Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm so hungry! lol

The cruise is 89 days away and I am dieting so my summer clothes will look better. Then I decided I wanted all NEW summer clothes so I went out and bought several items in a smaller size (don't worry, I kept the receipts!).

My cruise goal is 46 pounds. That should get me out of this size, past the next one and into my new clothes comfortably. As of 7:30 tonight I was 17 pounds into my goal. I think I'm going to make a ticker!

I'd like to loose even more for China. I have a friend who lost close to 100 pounds on weight watchers! How crazy is that? She doesn't even look like the same person.

So anyway, the first thing people ask is how I lost so much weight so fast. I swear 10 pounds of that is water. I stopped eating salt (chips) and increased my water to 10-14 cups a day and it just fell off in less than a week. It was crazy fast.

The other 7 I have starved off. I'm just kidding. Really I'm only eating enough so I don't feel hungry. And hungry now means I feel my stomach growls before I eat. I pretty much eat whatever I want but I make sure to eat 1 bag of frozen stir fry veggies a day (that's a pound!). I try to eat it for dinner so it will last the whole night. Right now I am on a spicy kick, I cook 1 bag of veggies and 3 ounces of chicken breast in just a little bit of water (steam it really). Then I add tabasco, garlic and 5 chinese spice. Yum yum!

You know what is interesting? I feel a lot better when I eat when I want instead of with a group. I come to work later than everyone else. I'll eat breakfast at 9:30-ish then turn around to eat with a group of people at noon. I can't tell you how many times I've eaten lunch when I wasn't a bit hungry. Now I wait until I'm hungry, I eat my normal breakfast (and this is bad, its a biscuit and coffee, 550 calories, pure fat) and I eat a light lunch which is 1/3 of the size of my old lunch. But now instead of noon, I eat anywhere from 2-4. Then I'm ready for veggie dinner at around 7. Works beautifully!

I know lots of people read my blog (I have a magic page counter!) do any of you have good diet recipies? Is anyone else trying to diet for China? What plan are you on? Talk to me! :) - Kim

Friday, January 26, 2007

1 down, 1 to go!

Half the fun of a cruise is shopping for fru fru clothes. I am not a fru fru kind of girl normally but on special occasions I can duke it out with the best of them.

My 7 day cruise has not one but TWO formal nights. I get to buy 2 fru fru dresses! Woohooo!

Here is the first one, purchased from ebay in navy in like 18 sizes bigger haha

It has a wrap with it that I'm going to attach somehow. Nothing is more irritating than your fru fru accessory slipping on you all night long. Maybe I can get a wrap from one of the stops that will go with it? That would be really cool :)

For my second outfit I plan to buy a fuzzy sweater, like angora in a light color like white, light blue or pink. Then I'll con my mother into making a black ball skirt (who knew those were so hard to find in a matte satin?). I have a silver one that is sort of shiney but it breaks all the big girl rules. Nothing shiney near your butt! That includes cheap velvet that turns shiney when you sit on it. Just say no to polyester velvet!

I've not updated in awhile so here I go:
-The deck has most of it's posts up. Tomorrow is suppose to be 56 and sunny so we are putting up the rail part. We are slow but steady, it will eventaully be done.

-Work is ok, raises and bonuses really sucked this year. Considering all the after hours I had to do it REALLY sucks. Like I might go get a part time job it sucked so bad. We'll see I guess.

-I've decided not to plan for any other kids until I have this one home. I had grand plans for El Salvador and Poland but adding more kids is expensive. So I decided I will wait until Natalie is 3-4 to see how we are doing before I start paperwork. Who knows, by then China could of opened up again for singles. Or I could be married and requalify (hehehe I barely got that typed out before I started to giggle..the earth is still warm, nothing has frozen over, kim will stay single).

-I have been a good girl and have really stuck to my budget. I won't hit my savings goal for March because of my bonus so I had to adjust all that (and I hate adjusting $ goals). But I'll be close and hopefull after I head to China I'll have the emergency fund I want all set up and I'll be a little less strict on me in 2008.

-And last but not least, no new news on the baby front. Some hope for May, some hope for June but I think it will be July. Either way, it will work out just fine :)

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sorta... kinda... good enough?

I can't find anyone willing to shell out 2K for the massive long super cool Mediterranean cruise this Sept. So instead we are heading to the western Caribbean for 7 days!

I was able to upgrade our cabin from the very bottom to almost the top. Some say that is better, some say worse. I really don't think my "past cruiser discount" was that great. I was expecting the price to be discounted not for our room to be moved. Hopefully closer to the cruise they'll sell out of cheapo cabins and bump us to something nicer. Stranger things have happened :)

My boat:

My room:

This little cabin is much nicer than the first cabin I was in on the Inspiration. On the last trip we only showered and slept in the room so we didn't pay for a window on this trip. We are going to spend that money on shore instead snorkeling :)


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen 1-11-07

Visit Terri's Site!

1. One Week
2. Two Weeks
3. Three Weeks
4. Four Weeks
5. Five Weeks
6. Six Weeks
7. Seven Weeks
8. Eight Weeks
9. Nine Weeks
10. Ten Weeks
11. Eleven Weeks
12. Tweleve Weeks
13. Thirteen Weeks

My company has changed their adoption leave to match maternity leave and it's 13 weeks 100% paid! I'll combine it with 2 weeks of vacation and I'll still have 5 weeks of leftover v-time to use up. YAY Citi!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More fun games

I'm a sucker for short online games. I don't want to devote hours into a game (like EQ) so I like things like this:

Robin Hood Games

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mirth on Monday :)

Visit Terri's site!
Ok, remember last Monday when I was sooo excited about the clothes? They are here! I can't believe Bonnie gave me a huge bag full of baby outfits, I love them! There are so many that I'll be taking to China with me because they are so soft and squishy (Carters!). There are so many, I took pictures of all but poor blogger would take days to upload them all so here are a few:

And here is my favorite! It's it cute?

Aren't they great? Happy Monday!

I also have fantastic news on the adoption front that I am going to wait until Thursday to post because it has the #13 in it. Hmmm what could it be? :)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

New PBS Series

Power of the People

Women of the Country

Shifting Nature

Freedom and Justice

Should be very interesting!


ZAHN: So how would you feel if someone told you you couldn't adopt a baby because you're not thin enough, not rich enough, nor attractive enough? We're bringing this story out in the open tonight because that's exactly what's about to happen when Americans try to adopt children from China, and some people say that is downright discriminatory. China is the most popular country Americans go to for foreign adoptions. Last year, nearly 6,500 Chinese children found parents right here in the U.S. John Vause is in Beijing tonight and he joins me live. So, John, what are some of these restrictions that are about to be put in place that we need to be aware of?

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, the Chinese government says these new measures are all about finding better homes for Chinese orphans, so as of this coming May, all foreigners, not just Americans, but anyone from overseas wanting to adopt a Chinese orphan must meet some of these following criteria. They must not be morbidly obese, in other words, a body mass index of over 40, they must not have facial deformities, they must not take antidepressants. On the other side of the equation, they must have a net worth of $80,000 or more. They must earn over $30,000 a year. They must also be, this is one of the biggest changes, they also must be a man and a woman who have, in fact, been married for at least two years, aged between 30 and 50. So in other words, no singles. In the past, China was one of the few countries in the world who would allow singles to adopt kids. They've never allowed gay adoption but they have allowed singles in limited numbers to adopt kids but it seems that will be changing as well, Paula.

ZAHN: So what is the Chinese government officially saying about this, and why they want to institute these changes?

VAUSE: Well, the Chinese government is making no apologies for the new criteria. An official that we spoke to Friday told us in part, quote, "Our job is to help the homeless children find warm families, rather than just children for childless families." At the same time we're insisting there's been no change to the actual adoption policy. They're just introducing a preference system, because quite simply, there are so many foreigners who want to come here that they just outnumber the orphans who are available for adoption, and there are lengthy waiting periods for foreigners wanting Chinese kids. They can wait for a year, in many cases sometimes more, Paula.

ZAHN: John Vause, thanks so much for the update. Joining me now, an attorney Sondra Solovay, an author of "Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight-Based Discrimination." She also has a new book coming out later this year. Welcome back. Some of these rules, I think, are a little bit easier for us to swallow than others. I think some people think it's probably pretty justified that prospective parents have enough money to care for a children, but what about weight restrictions, what about facial deformities, and how that could compromise someone's ability to adopt?

SONDRA SOLOVAY, AUTHOR, "TIPPING THE SCALES OF JUSTICE": These restrictions are definitely troubling. I certainly empathize with the difficult decision of figuring out which adoptive family is going to be the best for a child and the children we're most concerned about. But you simply can't tell by looking at someone if they're going to be a good adoptive parent. We don't have to rent "Mommy Dearest" to remember that a pretty face doesn't mean a pretty family. And certainly you can't tell the amount of love a parent has in their heart by looking at the number on their bathroom scale.

ZAHN: But on the flipside of all this, doesn't China have the right to create whatever rules it wants to, no matter how unpalatable some of them might seem?

SOLOVAY: Sure, they have the right, they have the obligation to do what they think is best to look out for their children. That's absolutely true. It's an interesting point as well, because some of these agencies that are in the U.S. are going to be in quite a predicament, caught between two different rules, rules in the United States prohibiting them from discriminating based on disability, based on weight, based on marital status and the restrictions that China imposed so it's difficult for the agencies, too, but I think we need to bring our attention back to the children and the idea is to find the children the best, most loving homes they can, and those homes don't come in a particular weight limit or a particular size. In fact, we have this idea, I suppose, of a traditional home. But when children come from China to the U.S., many will be placed in homes that are going to be mixed race or mixed ethnicity anyway. These aren't traditional homes and it's the diversity in the U.S. that makes those families understand that they have the same rights as any other family.

ZAHN: How many angry calls are you taking from prospective parents out there about these new regulations?

SOLOVAY: I expect my office is going to be absolutely flooded with calls not only from parents, but from the agencies themselves, wondering about their rights and responsibilities. For example, in San Francisco, you can't discriminate based on weight, so an agency in San Francisco is going to have a difficult time walking that line.

ZAHN: Well, Sondra Solovay, we're going to leave that there and get more reaction now. Thank you for your time. From our panel.

SOLOVAY: Thank you.

ZAHN: One more time. Cenk Uygur, Roland Martin, Solangel Maldonado. Obviously the Chinese government is making it clear it wants to be more selective will prospective parents, it wants to place these children in the best family environment it can. Isn't that justified?

MALDONADO: Absolutely. I think we all know that China is a sovereign country. It has the right to place whatever restrictions on foreigners who are seeking to adopt their children that it wants. And adoption is really about supply and demand, and the reality is that there are many more Americans, many more Westerners seeking to adopt children from China than there are children available so the Chinese government can decide to do whatever it wants.

MARTIN: OK, why? What's the big deal with Chinese children? Enlighten me, please, help me out.

ZAHN: You understand this better than anybody. Why don't we see more Americans adopting black foster children?

MARTIN: That's my point. What's the big deal with Chinese children? Why the infatuation?

ZAHN: You think it's something with the color of their skin? Is that what you're driving at?

MARTIN: Maybe they think they can adopt a smart kid that is going to grow up to be a doctor? I don't know. They need to realize that's called training, not just inherent, it will happen when they're born. Angel, help me out.

MALDONADO: Absolutely. This is something I've been looking into for a long time. Americans have this love affair with girls from China. There is this belief, this perception, irrational as it might be that if you adopt a little girl from China, she's going to be intelligent, she's going to be more lovable.

MARTIN: Like the porcelain doll.

MALDONADO: We definitely see that idea of the beautiful Chinese little girl, as compared to do, they really want to adopt a black boy.

ZAHN: What difference does it make if the prospective parent has a facial deformity and the prospective parent weighs 70 more pounds than the scale says they should weigh.

UYGUR: I love the idea of them weighing people. All right. So you know, first of all, okay, so gay parents are out. That's a clear rule, but then also Dennis Hastert's out because he's way too fat. They put him on the scale, sorry. But I'd probably be out. I don't know, maybe I'd have to go on an exercise regimen, to do the body mass indexes they pinch you in all of these different places.

ZAHN: You can fake it, suck it in.

UYGUR: Not me.

MARTIN: Paula, you raise the question -- China, first of all, they do have the right to do it, but the flipside is what is the infatuation by Americans and other foreigners when it comes to adopting Chinese children? That is a real issue there, and why do we avoid other children and not just -- children who are here in America, who are looking for homes, and who just like Chinese orphans want a nice place to live.

ZAHN: But realistically, how are you ever going to change that bias?

UYGUR: I think a lot of people are looking for Muslim children these days.

ZAHN: Yeah, right.

UYGUR: Because we started the Iraq war and there's so many orphans. I'm sure they're getting a lot of Iraqi children, right? No, of course, they think it's cute and they're smart and it's really dumb, actually, of course. Roland's right, it's all in the training and it's a shame because all over the world there's other kids that need to be adopted especially in Africa, but for once, the celebrities are doing the right thing there trying to foster that.

MARTIN: Call the queen of Africa, Angelina Jolie. She can hook you up.

MALDONADO: I think what we need to do is we need to break down some of the misconceptions. For example, people believe if they're adopting a child from China, the child is going to be healthier than a child they adopt in the United States and that is just not true. Even if the child is born...

ZAHN: It defies logic. The quality of the medical care many of these kids have suffered through the first several months of life.

MARTIN: What also ignores logic is that China is having an explosion when it comes to obesity as well so maybe they should start their own million pound challenge like we started in Chicago to deal with Chinese folks who don't want to have overweight kids.

ZAHN: What are some of the other assumptions you think people in America make about the native intelligence of children based on whether you're Hispanic -- We had a guest on the other night when you were with us suggesting that Hispanic parents don't take education as seriously as some other sets of our population. There's a very complicated picture here.

UYGUR: And America is changing and some of the assumptions are going to change because of that. What really happens isn't of course that Asians are smarter. Immigrant families foster a culture where they work hard and emphasize education so Jewish families went through that, Asian families went through that. But now Eastern European families are coming and doing the same thing and African families are coming and doing the same thing. So I can't wait for 10, 20 years down the line, everybody's like I've got to have an African child. Because they're all geniuses.

MARTIN: Remember, those are learned traits that you learn based upon how you have been raised.

UYGUR: Of course.

MARTIN: You are simply not born, hey that, kid will have a great work ethic because they were born to an immigrant family. It simply doesn't work that way because you got some lazy immigrant families. What do you think the assumptions Americans make about kids of Asian descent even here in America, they'll work hard, they'll own their store someday.

UYGUR: They'll be brilliant.

ZAHN: All right. Hispanic...

MALDONADO: Well the idea about Hispanic kids, it's sort of mixed. I think the stereotypes about Hispanic kids are both positive and negative. They believe that Hispanic kids are likely to work harder than black kids, but they also believe that they're not going to be as intelligent as Asian kids.

ZAHN: Muslim kids.

UYGUR: They're going to grow up to be violent. Who is adopting a Muslim kid? Has anyone adopted a Muslim kid in the last 20 years in America?

MARTIN: You've got somebody sitting there saying, keep the Muslim kid out of chemistry class. Keep them away.

ZAHN: How about black kids? Do you think the average American out there makes the assumption they'll be lazy and never make it through high school?

MARTIN: I think they probably assume they're going to sing for them like Jay Z and play like in the NBC.

ZAHN: Anybody would love to have Jay Z's career.

MARTIN: I'd rather have Bob Johnson's. He's a billionaire and Jay Z isn't.

ZAHN: Thank you, Roland Martin, Solangel Maldonado. Thank you, all. Appreciate your time.
OK, so what do you think? I thought the article makes a lot of good points that the panel just goes wild with at the end and ruins it. This was actually my lunch conversation on Thursday. Why don't I adopt a black local child instead of going to China? Has my local culture taught me that the child won't have potential and they'll be trouble makers? Why can't I, as a single white female, adopt a black child and not get a lot of grief for it? Why is the only agency willing to work with me on the adoption of a black baby is in Utah and not TN?

2 years ago before I started my China homestudy, I asked about a foster child that was a true orphan. She was 3 years old and there was just something in her expression that spoke to me. She was black. No one would give me information and I was told later by someone that works in the system that they discourage white people adopting black children. Um ok. I also had the same experience when I showed interest in a bi-racial child. Call me crazy, but can't I have a bi-racial child of my own? Why would it be such a stretch to adopt one?

So let's get back to why I choose China. I saw that awful program where they had the babies tied to potty chairs. The looks on their faces just killed you. Those children needed me, I knew what I was going to do. This was 13 years ago.

Is that need still there? Truthfully no. If China would open the floodgates and clear out each and every orphanage the need would be created. When you have a 18 month waiting list for a child, that child is in high demand. Whether you want to think about this way or not, that child will go to someone, whether it's you or not. I guess this is where the whole "this child is meant for you" idea comes into play. I think my daughter from China was meant for the woman that she was born to. For reasons not known to me, she wasn't able to keep her. I'm just a substitute. I think God created that life for her and man robbed her of it. I don't want to wipe out her sacrifice by saying "oh it's ok, this child is meant for me anyway". I cringe everytime I hear an adoptive family say that. But don't get me wrong, I am thrilled for the opportunity to have this child in my life. She will be loved!

So back to the need portion of the program. Does China need us to adopt the 12,000 children they release for international adoption? Not all of us. Remember how MAD I was that they weren't going to let me adopt a second child? I felt like they had MURDERED my second child.

Then I start looking at other programs. This is what I found:

We did nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and lied about how much radiation still existed on their islands. Most residents have cancer later on in life. Children are available now.

Did you know that El Salvador has experience several horrible storms that has wiped out housing and killed people? They have orphans too.

There are residents of Poland that can't afford to FEED their children. They go into orphanages, many ran by the Catholic Church. Sometimes hunger is an issue we can't fathom in America. We have food stamp programs. We have WIC. We have food pantries. I'm not saying that there aren't people out there that have money issues and therefore food issues. It's just they have a lot more help available to them than someone in Poland.

Ok, so my point is, go where the need is. Go where you feel drawn. China has been in my heart for a long time. Just because their need of me has dimenished in the last 13 years doesn't mean I don't need them. This adoption experience is something that I need to do, selfishly for me!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thirteen Thursday

Visit Terri's site!

Today is Thursday, I'm actually on time! I am going to share 13 websites that I have bookmarked.

1. (sad huh? It's my homepage!)
2. (Disney chat boards)
3. (this is the place to go for CVS and Walgreens deals)
4. free samples site (great place to get your travel size items for China for free)
5. Silver Jewelry Club I've not ordered from them but friends of mine have. It's pretty nice stuff for $5.
6. Alpaca Nation (because I've always wanted one)
7. (I love looking at houses for sale)
8. School Matters (when I find a house above, I always check out the school system)
9. Chinese Baby Names (I'm ready when the call comes!)
10. A map of Walt Disney World (I'd like to go see the mouse again in sept!)
11. Brandon Routh (how cute is he?)
12. FlyLady (I like her even though she caters to stay at home moms)
13. Rumor Queen (oh come on, you know this had to make the list :)

So there you have it, 13 bookmarks I have on my PC. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mirth on Monday

Well it's really Tuesday, don't tell!

Did you know a synonym of mirth is GLEE? It's one of my favorite words!

Glee goes along with giddy, another one of my favorite words!

Ok, so why am I giddy today? Because someone was nice enough to think of me and is giving me little teeny baby clothes for my daughter. I've got bigger sizes but nothing little because I didn't want to get my hopes up that she was going to be very young. The thought of little 6 month clothes makes me giddy. Fills me with glee! It makes me mirth-ful? (Ok I know that was a stretch).

Visit Terri's site!

Monday, January 01, 2007

I am mostly putting these here so I can play them ;)


There are a LOT of freebies or near freebies going on right now.

Today is CVS day. Buy 2 Colgate toothpastes (B1G1) and three Palmolives dishwashing liquid. Send off the rebate. Freebies with CASH back, gotta love it!

Patene is also $1.97 at CVS today. Is your CVS out? Then you are one lucky girl because you my friend can get a rain check. I'd get one for enough bottles to last a year (or two haha) then go over to Ebay and buy Pantene $1.50 off of 1 coupon bundles.

It comes out to this for TN:
1.97 X 20 X 1.095 tax = 43.14 - $30 (20, $1.50 off each bottle) = $13.14 for 20 bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner. Be sure to look for the older style of bottles, you get 20% more for free.


The new Walgreen rebates are out too. This month is a bottle of Finesse (there is a $2.00 coupon floating around out there), Chloroseptic sore throat strips ($1 off coupon), an Oral B Toothbrush (nice, the kind they give away every other month) and something called Joint Juice ($2 coupon) which to me sounds really gross :)

Anyway, if your goal is to save money and get great deals this year just stick with me. I spend 10 minutes a day hoping through my "deal" sites and I'll post the good stuff here.

Happy New Year!

It seems like I've been waiting on 2007 FOREVER!

This is the year that...

- My daughter will be home
- My home renovations will be complete
- I'll have my finances squeaky clean

Bring on 2007!

Happy New Year!