Monday, February 25, 2008

What do our names mean?

Hi Everyone -

Found this Blogthing on my friend's blog and just had to lift it....sorry Sharon but it was too cute! I couldn't resist!

What Kaelie Means

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.
People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

I couldn't resist...I just HAD to try my name out too!
What Karen Means

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.

You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.

People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

OOOOKKKK! That does sound a little like me, but not the wild, crazy, and rebel part!

Broken Toes and In A Pinch

No one ever told me that I could actually get HURT doing Taekwondo!

No, just kidding! Safety is always first and foremost in Taekwondo...we have to wear alot of protective gear when we spar (fight!) such as a chest protector, head gear, mouthpiece, etc.

Tuesday night we were doing some cardio and warm-up kicks, and I kicked the bottom of the clapper pad instead of the side (don't ask me how!) when I was doing a jump outer-crescent kick. Crescent kicks are done with a straight leg and the toes pointed upward. Granted, due to my size and age, mine aren't graceful ones, but I guess could get the job done if need be.

So, basically, I when I jumped and kicked, my pointed-up left three outer toes caught the handle of the clapper pad instead of hitting the clapper pad with the side of my foot like you are supposed to. I have felt worse pain, but not by much! Not to let my partner, my instructor, or visiting instructor (or myself for that matter) down, I shook it off and finished my set. As class continued, my toes began to swell and by the next day the top and bottom of my foot and the three outer toes were black and blue. It's a bit better now, though still a little sore and puffy.

I went on back to Taekwondo class Thursday but took it easy. If the swelling doesn't go down in the next day or two, I think I'm going to go see my podiatrist for an x-ray. We have a black belt in our class who is an EMT, and he thought that I might have a stress fracture in one of the metatarsals, and where the pain is coming from now I almost would have no doubt about that! When I say pain, I'm not talking a horrific pain that comes from every step, but just a throbbing, something's not quite right pain.

Enough rambling about that! Now let me tell you about my new best friend Leilani at "In A Pinch of Time":

Remember that a couple of weeks ago I won a free meal from her meal assembly shop. After doing some research and looking at my budget, which includes a lot of money for eating out because it always seems like we are on the run, I decided to go ahead and try my hand at this meal assembly stuff. Shelby, Jeremy, and I worked together (it was a great lesson in kitchen and food safety, and math!) to prepare 13 entrees for freezing. Two nights and two home-cooked meals later, and I'm sold! Shelby helped me fix "Burboun Street Salmon" tonight and it was a hit! Even Shelby - my picky eater - ate ALL of his salmon filet!

Well, this place is going to be a lifesaver and moneysaver in the months ahead. I'm already in the process of selecting next month's meals, and I'm looking forward to having some easy meals prepared during my China trip for the boys and after the trip to make things alot easier as we settle in with Kaelie.

Visitor Map and New Guestbook

Hi Everyone -

As ya'll have probably noticed, I've added a visitor map to the blog. I love it! I love seeing where you all are from. I'm so blessed that you all stop by here to see the ramblings of a working mom and a mom-to-be!

I am in the process of adding a guestbook to the site...I sincerely hope that you will take a moment and introduce yourselves. What brings you by this adoption, curiosity? Where are you from? Suggestions?

I'll be so glad when we get closer to a referral and you all can read some REALLY exciting stuff!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

LID Anniversary

Hi Everyone!

Well, today is the day I never expected would come - our 2-year LID anniversary. When David and I were first logged in on February 17, 2006, we thought we would travel and have Kaelie home by the end of the year (2006). Then came 2007 and the realization that the China program was definitely slowing down with no speed-up in sight. And now, 2008 is here with the expectant hope that this will be our year. Will it? When-before the Olympics or after? Fall?Christmas?

How have I spent this day? Slept in, really not wanting to face the day. Paid bills. UGH, what fun!

How long have we waited?

24 months.
730 days.
17,520 hours.
1,051,200 minutes.
630,072,000 seconds.

SIGH! I'm tired of waiting....:<(

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I won! I won!

You would have thought I won the lottery! NOT!

Well, let me tell you the whole story. I've been calling in to the local radio station trying to get registered for their Valentine's Day give-a-way. No luck. 7th caller. 9th caller. We already have our winner - try again at 3:30. Programmed their number in the speed dial even. No luck.

Yesterday morning, having tried once again to get registered for the Valentine's give-away, and not having any luck. I just thought that I had just as well to give up. WELL, right after that, John and Mandy did a Valentine's Trivia. The question was: How many calories can you burn by kissing for one minute? I don't want to give away all of John and Mandy's secrets, but let's just say that I got it right on the third try!! Answer: 26

So what did I win for being a professional kisser? A gourmet entree from In A Pinch of Thyme. This is a place where you can go and pre-assemble entrees for freezing. It's cool because I've been wanting to try them out. I am NOT a cook, I can't even cook water without messing it up, and I just loathe doing any kitchen work whatsoever (does getting a Diet Coke out of the fridge count?). So, I think I'm going to put together some meals and put them in the freezer. I think it will save money over eating out!!!

Invisible Moms

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on thephone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: "Can you fix this? "Can you tie this?" "Can you open this?"

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I broughtyou this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Credit: Author unknown. Received as a forward from my friend V.B. on 2/13/08.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Boston, Here I Come!

I am so excited to have this fabulous opportunity! I will be traveling to Boston the last weekend in March to hang out with my Precious Panda buddies! This is my Yahoo group that I am on with other waiting families. It sounds crazy, but we are a really close group and have had several get-togethers over the course of the wait.

I will be taking Friday off, flying up to Boston, and coming home on Sunday night. David is going to take off on that weekend to keep the boys. I hope that they will do something special.

This trip really means alot to me! It's so great to hang out with other families who know exactly how you feel and what you are going through!

Referrals and Predictions

Hi Everyone!

Wow, how time flies! I can't believe that I haven't posted in a month! Sorry about that!

The CCAA has removed their documenting processing box from their website, but it seems that the cutoff for February referrals is December 27, 2005. Great news for those families! It was a huge batch in terms of how many families are receiving their referrals.

There are 47 more LID's to go until ours. With that said, I've worked up two sets of predictions on when ours might be coming:

Set 1: Average Number of Days Referred
February - Through December 27
March - Through January 3
April - Through January 10
May - Through January 17
June - Through January 24
July - Through February 8 (accounting for no LID's during Chinese New Year 2006)
August - Through February 15
September - Through February 22

This is based on the fact that the CCAA has referred an average of 7 days per month for the past 12 months.

Set 2: Number of Poll Families
February - Through December 27 (223 poll families - accounts for the incredibly small Jan. batch)
March - Through January 4 (104 poll families)
April - Through January 10 (104 poll families)
May - Through January 13 (108 poll families)
June - Through January 22 (88 poll families)
July - Through January 26 (104 poll families)
August - Through February 8 (94 poll families)
September - Through February 12 (poll ends, with 51 poll families)

This is based on the Rumor Queen's LID polls. Every so often, she puts a poll up and waiting families get to register their LID's. It gives us an idea of how big each day is. It seems like the CCAA has been averaging about 100 poll families lately.

The bad thing is that, even though there is a lot of spectulation out there, no one really knows how the Olympics are going to affect China adoptions and adoption travel. So, these predictions could be really REALLY off depending on if things slow down, completely shut down, or continue as normal.

A September referral would be great for a couple of reasons. If our referral came in September, we could travel the end of October, and I could take maternity leave through the Christmas holidays. I have enough days to do this, plus at the beginning of the next school year I will have 12.5 more days. The weather wouldn't be so hot or so cold (like it is right now!).

Don't get me wrong! I would definitely take getting Kaelie's referral today if they would send it! So, I'm secretly hoping for sooner, just not getting my hopes up!