Thursday, December 28, 2006

Roofing Woes...

Mark and I live in a condo townhouse. Our monthly maintenance fees include all sorts of things…It includes our water, cable, snow plowing/shoveling – right to our front door, lawn cutting, windows, doors and roofs!!

Well currently we are getting our roof replaced. Our ‘block’ is 5 homes. We live in the middle home. Yesterday morning they started about 10:00am and they did homes 1 & 2. In order to do homes 1 & 2, they parked their large, black ‘trailer’ on our front lawn. Yes what a beautiful site it is!!

While pulling their large, black trailer on to our front lawn, they managed to rip up a bunch of our grass. LOVELY!!

Well yesterday, I was going out to meet my friend Kelly for lunch. I left the house about 11:45. When I walked out, I stopped to look at my pot. It was broken and a bunch of the soil was on the patio stones. One of the roofers was walking towards me. I asked “What happened to my pot?” His response “WE DIDN’T DO IT, WE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!” and yes the caps signify LOUD voices.

Since I didn’t have time to argue, I kept walking to my car as not to be late for lunch. Mark wasn’t home at the time so I called him to let him know what to expect when he arrived home – the large, black trailer on the front lawn, broken pot, torn up grass and rude workers. I told him that I was going to take pictures of the damage when I returned home.

Well Mark – NEVER the procrastinator – decided to take pictures for himself. While taking pictures he was talking with Linda, our neighbour, and discussing how they damaged our pot, grass etc. and that if there was anything else that they damaged he was going to call the corporation and complain about them. Well, the roofers were sitting in their truck and they heard the whole conversation. They came to the door and rang the doorbell, and in the same LOUD tone, asked Mark who he was going to call, what was he going to complain about. Mark explained that our pot was broken and the grass torn up. Roofer guy said, well when we went to move the pot it broke – WAIT A MINUTE – 45 minutes prior to this, roofer dude told me that they didn’t do it and they didn’t touch anything...HMMMM

Then roofer dude said that he would give us $10 for the pot and they assured us that they would fix the grass (neither has happened, nor do we expect it to). I know the pot doesn't look bad and neither does the grass, I think the thing that got me the most was the yelling. That just set me off and amplified everything else that was happening. Regardless and letter will be written...

Well that was not the end of it. About 4:00, roofer dude rang the doorbell again to tell us that they didn’t have the correct truck to pull large, black trailer off our front lawn. Was it o.k. if they left it there overnight?? Well what does one say to that? Well fine then, they assured us that it would only be one night and that tomorrow they would move the large, black trailer. This photo is me standing at my front door and the lovely view that I have.

Later that evening, when we were popping by Tracey’s, we noticed that the trailer hitch was being supported by stones FROM OUR GARDEN!! Can you believe it?? They took OUR stones to support their large, black trailer!!!

Well this morning, the roofer dudes were back and they were up on the roof banging away at 7:30 – it was still DARK!! Anyway bang, bang they were going all morning. I had to take a couple of pictures off the wall as they were shaking so much I thought they might fall down.

I left the house at 11:30 to meet Kathleen (my cousin) for lunch and they were packing up – for what I thought was their lunch. I got back from lunch about 1:30 or so and they were nowhere to be found. Mark was home by then and said he hadn’t seen them at all. It is now 5:00 and it is dark and there are no roofer dudes to be found – However, there is roofer dudes large, black trailer STILL on our front lawn!!

More Chirstmas Day - morning, afternoon & night

Well here is a brief description of the rest of our Christmas day - minus the dinner part as that was already posted below.

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Christmas Day - Early Morning, Morning and Afternoon

Mark and I were up MUCH before the crack of dawn to have a mini Christmas celebration with Tracey. We exchanged presents, ate cinnamon rolls and gabbed. Since Tracey lives 50 feet away, we went to her house in our “pj’s” and opened our presents like that.

After that, we got ready and were at Mom and Phil’s by 7:50am for breakfast with them and Dawn and Melanie. Our breakfast included peameal bacon. I love peameal bacon. I only eat it once a year on Christmas morning and I really look forward to it. I was not disappointed.

After breakfast we exchanged gifts. I didn’t have the camera out during the morning so there are no photos – sorry…

After our lovely morning at mom and Phil’s, we headed to Hortense’s for a visit. We were there about 11:00ish. There was saw Hortense, Uncle, Roger and Anita. Tracey was already with us. We were not eating at Hortense’s this year as we were going to Mark’s parents. Here are a few photos of the day...After our visit, we left Hortense’s about 3:30ish to head to Mark’s parents for dinner. You can click here for that post.

END of the night

We left Mark’s parents about 8:00 or so and we headed back to my mom’s house for cards. They had already had their dinner and dessert – thank goodness. I don’t think I could have eaten anything more! We arrived while they were almost finished their game of cards and then we all play Rumoli. It is especially great when you have 9 people and then you can put your money in one pot instead of each pot around the board.

It turns out that mom and Tracey were the big winners of the night. They most certainly came away with the big pots at the end.

After Rumoli, Auntie Jane, Shawn, Auntie Anne and Gord went home. Then Mom and Phil, Mark and I and Tracey played Wizard – another card game. Dawn popped by for a bit of a visit and then we were home by about 11:30 – EXHAUSTED!!!

Boxing Day for Mark and I is typically staying home ALL day, not venturing out and just enjoying each other’s company and enjoying the downtime.

We are so lucky to have SO many people to share our Christmas day with. I don’t know what is going to happen when “Pumpkin” arrives – we will cross that bridge whenever it is that we get there...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More Quilt Squares - Numbers 3 to 8!!

Mark and I were lucky enough to receive more quilt squares for Pumpkin's 100 Good Wishes Quilt

Here is square # 3 from Jen (my Jen) - the wish is to follow.
Square #4 is also from "my" Jen - the picture does not do this square justice. The square is covered with little silver stars.
Square #5 is again from "my" Jen - did I mention that Jen has made quilts in the past...and will again in the future!!!
Square #6 is from "my" Jen. I thank you SO much for the 4 lovely squares - they are much appreciated.
Square #7 is from our nephew Logan. There is a picture of his hand and he signed his name to the wish. This fabric is from Logan favourite shirt! Logans wish is that his cousin Pumpkin has happiness always. Thank you so much Logan for our square. Your cousin will be very thankful for your wish and your square.
And square #8 is from our niece Saige. She wishes her cousin Pumpkin - lots of hugs and kisses!! She 'signed' her name to wish too! Thank you Saige.

Christmas Dinner...

These posts are going to be out of order, but here is one of our events on Christmas day – THE DINNER!!!

This year we had our Christmas dinner with Mark’s family. We had lots of food, fun, presents and laughter. There was turkey AND ham!! Thank you to Mercy for making both!! I am one of those odd people who is not so keen on turkey at all I can eat it, but ham – that is a whole different story – YUM!!

Our dinner was GREAT and J├╝rgen who is a budding cook/baker made 2 fantastic desserts from scratch. A chocolate cheesecake and an apple cranberry galette (sp??). They were both very good.

I have included a video montage of the Christmas dinner here. Enjoy the photos!

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We all took a turn with the Santa hat on. There are some great pictures...Aren't the kids the cutest things in the world?? Not that I am partial or anything...Their mom (Mark's Jenn) said we could post their pictures!!

The kids loved their presents and they were so good all night.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pumpkin is a lucky little girl!!

The above picture is the Chinese characters for Pumpkin!! My sister Tracey aka Auntie Tracey got this picture for us and along with this, she has ordered our wrought iron letters of “Pumpkin” in Chinese characters to put on the wall in the nursery – They will not be ready until February or so. Along with this, Tracey got photo frames with this picture in it and got the photo frames engraved. One says PROUD MOMMY and the other says PROUD DADDY. Of course, this just brought Mark and I (and Tracey) to tears when we opened this on Christmas morning. Our Pumpkin is such a lucky little girl. She is so loved and wanted by her family around her.

Pumpkin also received other gifts from Auntie Tracey as well as gifts from Auntie Jen, Auntie Dawn and Grandma Hortense (she hasn’t decided what she wants to be called yet). I can't thank you all enough for thinking about our daughter even though she isn't here yet. Here are the pictures of the gifts...

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I thank you, all our family and friends SO much for embracing this journey with us and your support that you have given us thus far and will continue to give us. Mark and I are incredibly lucky to have you in our lives and so will “Pumpkin” be. I can’t wait to get “Pumpkin” home with her Forever Family so that she can see how loved and supported that she is.

This experience is a long and hard journey and your support and understanding is so appreciated. We are honoured to be sharing it with you.

We wish every one of you, all the health and happiness in the world for the coming year.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Jen & Christmas Eve - UPDATED *AGAIN* WITH PICTURE CHANGES!!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image HostingOur Christmas starts on Christmas Eve. We start it off at lunch time every year by celebrating Jennifer’s birthday (my Jennifer as opposed to Mark’s Jennifer – we both have sisters named Jennifer and that is how we differentiate them when we are talking about them…Also one Jen is Jen and the other Jenn is Jenn).

Back to the day…It is Jen’s birthday and we gather for a birthday lunch. This year we are having roast beer and Yorkshire pudding!! YUMMY! Generally after we have lunch, cake and presents for Jen’s birthday, we move to the living room so that Josh (10) and Madison (4 ¾) can open their Christmas presents! It is always a good day with lots of laughter. The kids are SO good at lunch. They know that not until the "birthday" is over do they start the Christmas. Now they might circle the tree and have eagle eyes looking for their name, but they don't say anything and they don't touch anything. They are so good!

Since I am writing this in advance – this is what I anticipate happening...

Here are the pictures of the day...

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After we finish at Mom and Phil’s for Jen’s birthday and the kids Christmas, Mark and I and Tracey will come back here to our place and Linda (next door) will join us and we will have an evening of playing cards and nibbling. Since we will have had a big lunch, it will just be fingers foods for the evening. It will be a nice night.

Christmas day itself will be a long post and I and anticipating getting to that in a couple of days. Mark and I make 5 different stops on Christmas day. We are SO lucky to have so much family that we want to spend time with. The day will start about 5:30 or 6:00 and continue ‘till about midnight!

Happy birthday Jen – did I mention that she is older then me…LOL!!

Merry Christmas to all my family and friends - both new and old - who celebrate Christmas!! ENJOY!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Shopping with a Wheelchair...

The other day I took a half day off work so that I could take mom Christmas shopping. She still has her cast/boot on and can’t drive or walk. Phil loaded up the wheelchair in the trunk and mom got in the car and off we went to the mall.

The mall is the only real option when you are in a wheelchair. Those big box stores like Heartland are really terrible when you have to get in and out of the car and walk outside in the elements to each store.

So we headed to Erin Mills Town Centre instead. We have a wheelchair parking pass which was good, but we had trouble finding a spot. Now I know that it is Christmas time, but I also know that some people have these passes and use them even when they don’t need to. Nothing erks me more (well yes there are other things that erk me more) then someone whipping into a wheelchair spot and bounding out of their car and jogging into the mall. To those people I ask – is the disability mental cause you had no trouble with physically...
(I do know that this last statement was wrong - HOWEVER, that is what I was feelling at the time and way too many people DO take advantage of other peoples wheelchair passes.)

Needless to say, we did find a parking spot. So I get the chair out and get mom all settled and into the mall we go. We wonder around to all sorts of stores and we are not having much luck in locating what it is that we are looking for.

Until you have taken someone shopping in a wheelchair, you have no idea how crowded stores are. There is no room for a chair in there. It is RIDICULOUS!! I do know that retailers what to get as much out on the floor as possible, but it is a safety hazard sometimes.

There was one particular store that we headed to. We went in and we knew it was a tight squeeze – that should have been our first clue!! I maneuver the chair around the displays, narrow aisles etc. Well we got near the back of the store and got stuck. Yes stuck. I couldn’t get me, mom and the chair turned around, there was stuff all over the floor, things sticking out from the shelves and I was at the end of my rope. I was getting frustrated at trying to get out of the store. I grabbed a box and ‘tossed’ it aside while saying (not in a quiet voice) that these F%$#*@ stores should be wheelchair accessible! I continued to think, but didn’t voice, that this is ridiculous that for health and safety concerns this should not be allowed and I was sure that there were fire code regulations being broken too!! Mom said, oh I can try and stand up so you can lift up the chair. THAT IS NOT THE POINT. What if she couldn’t stand? She shouldn’t have to. Everyone just stared at us. No one offered to help. No one tried to move some boxes NOTHING!

I finally got mom turned around, everyone in the store was staring. It was like on tv when everyone goes silent, they all stare even though everyone is not quite sure where to look and what to do…I can laugh about it now…

On the final turn of getting mom around and ready to walk out the store I hit a display that was on the crowded floor and it came crashing down – it just tipped over. I just kept walking right out of the store muttering under my breath at how horrible it all was.

While walking back into the mall, I was sure that someone was going to come and tap me on the shoulder and say – excuse me – you broke it you bought it and I would be the owner of a hundred of something that I didn’t need! They didn’t…a wise choice on their part given my mood at that particular moment!

Mom and I both made it home in one piece – just a little frazzled!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Our First Secret Buddy Present!!!!

Today when I was driving home (in the HORRIBLE rain and traffic), I called Mark and he told me that there was a package delivered to me this afternoon - I was hoping it was my secret buddy and it was!!!

More presents for Pumpkin!!! AGAIN I would like to state just how lucky Pumpkin is/will be!!

Well this month's theme was 'BUNDLE UP' and my secret buddy did a great job. I received a precious stuffed lamb. I don't know if I have ever felt something so soft. It is the cutest little thing. Next was some cute pink slippers with a suede sole so Pumpkin doesn't slip and thirdly - yes there was more, was an adorable fleece sleeper! Mark and I just stared at this and thought - wow, we are going to have a little girl to put in this sleeper!! This was our/Pumpkin's first piece of clothing. Sometimes it almost seems as if you did all this paperwork and thats it - there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and boom - you get more presents for your baby and it all seems more real again! What a great Christmas present!!!

Thank you so much secret buddy for the FANTASTIC presents - they are GREATLY appreciated!!

More presents with the Quilt Square...

I know I have said it before as have MANY other people, but international adoption bloggers are the BEST!! The community that has been created is like no other that I have been involved in before. The support and understanding that Mark and I have received has been so BEYOND what we could have EVER expected. I know that others out there feel the same way and have received the same support and understanding. I know that I personally feel honoured to be a part of this group of fantastic people.

That being said - a fanstastic person sent a pressie along with quilt square #2!! Thank you so much to Kathy and Joel for the great ladybug activity scrapbook and 3D stickers - I have never seen such stickers before - they are so COOL!! Mark and I were so excited to receive such wonderful presents. Pumpkin is one lucky little girl to have such great people in her life!!

Thank you again!

Quilt Square # 2

Yesterday was another GREAT day!! We received - on Pumpkin's behalf - our 2nd quilt square!!!

This square came from Kathy and Joel. As you can see from the picture, it is covered in maple leafs!!! It is GREAT and very 'Canadian'!!

Kathy and Joel sent a beautiful story about never underestimating the difference you can make in our world.

Kathy and Joel - thank you so much for the square and the wonderful wishes for Pumpkin - your thoughtfullness is greatly appreciated!!

Both Mark and I are excited about this quilt project. What a fantastic way for Pumpkin to be welcomed to her 'Forever Family' with all these good wishes from family and friends.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Our First Quilt Square!!!


We were so excited yesterday when we checked our mail and there was an envelope with a quilt square and a wish!! The square and wish was from
Doris & Dan

Thank you so much. Our little "Pumpkin" is very lucky to have her first square and wish from someone her parents have met and who they think are such a LOVELY couple!!

As you can see I have posted a picture here. For those of you who were asking for clarification about the directions, I hope this picture will help in what I was trying to explain. I will post the frist few squares here, but I am sure that us receiving squares is far more exciting to us then it is to you. After the first few squares, we will post the squares - as we receive them - on our 'quilt site' here and on the Pumpkins 100 Good Wishes Quilt link on the left bar.

A BIG thanks to Doris and Dan for you thoughtfulness!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Nat!!!

Last Friday night, Diane and John organized a wee surprise gathering for Nat (Mark’s cousin) for her birthday!! It was great to get together and see everyone as sometimes in this busy life there is not a chance to do so.

Nat got some nice gifts (other then the gift of the company of all of us!). Though I do believe that she had a bit of an inkling about the party – no matter, it was a good time had by all.

I am really getting good at remembering to bring my camera so I can capture pictures for the blog – here they are...

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P3K Games Night

I have been most delinquent in keeping up with things in my blog lately...I will try and do some catching up today...

Monday December 11th was the 5th(?) annual P3K games night. This year Mom and Phil were the hosts. There were nine of us. We have been doing this for about 5 years (I really can’t remember when we started, but that is my guess) - getting together with the Patterson’s. We grew up across the street from the Patterson’s and we have known them forever. When I say forever, I mean it – Sue and I were born in the same hospital only 4 days apart from each other! I would have to say that she is DEFINITELY my oldest friend. I feel compelled to also point out that Sue was born the 4 days BEFORE me!! How she used to hold that over my head as we were growing up - how she was THAT much older then I was!! We also hung out with another Michele and she was older then both Sue and I - however, being the 4 days younger - I was the 'baby' of the group!

Last Monday night there was MUCH gabbing, munching, present exchanging, laughing and card playing. We always enjoy ourselves.

Since Sue lives in California now, we make the arrangements for the gathering when Sue is in town so that she can participate.

Next year, we are thinking of changing it to a spring/summer date (when Sue is home) and that way no one has to worry about the weather or driving in it 'cause as we know in Canada, you never know what to expect with the weather.

In the photo above (zig zaggy) we have: Mom, Sue, Mrs. Patterson, Beth, Mr. Patterson, Tracey, Phil, me and Mark.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

100 Good Wishes Quilt

Well it is time to get started on the 100 Good Wishes Quilt for ‘Pumpkin’. We have created a blog especially for 'Pumpkins' quilt. You can access it here or through our link on the sidebar.

I am taking these instructions and explanations from Dolores who got them from Kathy. I hope you ladies don’t mind me borrowing your explanations as you did such a good job at explaining everything.

What is a 100 Good Wishes Quilt? To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or "100 Good Wishes Quilt." It is a custom to invite 100 people to contribute a single square patch of cloth. The 100 patches are sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

This is what is typically done:

1. Choose ANY 100% cotton fabric that you like. It can be from your own clothing or from a fabric store. It just needs to be a design and colour that appeals to you in some way.

2. Cut ONE 8" (pre - washed) square from the fabric.

3. On a piece of cardstock, affix a swatch of the fabric you chose and write/type a wish that you are sending for our daughter. Sign your name and where you are from and drop it in the mail or deliver it to us in person.

Ideas for selecting fabric squares:

*Select a fabric that is meaningful to you.
*100% cotton fabric is best, as it washes and wears better.
*If there are several members in your family, feel free to send more than 1 set of scraps.

It would be so special to include good wishes from all members of your family. In China, these quilts were originally made from garments of family and friends, which would surround the child with luck/good wishes.

Ideas for good wishes note:

The possibilities are endless! Think about what it is that you want for this child (i.e., a great sense of humor, good judgment, strong faith, a spirit of independence etc.). You can also choose to send along a prayer, a poem, or lyrics to a song that has touched you in some way. When our daughter is old enough to understand the concept of the Quilt, she will be amazed by all the love that surrounded her as she breathed life into our family.

It is critical that the note has a portion of the fabric affixed to it so that we can identify (through the years) which piece of fabric came from whom. All the notes will be kept for our daughter so that she may keep all the good wishes close to her heart.

We too will be approaching friends and family to ask them to help us out with the quilt. If you are interested in sending us a square or doing a square swap, e-mail us privately and we will send you our address.

We are so excited about this new project. Thanks for participating!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Anita

Sunday was Anita's birthday dinner (sorry the picture is a bit fuzzy) she chose to go out for dinner and she chose Sam Woo's BBQ (couldn't find a link). It was tasty!

After dinner, we headed back to Hortense's for presents, cake and card playing. Anita got some nice gifts and instead of cake we had flan which was also tasty.

The card playing followed and it was a good night. At the table in the restaurant we have from right of empty chair, clockwise around the table - Anita (Birthday Girl), Roger, Uncle, Hortense, Tracey and Mark.

Roger said that he is 'so over' being on the blog (LOL), but I point out that I also put up the link to his store every time I write his name - Roger - and told him that all my bloggy friends will visit his site and when they are in downtown Toronto, they will visit his store!!

Next birthday is Hortense's in February.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

On Friday night after work, I went to the hospital to ‘relieve’ Jennifer so that she could spend the evening at home with Logan (her son), and Paul (her husband) as well as sleep at home in her own bed! Jennifer had been staying at the hospital overnight, every night all week. She DEFINITELY needed a break.

Just before we were getting ready to leave for the hospital, Jenn called to say that they were moving Saige from her private room (with a full sized parents bed) to a ward room...

Mark drove me to the hospital, as there was no sense in leaving a car there overnight, and we found Saige in her new room. We got the ‘pass off’ from Jenn and Paul and they went home for their family evening/night.

There were two other children in the room. A girl about 8 years and a little boy about 18 months. The little boy was quite ill – looked like Saige did when they brought her in – he had just arrived.

Of course Saige was feeling better by this time. They had taken her off the oxygen in the afternoon. If she stayed off it for 24 hours (especially through the night) then they would talk about sending her home.

They left the oxygen tubing in her nose and taped to her face just in case they had to hook it up in a hurry.

There was suddenly so much to look at and see!! She was mesmerized by everything. She also wanted out of her crib and to walk around – about as far as her IV would go! She was so taken with the little boy in the next crib. She just wanted to stare at him. By this time Tracey (my sister) had arrived for a little visit.

Saige is such a TROOPER!! They needed to change the board on her IV on her arm. She was so good. She was staring intently at the nurse and her arm while all the old stuff came off and the new one went on. No tears, no squirming and no fussing. She even helped by passing the tape to the nurse and she even put one piece on by herself!

Anyway...the nurse said that if we wanted to take Saige for a bit of a walk that would be good. She had to keep a mask on her face and they wanted her to walk and breathe heavy to help clear out her lungs. We got the mask on her and the IV pole and ventured out into the hospital. Well I think it was too much stimulation for her all at once. She (who had been wanting to run around her room all night) wouldn’t let go of me and didn’t want ANYTHING to do with walking. We went to Tim Horton’s in the hospital and got her a timbit – I don’t think I have ever seen her eat one quite so quick!! Then we went to a VERY quiet area of the hospital and it was just us and I put her down and she just kept walking and walking and didn’t want to stop. It was GREAT to see!!

Then it was back to the room to get ready for bed. She finally settled down in her crib and I opened the chair that was in the room that opened out flat to sleep on. The boy in the crib was taken out to another room so it was just Saige and I and the girl in the other bed with her grandmother staying overnight with her.

WELL...The little girl needed to rock herself to sleep – which is fine – however, I am pretty sure that she had the SQUEEKIEST bed EVER. She kinda fell asleep in a weird position and her grandmother tried to move her and she started SCREAMING – DON’T TOUCH ME – DON’T TOUCH ME!!! WOW! It was odd..then she had to start again by rocking herself (in the squeaky bed) back to sleep. She woke up quite a few times during the night...

The grandmother, unfortunately, was a bit hard of hearing. Both kids has and IV in. The IV is regulated by a computer ‘thing’. It is set for a time and when the time is up (usually 2 hours) the buzzer starts going off. So then you call the nurse or get the nurse to reset it.

Well the grandmother, who was hard of hearing, couldn’t hear the buzzing of her granddaughter IV alarm. I however, am NOT hard of hearing. Both kids were on a different rotation of alarms. So about every hour, I had to get up and get a nurse to turn off the buzzing of the IV alarms.

Saige didn’t hear a thing – thank goodness – and she slept soundly through the night (expect briefly when she got twisted in her cords) until 8:30 the next morning!! I don’t know how Jenn was still functioning when she went through this for 4 nights in a row!!

Saige made it through the night and didn’t require any oxygen. When the doctor made the rounds in the morning, she said that if Saige didn’t need any oxygen through the day (which she thought was likely), she could go home after dinner. How exciting.

I was SO pleased to be able to tell Jenn that when she came back in the morning. I don’t think I have seen Jenn happier!!

So yes, Saige is home from the hospital as of Saturday evening and she is doing great!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

If only...

There are days when I think that “IF ONLY” I won the $10 Million Super 7 draw then EVERYTHING in my life would be great...

Then of course reality sets in...

$10 Million wouldn’t be any help right now for my niece Saige who is still in the hospital.

$10 Million wouldn’t have helped my mother with her broken ankle, surgery and recovery.

$10 Million wouldn’t have gotten me pregnant.

While $10 Million would afford Mark and I the opportunity to quit our jobs and travel, and do whatever else we wanted to do. However, there are so many more things in life that are much more important then money.

Saige is still in the hospital and will probably be there until Saturday or Sunday. Her lungs are just not clearing and she still requires the oxygen. She is getting better each day, but there is still a way to go before she will be back to her old self.

Last night, at the hospital, I brought Saige some McDonald’s french fries. She ate them all!! This and some Cheerios was about all she had eaten to this point. She was also drinking some juice and eating a freezie – all good signs!! Her mom Jenn is at the point that she wants her to eat anything – even if it is not the best for her. She had about 1 ½ hours of being alert and interactive and happy yesterday evening. IT WAS GREAT TO SEE IT. It really just breaks your heart to see her like this.

As for my mom – she is coming along nicely too. My sister has her out and about shopping today – trying to get some things done for Christmas. Yesterday mom got her nails done and feels like a new woman! Mom has the “physio lady” coming in twice a week with exercises and things to be done to try and keep mom’s muscles as active as they can be.

Mom is not in much pain anymore – unless she turns her ankle the wrong way. She is able to get in and out of the bath by herself and that alone will make anyone feel better when they can soak in a tub.

Her healing is coming along nicely and she is generally in good spirits. Next appointment with the doctor is on the 19th and they will x-ray again to make sure all is healing as it should.

As for me and getting pregnant with my $10 Million – well that just isn’t going to happen...

Sometimes we think there is going to be a simple fix for something that is wrong in our lives or something that we would want to change. The ‘grass is always greener' as they say.

Mind you, I have decided if I do win the lottery, I want to have an international ‘bloggy’ conference in say...Hawaii or Mexico for all the people that are in my ‘bloggy’ world!! How great would that be!!

As much at $10 Million would accentuate our lives, it is health and family that money certainly can’t buy and it is what is ultimately most important!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Everything is Relative

You know there are those days that the smallest things really tick you off like something that has happened at work. Or the other days mold on your bread will send you over the edge. Then there are the days when you see the smiling face or the clapping hands of your niece that will send you over a different edge.

Yesterday our 19 month old niece was taken to the hospital emergency room. You know things are bad when her wait time was about 2 minutes before she was in a bed with a doctor assessing her. She was admitted VERY quickly and is now in the pediatric wing.

She had now been in the hospital for 24 hours and is expected to be there for at least another 48 hours. She has developed pneumonia and is on oxygen and IV.

It just breaks our heart to see her laying there so listless. The fever comes and goes. She doses off and then when she wakes up it is with such a start and confusion as to her surroundings, she starts crying and it takes a bit for her to calm down again. Your heart just goes out to her. You want to do something to make her feel better and other then stroking her head, there is nothing you can do.

We are taking turns at the hospital so that she is never alone – how scary would that be for her. There is a bed in her room so that one of her parents spends the night with her and between Mark and I, her grand parents and her parents, we are covering off all the daytime hours.

For about a half hour tonight she was almost her old self. She actually sat up in bed and was clapping (as good as one can with an iv board attached to your arm) and dancing (as only a 19 month old can do in a sitting position)!! It was GREAT to see. Of course she tuckered herself out pretty quickly and will hopefully sleep REALLY well tonight.

We just got back from the hospital and I wanted to bring her home with me and comfort and cuddle her. It is so hard to leave her there. But her mommy was there and will be there all night for her. We will see her again tomorrow.

It is times like this that make you appreciate what is REALLY important in life and neither work nor moldy bread is important, it is home life and family. This are what defines you.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Beautiful Day in (someone else's) Neighbourhood - part 3...

Yes it certainly WAS a beautiful AND BUSY day on Saturday!! This is event #3 for the day - and the last one!! After we left Josh's birthday party on Saturday, we headed to Steve & Lorri's house for the annual Christmas gathering. We were all trying to figure out what year this was...I do believe that we determined it to be year 15!!! Can you believe it!! It is really quite amazing that all of us have been getting together for a least once a year for that long.

As usual, Mark and I had a GREAT time. We all participated in the potluck dinner, then we had some gabbing (as you can never have enough of that) and then it was time for the euchre tournment. Each person puts in $5 and there were 3 tables for a total of 12 people. We played 8 hands for each game. And there were 6 games played. Always a girl and guy partnered. The winners moved - ladies up a table and guys down a table. There was a prize for the top lady and top man!! Boy did Mark and I clean up!! I won for top lady - $30 and Mark tied for top man so he got $15!!! Not bad for a nights work!!

After the cards it was time for the present exchange. We keep it simple. Girls bring presents for a girl and guys bring a present for a guy. We generally play various "present games" and again always enjoy it!!

In the back row (left to right) we have Tony, Jodie, Brenda, John L,Steve, Becky and Ian. Front row (left to right) we have Lisa, John B and Lorri.
We REALLY enjoyed ourselves and would like to THANK LORRI & STEVE for being the hosts of this gathering EVERY YEAR for 15 YEARS!! It is GREATLY appreciated by all who attend!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Beautiful Day in (someone else's) Neighbourhood - part 2

First off HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH!!! He was 10 yesterday!!!

After leaving our "Bloggy" lunch, we headed to Josh's (my nephew) birthday party. Event 2 of the day. We were a bit late in arriving and it was in full swing when we got there. Everyone was kind enough to entertain me by participating in a group picture - again - self timers are GREAT!!

Well we arrived in time for cake and presents. Josh got some great gifts and was most excited with everything.

Mom participated in her first social outing since she got back from the hospital and she really enjoyed herself. It was a great afternoon.

After the 'family' party, Josh and his friends were headed to Laser Tag for some pizza and laser shooting of each other!! Boys will be boys!!

After everyone left for the Laser Tag, Mark and I had about 45 mintues to ourselves before Event 3 of the day...


First off I would like to say that I was complaining about Blogger the other day. I was saying that sometimes when you are trying to post pictures and then when Blogger says done, and there are NO pictures in your template. As FRUSTRATING as this is, it has forced me to research other methods of showing pictures.

I needed to do this today as I received gifts yesterday for "Pumpkin" and Blogger was acting up and I couldn't get them to post and it is so much fun to post pictures and thank the people for giving them to "Pumpkin".

The second gift that "Pumpkin" ever received was from Kathy and when she gave it to me she said that it was validating to receive a gift for your baby. IT REALLY IS!! Sometimes in this LONG journey you start to think that it is never going to happen. We are not going through the physical changes of being pregnant and people we meet on the street have NO idea that we are going to be parents. Getting that 'validation' from others waiting and in the same position is so heartwarming and appreciated.

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So here are some pictures of presents that I received yesterday for "Pumpkin". From Doris and Dan two adorable books with a squeaky animal in the middle of the book and a lovely photo album.

From Catherine a great ladybug mug - it is one of those 'cozy' mugs that you wrap your hands around.

From Rhonda and Josh a very nice key chain with Chinese characters and some lotion that smells so good I want to eat it!!

Thank you again for the lovely presents both past and present and thank you for a WONDERFUL lunch with great new friends.

A Beautiful Day in (someone else's) Neighbourhood - part 1...

It really was a beautiful day - in someone else's - neighbourhood!!! Mark and I had, yet another busy day!! We were out of the house by 10:30 and headed to Oshawa for a BLOGGY lunch. We were meeting
Kathy and Joel, Catherine, Doris and Dan and Rhonda and Joel!! What a GREAT lunch we had!! I had previously met Kathy and Catherine, but this was my first meeting with everyone else.
From left to right is: Dan, Doris, Mark, me, Catherine, Kathy and Joel. Rhonda and Josh were there but asked not to have their pictures posted. It actaully worked out well as poor Josh had to take pictures with everyone else's cameras!! Note to self for future refernce, don't stand in front of glass covered art when using a flash!

Then of course we had to get pictures of just the boys and just the girls. So here you have Joel, Mark and Dan. They all put their arms like that on their own - kinda cute!!
Then, of course, there is a picture of the girls. From left to right is Kathy, Doris, me and Catherine.

How great it was to meet everyone and see everyone again. We are incredibly lucky to have the support network that we do with the people that we meet and get to know online. It almost felt like we had known everyone for a long time already. I am not doing a good job of putting this into words, without it sounding corny, but it was like getting together with friends that we have had for a long time!! I cannot say enough good things about everyone that was there. The only 'complaint' that I might have would be that there wasn't enough time to talk and that it was hard to talk with everyone when you are at a long table. Of course, the solution to this, is to do it again another day!!

We were sorry to have to leave (after 3 hours), but we had to head to our second event in - someone else's - neighbourhood!! Poor Mark was sleeping when the original invitation came in (or when I read it in my e-mail) and I jumped off the computer and on to him in bed saying "Guess what - the 'bloggy' people are getting together for lunch and they have invitied both of us"!! Mark, in his sleepy state, said that sounds great honey - when is it? I responded that it was on a day when we were in Oshawa anyway for Josh's birthday party AND our friends Christmas party...what's a third event in one day when you already have 2???

After leaving the restaurant, Mark said, when we get home you are going to have to show me everyone's blogs and they were all so nice and that he really enjoyed himself - as did I...Thank you to Kathy and Joel, Catherine, Doris and Dan and Rhonda and Josh for making it such an enjoyable lunch!!!

Present pictures coming in part 2...

Friday, December 01, 2006

My Rant...

I do know that wait time for referrals in China are increasing. I get that – what I don’t get is that 1 month ago when we were DTC, our agency told us that we would have about a 15 month wait from LID. I do also understand that this is their best guess. However, just TODAY we were told to expect an 18 month wait!!! If the wait keeps going up 3 months every month...I just can’t even start to think about that...

Not to harp on this (but I will anyway), in January of 2006 we were told that if we started THAT DAY our paper chasing, that we would have our baby by June 2007. I had a hard time with THAT wait...

Now, with everything crossed, we are HOPING that we will receive our referral by April of 2008 with travel in June of 2008...I don’t even want to talk about the Beijing Summer Olympics and how that will affect us – remember what happened in Korea when that that country hosted the Seoul Summer Olympics...

There was some explanation in our weekly newsletter from our agency about how the process works: As you know, families’ files are logged in some 2-4 weeks after their arrival in China. This becomes your LID or log in date. Files from agencies all over the world are recorded in similar fashion. On any given log in date, there could conceivably be hundreds of files recorded, as there are about 150 agencies working in China. For the CCAA, this LID is the only number that is meaningful. Our group numbers are largely irrelevant for it is your LID that is key.

Every month the CCAA looks at the number of children it has on file waiting for families. It then assesses how many families it can match that month, and the log in time frame covered. For instance if there are 500 children waiting, and 500 families files logged in over a two-week period, then that two weeks is the matching period. If there are three weeks of log in dates, then the matching time is three weeks. This matching process occurs once a month. Referrals are then sent out and there is no more matching until the next month. We have heard projected waits from 18-24 months. Realistically no one knows, not even CCAA, as no one can predict the number of children that will be waiting for families, and what other factors might arise to affect matching. Right now we are advising families in waiting to prepare for an 18-month wait from log in to referral.

So that is the latest news that I have on the wait times…When you couple that on top of the 3 years it has already been trying to expand our family...I just didn’t imagine becoming a mother for the first time this late in life...AAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!

While I am on this rant, I might as well also say that how come the American people who adopt from China get to go to China up to 3-4 weeks earlier to get their babies then Canadians?? There are some families who received a referral on November 2nd and they will be home before the end of the year with their babies and some Canadian families who got a referral the same day don’t even depart for China until January???? How is the process so different for each country?

I am happy for the people that have recently received their referrals – I REALLY am, perhaps I am just envious that they are so far ahead of us in line...

I am actually at a point now that I don’t want to tell anybody that I have ANY good news – adoption related or not – whenever I start out with “I have some news” (or something else to that effect) they think we are getting our baby next week. I have explained OVER and OVER that that is NOT the case, but that is what people think anyway. I keep explaining that it is going to be 2008 and NOT any sooner, but...well others in my position know the rest...I know they have good intentions and only want us to be happy but continually saying that next year at this time your baby will be here, or that this is your last ‘babyless’ Christmas is upsetting. I almost want to apologize for not having our baby here sooner...

And just to continue with this rant, why is it when you think you are posting a picture on Blogger and it says ‘DONE’ there is no picture in your template?? Where did it go? Why does it work sometimes and not other times???

O.k. I’m good now, I’m done ranting...