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!!!