Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Little Mousling

Today was supposed to be Mother Goose Day at pre-school. But alas, eight or more inches of snow falling last night caused school to be cancelled. And it's still snowing.

While preparing for MGD, Abby decided she wanted to do "Hickory, Dickory, Dock" and to dress up as a mouse. My sister suggested a headband with ears and a little tail. So I went to WM in search of some faux fur. While there, I found the cutest little pattern for a mouse costume and bought the necessary fabric and notions to complete it. When I showed it to Karen, she said, "Have fun with that!" But then we started laying it out and cutting and a few hours later, we had ourselves a cute mouse hat and the makings of a body. She is an amazing seamstress!!

Because we were so involved in the project, I decided to order Chinese take-out and it worked out well, because Monday was the beginning of Chinese New Year. Too bad it's not the Year of the Mouse, cause we would have been really set. Sister finished it up yesterday afternoon. It is super cute!

Monday afternoon, Abby was practicing some of her nursery rhymes. Here is "Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater."

So we're spending the day indoors with a little mouse running around in our house! How can I say "no" to this face?? It makes me smile every time I look at it!

And hopefully, the teachers will re-schedule the MGD so she can do her nursery rhyme in costume with all her friends.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nap Time!

Sometimes, you've got to grab them when you can!!

She slept like this for 30-40 minutes while I was shopping in WM the other day. I even tried on shoes and three pairs of jeans. She had a mark on her forehead when she was done, poor baby. I guess she had too many late night/early mornings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Walk the Line

No, this is not a Johnny Cash video... it's Abby at her ballet class. She's come a long way since dance camp this summer and running laps around all the other girls.

Usually (or as Abby likes to say, "Loo-shaly"), ballet class is closed for moms. We have to peek in the door when we want to see what's going on. But yesterday, the teacher had a "Parent Observation" day and of course, I brought the camera along.

Getting ready to start.

Standing in her spot on the tape line.

Stretching high to the ceiling.

Waiting for her turn.

All in a line. I think she has good form, don't you?

Picking imaginary flowers out of a garden. She's practicing the different position for her arms. Anyone know which position this is?

Man! She's flexible!

Saying, "Goodbye toes!" I think she has this one down pat!

With her teacher.

I really appreciate the professionalism of this Dance Academy. They really try to teach the students poise and good manners as well as the basics of ballet. And Abby loves it, too! I'm sure her reasons are different than mine, though.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On Sunday's shopping trip, I got a few matching outfits for Sarah and Abby. Abby likes to dress as "twins" and she helped me pick out a few for Sarah.

I got these shirts at Children's Place. They say, "I'm the 'Lil Sister" and "I'm the Big Sister." Hantie bought them some pants to go with them.
I found these Valentine outfits at Gymboree and paid full price. Ouch! But, I couldn't resist since we're getting a "New Hart on Valentine's Day" this year!!

I bought Abby this dress (on the left) for Christmas with the tights that match. I found a coordinating dress for Sarah and the tights. Super cute!

The other day, I went through Abby's old clothes to see what I could use for Sarah. I have no idea how big she is. The last info I have is from June and I guess she has grown since then, but I don't know how much. So I plan to take a few things that are 12-18 month size and a few that are 18-24 month. And, the weather is cold in the morning but warm in the afternoons there, so... I have a ton of clothes set aside to pack for the trip. I will probably weed through them some more, but I remember taking a whole big suitcase for Abby and I suspect it will be the same for Sarah. I've been putting things in her crib that I might take. Here's what it looks like so far.

And the GOOD NEWS is that Abby's passport came in the mail today! Yippee!! And it is now on its way to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago to get a visa. One more hurdle crossed!
Airline tickets have been purchased. We leave on Thursday morning, February 12 and return on Wednesday, February 25. Little by little, we're getting ready!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Big Girl Milestone

At Christmas, Billy and I bought Abby a gift card to get her ears pierced. She had gone back and forth between wanting them and NOT wanting the pain to get them. She had decided she wanted to do it and then she got four shots at the doctor's office last December and the ear piercing was off. A week or so later, she forgot about the pain and it was back on again. We weren't sure if she would want to go through with it.

Yesterday, my sister and I decided to go to the mall to do a little shopping for Sarah. We took her daughter and Abby as well as my mom. It was a little "girls only" outing. We went to lunch and then the mall. We happened to park at an entrance that was right near Claire's, and we're not even familiar with that mall. So, Abby walked right in. She didn't want to wait.

Ready for some action!
With the purple dots to mark where they will go.
I had to hold her on my lap (company policy) and hold her head and arms still so she wouldn't flinch. Thankfully, there were two girls there at the store and they did both ears at the same time. Abby tensed up a little, but there were NO tears. And she said it didn't even hurt! The girl said she was the first customer under 10 years old that had not cried for her. My brave little princess.
She's checking out her new studs. She chose little pink flowers. They're super cute.
Since then, she has only said a couple of "ouch"s when I clean them and turn them around. I think she has accepted the fact that "beauty is pain!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Because, obviously, I have nothing else to do at this moment

...than to sit around doing collages of my daughter's face. Actually there is a long list of things to do before February 12, but this seemed more fun at the moment.

Now, I'm off to tackle some of that list. If something else doesn't distract me first.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm on the upward hill of the emotional rollercoaster

Today was a much better day. Several things happened to make me smile and be more relaxed.

The first was this bag in the mail from my Aunt Kathy.

How awesome is that?!? She sent a note along reminding me to enjoy bringing my daughter home and to know that "everything is going to be ok." She also sent Abby a cute little purse that I failed to take a picture of. It's pink and it has rhinestones. Nuff said.

When I called to thank her, she told me that color of bag was being retired soon and they were having a sale, so later I bought this and this. Love that Birthday money, Darlene!!

Abby and I also got to meet with our adoption play group. There's nothing like being able to talk to fellow adoptive moms about your adoption woes to make everything seem better. They have been in the trenches themselves and can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are the girls with one new little boy from Ethiopia. He's so cute!!
Oh, and while we were out, we stopped at Pier 1 and found these! How fun are these?
I bought a red one, a green one and a blue one for $1.18 a piece. Couldn't pass up that bargain!

While these are all fantastic things, this next one is the best!!

When I got home, Billy said he had just been on the phone with a guy from the State Department and he had fixed the birth-year error but needed additional paperwork from us about Abby's adoption. Billy told him to call back as he didn't know where any of the documents are located. When the guy called back we had the paperwork ready and faxed it to him right away. He said that the passport would be approved in the next day or so and then mailed to us ASAP!!! Yippee Yi Yay!! and Woo Hoo!!

Thanks be to God for answering prayer!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Day Started Out So Well

(Warning: Long Rambling Post Ahead. Reader Beware!)

I actually have been getting up before Abby - no small feat for a girl who loves her sleep (ME)! I took a shower and got ready to go to MOPS. I even folded two loads of laundry! Abby got up and we ate breakfast and then headed out the door.

We were a little late to get to the meeting, but because of the snow delay (for the schools), not very many moms had showed up anyway.

Then we went home for some lunch and to pick up a video we needed to return to the library. (Are you loving this play-by-play yet?) We stopped to put a check into the FedEx box for our adoption agency and then drove down the street towards the library. We noticed that Hantie's car was in the parking lot behind Sheri's Coffee House, so we decided to stop for some whip cream and sprinkles (for Abby). We visited a while and then were on our way to the library. We picked out some new movies and away we went. (Yes, we do get books at the library, too, but I wanted this to be a quick trip.)

(I just wanted to add another parenthetical expression. There weren't enough already.)

While she was watching Pocahontas, I shoveled the driveway. Then it started snowing. It was more like a blizzard. I should have taken this as some kind of clue as to how the next part of the day would go. I think it snowed a half an inch in about 30 minutes. At least!

Then, while Abby and I were consuming a bag of tortilla chips, I got a phone call from our adoption agency asking for Abby's passport number so they could start booking flights and hotels, etc. (I didn't know prior to this that you need a passport number to buy an international plane ticket. I just knew you had to show it before you get on the plane.) I explained that we had not gotten it back yet because I only submitted it on January 5. The lady said it would be back in three weeks. Which would not be such a huge problem, but we also need to apply for a Chinese Visa as well. And the Chinese Embassy will be closed for Chinese New Year starting right about the time we'll get the passport. For TWO WEEKS!! (They really like to celebrate over there!)

So, I started making phone calls about the passport and found out that there was basically nothing I could do to speed up the process. But not only could they not speed it up, but I had also done something that might slow it down! I put the wrong birth year on the application!!! AAARRRRRGGGGGGG!

I checked my voice mail and saw that my sister had called and so I called her back to lament about how my day was going. After talking for a while, I noticed what time it was: 4:42 pm. Abby's ballet class had ended 12 minutes ago. Another big AAARRRGGG! Well, maybe not quite as big.

I got off the phone and told Abby what had happened. She was mad, but then she forgave me (I think). I was so frustrated!

By then, the blizzard was over and the sun was shining. So Abby and I went outside together and I took my frustrations out on the snow and ice in the driveway. Again.

Now, I'm just praying that everything will work out. One ray of hope that I have is that sometimes, you can get a passport number before the actual passport comes in the mail. Please, God, let it be so. I don't want to wait to the last minute to book our flights!

I'll finish this awful post with something that makes me smile:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Granny is Ninety!

Right after Christmas, we traveled to Kentucky to visit family and to help celebrate my Granny's birthday. Her actual birthday was December 5, but with all the kids in school, it was not possible to go then.

We left early on Sunday, and after a seven-plus-hour drive, we arrived to be greeted by a host of aunts and uncles, and first cousins and second cousins and a few extras thrown in. There were more than forty people there. We had brought a birthday cake for Granny made by, of course, Grandmother (aka Aunt Linda). Granny loved it.

We gathered all the granddaughters together for a picture with Granny.

And then it was the great-granddaughters turn.

It was so good to catch up with our cousins that we had not seen in several years. We spent many a summer together on the farm growing up.
During the next few days, we enjoyed some unseasonably (for us) warm weather and the kids got to play outside.

And some others got to take a nap.
We even went faux ice skating.
This is my friend Sandy's littlest one, Evan. Aren't they cute?
All in all, it was a nice trip. Relaxing, catching up with family and friends, a little shopping and good food (LOVED that jambalaya, Uncle Chris).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh, Yes I Did!

This was my Christmas present to Billy.In case you can't read it, it says "Don't forget my Senior Discount."

Happy Birthday to my "Old Man." I love you! And just remember, you may look older but I AM older!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Travel Approval and Pictures!!

Yesterday afternoon, we got another call from our adoption agency and she said, "Are you ready to go to China?"

I think I muttered something incoherent like, "Oh my gosh!" and "No way!" and other meaningful exclamations.

Then she said we were set to leave on the 12th. "Of February?" "No, October... YES February!" I said, "well, I was hoping it wasn't the 12th of January!"

She gave me some other information and I think I wrote some things down, but I'm sure I'll have to talk to her again when the shock wears off to get all the details. Maybe by Monday.

So, I got off the phone and explained to Billy and then we were both yelling, "AAAAAAHHHHH! We're going to China in FIVE weeks!" And Abby says, "IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY!" We both started laughing!

Thankfully, we applied for Abby's passport earlier this week and were assured it would be back in three weeks. I really hope and pray it is so. When it does come, we can apply for our visas.

So, in the mean time, I'll be making lists and organizing the girls' rooms, shopping, and packing, and, and, and...

And then I remembered I haven't shown her picture or any vital stats on the blog!

Name: Long Meixi (will be changed to Sarah Renae ...)
Birthday: March 15, 2007
Province: Guangxi (in the South)
in June she weighed 16.5 pounds (little tiny one) and was 28 inches tall

We hope to have updated information about her before we go so we'll know better what size clothing she'll be wearing. But if not, we'll take some of everything.

So... introducing Sarah Renae!

So, when I get stressed and freak out, I'll look at this sweet little face, and it will all be worth it when we hold her for the first time... and forever!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Another Birthday Girl

Me! My birthday is December 31 and it is always a struggle to schedule another party in the midst of all the other holiday celebrations. We had already planned a trip to Kentucky during my birthday, so I knew a party probably wouldn't happen. I casually suggested that we have a little get-together on the Saturday after Christmas, since I knew that my brother and his family would still be in town. And my sister and her family were getting ready to move to North Carolina that Sunday.

So they planned my party for Saturday and asked what I wanted. I suggested soup (and money). I've really been craving soup lately and it just sounded good. So, my brother and sister (and everyone else in the house) made some soup from the leftovers of Christmas dinner. It was awesome soup!

I even got cards (with money and gift cards to Sheri's) and presents.
How surprising!
My sister finished a blanket that she had been working on for a year.
We even had a Gluten-Free carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It was so delicious!
It was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday. Thanks, guys, for the party!

And what would a post of mine be without a picture of the beautiful Abby?