Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thank you to my Feb DTC pal!!!

Have a look at the lovely, thoughtful gifts that my Feb DTC secret pal has sent. I am so sad that our Feb DTC exchange will end in January. My pal has been really super and supportive and I hope that when she reveals herself, we can continue to correspond!! There are lovely books, a Buddha board, honeysuckle for Camie, a "blossom" tea, stars (ornaments and a mobile) from the Ten Thousand Villages Fair Trade store and a fun lobster (which my girlfriend who is visiting from Ont. wants to take home with her!!!). Thank you so much!!!!!!!! Happy New Year to all - we are having friends over tonight so must go and clean the house...

Friday, December 22, 2006

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!!!!!

I haven't learned how to add music to my blog so imagine us singing (very off key) this lovely song!! We hope that Santa is good to all of you and that you all have a wonderful Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ok, so couldn't wait...

until Christmas Eve to make this. Isn't it the cutest and it was easy to put together!! Shawn had a little laugh and thinks that it is really cute. Love the butterflies!! Again, thank you sooooo much to my March DTC secret pal!!!

Toys for Tots...

was the December theme for our March DTC secret pal exchange. Well, my pal is amazing and she gave us a TOY BOX with cloth bins!! It matches the crib bedding that we bought perfectly!! We were just saying that we were so sad not to be up Christmas Eve "putting together" a toy for our daughter like we thought we would this Christmas. Well, now we have a beautiful toy box to put together!!!! So excited!! Camie was very interested so I included her in the picture on her cooshie!! What a life!!
Thank you secret pal, you fulfilled two wishes - one for a beautiful toy box and the other is that we can put together something special for our girl (a few tears falling now) this Christmas!!! Thank you, thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity this past year. Happy Christmas to you and your family as well as a very Merry New Year!!!! Big hugs.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Channukah

One day late to wish you all a happy holiday on the first day of Channukah but wanted to wish all of our friends a happy holiday nonetheless. Hope that you all are enjoying the fantastic food, gelt and special traditions. I always thought it was cool that when you celebrate the festival of light, you get eight nights of presents!! Here's to six more days of celebrating!!!!!

New Restrictions/ Guidelines...

I am a little worried for a few reasons regarding these new restrictions. We fit all of the proposed guidelines but the health requirements are a worry. I don't really want to go into the details but suffice it to say, we may have to look at a different country if this rumour is true: those who have LID's but have not made it through the review room are subject to these new rules. I have emailed our agency and hope to hear something soon. When I told Shawn about all of this he said "There is an old story that tells of a prophecy that told farmers that the crop in the coming year would be destroyed by drought and pests. The people of the village would then die of starvation. So, the farmers didn't plant the fields and the people died of starvation." In other words, listening to rumours, worrying and making decisions on "predictions" can lead to bad decision making with disastrous results. So, we will sit tight and wait for our agency to give us their take on our situation. Any suggestions for different countries?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

So sad tonight...

I just popped over to the "Naked Ovary" blog by Karen and she has "closed up shop". I so enjoyed reading everything that she wrote, her wonderful photos and recounting of numerous hysterical experiences. Anyone who has gone through infertility or the adoption process could relate to her writings. I would link to the NO but Karen has removed all of the archives so there really is no point. Karen and Random adopted MP at the end of the summer and she feels that she needs to spend more time with her daughter so she is gone. So sad, but thanks for the memories Karen, you will be missed by so many!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I am a High Priestess!!! Woohoo!!

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

What fun!! Now, have to get back to my priestess duties, whatever they are...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

9 months down, ??? to go...

Well, yesterday we celebrated our 9 month LID anniversary. I took my staff for lunch and then Shawn and I sat with glasses of red wine, the fire on, listening to Christmas music and looking at our tree last night. (yes, I love my tree and I can't wait to sell the yellow couch, my new one is coming for Christmas!!!) This picture cut off my beautiful angel at the top :( and it makes our walls look lavendar which they aren't but you get the idea. We have these new LED lights that change colour on the tree and they were probably red when I snapped the picture.
We always put our tree and decorations up early because I can't stand to do it at home after I have spent my days at work decorating.

Here is the photo of the wonderful gifts from my Feb DTC secret pal. I can't wait to try out the cow washcloth and start to make my lists etc in my purple book!! I have a little red hilroy one that I used for our home reno information but now I have a purple "professional" looking one for my many lists!! Hooray. Thanks again for your gifts and could your last name be Brown? Are you a cow farmer? A loud person? A singer? A musician? A ... oh, I don't know!!!! Have to send me more clues next time!!!!!
Oh, and one more picture of the snow - this was the view out of our kitchen patio door!!
Tonight is my staff Christmas party and people are coming over for cocktails ahead of time so have to run...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Good things come in threes...

or so I have always thought. Today my February Secret Pal gift arrived, Shawn took me out to dinner and referral's are arriving!!! I will post pictures tomorrow of my lovely gifts and I LOVE the butterfly. Even though my pal doesn't know me, she always seems to find special little things that mean so much. I love the "Bottoms" book as well. That is so my sense of humour!!!!!!!! Shawn said "Oh those crazy Easterners" (I think that he has peeked at your address). Living in Victoria, that is the rest of Canada so I really don't have a clue where on earth my pal is from but I do know that she is Canadian!!
As for referrals, they have only referred up to Sept. 8, 2005 - 14 days worth of LID's which is the status quo right now. I now sound like the "broken record" saying "if things stay this way, we won't have our referral until after the Olympics in 2008". Seems like forever away and although I am so happy to see all the little faces and ecstatic parents, I can't help but feel a little let down. Ah well, what can we really do but wait and wait and wait and...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Did I mention...

that we were given a crib? Yes, it is here and in pieces still. Thank you to Colleen for spreading the word with all of the Mom's that she knows. She also found us a baby carrier that Shawn really likes. So, I had to go and find a crib set (yea right!!) and since we are having such bad weather, I went on EBay. This is what I found, bid on and "won".
LOVE it. It is applique, 100% cotton and Made in Canada.
It is funny how I have these little surges of getting organized for Isabel's arrival. Shawn worked all weekend so I moved bookshelves and made room in the front hall for the stroller, put Isabel's new books on her bookshelf in her room and tried to organize all of her Daddy's books!!! Yikes.
Anyway, the snow has stopped falling but it is cold and icy out. I had to go to work today because my carpool was going but maybe not tomorrow if it is too icy...Shawn has been given two days of holiday this week because they were shut down today and then again tomorrow. Oh well, the snow will be gone by the weekend and we will be back to having our lovely mild weather. Off to help Shawn with the garland for the mantelpiece...

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Ok, here is the photo of the gifts that I spoke about in the last post - the Kecci diaper bag, Isabel's bag, "I Love You Like Crazycakes" book and the hair accessories from the exchange that I am part of. Aren't they gorgeous!!

And... it is REALLY snowing here in Victoria.
We rarely have snow and it is really heavy and wet with a nice layer of ice underneath (not fun for driving!!). Shawn just took a photo out of our kitchen window (notice the catnip on the windowsill, Camie gets MEAN when she has it so we have to have it up high) and the poor cherry tree looks as though it is going to lose some branches!! Ah well, maybe I won't have to go back to work tomorrow, yippee!!! I was saying that I needed another week off and the Christmas decorations are out of storage...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thank you to our March DTC Secret Pal!!!

Wow, is all I can say. I still don't have access to the pictures but I am now home (was away last week at friends) and have experienced the beautiful "Isabel" backpack and incredible diaper bag. IT IS PERFECT!!!!! The pink bullet thermos has made its way into the side pocket and I can't wait to use it!!!! The book was lovely and I read it to Shawn last night - had a little tear at the end!!! Again, thank you so much. You are so very generous and we so appreciate all of your gifts. By the way, the butterfly clock that you sent in the summer is actually on the tv stand and we use it everyday... it is a wonderful reminder that time is going quickly and we are almost at our 9 month LID Anniversary!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yes, it's Christmas Music!!

I can't believe it but yes, I am playing Christmas music in the background as I write this. It may have something to do with the fact that the parade of lights was last night or that we held our annual bazaar yesterday (so thankful that is over!!!!!!!) but Christmas music is playing on the stereo.
I guess I find it comforting. It has been so grey here and this is the time of year when everyone starts to put out their lights and living rooms sparkle with colour. Next weekend, our tree goes up. I know it is a little early but I like to decorate my house before I have to do it at work. So, yes Christmas music is playing and I am enjoying a relaxing day, trying to catch up on emails. Yikes, you leave it for a few days and the emails sure add up!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

In my "Housecoat"...

and my pj's with my much desired "serta sleeper" sheep slippers on(that came with my bed - really they did!!), I will try to answer "37 little UBI's" about me as Heather calls them. Thanks for the challenge :( AND, I should know better than to get involved with Heather and Rhonda's Housecoat wars!! But really, in Canada we do wear Housecoats and call them that!!

1) What side of the heart do you draw first?
the right, always!!
2) Can you dive without plugging your nose?
Sure can. How can you dive while plugging it? Must ponder this.
3) What color is your razor?
Razor, what razor??? I use wax baby, wax.
4) What is your blood-type?
5) Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours?
Hmmnnn, let me see... it would have to be SHAWN!!!
6) What is a rumor someone has spread about you?
That I should have had our baby by now and that we really aren't adopting!!! Can you believe it!!
7) How do you feel about carrots?
Love them but raw ones get caught in my throat so only eat them cooked.
8) How many chairs at the dining room table?
We have 6.
9) Which is the best spice girl?
What is a spice girl?? Just kidding, um, Scary.
10) Do you know what time it is?
It is time to watch Eastenders on BBC Canada.
11) Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince song?
12) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator?
13) What's your favorite kind of gum?
Any kind that I can blow bubbles with and crack between my teeth, driving everyone around me crazy!!
14)T or F: All's fair in love and war.
15) Do you have a crush on anyone?
Yep, I love Antonio Bandaras and the gorgeous Shawn.
16) Do you know how to use some words correctly, but not know the meaning?
Nope. I always look them up. I do have trouble finding words sometimes though!!!
17) Do you like to sleep?
YEEESSSSSS. I LOVE it but I only sleep at night, not a napper. I am VERY worried about the sleep deprivation that comes along with children!!!!!!
18) Do you know which US states don't use Daylight Savings?
Nope but in Canada, it is Saskachewan.
19) Do you know the song Total Eclipse of the Heart?
Yep, used to roller skate to it!! That and "Bette Davis Eyes" were our favorites!!
20) Do you want a bright yellow '06 mustang?
No, I always wanted a bright yellow VW bug though.
21) What's something you've always wanted?
To be a Mom. I know it sounds trite but it is true!! I played with dolls long past the other girls and was always "playing house".
22) Do you have hairy legs?
I have very little hair on my body at all. Lots of hair on my head though.
24) Would you rather swim in the ocean or a lake?
Well, it depends on the temperature. I love the Caribbean Ocean but the Pacific is a little cold. I grew up swimming in the Great Lakes so it is a really hard call... lakes I guess.25) Do you wear a lot of black?
Yep. Blonds look GREAT in black!!
26) Describe your hair.
Long, dark blond, curly.
27) Do you have Entomophobia?
Nope, never was and never will be!!
28) Are you an adult?
Yep, so they say although my friend's kids do have trouble telling the difference.29) Where is/are your best friends?
Saltspring Island, London Ontario, Toronto Ontario.
30) Do you have a tan?
Nope, I burn burn burn.
31) Are you a television addict?
Umn, love my soaps, movies and a select few tv shows.
32) Do you enjoy spending time with your mother?
Yep, love to go shopping with her, drink martinis and stay up all night long talking about life, the universe and everything.33) Are you a sugar freak?
Not really but I do like dark chocolate quite a bit.
34) Do you like orange juice?
Not really.
35) What sign are you?
36) What color is your Cell Phone?
Umn, I think it is grey but haven't used it in a year.
37) Where do you wish you were right now?
Where I am or having a Thai massage, my back is killing me.
So there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about me!!! Anyone who wants to do this little exercise - go for it!!! You will learn what the word Entomophobia means -if you don't already know that is!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Remembrance Day?

I am never sure if I should actually say this because it isn't really a happy day. It is a day to honour those who gave their lives for our freedom (and that was a real threat in both WWI and WWII). We also remember so that we don't forget the horrors of war. With our troops in Afghanistan coming home in body bags, it is hard not to remember. What we don't have right now is the rationing, the blackouts and the majority don't have the constant fear for our own loved ones or the boy next door going overseas and being on "the Lists" of KIA or MIA. Some people do have this fear but it is not as widespread as it was all those years ago.
I work with seniors and veterans and I can tell you that a normally happy go lucky person, turns into an introspective individual on this day. People are caught up in memories of family and friends who fell as well as remember their own experiences. I was actually reading a story to a group of ladies and broke into tears myself when I looked up to see three of them crying their hearts out. I couldn't finish the story, another lady took over and did it for us. The service is always a sad and difficult one to be a part of. I have been able to shirk my duties as a "reader" because of my teary self!! That comes from my GrandmaS who would "Crytalk" through emotional stories. These could be stories of neighbors doing a kindness for one another, a newspaper story of a gallant act or talking about the love of her family. When I was little I would cry a little with her but as I got older, I learned to talk to her normally while she told the story. So, I guess what I am saying is that yes it is a very sad day and it ALWAYS rains (and not just here in Victoria!!).
So, do you say "Happy Remembrance Day"? I still don't know but what I do know is that the Canadian Forces have some of the best people in the world and that I am proud to know many of them. Whether or not I agree with what is going on in the world right now, is another story...

Friday, November 03, 2006

February DTC Secret Pal

It is a rainy, cold and foggy day here in Victoria and I came home after a long day at work to light the fire and a few candles when what did I see in the mailbox but a postal notice!! I put on my rubber shoes, got out the umbrella and hiked down to the post office with my knapsack on my back. Let me tell you, I think that there was a cloudburst just as I stepped onto the sidewalk!!!
So, I pick up this wonderful package and inside are the travel essentials that we will need. As you can see from the picture, my secret pal has thought of everything, including a little case with kleenex, purell, moisturizer and wipes!!! I am so that kind of girl and from what I read/hear these items will be used often in China!!! She also sent me chocolate that I will really enjoy tonight (and maybe share with Shawn!!) as we look at the photos of all the beautiful babies that have been referred this month. I also love the photo holder (so pretty!!), bib (one of Shawn's pet names for me is "bunny rabbit" or BR!!), the luggage tag and the gerber travel goodie holder. What really made me laugh though, were the ziploc bags. I have been reading EVERYWHERE that these are the REAL travel essentials!!! Thank you so much for your thoughtfullness and your words of encouragement in the little kitty card.
I think that one of the things that gets us through these long days of waiting is knowing that there are others out there feeling the same way. I cannot tell you how fun it is to buy for my secret pals and how great it is to recieve their thoughts and gifts. It really means so much. I was talking to my Dad last night and telling him all about the DTC/LID groups that we belong to, the blogs that I read and the yahoo groups out there for Canadians and those for adoption in general. He said that it is so incredible that we have such a support system of people who are in our same situation or have BTDT and who are willing to answer our questions. Big hugs to all, especially my secret pal!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The referrals are coming...

CCAA has posted that referrals are in up to August 25th!! How exciting. People are saying that this is a slight speed up. It still means that it is taking three months to get through one month of LID's but who knows what the future holds. Can't wait to see all the referral pictures. One day, we will post our daughter's photos too!! Hopefully sooner than later.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Month Eight!!

Well, today is our 8 month LID anniversary. I haven't been writing because all that I would write about would be my frustrations with my job and nobody wants to hear about that!! I hope that everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween. We had a fun night of fireworks, hot chocolate and scary movies!! I was a Vampy Vampire at work with purple hair and eyelashes. Too fun. So happy eight month milestone to us and all of the other March 1st 2006 LID's out there!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I have noticed that I am not writing very often these days. This is probably due to the crazy work schedule - taking care of two departments, being on-call and having one of my staff members off with a back injury while one of the others is off on maternity leave. HELP!!! So yea, haven't been writing here often, reading though!!
The other situation that happened was the report from our agency almost a week ago about the wait time. On Saturday, I had a little cry. I have never felt that I was sad that I won't have my own biological child but I felt very sad that we may never have a child at all. I know, I know, we will go to China, we will meet our daughter and build our family but it just FEELS like we won't sometimes. This wait is ok but another year is so far away after waiting for 7 years to have our child already!! Shawn suggested that I walk away from the computer for a little while and take a break, focus on something else in my very "little" spare time. So I am. Here's hoping that the wait time speeds up just a little so we don't have to wait the dreaded 24 months!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Waiting Parents...

Last night we went to our local Waiting Parents Support Group. We haven't gone to many of these evenings, actually this is the second time that we have attended in a year. The last time was last October where we met a family who had just returned from China and decided to switch over from our domestic adoption plans. Last night, Ron and Val were there with their daughter Olivia. You can read their story at Olivia's Story. It was really great to have the chance to hear their story first hand and the two hours went by so very quickly. We learned how great our agency Family Outreach International is, how supportive they are and how organized they are once we get to China. This was a relief. It was also confirmed that the wait is predicted to go to 18-24 months in the next year:(
Shawn is turning 40 next year and keeps trying to tell me that I am (not, but closer to 40 than 30 as my own Dad pointed out the other day!!). I read about other adoptive parents who are in their 50's and I know that we are on the "younger" end but we are still feeling old (have to do streches in the morning, drink lots of green tea and make a concerted effort to exercise)to have our first child. I think that is what gets me, every year we get that little bit older. Oh well, as I ALWAYS say, we have time to save, do renos blah blah blah. By the way, if anyone ever has a chance to have a Thai massage, go for it!! It is a workout to be sure but fabulous at getting rid of back pain and headaches - can you tell that I had one yesterday and am still glowing!! I am raising my glass of water to all of the waiting parents out there. As Val told me last night, even though it sounds trite, it REALLY IS WORTH IT!!! I apoligize for spelling errors but Blogger won't do a check for me :(

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Holidays!!!

Here at our house we celebrated the Moon Festival on Friday night and tomorrow we eat turkey - lots of it with yummy stuffing (made with my homemade gluten-free bread, have I mentioned that I am a Celiac?), squash, carrots, yams and pumpkin pie (again with a homemade gluten-free pie crust!!). Thanksgiving is super, especially for Camie who ADORES turkey. Last weekend a friend of mine who is a caterer was catering a wedding (for another friend's daughter)and was desperate for turkey cookers. I volunteered to roast one and Camie lost her mind!!! I had to give her a little bit of it, poor thing.

As for our first holiday, we celebrated the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with our friend Glenn. We went out and had Chinese Food then down to the Ocean with our moon stories and moon cakes (thank you secret pal!!). We opened the moon roof (sun roof!!) and cut the cakes into quarters and enjoyed ALL of the cakes (the mixed nuts were amazing) under the light of the brilliant full moon. We then told the Chinese Moon stories (which I have made into a book) and our own full moon stories. After this we felt like tea so we went downtown to a Chinese restaurant and ordered hot & sour soup (it was cold down by the water!!) and jasmine tea. What a great night we had and it was really special for us to have our old friend Glenn join us (his wife and son are in Hawaii on holiday right now) as we will do this again year after year!!

I am off to make lemon cheesecake with ginger cookie crust to go with the curry chicken and rice cooking in the crockpot right now. Yummy on a cold and rainy autumn kind of day!!! Did I mention that I bought a kitchenaid mixer off of the tv after a few glasses of wine (that is another story!!) and am now ADDICTED to it!! So Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends and family, hope that you enjoy your turkey!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thank you to our March DTC Secret Pal

Thanks to my February Pal for letting me know that the Mooncakes are a gift from you!! Shawn just adores them - he eats red bean paste pastries all the time. We haven't tried the nuts so that will be fun. We are really going to enjoy them on Friday and we really appreciate your kindness!! You are great!! Cheers and Happy Mid-Autumn Fest to you - we hope that you will be enjoying mooncakes too!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thank you to my Secret Pal!!!

Well, she has done it again. Before I say anything, I have to say I LOVE THE FISH!!! I couldn't stop laughing and playing with it. Shawn thinks I am crazy, maybe I am, but it was just so fun. Camie loved her gift and the ladybug book and bug toy are just too cute. The chocolates are much appreciated as are your kind words and lovely card.
Now, I am embarrassed to say that I am not sure who the Mooncakes are from. The enclosed card said "your secret pal" but since I am involved in both the Feb and March secret pal exchanges I am unsure of which one of you sent them... They are MUCH appreciated though as we have a little celebration planned (including take-out from our favorite Chinese Food restaurant as well as an evening at the ocean watching the moon rise, telling the tales of the Moon Festival and I WAS going to buy some Mooncakes but now we have the assorted tin - YUMMY!!). So thank you so much but please let me know who sent them. I know that they are dear (Canadian for expensive) and we do so appreciate your thought!! Speaking of Camie and toys, I had to show you this picture of our Camie, she is really a Yoga kinda kitty!! She loves our Yoga mats and when we have our classes (our teacher is a friend who comes over), she is always involved. I guess that is why she is a healthy 18 1/2 and still going strong (or it could be the raw food diet that I make or the many hours of lying on her kooshie by the fire or...) We love our kitty!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

7 months today

The old British tune "Twenty-one Today" is running through my head as I write this. Yes, our LID is 7 months old today. Seems like I was just writing the 6 month anniversary post. It has been a very busy month for both of us at work - tons of overtime for Shawn and tons of extra responsibilities for me. When you are a Director on salary, boy they can take advantage!! Anyway, I am off for a nice long walk to the library and Shawn is working today so no celebrations this month. We waited and waited to hit that six month point and now it seems that it is not as exciting. I think the rumour (AND it IS just a rumour) yesterday of the wait going to 24 months in the next year really was a downer. As I have said numerous times before, it is so difficult for those of us used to having control over our lives to go through this process.
I have read other bloggers who have written that people have started to question whether or not they are actually adopting and last week I experienced just that. A woman I work with asked me what was going on, shouldn't I have a baby by now, its been a while. I went through the whole rig-a-marole explanation. Yuck.
In other news, Colleen and Bob welcomed their fourth son Frederick Spence, into their family on the 29th at 5:30 pm. Congratulations on your new addition!!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Have a listen...

I know that most adoptive parents have heard this song and many have posted this on their blogs. If you haven't, have a listen. This is really for our freinds and family who are following our journey. The one verse where he talks about someone counting the days waiting just struck a cord with me and I had to share, not that the whole song and video didn't resonate with us. Thanks to Heather for posting this and yes Kevin, it made your big sis cry!!!

Steven Curtis Chapman has adopted from China.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Referrals are in!!!!!

Wooohoo!!!!!!!! Congratulations to everyone who is receiving their child's photos and information today. This is the time when the rest of us celebrate all over the world and search for the new photos of the beautiful children that the CCAA has chosen for each family!! I love the blogging world and have to say that I have already shed a few tears this morning looking at the beautiful photos and reading the new parents joyous words. Have a look here for photos of all of the new referral's coming in. The first blog that I ever read, Pomegranite Pages is now reporting that both J and That Girl are now expecting too!! Soo very exciting.
The referrals went to LID's of August 9th 2005, this month. What this means to us is that the CCAA has referred 18 days of LID's this time and there are people who had a 14 month wait and others who were just over 13 months. Is seems that this is the trend right now. Not too bad. That would mean that our referral would come in May of 2007 if things stay the same.
Again, congratulations to everyone. Even though we are so far away it is so exciting to see everyone else's joy and happiness bursting (and I had to use that word!!)on their websites and blogs!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The great wait...

I was just over reading Johnny's blog. Have a look if you like. He asked a group of blogger Mama's who already have children, their opinions on the wait. It made me think and I wanted to post my thoughts too...
So here goes. We don't have any children but have wanted them for years. We ventured into the fertility treatment zone but then backed out quickly when we found out what it entailed. We have always agreed that having a biological child really didn't matter to us, we just wanted a family with children. I think that I have posted before that adoption was always part of my plan (since I was a small child), Shawn felt that this was a good plan too and we went forward with the adoption process. First, we went through the Domestic program (a social worker suggested it because of our ages and excitement about open adoption) and found that it was a "popularity" contest. We don't own a ranch with horses, dogs etc. We live downtown, more of an urban lifestyle where money doesn't really mean that much to us - not as popular as the suburban lifestyle for birthmom's. So, after only 2 months of this, we switched back to our first choice - China.
Now, not having children and waiting is difficult but I don't know how much more difficult it really is. As one blogger stated, she knows what she is missing because she has her children - we don't, we can only assume (and you know what that means!!). The longer wait time has allowed us to save more money, complete needed renovations and prepare ourselves for parenthood (ha ha ha!!!). That said, we would HATE it if the wait went to 24 months as we are getting older every year. We accept the 12-14 month wait theory and that feels ok. I am not saying that I don't count the days and when the 1st of each month comes(our LID anniversary), I celebrate because another month of waiting is over and we are that much closer to our daughter. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I think that this wait is difficult for EVERYONE involved and those of us who are used to having control over our own lives and destinies, find it very difficult to live this way. I can only say that I am looking so forward to having our daughter in our family and I can't imagine anyone who has gone through this long process feeling any different, whether they have bio children or not.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thank you to our March DTC Secret Pal

Thank you so much for your generous gifts this month. I know that you wanted to know more about Shawn but he was so excited to receive the Mandarin Phrase Book and Dictionary. That is right up his alley. He also loved the little flower cap as he wears baseball caps that he irons his favorite badges onto. Isabel will have a hat like Daddy's!!!
We both adore "Guess How Much I Love You" and "Goodnight Moon". We have read both of these books numerous times to the children in our lives. My Grandma used to read "Goodnight Moon" to me and my siblings. We did what your children do - recite it and do the "hush" actions. We also loved that they are in the cardboard book style - they will be coming to China with us!!
I also have to tell you that this is the one Anchee Min book that I haven't read!! I have it on "hold" at the library right now but haven't picked it up yet!! Amazing.
The "Butterfly Garden" is so sweet and the kitty looks just like Camie - it is a lovely story I can't wait to share with Isabel.
Last but certainly not least is the scarf that you knit!! They are my colours!! I have long (halfway down my back) darker blonde curly hair (I mean ringlets, drives me crazy!! and I refuse to dye it a lighter colour until I absolutely have to!!), peaches and cream complexion and blue eyes. Perfect as is the sentiment on the card - I am really trying not to shop anymore!!
Again, thank you so much for your gifts this month. It has been a really difficult time at work and your gifts remind us of what we are working towards - our beautiful daughter coming home!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I was at my monthly reflexology session. I LOVE this and it is the one thing that I do for myself. In my job, I am on my feet alot and whether or not reflexology works, I love the hour foot massage. So, to get back to the point, yesterday after my session, I always choose an "Angel Card". These cards have little sayings and advice for the question that you ask when you pull the card. Yesterday, I pulled "birth" for the first time ever, my vague question was about Isabel. The card was all about "new beginnings, new ideas, a new lifestyle". Very nice thoughts but I can't help wondering if our daughter was born this week. Who really knows.
Another interesting "sign" happened on Tuesday. We went to assist Colleen with her home inspection as Bob is still up north on the ferries and she didn't really want to do it alone. The home inspection went really well and the house is great for their family. When we were in the backyard (so big that Shawn wanted to start playing football with the kids immediately!!), a ladybug landed on me and wouldn't leave. Shawn kept trying to pick it off, but it wouldn't go. So, two "signs" this week that things might be happening in the universe. Who knows but I hope that the wheels are turning!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Well, I am sitting in the living room beside the stove and fridge because, the new kitchen floor is being installed!!!!!! So excited and it looks great so far. There have been a few hiccups but all in all, not bad. We are such do-it-yourselfers that sitting here and watching someone else do the work is tough. I just couldn't face doing a vinyl floor - let alone moving the toilet in the bathroom. So, now we have to wait for the new countertops and the renovations are complete. We can start to put the artwork back up.
Speaking of Artwork, my sister and I did a really neat print ten years ago when we took a visual arts course together to finish our degrees. I am FINALLY getting one of the copies framed and I am so excited. It is called "Sisters" and is an ink print of the sun and moon. That was a great summer and we had so much fun together. I adore my little sister.
It is a beautiful day and we are going to head downtown to nose around Chinatown for items to celebrate the Moon Festival. We love the moon and spent the last few nights at the beach watching the full moon rise. The festival itself is Oct. 6th and I am hoping to find a moon cake mold so that I can make our own. Shawn loves any kind of bean cake so I thought that we should perfect our recipe this year so that I know how to make them when we (hopefully) celebrate this festival with our daughter next year. Wish us luck because I have heard that the molds are difficult to find as they are passed down from generation to generation!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Three more movies...

I have to add to that list are:
A Little Princess
The Secret Garden
and Spirited Away
Love these films.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I've been tagged!!

Heather has tagged me. I have to think of SEVEN things for each of these categories? Too much thinking for sleep deprived girl...Yikes...
Here goes...

7 things I want to do without dying of embarrassment
1. Sing Kareoke without having a drink first!!
2. Dance in the street to a great busker downtown on a busy night, again without having a drink first!!
3. Tell someone off who really deserves it!!
4. Explain a scientific fact to someone.
5. Speak some Mandarin in China (had a bad experience as a kid trying to speak French in Quebec while on exchange!!)

I can't think of anything else and I have really tried!!!!

7 things I cannot do in the Summer
1. Run around in shorts - really, I love skirts!!!
2. Wear my cute pink coat - it's too hot but I LOVE that coat!!
3. Take time off from work.
4. Visit my family in the East - it is waaayyyy too hot and humid there!!
5. Swim in the Ocean (although I am dying to but it is just too cold!!)
6. Cuddle up in front of my fireplace and read - you have to get out and enjoy the sunshine!!
7. Find parking anywhere downtown!!!!!!!!

7 things I can do that are meaningless unless you are in JR High
1. Say "like" twenty times in a one minute of conversation.
2. Talk on two phones at once - I hear that they have "conference calling these days!!!
3. Ride my bike hands free for miles.
4. Swear like a sailor.
5. Write silly notes and pass them to co-workers at Management meetings.
6. Stay on the phone with my friends for HOURS.
7. Colour co-ordinate my shoes, purse, clothing, nail colour and hair accessories. Yes, I am a girl.

7 things that attracted me to my house.
1. The community spirit of our strata.
2. The window over the sink in the kitchen.
3. The ensuit only has a neat shower stall and not a tub.
4. The huge windows in our living room, bedrooms and kitchen.
5. Our eat-in kitchen.
6. The fireplace in the living room.
7. The ceramic tile entryway.

7 things I most say when I am crying
1. Stop looking at me!! Camiecat, I need a huggle!!
2. Yes, I am crying again but you have to read this story, it is so sad!!
3. Yes, I am crying again but you have to look at these pictures of this new family; aren't they adorable!!
4. Yes, I am crying again but I am watching "The Notebook" again!!
5. Yes, I am crying again but look at this beautiful baby girl, isn't she just lovely!!!
6. I can't take this job anymore!!
6. Can I have a tissue please!!

7 children's books I am adding to my collection (I already have a really big collection of books, my own and gifts!!!)
1. Goodnight Moon
2. Mommy Far, Mommy Near
3. Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats
4. I Love you Like Crazy Cakes
5. The Chronicles of Narnia
6. Any Dr. Suess books
7. You Don't have my Eyes

7 children's movies that I can watch for the bazillionth time without wanting to rip my eyes out of their sockets!!(I may cry though!!)
1. The Secret of Roan Innish
2. The Neverending Story
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
4. Anne of Green Gables
5. Shrek
6. The Rescuers
7. Charlotte's Web

That WAS a challenge. Hmmnn, who do I want to tag...thinking, about Kayce

What a crazy weekend!!

And that is Not in a fun and crazy way!!! I was on-call and we had everything happen; fire alarms going off at 1am, burst pipes, a death, an almost drowning and flooding of two suites, a severe staff shortage and intruders last night at midnight. I am exhausted. Yesterday was my girlfriend's birthday and we went for brunch but I had to go in and work all afternoon. I feel like I need a holiday from my "Long Weekend"!!
I am feeling very sleep deprived - dealing with issues until 2am and then they call with more at 6am. All my girlfriends are telling me that this is just preparing me to be a parent. Yikes!!!! I couldn't really work yesterday because I couldn't focus - I was more or less a body at the reception desk to answer phones and deal with questions. It feels like I have had a few drinks, not a bad feeling but the headaches have started today and Advil is now my best friend!!! The worst is, I have to go back to work tomorrow and try and get things done. At least they pay me for that. This whole "On-Call" thing is really a volunteer job as it wasn't part of my initial job and due to the fact that I am on salary, they haven't factored it in at all. Brutal.
So, there you have it. I think that I am ready for parenthood after this past weekend! Just kidding. Congrats to Colleen, Bob and family on purchasing your new home (almost!!!). Love you guys!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Our SIX yes SIX month LID anniversary!!!!!!

Yes, it is true. Our dossier has been in China for 6 months now. I have been waiting all week to write this post!!! I can't believe that this used to be the wait time. Wow. When we started this process, we actually thought that we would be getting our referral or that we would be in China by now having a LID in February. However, a person at our local agency dropped the ball and sent our dossier a few weeks after the people in our groups' dossiers went (something about not following up on an issue with us and then going on holiday!!!). With the referral times as they are now, this probably means that we won't be going with the people that we have gotten to know through email. Oh well, we have gotten over that one - just another test in patience.

So, tonight we are going to order in Chinese food, we were going to go out but after putting in a 12 hour day yesterday, I was up until 3 am dealing with a fire alarm malfunction at work and then they woke me up at 6am because they couldn't cover an essential shift. I am REALLY tired after putting in a full day again today!! I HATE being on call and I think that I need to start looking at something different. Oh well, not going to let that dampen my spirits today - just another test in patience!!!

Cheers to all!! We are having a glass of our new favorite wine!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


So, today in the middle of the liquor store (I was purchasing a special mix for a dinner party I am hosting tomorrow night), a woman walks up to me and recommends a wine called Sante Isabella. Well, to say the least, it shocked me. Those of you who know us well will know why.
She was just a stranger and I was looking at a variety of wines but ended up going with her recommendation. We have each had a glass and it is good and has allowed me to relax a little. Boy did I need to relax a little, work has been INSANE!! A huge thank you to a stranger in a store for a lovely glass of wine partially named after our daughter.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Update on Rumours and Dragon Boats

A quick note. Referrals came in last Friday, they have matched to July 22nd of 2005. The wait is increasing and we are looking at a longer wait time. Lots of time to finish the renovations and save more money!! On the upside, everyone at work will be relieved and I can plan on being there next summer for all of the fun and special activities. Just wanted to share a few more photos,
Shawn took these down at the dragon boat races last weekend. We were entranced by the performers and there were thousands of lanterns!!! Our local grocery chain Fairway has been selling them for weeks, you add your name and message and then all the money is donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation. In fact, that is where all the money from this huge event went!! The military actually donated miles of tents for the weekend and it was really a spectacular show with the races, two stages of entertainment and lots of shopping and food. It was great!!


This is mainly for family and friends who have been asking about our renovations. This first picture is of the vinyl flooring going down in the kitchen. We wanted to do the laminate but being a corner unit, we had the problem of a level floor. The time and money just didn't seem worth it, so we chose this and really like it. The tones go really well with our laminate wood flooring and it has the "look" of ceramic but the warmth and durability of vinyl.
This second photo
is a composite of the new kitchen countertops. It is called Portico Marble and is a very neutral colour that goes beautifully with the new floor.
The third photo
is an example of the basswood blinds that we ordered and put on all of our windows. We LOVE them. They are clean, fresh and so much better than the crappy old builders metal miniblinds that were up. We looked for over a year for these and almost compromised and purchased the "faux wood" ones but we found these at a great deal and put them up over the last two weeks.
So, I will post pictures of the finished articles. Right now, all of the owners are helping to paint the exterior of our building to save money for our Strata. It is so fun and the colour is a gorgeous deep red. It goes really well with all of the new street lights that our little community association has put up. Our neighborhood is on an "upswing" and that's why we bought here two years ago. Our property has increased in value by 75%!! Looking forward to having everything done, off to hold the ladder for Shawn!!

February DTC Secret Pal

As promised, here is a photo of the lovely gifts from my February DTC secret pal. It was "Something for Mom" month and she gave me a really neat mug warmer, ladybug little notecards which I think I will use in Isabel's scrapbooks, a tea bag strainer (that Shawn LOVES to use when he makes our sleepytime tea every night), a candle, bath goodies and organic green tea (which I drink everyday!!) in a beautiful ladybug box. A HUGE thank you and big hugs to you to secret pal, I loved the gifts and am using them as I write this!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I hate rumours part two...

Yep, I really do. The newest one is that there will not be any referrals this week but maybe next and they may not even refer LID's to the end of July 2005. Yuck!! Well, what can you do. I think that the worst part, is explaining this process to family, friends and especially co-workers and bosses. I read on pomegranate last week, about conversations going on at work with the "I just don't know when" theme. With there being such a labour shortage here, it is difficult to find qualified people and although my boss and I have discussed the adoption timing, I know it is in the back of her mind. Today I told her not to worry, it looks like she has me until at least next summer. Not what I wanted to have to say but she was happy to hear it!!
So, we will have to wait to see what the CCAA will do. I really feel for all of those July 05 and Aug 05 LIDers. They are a brave bunch and from the comments that I have read, the most patient of people - they too thought that their wait would be 6 months at the latest. Off to the rumour queen site to get more info...Yikes!!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I hate rumours!!!!

Just a quick post as we are putting up new blinds and getting ready for the kitchen counter measure (more home improvement projects to keep us busy!!). I hate rumours. I should stay very far away from the Queen but it is like a bad accident - I am drawn there every day. The rumours about the upcoming restrictions on the program are brutal. Age restrictions, singles restrictions, health restrictions, weight restrictions and all of the other proposed restrictions. YIKES!! All we can hope is that we are squeaky clean and that our dossier makes it through the review room this year. Oh well, what can we do. Another challenge to becoming parents. I just don't think it is EVER going to happen. I just have this feeling that after 7 years of trying to build a family, we should stop and start to appreciate our life without kids. We are stopping all shopping and researching for now :( Once March is through the review room, we will start again but that could be months down the road. Back to work!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

March DTC Secret Pal

Home sick again (yuck!!) but the postman (and he was a man), rang with a special gift from my March DTC Secret Pal. She was so generous this month (the theme was Animals!!) and I adore the little toothfairy box that she included. So very very sweet. I am going to put batteries in the butterfly clock and put it in Isabel's Lavender Room right now!!
Oh yes, and the card she included was great.
I had to take a picture of Camie with it. So cute!! Pretty good looking for an 18 year old isn't she!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I love surfing (yes, another sick day). I came across this...(just click on the title WOW and it will start, don't know how I did this!!)
on Sopapilla's blog.
I have always loved Sarah, not just because she is a Canadian from the West Coast or her incredible talent but because she is a forward thinking amazing person. Wanted to share with anyone who hasn't seen this. What a gal!!!

How can you tell a newbie blogger?
They have "links" all over posts, not in the main section!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I was reading lots of blogs today (home sick and what a great way to spend some time, not that I don't read blogs everyday anyway!!!). There are so many topics and so many different opinions out there. It is really amazing. As I am relatively new to this whole blogging world, I am finding new blogs everyday!!

There is one thing that I hadn't experienced in the three months that I have been reading blogs and yahoo groups. That is a really angry and negative blog. Yesterday, I had the unpleasant experience of reading one. The blogger was so angry and she was really derogatory in her comments about adoptive parents. It was difficult to read but I am glad that I did. It just states yet another perspective about adoption.

I have known all my life, people who have been either domestically or internationally adopted. As one of my brother's best friends growing up was adopted from Vietnam, I grew up knowing what international adoption was about and how it affected him and his family- for the better I think. Having many friends who were adopted, I never knew that there was such anger directed at adoptive parents. In fact, one of my closest friend's in high school was part of a family with three black adopted children, a chinese mother and white father. I never thought it was strange, not until we went to Michigan on a soccer tournament when we were 14 and experienced extreme racism. My Dad pulled us out of the homes where we were billeted and we had a great time at the hotel but I have never forgotten it. A rude awakening for a couple of Canadian kids who had never experienced such outright racism.

So, I empathize with the writer of that blog and others whose childhoods were full of racism and pain. I can only hope that through the experiences my husband and I have had, we can assist our daughter with these issues. As I have stated before, there is a large Asian community here in Victoria, from immigrants (like my husband) to international students to 3rd and 4th generation Canadians (just like me!!!). She will not be the only Asian person within 100 miles and both her parents have first hand knowledge of abandonment and immigrating from another country. I think that perhaps, people who slam all adoptive parents should also have a look at who we are and what we bring to the table for our children.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hello Veronica the Great!!!

Today was such a great day. I talked to Veronica for a few hours and it was so nice to reconnect!! We have been friends for years and she lives across the country so we don't see each other very often. I know she reads this blog so wanted to say HELLO!! Miss you and it was great to chat. V, Erin and I got into some real "trouble" in our twenties and man, those memories are there forever. All I can say is "I hope that my daughter is NOTHING like me!!!!!" Poor Shawn, he always picked us up and made sure we were home safely.
In other news, I have finished the advent calendar and I love it!!! It is so pretty. The cute angel quilt needs to be ironed and started. When I have it up and going I will post a picture. As I said, I bought it years ago with the intention of making it for my daughter. Can't wait to get started - it makes me feel as though I am "doing something" with this long wait.
It's a beautiful night and I think we will go for a walk...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

In the blogging world...

I have been reading posts today and everyone is talking about this "guilt" idea of adopting children from different countries. This is a comment that I posted on Kay's blog but when I read it back to Shawn, he suggested I post it here as well so...

"I don't feel any guilt about adopting internationally. I can see where you (K was writing about feeling as though she was injuring the global community by taking that child out of her homeland) are coming from with your thoughts on the injury to the global community however, I think that our world is one where immigration happens every minute. We are able to move from one country and culture to another in a matter of hours. As well, reading different stories and knowing women from China, I don't think that international adoption causes female infanticide and abandonment. I do think however that international adoption allows these children to live in a culture where they are celebrated for who they are whether they have special needs or are female. I read one post where an infertile Chinese women felt so guilty that she was willing to give her husband a divorce (she had shamed both of their families by not being able to give birth to a child)!!
When we adopt our daughter from an orphanage where she is one of many and give her a family, where she is the one and only child - her life will change for the better, we think. We live in a city where many of the original settlers were Asian and there is a huge Asian community here - it grows daily through immigration and our daughter will be part of this. If everyone stays in their country of birth, how can they share their culture and promote multiculturalism and understanding in the world. At my workplace and in my family I will be the minority but that intrigues me - we have multicultural potlucks at work which I organize and I adore learning about my husband's culture. So no guilt here at all. Can't wait to raise my daughter and give her everything I was given as a child - including a keen sense of HERself and her culture.

So, that's what I think. I have always liked to call Canada a "salad bowl" where people are invited to share and maintain their culture when they immigrate to this country. I am a proud 4th generation Canadian but my ancestors too came from somewhere else and we were able to keep many of our customs and ideas. So, again, can't wait to raise my daughter and celebrate her ancestry with her!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Isabel's lifebook

I am starting to put together Isabel's lifebook - right now I am just finding supplies and ideas are rolling around in my head. I can start with the items from our side - the journal I am writing for her now, the paperchase we went through, the wait time - and prepare the other pages so that I can enter the information when it arrives. I am hoping that in the journal, I will have written something special on her birthday so that we can share that day even though we will not be together. We do know however, that her birthday (unless her birth mom leaves a note that states the actual day) is a guess but that doesn't matter to us. It is still her special day. A big thank-you to Kay at Hanazono for her suggestion of a journal to write in. I am doing an online version but I would also like to have one in my own handwriting for Isabel.

I am also very excited because I found a beautiful white scrapbook to put all of the quilt square messages in. It is plain white and will offset all of the gorgeous colours and fabrics beautifully. I am a notorious white lover. I have white walls, pale yellow and white furniture with hints of blue and green in my living room. We have painted our fireplace wall a lovely golden yellow and it really shows off a gorgeous Asian print in a gilded gold frame, the crystal candle holders that were my great-grandmother's and the roses in petit silver pots that I adore. I also love primary colours, imagine that!! Isabel's book will be full of beautiful colour and stories just for her. I have a "School Days" book as do my siblings, that my mother put together for us each year with a picture, special artwork, birthday cards, our report cards etc. It means so much to me now and my hope is that Isabel will treasure her lifebook too. Don't worry, I am also going to do the "School Days" book for her as well!!

So, I have ordered a kit to help me along in this process. I love doing all of these things, it just makes me feel as though we are closer to becoming a family. At first, when the wait times started to increase, I was devastated but now I am happy in a way because it gives me so much time to prepare and create all of these lovely things for Isabel. I am almost done with the advent calendar (see previous posts) and am starting to think about working on another quilt that I bought years ago, in hopes of making it for my daughter. I love summer and summer projects!!

Some thoughts on a sunny day...

I called this blog "butterfly kisses and 100 good wishes" because of the night time rituals that my family practiced when I was a child. Please see the May 21st archive for that post. So, today after putting together secret pal gifts, researching areas of China where children have just been referred from and immersing myself in the whole "Chinese adoption experience" I realized that I was being very ethnocentric.

Momentarily, I panicked. What if butterflies mean something horrible in the Chinese culture. I have purchased many items with butterflies on them; fabric, children's toys and last but not least, calling this blog 'butterfly kisses". I know that I have seen numerous butterflies on different pieces of Chinese artwork, so they must mean something!! So I went on a search to see what they mean in Chinese culture. Much to my relief, butterflies are associated with joy. Wow, I was very lucky here but this is how I feel when I see my little yellow butterfly - full of joy. The Pin Yin at the top of the page says "Butterfly". Isn't it beautiful!!

This exercise just reminded me of all of the changes coming and how we will need to wrap our minds around working with our daughter who comes from a different culture. I often joke that I was only able to understand Shawn (he was born in Guyana and moved to Canada when he was 6 years old) after I took a course in Caribbean Culture at University for my anthropology degree. So, all joking aside, after we have our daughter's referral, you won't find me without a book or article about her specific cultural area. I want to know the practices that she is used to and if her birth family had been able to have her as a part of their family, what they would have given her from their culture. Shawn is making a video library of everything Chinese that is on television so that we can show these to Isabel and learn together.
So, now we are aware, we will be working towards learning more about our wonderful daughter's incredible birth country and history.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We are five months into the wait

Camie Cat is calling me to bed so this is a quick post but we are now officially five months into our wait as of yesterday. The last referrals went out last Friday and they were for people with Lock In Date's up to July 13, 2005. There is a lot of speculation out there that they will finish July and get through all of the August LID's in August. That would be great because that would mean that it is still a 12 month wait for us. Longer than the 8 months when we started this process but not the dreaded 24 months that some people were predicting. It is a "wait and see" situation. As I have said many times before, we have absolutely no control over this process!!
What I can control is my spending and I will take a picture of my purchase this week. It is an inflatable kitty stool that was too cute to pass up. It was a little more than 10.00 with tax so I am going to have to count it into this week's purchase as well. Too bad, no shopping this week :(
In other news, all of my quilt squares for both of the swaps have been mailed. My secret pal gifts for August have been purchased and I have found socks for the sock swap that I am involved in. I am sending my first pair of socks in the swap to Australia. How cool is that!! I was saying to Shawn that 10 years ago, we wouldn't have made these connections with people and the research that we are doing would have been much more labour intensive i.e. visiting the library regularly (not that we don't now!) and lugging books around. It is really great to have this whole community online and we are learning so much!! Ohh, gotta go, kitty is calling...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sewing, sewing,sewing

Yesterday, I walked downtown and picked up more fabric for the quilt swaps that I am involved in. We are doing an Asian theme swap in my March LID group and I joined another one with people from all over the world!! Have to get those 100 squares. My sister sent her family's and I cried when I read the wishes. She chose poems from our favorite childhood book, "Where the Sidewalk Ends". My niece picked out the fabric and it has ladybugs all over it - gorgeous.
So, while I am in the fabric store, I can't help but look around. I am so bad that way, Shawn has to tell me to "focus" on the items that we are looking for because I will drift off into "shopping-land" at a moments notice. Needless to say, Shawn wasn't with me so I was looking at the Christmas patterns and came across this GORGEOUS advent calendar. It looks a little Hooville to me and I think that is why I immediately fell in love with it. So, I bought it and have spent the last two days cutting quilt squares,making this pretty calendar and walking with my girlfriend. I keep thinking of all of the fun we will have filling up the pockets with little goodies for Isabel to find!! I still have to attach all of the little pockets (you can see pins if you look closely), put the quilting and backing on it and then quilt it but here it is so far. Had to share it because Shawn just "can't get into Christmas in July". Fun, fun, fun !!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

If I had millions of dollars...

One of my oldest and dearest friends came to visit me yesterday and we had a fabulous time. We both love roses so we visited the famous Butchart Gardens then went for tea and a driving tour of Victoria (she has never been here and we only had an afternoon!!). We did the sea to sky tour in 2 hours. Not bad!!
When we were young adolescents we used to drink tea by the gallon and our favorite places were two Chinese restaurants that would refill our pots regularly!! To curb this, my parents gave me a red Chinese tea set of my own but we still skipped school to drink tea!! We also refused for quite some time, to eat with anything other than the chopsticks that we had purchased on a "free" day in Toronto's Chinatown. Colleen will remember this too I am sure. Ah, the memories!! It is so great to still have the friends that I grew up with, they mean so much. We were a little crazy but boy did we have fun!!

So, while we were at the gardens, Anita asked me that very "Bare Naked Ladies" question and I answered. The only thing I would do would be to continue adopting children and purchase the type of home that would accommodate every one of them, special needs or not. She mentioned traveling and I said that the beauty of international adoption is that you travel to meet your new family member and then you travel back to their homeland to visit on many occasions. If I had millions of dollars, that is what I would do. I wouldn't change anything in my life as I have everything that I need. But today,on further reflection, our money would also go to fighting breast cancer and other related cancers as well. It has affected so many beautiful women in our small little world - it breaks our hearts and we wish we could do more to prevent and cure this hideous disease.
So, if I had millions of dollars, I would have a huge international family and I would do everything in my power to fight cancer. One can only dream!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's hot!!!

Man, it is hot in Victoria, something that we are not all that used to. There is a breeze off of the ocean but it is one of those days that causes you to sweat profusely if you do too many physical activities. Camiecat is lying on her cooshie and taking it very easy today. When I put the fan on, she positioned herself right in front of it and stretched out to take full advantage.
Growing up in Ontario, we both suffered through the severe heat waves that are going on now. That is one of the reasons we moved to the coast - we LOVE the weather in Victoria.
In adoption news... Nothing new just thoughts roaming around in my head about adjustment and the "babysitter" syndrome. Many new parents report that when their child is given to them, they feel as though they are "babysitting" for the first little while. I don't know if people who have biological children feel this way but I understand why adoptive parents might. There is this myth, and perhaps a reality for some, that when they first hold their new child, there is instant love and a feeling of connection from both sides.
What I imagine is the giddy excitement of the parents but there is also a frightened child who has no idea what has just happened, as his/her whole world is changed and taken away from him/her. I am not saying that these children are not going to loving homes and a family where they will be cherished however, there is the grief compounded by fear. Who are these strange people that my nanny just gave me to? We look different, smell different and sound different than everything the child has known.
This experience is different for everyone however many parents report that their children are very different once they are settled in their new home. I really appreciate all of the advice parents are willing and able to give as this is such a new experience and we want to be as informed as possible. We hope that our daughter will be thrilled to meet us, have that instant connection and we all live happily ever after but we know that is probably not going to be the case. So, babysitters we shall be!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Thank you to my Secret Pal

My March 06 DTC/LID secret pal sent our July gifts and they are wonderful and so very thoughtful. Our theme this month was "mealtime". He or she (don't know which!!) sent us a travel spoon set, a bib clip that allows us to use any type of fabric as a bib, a sip'n'snack cup that goes so well with our new stroller and a u-mix travel bottle that allows us to mix formula on the go. He or she also sent us a lovely card and message. As you can see by the picture, s/he was very generous. Thank you secret pal!!

I have the camera now..

I wanted to post the photos of a few of the squares that I have received and say thank you to those who sent them. In this photo, the pretty yellow floral with the butterflies is from the Miller Family in Texas. My squares are similar to this one and Robin and I had family and friends with us as we opened our packages. My girlfriend and her Mom used the same term "that is so you" when they saw the squares we had exchanged. Too funny!! The Yellow Ladybug and bumblebee fabric is from Kim in Moose Jaw. We seem to have a connection as we are always finding that we are reading each other's blogs at the same time or thinking of one another!! Can't wait to meet you and your precious girl someday!! The pink square in this picture is from the Gallant family in PEI. The fabric is special to us as Robin's wish because they are both from Corinthians, which was part of our wedding. I want to thank you all for the beautiful squares and I am looking forward to those that are on the way!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My $10.00 purchase of the week

So, I decided that I would follow the advice of another "parent-in-waiting" and satisfy my need to shop and organize by purchasing little things each week. So, Shawn and I went out shopping today and I found an "Oki Groovy Girl" doll at our local book store. She was on sale so she cost much less than $10.00. That is ok as I purchased two "Marching Panda - March 2006 DTC" pins yesterday. It feels kind of strange purchasing things for our daughter who isn't here yet but then again, when I was playing (yes I was playing!!) with Isabel's new doll, the yellow butterfly flew by the window. It may seem crazy to some but what can I say!! It made my weekend anyway because the rumour mill is turning out an 18 to 24 month wait from LID. It is so difficult to be so out of control of something like when you will bring your daughter home. From 8 months when we started to 10 to 12 and now to possibly 24. Crazy. Oh well, there will be lots of little things around by the time she arrives if it is going to be a 24 month wait. Shawn has no idea how many things a little girl can have, I remember my shelves of dolls etc. - should be fun!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Glass of wine

Do you ever feel like coming home after a long day and having a nice glass of wine and forgetting about everything? Well, that is what I am doing now!! It feels great. The weekend is starting and the weather isn't exactly co-operating but who knows what tomorrow will bring.
It has been a hectic week at work (as you can probably tell by my post on Wednesday) but I have also been very busy reading about attachment disorders and other issues that come up with any type of adoption. I guess that this long wait will allow us to become very "book smart" on these topics but as we are very aware, that does not prepare you for the reality of life. So, at this stage we are reading, discussing and trying to pass the time until our daughter comes home.
We have also purchased a new laptop computer as our old one was dying and we don't have the space for a designated office with the stand alone computer set up. It is great but I am finding it difficult to get used to the keyboard which is so much smaller and flatter, not to mention the mouse. We also want to take it to China with us as it plays DVD's for that long trip over. Shawn wanted the big 17 inch screen (as boys do) but he blames it on my eyesight which is better than his!!!
So, reading other people's coping mechanisms for the wait, I stumbled across a gal who is shopping every week for her new daughter. She spends under 10.00 and buys all these neat little things. I think that I might try that. It will make things go so much faster and I do love to shop when I can. It is even better on a self-imposed budget. Well, back to my wine and having a relaxing evening after a crazy week!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hump Day

Well, it is Wednesday and the traditional "hump day". Once you are through this day of the work week, the weekend seems close at hand. Ahhhhh, can't wait. It has been a tough week!!
Shawn and I were just saying last night how the people who did the study that every company quotes regarding employee satisfaction, must have been underwritten by some large conglomerate. We were talking about the fact that if you can't support your family on the wage you are earning then you do not have job satisfaction. I don't disagree with the idea that staff must feel involved in decision making to a point, receive public recognition of their work and simple thank you's for everything they do but money is a great incentive - especially when extra work is constantly being added.
For instance, "On Call" was not part of my original job description, hire letter or an expectation of my job. Four years into my career, they decided to put the management team "On Call". I am now "On Call" for a week every eight weeks. There was no discussion of compensation or lieu time. I actually called the labour relations board who said that yes, every time we received a call, we were entitled to 15 minutes of lieu time. There have been days when I have had at least 20 calls and with the downloading of tasks to my everyday job, just getting in my vacation time is difficult. So, if they offered me more money to do this or at least honored the time in lieu, I would feel better about the whole situation.
I guess what I am saying is that even though I really like the recognition for a job well done, I would also like to be compensated for my extra time and the weekends and evenings that I give up when I am "On Call". I would really like to get out of management and all of the "extras" but with this adoption timeline increasing daily, it doesn't look like I will be able to do that for some time. So another hump day completed and looking forward to a nice and relaxing weekend.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

We did it...

We bought the stroller. It was a big step but it was such a good deal and we can easily store it in the closet still in the box. When I have discussed this "early" purchase with family and friends, they are all so supportive, saying things like "buy what you can now while you still feel like you have money!!!" I guess all of those conversations about the cost of adopting in China have hit home. I can't believe how many people ask that question. It is not like the cost of an adoption is a private thing, you can go online and figure it out yourself if you like however it is kind of strange when strangers ask that question. I remember my girlfriend telling me that children don't cost much in the first few years. Well, when you adopt it does. Another experience that many families will never have to go through; saving and then spending thousands of dollars to have a child. We really appreciate the support we have been given by our family and friends from "gifts" to ensuring that the outings they invite us on do not cost an arm and a leg. There are lots of sacrifices that we make but from what we understand, this will continue as our daughter grows older.

The other side of this is the idea that we are "buying a baby" and that China is making big money on this venture, as are merchants, hotels etc. Well maybe they are but the orphanages that I have seen pictures of could really use the infusion of money. There are also a number of fundraising groups that were initiated by parents of children from China, to assist with special needs children and upgrading orphanages. So, we are not buying a baby, we are paying for services and for the trip of our lives!!!

A huge thank you to my Mom who, when I told her that we were four months into the wait, said "well honey, you are one month pregnant now!!" I think that she is starting to think a little bit about the time as she is coming to China with us. Love you Mom!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shopping, shopping, shopping...

My best friend came to visit me during my vacation for two and a half days without the kids and we shopped!! Neither of us are really big shoppers, she less so than I, but we shopped every day!! As she is 6 months pregnant, the majority of our shopping was in baby stores etc. We did take some time to go to the Magnolia spa for pedicures and then to the White Heather Tea Room for afternoon tea though. Ah, the life.
So, we went to look at the crib I was crazy about and it isn't going to work. Too low, small and over $1000.00. We found a few others that might do the trick. At Toys'R'Us we found the perfect stroller and it is actually going on sale this weekend so we will probably buy it. I know, so early in the game but we figure that if things don't work out, we will donate it to a needy family. As well, through her suggestions (she has three boys), we found a great car seat.
It reminds me of Woody Allen's egg shaped seats. These are the two essential pieces of equipment that we will need. We also oohed and ahhed over clothing, potty's (her thing), the high chair/booster seats that attach to a kitchen chair and various other assundries. It was so fun. I also registered at Toys'R'Us and she said I looked like a deer in headlights when the salesgirl was asking me specific questions re the expected date of delivery etc. Ah well, I feel far more comfortable now going into the baby section. My girlfriend left me with a a lot to think about including the formula, feeding system, sleeping system etc etc etc!!!!
Thanks Colleen, you are the best!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

All I can say is...

I love Nail Guns!! Poor Shawn spent the day cutting with a compounding miter saw but I got to use the Nail Gun. It was so fun and so fast!!! The baseboards are in but they still need caulking and paint touch ups after that. It took forever today as I am still suffering from a Migraine. I did my "Nail Gun Thing" in bits and pieces because it is loud. But man, it was fun!!! I highly recommend it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Get me away from EBay...

I really mean it!! The other day I went online looking for tea cups for an event and I ended up looking at the crib and baby sections!! I even "won" a crib size duvet. Now the cost of the duvet was under $5.00 US HOWEVER the shipping and handling was EXPENSIVE!! So keep me away from EBay. It is just too tempting.

Happy Canada day to all!! We were going to partake in the festivities (special yoga group raising money for orphanages in Nepal, Folk Fest, the Parliament buildings etc) however we both have huge headaches and are muddling through the day. We did get all of the baseboards painted and ready to put in tomorrow as well as the deck cleaned up and ready to BBQ. We may still go down for the fireworks but right now it is just too bright out there for me. I suffer from migraines and usually have them under control however these past two weeks at work have been INSANE and my neck was locked. My handy dandy chiropractor unlocked it yesterday and this is the residual effect. Same thing for Shawn. All I can say is that this Canada Day is much better than last year when we had just brought a group over from Spain for a month. That was such a stress filled time as they were teenagers age 14 to 18 and there were a number of issues to deal with on this day last year. Tomorrow is the big power tool rental day and hopefully, we will have this chapter of the renovations complete.

So, today we celebrate 4 months of waiting for our daughter and it is amazing how fast the time is going. But then again doesn't summer in Canada always go way too fast!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The room is painted!!!

Well, Isabel's room has been painted a lovely light lavender. It looks gorgeous. Right now it is still the den/computer room but the colour is peaceful and very pretty. We have primed the wardrobe in white and it looks great!!! A friend is lending me a stencil of the lilac's so that I can start with that shortly. Very exciting and a real summer project. I also need to recover the lazy boy rocking chair that was my Grandmother's. She rocked all of us in it and gave it to me when we bought our first house along with other special pieces of furniture including a beautiful needlepoint stool that sits beside my bed for Camie to use to get up.
I have found the crib that I would like at It is amazing and has wheels so that we can roll it back and forth from our room to Isabel's with little problem. It is a circular crib and can be made into a variety of different sizes and options. In the end, it can be transformed into two chairs. Very cool. It is expensive though, so we are starting to save our money for it. I can't wait to make the special bedding for it. I love high count sheets and I have an Egyptian cotton 400 count that Rhiannon kitty clawed at one end. It will be perfect to make sheets for this cute little crib. I am thinking of things to do in this long wait but especially around the time of our referral. I also love these dolls and the woman who is distributing them is from London Ontario!! You can find them at href="">
I also want to thank Liam, Sherry-Lou and Julie for the gorgeous quilt squares. When our house gets back to normal and Shawn lets me have the camera for a minute, I will post pictures. The wishes were beautiful and made me teary, which as my family will tell you, is fairly normal. They were so special because they were the first ones I received and it makes this whole process real.
As I write this, a yellow butterfly is flying around the garden outside the window!! I see it everywhere now and always comment on seeing my butterfly. I had to assure Shawn that I do know that they are different butterflies!! So, ladybugs are wonderful but I love my butterfly and every time I see it I am reminded that our beautiful daughter is waiting for us in China.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday, ahhh.

Ah, the floors are in and they look fantastic but they don't exactly match what we already have. Oh well, they are not that far apart. We also bought a closet organizer for Isabel's room and taped the room for painting yesterday. Forward we go!! Now we have to paint, cut and put on the new baseboards as well as prime Shawn's old wardrobe/Isabel's new wardrobe and get it painted and ready for the lilacs. The walk-in closet fits all of Shawn's clothes very nicely so he was willing to give up his beloved wardrobe.
It is also Camiecat's 18th birthday this month. I have had Camie since I was 18 and she and I can't imagine not having her with us. Lots of "huggles" and kisses to our "old girl"!!! She is our "beautiful doll", as the song goes. Other other kitty Rhiannon who died last year had a song too; "You are my sunshine". She would run up and give big snuggles whenever we sang it!! My song is "Good Morning Starshine/Age of Aquarius". My Dad used to sing that to me all the time. Shawn sings "Christine, Sixteen" to me; a KISS song of course!!! However, he did sing Eric Claptin's "Beautiful Tonight" on the radio for me and they played it on my 30th birthday. My sister's song is "Pretty Woman". I wonder what Isabel's song will be? We will only know it when we meet and see her. So Happy 18th to our "Beautiful Doll, our Great Big Beautiful Doll...".

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jude has arrived!!!!!!

Congratulations to David, Katie and Emma!!! Jude Cavel Conner ... was born today at 8:30 am EST. We are the proud Auntie and Uncle of a beautiful nephew. Katie is home and doing great!!! Jude was 8 pounds, 4 ounces at birth. We are so very excited to know that he has come safely into the world. My Mom is there for Emma and I am so glad that Jude decided to come this week so that Mom could be there. She has a huge group of students coming from Spain this weekend. It will be hard for her to leave Emma and the new baby. Katie and family live in Toronto, while Mom is in London. My Mom is also going to join us on our trip to China. She likes to be there when her grandchildren are born or in our case, "delivered" .
In other great news, the CCAA posted today that they have completed referrals up to and including June 28th. This means that they are on track with a 12 month wait and we will hopefully be going to China next spring!!!!! There was some doubt out there but they have matched 13 days worth this time which is great news. They haven't done that for months. So, with all of my events completed, CCAA's posting and of course the new arrival of baby Jude (the dude, can't help myself!!), we cracked open a bottle of champagne, ordered in sushi and are finishing up with the rest of the furniture/carpet removal tonight. The new floors go down tomorrow!! Hooray!!
So, congrats again to my little sister!! We love you guys very much and wish we were there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Up early this morning...

very early. When I have a big event, it is very rare to have a good night sleep before it. My dreams were filled with horror stories like not having enough wine, the music ending too soon etc. Ah, the life of an event planner. So from 3:30am onward, I thought about numerous things; planning the day ahead and actually coming up with some good ideas. One of those ideas was to share these two stories of families in China right now. They are from Family Outreach International and one family is from Victoria. Shawn and I have been following their incredible trips. You can read about the Thoms at and the Wolffs at . Shawn loves reading about the plane trips to China and in China. The Wolffs actually posted a picture from the airplane. Shawn is very much looking forward to the 12 hour flight. I on the other hand... gravol all the way. So, have to get my day started. No news of my little sister's baby yet. Still waiting...

Monday, June 19, 2006

And today is...

just another day. I tried very hard to motivate myself to start painting Isabel's room yesterday but household chores just seemed to take up the entire day. I wonder really, if I am making excuses but the laundry has to be done,phone calls made, the kitchen cleaned and the food prepared for the coming week. So I hope not but I had meant to at least tape it off. I think that taking that step will be a big one and I am superstitious. Kind of like when people don't want to do anything for a new baby until it is here. I am justifying the painting of the lavender room by telling myself that even if it doesn't end up being her room, I still really like the colour.

In other more exciting news, my sister is about to have her second baby!! When I was speaking to her yesterday she was uncomfortable and the baby had dropped. Can't wait to hear that the baby has arrived safe and sound. She had a midwife appointment today that she was looking forward to. I think at this stage (she has two due dates, the 23rd and July 1st), she just wants to have that baby. They have their wonderful new home and this baby won't have to start out in the walk-in closet like my dear niece Emma did!! By the way, Kate's baby room is ready to go and the crib is up and ready to receive the new addition. I only hope that four year old Emma will survive the excitement of a new baby at home. She has barely survived the excitement of baby Blake, her cousin, who is now 11 months old. We are thinking of you Katie and hope that everything goes well in the next few weeks. Big hugs from your big sis.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

What a week!!

It has been a crazy week with so much to do at work. I am planning two separate events that happen next week for a Director who is leaving at the end of June. One is a five course dinner party for 170 people with live entertainment of course!! The other is a champagne tea with the staff. I have created a few skits so that we can "roast" him at the tea. Should be fun, but what a job!! He is such a perfectionist and I even went to the trouble of ordering silver vases for the roses from the States!! Crazy!! We had our Father's Day Ho-down yesterday with BBQ ribs, country music and chocolate cigars for all of the fellas. I have also planned the Father's day dinner party for tomorrow night. Who knew that I would be planning parties for 200+ people on a regular basis!! Not I!!!
I was chatting with a woman who has three young boys and does the same job as I do. She says that when people's kids come over to her house, they always leave with a craft or baked goodie that they have made. She said that she programs events at work and at home!! I wonder if I will be like that with Isabel? I know that I am planning to have a craft area for her with an easel etc. We have also been looking into the different activities offered in our area for her to participate in. Music is high on our list as is swimming and other active pursuits. My focus will change from running these other events to putting together her birthday parties and family events. With Shawn's schedule, we will be able to do so much next summer!! And yes, I was looking in the paper this morning at used RV's!! Can't get them out of my head.
So, these are my thoughts for today. Back to ripping up the last bits of carpet pad so that the new floors can be installed next week. Yippee, no more living out of boxes!!