Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mom's Day In The Sun

It's been a long road for Donna Jean. (Marie is a joke because she loves the name and nicknames all her friends - and a few cats -with that as a middle name. Even our dog has been dubbed "Chloe Marie"!) Anyway, this amazing woman had three kids to raise, one with Austism. Not too mention always being "mom" to anyone else in need. She was a single mom who had  a lot of financial struggle and hardships along the way. But not today. My beautiful mom is weeks away from retirement and is, for the first time in a long while, having fun and relaxing. The light at the end of the tunnel is burning bright and we are so looking forward to the good times ahead. It is a dream come true for me, and for her, too, of course! My mom is the kind of person that always looked out and did for everyone else. Now is her time. It's taken her awhile to come around to the idea, but I think it is finally taking hold. We are making plans for mother and daughter day trips and she is allowing her self to day dream again and think about what SHE would actually like to do. We did an "extreme home make-over" on her house last year and the whole family got involved. It was amazing. So now her home is taken care of, she is taken care of, and she has nothing to worry about except taking care of HER. It's so darn wonderful, I just can't tell you. She is like a whole new woman and I couldn't be happier for her!

Below are some pics from her big day on Thursday. Her beautiful group of friends threw her a great retirement party and my brother Jason and I drove to Harrisburg to join them.  Jeff and Jason's wife had to work so it was just us. Afterwards we had the little impromptu photo shoot in the yard and then mom and I went to see my brother Dave. We had a great visit. The 3 of us went to see the first movie (at a theater) that we have seen in YEARS! A seriously great day!
Mom and a few of her dear friends. They decorated the room so cute with flowers and balloons...all in pink. (I wish the inside pics came out better. It was too dark and I forgot my real camera. These were all taken with my phone.) It was really nice though. So many people were there for her - including some that have already retired who came back just for her party! Her friend Tina even came to her house the night before to give her a pretty new haircut!

Me & Mom 

Being silly - stinking our tongue out at Jason. 
Jason & Mom
Jason & I in a rare brother & sister shot and no, we did not try to match! The color coordination was purely accidental!

Jason & I laughing at mom trying to figure out how to take pics with my iPhone

David with the little pumpkin we brought him. He's so cute!!

Showing Mommy the little scrap book he made at Good Will...all by himself!

More great visits with Mom coming soon!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ruby's Got Wheels!

I broke down. I couldn't help it. I didn't buy clothes at the adorable children's boutique carrying European styles. I didn't buy any clothes for me either. I only picked up one toy at the FABULOUS toy store we fell upon... a cute pink pig hand puppet that oinks!  (I am mildly obsessed with little pink piggies since finding out my daughter was born in the year of the pig.)
Jeff found a soft yellow ducky thing you can freeze for boo-boos. So sweet. 

Still, I passed on the many beautiful Asian dolls the toy store had and didn't buy much as we browsed for hours through Peddlers Village yesterday. It's a quaint country outdoor shopping area LOADED with great stores. But by the time we hit Beyond The Stork I was itching. I bought some cloth diapers in pink. Fuzzi Bunz and Happy Heiny's. Yes, those are actually the names. Supposed to be some of the best cloth diapers. We ordered a stroller and car seat. Hey, we are going to need them. Might as well get them on order now. The store is giving us a discount if we buy them both from there and will let us see them before committing. I was almost out of the store having only purchased the diapers when we came upon THIS:
The Wheely Bug from Prince Lionhart toys. I just looked at Jeff and said, you KNOW we have to get this, right? He liked it, too. So darn cute it was useless to resist! And Jeff knows when I get that look in my eye there is no talking me out of it. So, Ruby Kate, say hello to your new ride!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pins & Needles

This is what I am on today. Two people from Wacap should be in the air right now heading to Thailand. It's so exciting. They will be there all week and should be finding out exactly where we stand. We know we are next and pretty close, but they should be able to find out something a little more concrete. It's an odd thing that after all the good news last week you would think I'd be content for awhile. And I WAS.  For a few days, at least. But now I am just craving more and more info. There is this buzz in the air and so much excitement going on in the Thai adoption world right now. So many are getting their referrals and traveling. Friends I know have also gotten pictures and updates. It's so amazing that not so long ago we were all just sitting around dreaming. Now we know who are children are, how absolutely beautiful they are, and have some idea of when we may see them. It leaves me grateful, overjoyed, in awe, and yet so darn anxious for the next step! Come on referral!!! 

I am dreaming about her again every night. I am also showing great restraint in not buying winter clothes for her until we get our referral. I am so dying to get her a cute winter coat. My mom really wants to get this for her. And besides, I don't know exactly what size she is or if she will definitely be home this winter. I think so, I feel it is so, but better wait to be sure. Maybe a new baby blanket will help control the shopping itch. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shades of Autumn

The warm sunny afternoons, followed by the cool evenings we've had create the most beautiful palette. Had to take a few picks of the pretty scene and share. Though I have to say, as I am looking at the photos, they really don't do it justice.

Going to go get pumpkins today and (finally) put up some fall decorations. As with everything, I can't wait to share the magic of Autumn with our own little pumpkin, Ruby.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ruby Update!!!

Just when I hit a wall and thought I couldn't stand another minute without an update, we get an email from a wonderful mom that just picked up her new son in Thailand! Isn't it amazing how the Universe works? Our children are from the same orphanage and she was able to see our daughter.  She sent us two pictures and she said if it was our daughter, she had video, too! It IS our daughter! A little bit older and bigger (she is obviously being very well cared for) but those big, brown eyes are unmistakable.  She's just BEAUTIFUL! The best part (aside from seeing her beautiful face) is the fact that SHE'S WALKING!!!! She has delays and last we heard, she still wasn't able to walk. Well, she is now! We haven't seen the video yet, as the new mom is busy with her wonderful little bundle of love and has a lot of footage to edit. But we will soon. And we are forever grateful for her kindness. What an incredible gift we have been given today. Thank you, R, and thank you GOD!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekly Inspiration

"I know God will not give me anything I can not handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much."
Mother Theresa

Okay, Mother Theresa said a lot of wise things in her life, but this one just hit the nail on the head for me today.  I can handle this wait. I really can. But dear God, PLEASE can it not be too much longer!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

18 Months

That's how old our little girl is today. After yesterday's excitement and news that we are next in line for referral, I find myself surprisingly sentimental today. What is it with these Saturday afternoons? Goodness, I am up and down quicker than a ride at Disney. Mostly good, but sometimes it just blindsides me. I only had to look at the calendar and see the date to get all choked up. Seriously, I thought it was bad when I took fertility drugs! (Okay that really was bad) But still... I'm so emotional sometimes. Must take stock here. We have a beautiful healthy daughter. We know she is being well cared for. She will be with us soon. As I told a fellow adoptive mom today, God is giving us the most precious gift in the world. How can I not have gratitude and patience for a few more months?

Thank you for listening as I think aloud today! :-)

To-Do-With-My-Baby List

As I mentioned in the "I've Been Tagged" post, I am always doing "to do" lists. So just for silly, happy, daydreaming fun, I have already started thinking of all the things I can't wait to do with our daughter. I can never NOT think of these things as they pop into my head daily. I've never composed this list on paper or typed it out. It's such a part of my every day thoughts it really doesn't need to be written. Still, I thought it would a fun thing to blog about and share today... so here it is! Of course, this is a VERY partial list and things are not necessarily in order.

1. Take her trick or treating and dress her in one of the many adorable costumes out there.
2. Stroll her through the park, through the mall, and yes, the grocery store.
3. Take her shopping!
4. Tuck her in at night and read her a bed time story.
5. Snuggle up on the couch with her, her blankie, her dolls, and Daddy. And the dog, too.
6. Sing her to sleep.
7. Sit on the floor and play with dolls and toys and silly games.
8. Hear her laughter.
9. Stare into those beautiful, big brown eyes. Up close and in person.
10. Watch her with her Daddy.
11. Bath time and getting ready for bed.
12. Show her flowers and leaves and butterflies and nature.
13. Take her to the zoo.
14. Bring her home to meet our family.
15. Dress her in one of the 20+ dresses waiting for her in the closet or those oh-so cute jammies!
16. Feed her, make silly faces, giggle, sing some silly songs together.
17. Take so many pictures of her that she will actually have to tell me stop one day.
18. See her face when she sees snow for the first time or a Christmas tree or a present.
19. See her face light up for anything at all.
20. Okay, just seeing her face. Oh, I said that already.
 Let's just suffice it to say I can't wait to do everything or nothing at all with her! 

I know it won't be easy at first. I know these things will come later, after months of comforting and reassuring her that it's okay. But we will be here together and make it through. There will be sleepless nights and crying and screaming and tantrums. No doubt. We will have taken her away from all she's ever known. But after a few weeks or maybe months she will see how much we love her and we'll build up her trust. She'll know we are her forever family. And we'll have one heck of an amazing life.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Birthday LaRae!

Just wanted to wish a very Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law (and soon to be Grandma again!) We love you very much and are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Jen & Jeff

Closer Than Ever

I can feel it. See it. Taste it almost. Okay, maybe not taste, but you get the picture. We are so close to referral! Just found out from our agency (Wacap) that there are a few families traveling to Thailand this fall to get their children. (Congratulations to you all!!!)  I also found out that we are NEXT IN LINE after them! Finally!  They think we may hear something in Dec or January. Jeff and I have been so certain for weeks now that we would get that referral by the end of the year. Actually, Jeff has felt it since summer, but I flailed around a bit. Believing it one day but then worried it was just wishful thinking the next. Now we are more sure than ever. OMG, just a couple little months! Hang in there, Little Miss Ruby! We are almost there!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Fellow blogger Jackie, who writes one of my favorite blogs, Taiwan-On, "tagged" me so it is my turn to play and pass on the fun to my other favorite bloggers. So let's see... 7 Random or weird facts about me...

1. I am not only a Starbuck's fan, but quite possibly addicted to the stuff. MUST have my morning Starbucks in order to function!
2. I am a hopeless romantic and could watch old movies all day long if I didn't feel too guilty for not getting enough done.
3. I am a person that has to be productive. Must be busy doing something, planning something, working on a new project. I figure having a toddler around is going to give me PLENTY to do!
Of course, I already have a to-do-with-my-baby list started. :-)
4. I am most happy when I am being creative and/or with my hubby, around good friends, and family.
5. Love to entertain. I can set a mean table and make SOME good dishes, but am not the best cook in the world. I have to follow a recipe EXACTLY how it is in order for my dish to turn out. I panic at the thought of cooking for a lot of people and timing it just right. My secret trick is to serve really good wine and cheese and appetizers (which I can make a few) and make the table pretty. That way people can forgive whatever else follows! hee hee. Or I just serve them more wine. :-)
6. While some people dread travel (and admittedly, it's not what it used to be) I actually love it. I think of my time on the plane as some great "down" time. A time to read or make my to do lists or just shut down for a few hours and relax.
7. I love a theme. Hate to throw a party or give a gift without one. It's just more fun!
Here are some fellow bloggers I think may play the game. Consider yourselves tagged!
Of course the are many other blogs I love (see list on right, scroll down) but they are either private or not blogging much. Hint, hint Nancy and Sonia! And some are just busy so I thought they may not be able to play the game. Hope this was an interesting read and I look forward to seeing the above bloggers 7 random facts!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pickin' Walnuts

Yes, we actually spent half the day picking walnuts. Jeff had a half day off and I was around, so why not? With 4 or 5 walnut trees in the front yard and Autumn at our doorstep, it was time to get out there and get 'em up before it got to be too much. Besides, it was a really nice day for it. It's a lot of work, but really, I don't mind it so much. The walnuts are nothing compared to the weeds we get in the summer. I'll take an afternoon with the walnuts any day! Here is the proof of our labor:
The yard

The Husband. Hauling down walnuts (smiling uncomfortably because he knows he will end up on this blog). He's right. :-)

The walnuts. All ready for pick-up!

And finally the yard hours later. One strip freshly mowed and the picking all done. Well, for now. Until we get a windy day and start all over again! Ah, well. At least it's good exercise. I feel like I did at least 100 squats!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hope For The Animals & Hope For Me

Today's weather was even more beautiful than yesterday. The leaves are starting to change color, yet it was still sunny and warm. We went to a different park today for our morning walk. We do the annual Hope for the Animals walk with our good friends every year at a much larger park on a lake. So pretty. The turn out this year was 5 times that of previous years. Nice to see. Lots of cats & dogs are going to get good care and go to a great home! Our crew consisted of two couples, 3 dogs, and our friends adorable two children. Loads of kids and dogs there and we met some nice families. One that has an adopted daughter from China and live near by (I couldn't resist the urge today to say hello!) It was the sign I needed that everything is indeed okay and it will be our turn soon. We all had a real nice day.
We found out our agency (Wacap) confirmed their dates of travel to Thailand. They will leave Oct. 20th. They aren't going to the province where our baby is, but they ARE going to see the social worker who will deliver the care package we sent to the agency. That feels good. I want her to hold her little blankie and doll and things and know that somebody loves her. Somebody loves her a WHOLE lot. I feel confident we are going to get some sort of update soon and it gives me a renewed hope and spring in my step. Just a few more weeks and we will know SOME little bit more. I have to stay strong. Just a few more weeks or months to referral. It's getting closer. I can feel it.

For tonight, I will lose myself in our favorite "must see TV" night. Extreme Make-Over Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters. Sentiment followed by drama at it's best. Add wine plus take out from our favorite sushi joint and you've got a five star night in our house. :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's Just The Little Things

...that get to me. Like the toy section of Target. Or the baby department of Macy's. Okay, any department store. An adorable child walking hand in hand with her parents in the park. Spotting a family that appears to have an adopted child (that I have to resist the urge to chase down and say, HI! We are adopting too!) Or a trip to the grocery store. Yes, the grocery store.
It's almost shameful that I could let it get me down on such a beautiful day. It was a crisp-yet-sunny, perfect autumn day. We got up, had breakfast together, then took the dog for a long walk in the park. It's a great park with lots of dogs and friendly faces and we happily chatted through 3.3 miles. We then did something we rarely have time to do together: grocery shop. Years ago before busy schedules we always did our grocery shopping together. I don't know why, but I kind-of like having him along as we leisurely walk down the aisles and stock up. I mean, I REALLY don't know why, since he insists on getting way too many snacks and stuff loaded with sugar and hydrogenated oils that I would never let hit the cart! (ha ha, good practice for a toddler!) Anyway, there we are just a-trucking along down the aisles and it hits me: THE BABY AISLE. Questions form in my mind as easily as the tears well up in my eyes as I spot the formula and baby food. What is she eating? Does she have a few more teeth yet? I wonder what she will eat by the time we get her and what will she like? Then there are the diapers, the wipes, the butt paste, the bath stuff, THE QUESTIONS. Should I buy some? Stock up? Will she still be in diapers or do they potty train earlier there? I picture doing the yuckiest of jobs and it too makes me want to cry - just picturing the bonding time while laying her down on the table and sharing some giggles before cleaning her all up and getting her ready to go out somewhere. (Geez, you KNOW I am ready for motherhood when I am even anticipating that!) I quickly pull it together and make a b-line for the next row. But then there are all the Halloween goodies. And dolls and toys on the way the check out counter. Completely unaware of my wondering mind, another mom casually strolls by with her baby and groceries. It's just another ordinary day for her, I think to myself. (Sigh) I can't wait for that.

The rest of the day was fine and I am fine. It was a good day with the hubby. It's just the simple every day stuff that people don't really think about that much that gets to me sometimes. That ordinary routine stuff I want so much to do with my little girl.

(Above photo from featuring Kelsea Covers for grocery carts)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fashion Baby Hot Momma!

Introducing my new blog! Fashionbabyhotmomma is a nice outlet for my creative juices and gives me something else to do other than WAIT and WAIT for that referral to come in. I've had a bit too much time on my hands lately and decided to do something about it. So please click on the title above and take a look!

As the name implies, the blog is all about fashion for mom and baby, plus gear, tips, and fun ideas. I hope you'll enjoy it as much I enjoyed putting it together. And the coolest part of it is I hope to make some money for charity. Every month I will donate it to one of my favorite charities. I narrowed down the list that I have here on this blog and am focusing on all orphans and children's charities. New list is on the new blog. I also have a plan B. Going to auction off some of designer goods for mom or baby every month if I can. Have to figure out how to do that first!
So, you go, fashion mommas, and check out some new fall fashion for you and your little ones!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weekly Inspiration

"Life can only be understood backwards, but best lived forwards"
Good one. And so true. When I look back on the years of trying to get pregnant and I see how happy we are now about adopting...well it all makes sense now. I look into the eyes of my beautiful daughter's picture and know she was meant to be our daughter. We couldn't love a child more and we can't wait to have her in our arms. Even the wait, when looking back, won't seem so long. We will probably look back and say, thank God we had all that time to get ready and learn so much. It doesn't make us not want her home this very minute, but it does help us to be patient and know that all things happen at the right time.