Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Update

Whew!

I think if I wasn't sick, I wouldn't be so worn out right now. Cutie pie likes to bounce and jump and flip upside down. She likes to scream mooma and whip that little head around to see if I come running. Of course I do!

We ran errands today in an attempt to keep her awake and for her to have a complete sleep cycle. It sort of worked. She missed her morning nap and her afternoon nap wasn't a good one. She went down for the night at 5pm, I was pretty excited. Until she woke up at 2. Sigh. Now at 4:42 she is down for her morning nap. I guess I'm 4-5 hours off schedule but at least I got a full "night" sleep out of her.

She surprised me today when she waved bye bye to a store clerk. That is the first time she's waved in response to a bye bye. She also said "iddy" many times which translates to kitty (since she is grabbing for their tails when she says it).

My baby is growing like a weed. Her little sleepers that fit in China are now too short. Her belly almost has a crease on it. She's working on baby thunder thighs. Her hair is growing a lot too, I can see the difference in it. She has these crazy hairs that grow a lot faster, mostly around her ears. Mooma tried to buy new sleepers today but Ross was sold out! I mean 75% of their baby department was gone. So Mooma went to Ebay and got these:

"Iddy" PJS in a larger size. I paid a little less than what Ross had them for. The seller must of hit a great clearance sale.

The baby looks so cute in green!

How can you not love this?
She'll wear this outside the house too. Her 9 month versions of these are like 1 inch too short in the legs and 5 inches too wide. I am really tempted to figure out how to add on to the legs!

All 4 of these were just $25.95 shipped, 28 cents less than what I would of paid if I had caught them at Ross. Score!

Pictures for today....

I love hats altho this one is too long!

She has this shopping thing figured out. CC and license means shopping!

At the doctor's office with my lovey. I pet it and hum :)


Pretty baby today!

Everything is better upside down! Look at my two top teeth!

That's it for now - bye!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Huggies Deal

This is all over the internet right now. Target is offering $3 off of two Huggies products with this coupon:

http://www.huggieshappybaby.com/offers/target/TargetCoupon.pdf

You can combine this coupon with a manufacturer coupon. If you are needing to stock up on diapers, you can print $1.25 off coupons online, I think at cool savings. I have to admit, I am a wipe junkie, I use them for everything.

I hope to transition to cloth diapers on Saturday. That will give me time to wash everything and get it ready. Natalie has awful diaper rash, she had blisters when I got her. Now it's more like a regular rash but still. She goes through 10 diapers a day and the cost of about $2 a day. I was given diapers at my shower that she'll use at daycare later on but even then I'll try to do cloth in the evenings and weekends. With my front load machine and air drying (the air in my house is so dry right now, it's awful) I think this will be an economical and environmentally wise choice.

Sooooo sleepy

Boy are we messed up on our sleep cycles. Cutie pie is taking 4 naps a day and refuses to sleep more than 4 hours at a time. She is going to sleep better, she used to throw fits. Now she just looks very disappointed in me lol

Her little personality has really come out too. She talks, screams with joy and laughs a lot! Anything will set her off. She gets tickled at herself too, she does things that she knows we laugh at. Her big thing is clucking her tongue and doing wheezy breaths. That is hard to explain, she takes in a breath that sounds like an 89 year old chain smoker and lets out an exaggerated sigh. Then she'll pause to see if we heard her (we always do!) then she'll do it again and start to cackle.

My house is a nightmare. I didn't imagine that a little baby would cause such a mess! Its not so much her, as all her stuff. I've already started buying organizing containers.

She went to the doctor yesterday. She said she was right on target with her interactions and things like being able to feed herself. She weighed 17 pounds which is less than what China said. But the woman that told me the number didn't speak English so that could easily be a translation issue. She has visibly gained weight since we've been home, her upper legs now have a crease in them and her cheeks have filled out. The loose skin around her stomach is also gone, I think she was really dehydrated when I got her. Also, her lead levels are perfect (a concern with the region she is from) and her iron is great too.

I have been sick since the 4th day in China. I am almost over my respiratory crud but I still run fevers. I really think its some sort of Chinese virus she has already had, she had the crud too but no fever and with all the time we spend together (and her sticking her hands in my mouth playing) she hasn't caught what I have. I've lost 20 pounds in two weeks, even though I can afford to loose it (and 80 more ha) I wouldn't recommend doing it this way!

Her two front top teeth are coming in. I am glad I have lots of pictures with her gummy smile :)


This is how I wake up! Happy baby! This was our 2nd or 3rd day together in China.


At home in my favorite toy!

Sunday, December 23, 2007



Red Couch Photo :)


video

The first morning :)

We are home!

I had problems uploading pictures from my camera on the trip. Then yahoo ate several of my emails (who knew they had a whine blocker?).

We made it back at 6pm my time after leaving at 8am China time. Somehow we did Saturday twice!

Natalie is an energetic baby who loves to make noise and move a LOT! She is a wiggler that is for sure. We had 3 bad days at the beginning where she was in full sensory overload (sweet and charming to everyone in public then total meltdown in the room) but it is getting better. Nana is currently enthralled and feeding her mandarin oranges and baby food. My luggage didn't make it on our flight so I don't have formula or rice cereal for her. We are sort of winging it.

We are handling jet lag well. She has a cold and her medicine makes her sleepy. She slept from 9pm to 3:45 am this morning. Her normal wake up time is 6am so we aren't that far off from her normal time.

I have TONS of pictures to share but my camera cords are also in my check in luggage.

I lost 10 pounds on the trip - score! Just kidding, I was sick a lot on the trip, the food was really bad (except for Beijing Chinese, I thought it was all really good!).

She calls me mama already :)

Ok, since I don't have my camera, let me share some trip tips that would of made my trip easier.

Laundry - keep up with it in the room if you don't want to send it out. Good chance your hotel room will be 80, your laundry will dry in 4-6 hours if you roll it up in a towel and step on it to squish out the water. After you wear something go ahead and wash it. When I washed my jeans from Beijing, the water was brown. I wore them for one day. The air is that bad. Take a couple of trash bags with you if it is still damp, it won't . I didn't wash anything where I didn't have at least 1.5 days in that location for it to dry. My laundry did not dry at all in Guangzhou. I did not like my tide soap packets for the sink. I used boiled water for all my laundry (I am sure hundreds of pots) and the tide just wasn't getting stuff clean. I wish I had brought a bar of colgate laundry soap. I used the hotel soap and it worked well too.

Opps I have to go, all the oranges are gone. We are going to try to bathe her. Nana is in there goosing her now, I can hear her laughing. She's never had a bath and she about killed me in China when I tried. I picked my battles and wiped her off with a warm wash cloth which was what she was used to. She would lean her head back and lift her arms for me, she knew exactly what to do. Bye!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Update: by Chelle


I have to start with Sunday and then work backwards to cover the rest of the weekend. I really believe that words can't come close to describing this picture. Believe me.
Saturday they went to the jade and clossonaie factories and the Great Wall. Kim has already managed to snap about 600 pictures.
Friday they went to Tianamen Square, the silk factory and the acrobat show.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Update from Kim: by Chelle

I got an email from Kim. Things are going well. Here is her itinerary for the trip:

12/12 - Depart to China
12/13 - Arrive in Beijing
12/14 - Sightseeing in Beijing - Great Wall and Temple of Heaven
12/15 - Sightseeing in Beijing - Forbidden City, training center, Huntong tour and Acrobat show
12/16 - Flight to Nanchang - Get Natalie!!!
12/17 - Paperwork
12/18 - Nanchang sightseeing
12/19 - Paperwork and flight to Guangzhou
12/20 - Natalie's medical and Consulate appointments
12/21 - Group oath
12/22 - Flight back home!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Posting's while Kim is in China by Chelle

Tuesday 12/11 - Kim called at 10:30 am, they arrived in Detroit. She called again at 1 pm before they were boarding the plane to Tokyo. Everything is going well. I should be getting an email update tomorrow. 11 days until I meet my niece.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Playpen and Exersaucer

Mom bought both for me today from a woman that goes to her church. I think it was a good deal for $55 for the both (plus a cute mobile that isn't shown). At Baby Depot it was $120-130 for the two.

(it is sort of boyish but that is ok - there are very few "pretty" pack and plays out there)

The top comes off and hooks into the bottom to create a race track. You can take off the cars and roll them around on it.

Carla's shower today was great! All kinds of people showed up. The decorations were really cute and they fed us a full breakfast buffet sort of thing. She also had a super cute super fancy multi level cake (think wedding put baby themed). Carla is in my travel group, we both leave on Tuesday :)

Shower - Part One

Baby stuff - how cute is all of this? More pictures are coming!


Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Notes!

  • I had a fantastic shower yesterday. I took pictures of all the loot, I'll post them shortly. I'm lucky to have so many people excited for me! It was all too much!

  • I am worn out. I have all my time planned out between now and 7:15 AM Tuesday. One piece of advice that I would pass down to those still waiting is to research your flights. Know what flies out of your local airport. Know what a good price is and what a bad price is. Wednesday's ticket problems totally wiped me out.

  • More advice to those waiting. I bought things for the trip as I went along. I wish I hadn't. I have spent $500 (or more) to buy things for the trip in the past month on top of what I had spent before. I wish I had stuck the money in a jar and bought everything at once. I would of had more controlled spending I think!

  • The baby's tickets came today. So did my passport, visa and TA that I need to take to China.

  • Chelle is going to guest blog for me while I'm gone. I don't think I'll be able to access my blog while in China. I'd rather be covered just in case!

  • Carla's shower is tomorrow - yay!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What a crazy day!

And a stressful day. The most stressful of all concerning this adoption!

Last night we found out the flight option from our agency. It had us going out of the wrong airport and we had an extra in country flight. So that didn't work.

So I head to the Northwest site because I know they fly from our small airport. I check, tickets are about $1100 including tax. I can handle that.

This morning those tickets shot to $1800 for the 6 of us. The rep said that three were still available at $1400 tho. Then we found out only three of us needed to leave on a NWA ticket so that sort of worked. We thought about it, decided to do it then when I called back, there was one seat for $2800. HOLY COW!

The girl on the phone asked me if I could go a day later. I said no, we were meeting up with people. Then *DING* I asked about the 11th. Lots of seats left. And get this - $968. That's it. Tip and tax included WOOOHHOO

So we call our agency to double check this was doable. They said yes, they would see if the facilitator could pick us up. If not, no biggie, we'll just take a cab. We also have to book our own room for that night. Once again, not a big deal.

So we start thinking that if we ask our agency's travel guy if he could get those tickets we'd still be in the agency ticket system. So he says yes, he'll book them ($30 more but who cares) and we are good. Two hours later he calls and says the tickets are $1400 something or other and we needed to book them.

So here we are at work. Earlier when I spoke to the $968 rep, she had courtesy held the tickets for us. So I head to my travel mates office at work and we call. I get my $968 tickets for three plus two lap tickets for $310. Luckily (well, this is really me being disorganized again) I had left my high limit credit card in my purse from Black Friday and I was able to buy all 5 because they were all on one ressie.

So, in the span of 8 hours, we had tickets several times and they were either not good or we lost them because we were slow. STRESS!

But the cool news is, we leave on the 11th :) We have nothing planned for that day (yet haha) and depending on how the weekend goes, we might just hang at the hotel for a day. We might need the sleep! LOL

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Travel Dates!

We leave on the 12th and come home on the 22nd!

How crazy is that?

Just 10 days...seems like it should take much longer than that. We only spend three days in the province, that is all the time they require.

We are working on flights now, our agency's recommendation won't work at all, they have us leaving out of the wrong airport and we have to take an extra in country flight to get back to Beijing. That won't work because 50 pairs of squeaky shoes will require an extra checked bag :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

TAs are HERE!

We have a tentative date of Dec 12th! As in a week from Wednesday!

HOOOOORRRAAYYYY!!!

We'll know for sure in a day or so!

HOOOOORRRAAYYYY!!!

So much to do!

HOOOOORRRAAYYYY!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cutie Pie is 10 Months Old Today!

I have a baby!! And she is 10 months old today!! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Where is my TA?

Warning - I am simply logging in to post tonight so I can whine.

I want my TA!!!!!!

It's not fair!!!

Other people have their TAs!!!

I want to go now!!!

Ok - I feel better.

Not really, but I'll pretend.

I took 10 pounds out of my checked bag tonight and have it down to 43 pounds. But now I have a nice little pile of stuff, some of which needs to find a home in one of my 2 carry ons. For those of you still waiting, you get 44 pounds for your checked bag in China. In the US you get more but I can't remember that number. You also get to take a personal item (backpack, briefcase, purse) and a carry on bag. So I have my 43 pound checked bag and my 52 pound backpack (haha!). Seriously, I wouldn't be a big surprised if it was in the 20 pound range, I have most of my clothes and all my electronics in it.

Ok one more time and I am going to bed.

I want my TA!!!!!!

It's not fair!!!

Other people have their TAs!!!

I want to go now!!!

Night night!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Whew!

It seems like things are really starting to pile up!

  • I cleaned out more of my kitchen and ended up with 5.5 bags of plastic type stuff that will be sorted, sold or donated next spring. It was crazy the amount of space it cleared up!

  • I fixed my washer! My Dad had knee surgery so he guided me through the process. My front load washer is so easy to fix. It is a motor, a pump, two hoses and four legs that bounce with the drum. That's it! I took the pump off the big hose and there was a finishing nail in the blade (from the crown molding in the nursery). Four screws off the pump and the nail just fell out. I was able to get it all back together (with help from Dad on the hoses, I couldn't get those suckers back on) and now it works! I have to buy new screws to put the front back on because they were rusted but besides that - tada!

  • Our TAs are sitting with DHL because my agency isn't open on Friday. So on Monday we'll have a tentative travel date we think. It seems the consulate is returning appointments in just a couple of days. YAY!

  • I have been buying even more stuff to take to China. I know on some things I'm taking too much (like fancy trail mix from Target) but I know that if I do get sick, this is what I'll want to eat. I also don't want to compromise my cleanliness while there. Nothing grosses me out more than to read families in China wearing the same clothes over and over without washing them. I have soap. A lot of soap. Paper soap, liquid soap. Soap for clothes, soap for hands, soap for body, hair and special soap for the baby.

  • I ordered my jeans from Walmart of all places. They have $10 jeans that are perfect for China. If they get screwed up in the wash it doesn't matter. I'll yardsale them when I get back. Basically I got 3 pair for less than one pair of my normal brand!

  • I also found my new tennis shoes for the trip. New Balance, $27 after coupon today from Shoe Carnival! How cool is that?

  • I think I am going to buy this...


or maybe cranberry straps with this inside



It is a BabyHawk carrier - $80 eeck! But I really like them and I am just going to have to break down and get it!

  • Hmm so let me think. I am organizing the nursery, buying shelving. I stuff the pillow shams and I'll be hanging the quilt tomorrow along with the curtain rods. I've put all her stuffed animals in a big cloth bag to store them until she's ready for them (I know there are too many).

  • I also bought this digital camera today. I am not sure if I am going to keep it or not, it takes rechargable batteries. My other Easyshare charged on a base and lasted all day long. I guess a bonus with having batteries is you can have 2 or 3 sets charged for really busy days. My old camera paused a bit in Vegas when I was taking pictures. I am afraid I'll miss something because the camera is pausing, putting the last image on the disk.

Old Camera

New Camera


The zoom is about double. And the lens is huge (and I am not sure why lol). The buttons and setting are the same and the new one is a 7.1 compared to a 6.1. Internal and external memory is the same. Both take 80 minutes of video on the internal card and I have 6 GB of external memory cards. I need a camera person to help me decide!

Ok I think that is it for now. The rambling of this post is much like my life now. I am flittering around, doing a little here and a little there. I need to focus!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nesting!

Ok, really it's more like cleaning, but we'll call it nesting instead :)

How much Tupperware do you own? You know the commercial that goes "Do your cabinets look like this?" and stuff is falling out? Ok, so that is my Tupperware (generic term for anything small and plastic like) cabinet. It's quite large, it is above the oven and is the size of an oven. So if I have pieces falling out of that cabinet I've got issues.

Nothing matches, I can't find lids. Classic Tupperware issue. So I decide enough is enough. I go to Wal-Mart and buy the 24 piece Rubbermaid (BTW, Rubbermaid is generic for a container larger than my foot) Take Away set with the lid holder for a whole $10. They are the perfect size for my lunches and if I melt them in the microwave it's ok, they are cheap. Score!

So I set out to rid myself of my mismatched Tupperware. Now, I can't throw it away because some of it is real cool retro yellow Tupperware so I put it in trash bags so I can spread it out at a later date, match everything up and yardsale what I don't need. So one trash bag comes out. Hmm, ok a second bag comes out. I have two FULL trashbags full of this stuff. I take it down to the basement and start to laugh at myself. On the workbench there are two more bags. I own 4 TRASH bags full of Tupperware pieces that are all mis matched. I am a doofus.

Next, I am moving to the cabinets under my stove top. It is 48" 24" of pure STUFF. Any I don't use any of it or I'd know what was in there. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I am 75% packed

No really, I am. Stop laughing.

One big suitcase, one smaller roller bag. One backpack. One trip to the mall on Sat and it's done. I am going to zip it up (wrinkles sminkles) and not open it again until China.

I have a secret hope, that our TAs will roll in the Monday after Thanksgiving. And when they call for appointments, the consulate says, well we can squeeze you in right after Christmas. So I'll get to spend Christmas with the baby in China and leave for China like on Dec 10th.

Now how do I convince my agency to let me take the train from Beijing to Nanchang? It's a 7 hour trip that leaves at noon. Think of all the stuff I'd get to see!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Busy Busy!

Do you know how time consuming it is to show every stranger in TN pictures of my baby? lol

I have been working on her care package. So far I have two Carters sleep and play pink lady bug outfits, 2 disposable cameras, a brush and comb set, a blanket sack sleeper and toys. I still have to get pictures in her Sassy photo book, find teeny baby hairbows and make her taggie blanket. We bought the prettiest rich turquoise satin yesterday and I am going to buy the popcorn chenille but in polyester) today for the other side. I'd like to have bright yellow or pink but I'm not having a lot of luck finding it. So I might just do white, I'll have 4 total so I can do the swaperoo and wash them.

We found out the post office has a nice sized box that you can cram full and send to China for $37. After I get done putting all her loot in, I am going to finish it off with more clothes so the foster family can use them for their next babies. The only things I want back are the cameras!

I got my stroller and it's so ugly lol. I don't know why I thought it was two shades of gray. The gray version is at Target but it's full price, $140. Mine is light tan with navy blue plaid trim - yick. I am going to grab some pretty purple fleece and do a one layer cover over the main portion of the seat to cover the navy and I am going to recover the toy bar that is on the front with the same purple. I wasn't planning on using the hood (I want to see her!) so there isn't a lot to cover up. So soon it will be light tan and purple, a little better hopefully closer to what I imagined :)

Off I go to the nursery now, I have a ton of stuff and there is just one baby coming - you'd think they had referred me a soccer team lol With the stroller and it's huge box in the way you can't walk through it yet lol

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More about Natalie :)


Scroll down for her other 2 referral pictures :)

Natalie was born Feb 1, 2007 and was left at the door Qian Shan Xian Welfare Institute on Feb 4, 2007. Her Chinese name is Ling, Qian Ge. She was left with formula, a bottle and a jacket (I so hope they give me that little jacket). She went straight to foster care. This is in her story "She was a lovely baby with a healthy skin color and a round shaped face". (I think she's rather lovely myself!)

Her progression over her first 5 months included verbalizing simple sounds, playing with toys and kicking off blankets :)

Her medical report is all clear :)

I keep her picture on me at all times, I can't seem to go 5 minutes without looking at her :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Natalie :)

Born 2-1-07
In July she was 13 pounds and 24 inches long :)



I can't wait to go get her. I need to buy hairbows!

UPDATE! I have hairbows! I forgot I was making 35 of these for a fundraiser then I lost the pack of alligator clips to finish them up and I never sold them. Look at all the little bows yippeee!


Ok even more - my counter is going to go up by several thousand tonight just because I can't stand going 5 minutes without looking at her goofy third picture. I think someone is talking to her or tickling her..I hope she's a giggler!

I can't get over all that hair, I am really excited lol

Mommy brain has already kicked in, I can't remember the real reason I logged back into this post to update it. hehe

Hehe