how yes Erin is Chinese & we were lucky enough to adopt her at 10 months in China. They were very excited to hear that there are local groups who try to keep the Chinese culture alive for these children.

Anyway, they came back in yesterday for an appointment with one of my partners. I popped in & wished them a Happy New Year & offered the hope for healthy, happy & prosperous Year of the Rat. When they finished their appointment, they waited for me. These sweet people came to offer a lucky money envelope for Erin. I thanked them for their thoughtfulness & generosity & again wished them a Happy New Year.

And when they left, what do you think I did? Yes. You've got it right. I cried.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

February = Bronchitis? Since when?

That's right. Don't bother looking for your Puff's Plus Lotion tissues. It seems that we're going to be buying out the stores. Erin's cough has gotten so bad that I had David bring her to the doctor today. I love Dr. Liang. She is absolutely wonderful - even as she gives you news that you don't necessarily want to hear.
It's February, & Erin & I are days away from leaving for Spring Hill. That said, she has to come down with bronchitis. This is a normal thing for us. One year her bronchitis gave way to pneumonia. I think we caught it in time. Erin's been coughing up a storm but has been feeling fine. She hasn't run a fever since last Wednesday when she ran 102.8 for an hour. The week before that, she was out of school for a few days.
Nope. Not gonna let a little ole bronchitis keep me from my vacation. She'll be fine. I absolutely insist upon it.


I'm at my wits end. Frustration has taken a firm grip of me. There is almost nothing left. I am waiting for February 16th with such anticipation. Why? Erin & I go to Spring Hill for our annual visit with our friends for Chinese New Year.

This week is going to be a tough one. This is the week of the bank merger. I volunteered to be on the merger readiness team for our buddy branch. Those women are going to do really well. They're just waiting for it to finally be done so they can actually put into use everything they've been practicing for the last 6 months. I was so nervous last night. All I wanted was for them to feel comfortable. I remember how nervous I was during the merger where I had to learn tons of new stuff. And now I have to learn new things too that just don't make sense to me. I'm a logical person (okay, so I try to be one) & what I need to learn isn't sinking in. I only have till Friday morning to absorb it all. Can it be done? Yes. Not without me losing some hair though.

Then I'm having problems at my 2nd job. I don't even know where to begin on this one. Enough said that I won't be going back. My love for teaching & my love for the children can't overcome the extreme BS that I have to deal with. I truly feel that I'll be losing a part of my soul, but I can't keep going back & feeling like I'm losing "me."

My local FCC group is having our annual Chinese New Year event. We go down to Miami Beach to this wonderful restaurant. The food is yummy, & there's a lion dance. Why aren't we going? Well, this is a crazy week for us. And the lion dancers terrify Erin. I really hate to miss out on it, & the promise of seeing her friends isn't even working. I hate seeing Erin so afraid. Yup. That's more hair coming out.

My upcoming trip to Spring Hill is twofold. I get to spend time with my dear friends Susan & Art while Erin gets to spend time with their daughters who treat her like another sister. Susan & I will relax & sit around drinking our chai lattes or coffees, Art will go to work, the girls will play. That's all after the big Chinese New Year luncheon where I will have to miss yet another lion dance. Erin is so terrified that she actually begged me to leave her here with David. Well, that just isn't happening. She will go with me, & we will miss the dance. AARRGGGHHH!!!!

When is February 16th? I can't wait to get on that plane. Maybe then I can stop pulling out my hair.

Friday, February 01, 2008

That Darn Cat!

I have finally figured it out! I've been having a terrible time this last month getting any sleep. As it is, I've never really slept through the night, but this is just downright crazy.
I have fibromyalgia pretty badly but tend to ignore it as much as possible. Unfortunately, I'm having cluster problems on the right side now. I haven't been able to do much with my right arm - lifting it hurts, the arm & hand are swollen, etc. My medication is taking forever to work. Okay! So I'm supposed to take it every day & don't, but I've never pretended to be good with medication. (Even my doctors know I never take anything unless I'm forced to.)
Well, last night I passed out by 7:15. I remember hearing Erin tell David that I needed to go sleep in my bed. They dragged me in, & I was sound asleep till about 3:00 am. I woke up & couldn't fall back asleep so off to my computer I went. When I finally went back to bed, Troi came with me. As I lay down, Troi proceeded to follow suit & lay down also. As I lay on my tummy, she settled right onto my right shoulder & purr.
Yup. That darn cat. She's a sweet kitten but I'm definitely losing sleep. And, no, I wouldn't trade her for the world.