Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is where my rookie-ness really shines. Somehow, almost every time I do this, I grab the wrong size of something that throws off my plan. There was a Huggies deal this week (spend $20 on CERTAIN Huggies products, get 5 ecb's back.) Including body wash, wipes and certain count diapers. I had some great coupons for all of it. Except I bought the wrong count diapers. Dang it! Instead of grabbing the $10 pack- and counting toward my $20 total for the ecb deal, I bought the $17 pack that DID NOT count toward the deal. Therefore, costing me an extra $7 and NOT resulting in my 5 ecbs. Sheesh.
So, I gotta go back tomorrow with my tail between my legs- again, take back the $17 diapers, trade 'em in for the $10 pack and hopefully walk out with my 5 ecbs. There is also a razor I'm after that hits the shelves tomorrow afternoon. (silly!)
Deal experts- how long will it take before I stop making these lame-o mistakes? Is there hope? Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story!
Olivia likes to help me clip my coupons. She's pretty good at it (she doesn't get to handle the real ones, but what she doesn't know won't hurt her.)
Turner has a stacking toy that he likes to wear on his head. Don't let this angelic pose fool you, he's into EVERYTHING. All the time. He is a clown and loves to ham it up. I enjoy this guy a ton.
I caught these two up to what I thought was no good. Didn't hear anything for several minutes and here they were. O was reading Turner a book and he was "kind of" listening. It was very sweet, until moments later, Turner ripped the book away from O, she slapped his hand and they both took turns screaming at each other. Perhaps a taste of things to come.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
If you know me or you've followed this blog even a little bit you know that I'm a self-proclaimed technical laggard. (I learned that word in high school and it makes me sound really smart. But it's just a smart word for LAMO!)
Anyhow, until Christmas, Steve and I had a dinosaur of a printer. The kind that was big, bulky and you screwed it into the back of your computer. Well when our old computer died this fall and we had to get a new, high tech laptop the old dinosaur finally went extinct when there weren't even holes in the back of the computer to attempt screwing anything into. So for Christmas I asked my parents for a new printer.
True to my beloved's personality, before purchasing a new anything, lots and lots of time, research and energy must go into said purchase. After subscribing to consumer reports for a few months, Christmas finally came to our house in January (when we could also "take advantage of all the after-Christmas sales.") P.S. If it were up to Steve, we would celebrate Christmas at the Chinese New Year so that ALL gifts could be purchased in what he is sure is the cheapest time of the year ever- known as- After Christmas Sales. But I digress...
Well, let's just say my new printer is AWESOME. I'm a printing fool. Because not only does it print- wireless- it's also a copier. So now, I really don't have to plan ahead. I don't have to worry about a trip to Kinko's or a visit to our office, I can lay around until my copies are needed. This is like my dream come true. And I've got a stack of sweet coupons just begging for a trip to the store-- so I can buy more stuff-- I mean, uh, save us money!!!
Now you know where to find me, Makin' copies!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
a 30 degree day) where we could head over to the park for some fresh air. But instead we are watching our fair share of movies, going to the Y and ....
inventing new games. This is one of O's new favorites. She gets really nervous and gets a great core workout until she finally gives in and trusts her daddy and then swings upside down for awhile. It is hilarious.
She went from beggar child to super cutie in one trim of the mullet! Last time we went in for a haircut I asked them to keep it long because it was finally long enough for a ponytail. But O REFUSES to let me put her hair in a ponytail. I kid not- I ask several times a day if I can put one in. Usually the response is, "Not today." What can I do? It's her hair after all.
But the straw that finally broke the camels back was the day before the haircut and I was on my 3rd plea of the day for a ponytail when she said no. I started to badger her. "Olivia, why don't you want a ponytail?" "Because I don't want a ponytail." "But WHY don't you want one." "Because I don't want one." "Yeah, but what's the reason?"
Monday, January 19, 2009
Another proof that God is involved is a crazy detail regarding our friend Shannon being at his exact orphanage this past summer with a group of other Chinese young executives on a service project to beautify his orphanage. Shannon is a really great Chinese friend of mine and we have a long history together. When we first found out where Quinn was living, my friend Lisa told me that Shannon had been there and that she may have a contact at the orphanage whom we could get in touch with. I've been facebooking Shannon since we found out about Quinn. Here is the message I received this morning:
Sorry for not writing you for so long. Sophie is no longer there. One of the girls in my home group is from Xi An, she asked one of her friends to go to Xian Yang and look for Sophie but she is no longer working there. I will try to send you some photos later. When I was there, kids under five were managed separately by an organization, not part of the bigger orphanage. Almost all the staff are believers, kids are loved and taken care of very well. I was really amazed at what I saw. We painted huge murals for the first floor, which is where the small children lived. Have you gotten your kid yet?
I'm leaving tonight for the Chinese new year and will be back at the end of Jan. I'll contact you then! Have a warm winter, miss you!
Are you kidding me??? We pray every night before bed (as Quinn begins his day in China) that there would be someone there to love him, hug him and protect him until we can get our hands on him and bring him home. It sounds as if there is a good chance that is happening (and not always the case in orphanages across China nor the world.)
I am so thankful that God would connect us to a little boy, rejected because of a facial deformity, but scooped up by his Maker and put in a safe place until he can come home. Naturally, we would have been just as happy to pick up a child whose started life in a horrible situation, but had we not started this journey when we did and progress in just the format in which we had, we would not have been matched with Quinn.
Please continue to pray for a fast forward on the rest of the red tape and that we would be able to go and get him soon! God is certainly in the details.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
a.) I'm glad I spent a valuable date night on
b.) I'd recommend to others
c.) I'd pay full price a second time to see
It must be a blue moon. Steve and I braved the frigid cold temperatures and the snowy roads last Thursday night to see Slumdog Millionaire. It was all three of those things and more.
If you don't know much about the movie I won't share too much because I'm a firm believer that it is better to be pleasantly surprised rather than expecting something to change your life and leave a theatre thinking, "ho-hum." But I do have to say, this may have been my favorite movie in YEARS.
I sat through a lot of the film with my hand over my eyes, fingers cracked so I could get the gist of things. Not because it is a horror film (of the Friday the 13th genre) or a shoot 'em up Hollywood kind of thing. It was simply too much for me to take. My heart raced, I cried and I laughed. It made me hope for all things to be made right in the world and it made me hope that love would win out and the good guys get theirs in the end. It made my hope for my Christian faith come alive and my desire for justice to prevail shout out. It also made my love for other cultures even greater and my gratitude for living in America re-ignite. It is a movie that all whiny Americans should see (especially in these tough economic times- I don't mean to minimize the hard times many are going through, but this certainly puts life into perspective.)
If you have a chance, I highly recommend this film. If you do end up seeing it, or have seen it and want to add your two cents, leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Forget the popcorn though, this just isn't that kind of movie!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
When we arrived in China the instructions were to get off the boat so that we could go and get baby Quinn. She picked him up and handed him to me (where we were both holding him like a new born- I couldn't quite convince O that he is both older AND bigger than Turner, oh well.) She told me we were going to hug and kiss him so that he wouldn't cry and be scared. I said maybe we should have cake and ice cream too. (I was informed that Quinn is too little to eat cake and ice cream- silly me, I forgot she is the law maker around here.) After Quinn was properly hugged and kissed we were then off to take Quinn "home" to the Diamond Castle (since most events in the day do end up in some kind of reference to the Barbie Movie.) And Quinn was declared, "So cute, he's a keeper!"- where does she come up with this stuff???
Wow! We really have entered a new world of pretend play sprinkled with a bit of reality. I do wonder how many families out there go on pretend boat rides to pick up their adopted brothers from China? Our family just doesn't quite do things like everyone else on the block. Oh, and other Olivia related news: today ended the 3 1/2 month pants strike. Upon her own accord, she agreed to wear pink pants. Hallelujah! After all, it gets cold on that slow boat to China in just a dress.
Take this morning for example. We awoke in the wee wee hours of the day to a dog with some bowel issues. Poor Steve had to get up and let Baxter out several time through out the night. Well, there must have been one time that got missed because as I was getting out of the shower Steve let me know that there was indeed, a mess waiting for us in the living room-- and Turner found it!! If there is a pool of diarrhea somewhere, leave it to Turner not only to find it, but to sit in it. New outfit for Turner and for Steve (who had to quickly rescue baby from poop pool w/o thinking through what that meant for his outfit.)
Between the two of us, we got the nasty mess cleaned up and back to normal. It did manage to leave a black cloud hanging over my head the rest of the morning (resulting in me needing to apologize to a co-worker later.) So I came home, rushed the kids off to a nap and decided to fix myself a cheesy plate of nachos and watch a re-run of Roseanne. (Just what the doctor ordered for a someone trying to over come pessimism, indeed.)
Then, it must have been the Lord, I came up with a better plan... spend time with Jesus. I had a great time putting some thoughts on paper and reading my Bible. And this is what I found:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and LEARN FROM ME, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (ahhh... Matthew 11:28,29)
Now, that's a cure for pessimism! Yeah, crap happens! And sometimes it happens all over your living room floor, and your kids sits in it and you're a jerk. But there is hope, a way out and rest! I've got a long way to go before someone accuses me of being an optimist, but for the rest of the day I'm gonna hang on to this one. Tomorrow I'll tackle stress-tolerance over a re-run of Mama's Family and the book of Job.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Poor little guy didn't know what hit him, just when he thought he was done after three holes in his legs, they came back at him with a needle to the arm because his parents are just evil enough to drag him to a country where TB is still a threat.
And to top it all off, we get an encore tomorrow at Children's Hospital where Turner will go for blood work because those same awful parents live in a super old house where there is a threat of lead poisoning. Ack. Can't wait for that appointment! That should be like a day at the amusement park for everyone. At least at Children's they have really cool toys to trick them into thinking it's something pretty cool and then- whamo! Needle to the arm. Luckily, thanks to the advice of my 2 year old, I've been working out; so I should be able to restrain my 1 year old as they drain his arm. Oh, and did I mention I'm working on my pessimism problem? Can't you see this post dripping with optimism? Maybe I'll start that tomorrow--- after the blood work.
Just in case you're curious, Turner weighed in at a whopping 20 lbs. 1 oz today. While he is at 15% weight and 25% height (according to the national average of American babies) he is in the 50th percentile for his proportions. So he is normally proportionate, just a bit "petite" according to the Doctor. Remember that post about Buckeye football, we may hold our bets on that one for right now.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
But I was back this week. I felt exceptionally organized as I headed off for my solo shopping extravaganza. (I had some major extra care bucks saved up as well as some great coupons- I knew this was going to be great trip.)
I had things separated into two transactions. The first one went well and I spent .14 cents. It was awesome. I made 12 ecb's and had 2 left over from the first transaction to use on the second one. But that's when things turned sour.
First off, I think I was working with a less than helpful and less than competent cashier. She rang a few things up at the wrong price, I didn't get my ecb's at the end of the transaction and when I tried to get things adjusted she let out a heavy sigh and told me it didn't matter that the price wasn't adjusted because I had coupons and the price would still come down. That would have been well and good, except I had worked it where between the sales price and coupons that I had, there were several items I would get for free/make money on it.
Because of all the confusion and my frustration with the whole thing, I went home and got control, figured out the mess, went to church and after church, went back to take issue with the bill.
When I got there, the lady who had been helping my cashier with my order helped me this time. When I told her I had been there earlier in the afternoon her reply was "Oh, yeah, you were the problem child." G-R-E-A-T. Not helping me hang in there with this CVS thing. This lady said the problem was that the cashier hadn't scanned my CVS card properly, therefore, I didn't get any of the sales prices nor did I get the ECB's. Add that to my list of things to do when I shop at CVS; double check that my cashier is doing their job. She gave me a cash refund (that honestly, I'm still not sure was completely right) but I let it go this time.
I got all that stuff in the picture for $14 after my refund (the medicine alone, would have been $14 in my "old" life) and I got 12 ECB's to use on my next trip...if there IS a next trip.
Because we decided to *recycle* Turner's gifts (as they were still in the attic unopened from Christmas morning,) you may notice some familiar Christmas wrap from an earlier post. Please don't talk about me behind my back, I'd like to think of this as one of my more practical moves. Because the interest level was about the same three weeks later, all the kids got a present to help open. This actually was a big hit- although some of our younger guests (and sister) had a wee bit of a hard time understanding these were actually not for them. Life lessons never start too soon.
I thought the cake would be a bigger hit than the presents, but mostly T enjoyed man-handling the cake (which is true about most food these days.) Maybe he prefers chocolate?
Nonetheless, he did end up with a few bites going in rather than down.
And here is a shot of everyone enjoying another round of new toys. Had we been better planners and had we been in control of conception (rather than God, Himself) we may have thought ahead and not had a baby so close to Christmas. It's like Toys R Us has opened its doors and vomited directly into 107 Green St. When spring rolls around and you are having a garage sale, let me know, we might have a few items to throw in!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
But all's well that ends well. 9 lbs and eight days late, he stole my heart right away and has been doing so ever since. (Oh, and can I say again, thank God for Weight Watchers. Yikers!)
More gifts to come. B/c he wasn't too interested Christmas morning and b/c he has cheap parents, he's getting his unopened Christmas gifts. Its all the same to a one-year-old.
And to wrap up the day- a quick round of the Barbie movie. Turner just can't get enough of that dragon, or so Olivia says! Actual "party" tomorrow (friends coming over for Chinese take-out and cake.) More pictures later.
Happy birthday, sweet baby boy. Did I mention he now walks, climbs on most things stable (and not) and L-O-V-E-S dogs. We're pretty sure he's got Buckeye football in his future (maybe they'll start winning then.) Go Bucks.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
So we were thrilled to have a call on the house and a young, single girl come and look at it. We decided it would be a good idea to get the kids outta the house while she looked around, so we went to the Y for the evening. When we got back she had already come and gone and I couldn't wait to get the scoop.
The weird thing about for sale by owner, you get to hear what the people really think. Humph!! Pretty much, she's not gonna buy it (unless a miracle happens, but the way things are going for us these days, I wouldn't be surprised!)
She told Steve if she took it, she'd have to make a few changes. (Duh, that's what you do when you buy a house!) I asked if she expanded on that. He said she commented on our kitchen cabinets and how they aren't the same.
What? That's not true.
I walked into the kitchen, and sure enough, I've lived here nearly 6 years AND NEVER EVEN NOTICED. By golly, our kitchen cabinets don't match. Ha! That's me in a nutshell. I am so not a detail person (drives Steve crazy!) So next time you are at my house just smile and nod and pretend like everything is normal, apparently I like it that way.
Pictured here are the cousins. This was the best shot we could get of a 3 year old, 2 year old, 1 year old and a 4 month old (how in the world baby Carter can sleep through this photo shoot is beyond me!)
Here is a super sweet shot of O and Great Grandma, who is a reverse snow bird. Great Grandma lives in Tampa, Fl. 10 months of the year but chooses to spend every December and January in Michigan. Here G.G-ma is letting O try out her "tv ears." They are SWEET. I'm thinking about getting myself a pair.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Our final paper has been authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in NYC and is on its Priority Mail way back to Dayton, OH. My dear friend, Cindy and her two girls were gracious enough to go above and beyond the call of all friendship duty and hand deliver the document today (with a same-day turn around for their efforts) saving us about 3 or 4 weeks wait time. I can't even stinkin' believe it! There is a small chance that our dossier may be on its way to China by the end of the week.
If you can (and are) keeping track of this whole dang thing, once China gets that dossier (or pile of officially official papers stamped by everyone and their brother) we wait for our official approval to adopt Quinn. And once we get that approval its a matter of a few months before we can go and get that chunk of a boy.
Oh, and did I mention that we have seen God bring in over $19,000 for this adoption? ($22,00 is what we need.) Ah, yeah! The month of December has been one big fat- "I gotcha covered" by God Almighty. Very cool, indeed.
I spent most of Sunday grocery shopping, finding homes for all the new toys that have found our house as their new address and packing away Christmas decorations. Why do the Christmas towels, tree ornaments and 75 other red and green nick-knacks seem like such a brilliant idea in November and then turn on you the first of January? Who thought re-decorating your house for one month was a good idea? Wish that same person was available to pack up the Rubbermaid containers and haul them up to the third floor!
Today, back to normal. Ahhh. Pilates, crazy lunch, nap time, waiting for the UPS guy to bring our new flat-screen tv... you know, the usual. My kids are about as inflexible as they come, and there is no guess work in trying to figure out where they get that from. I sure do love my routine! The holidays are magical and all, but I'm glad we're back to boring.