Al Fresco

We had our first dinner out on the deck this weekend. The candles were one of my first IKEA purchases ever. Just 5 bucks and this candle holder can form a circle or a straight or wavy line, whatever. So cool. It fits perfectly around the umbrella pole in the outside table. Jon’s parents came over and we grilled out burgers. We tend to chat a bit so dinner ran late. It was a little dark, but we could still see a bit of what we were eating. While having dinner my inlaws proposed something to us they had been planning/looking in to and wondered if we’d be up for it. So all mothers out there, esp adoptive mothers bringing babies home from China, I need your advice. Jon’s parents want us to change our return trip plans. So instead of coming straight home from China to the mainland, we’d meet them in Hawaii and spend a few days there. My first thought was hell yeah I’m all in, and that would help Ling Ling (and us) with the whole time change thing. You know, she’d only have to adjust to a few hours difference at a time. But then I wonder if we shouldn’t just come straight home. But then I think, we’re already in the neighborhood and what other chance would we have to go to Hawaii esp. with it being a treat from our in-laws? So, what would you do?

Kicking it

The season finale of CSI sparked some conversation around here about ways we don’t want to die. I’ve always had a top 3 list beyond the obvious: drowning, burning alive, murder, torture, smothering, starvation, attack by wild animal. If I had to choose of course I’d pick going to sleep and never waking up but beyond that I guess I’d go with freezing to death and carbon monoxide. Those seem harmless enough- well, other than the death part.
Lisa and I were rehashing the CSI season finale and I was telling her how stressed I was the whole time because I couldn’t believe they actually combined two of my biggest ways to die fears into one show.

My top 3 ways I’m terrified of dying:
1. Being buried alive
2. Being eaten alive by ants (I hate to itch)
3. Driving down the highway behind a big truck carrying metal beams and the strap breaks and the beam comes through the window decapitating me and possibly any passengers (I woulnd’t want my death to start a chain reaction where anyone else would be hurt or killed)

Sorry, I guess this is morbid talk. I don’t think about it all the time or anything. Well, #3 comes up when I’m driving so I stay clear of any truck carrying long dangerous looking things. It’s just something I know. I know my top 3 ways I don’t want to die like I can rattle off the top 5 things I don’t like to eat. (asparagus, oysters, capers, fish soup of any kind, and anything ending in wurst)
I know I can’t be the only person who’s thought of this can I? How don’t you want to die?

Skate

Last summer I bought a new pair of roller skates. I hadn’t had any in a while and I like how now you can get them sneaker style. I grew up roller skating, but hadn’t skated in years. So last June I bought a cute pair and thought how cool would it be if roller skating came back and was hip again. Imagine my delight when I started seeing roller skating everywhere on tv lately. First in that sparkle Diet Coke ad. Then in a rap video I noticed some skating. The most recent is the roller skating iPod ad with the cool song from the Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc. I’m so excited, I think it’s really coming back. How cute would that be to get Ling Ling her very own tiny skates?

Diffused

Yesterday the fabulous Karen drove down for a wonderful afternoon of lunch, shopping, and lots of talking. It was very cool to spend some time with someone who is my age and adopting from China too. We don’t know too many people who are or have adopted, and the ones we do know are much older than us. Anyway, we tooled around town, had some great Thai for lunch, and stopped into a few funky little shops. She found a cute outfit for Gwen (daughter to be), and I found a cool reed fragrance diffuser from Earth Elements at one of my favorite stores Paper Skyscraper. (although the one I purchased was quite a few dollars less than the prices on their site- not sure how or why). I’d been looking for something to scent Ling Ling’s room and Jon was quick to point out that flaming candles don’t mix with babies. So this will be perfect. I found one in pink that matches the wall color in her room. So then I was looking at these diffusers online, and I’ve been interested in something to use all around the house that I didn’t have to constantly replace like candles or plug in wall scenty things. These diffusers apparently last for months and the oil to refill them is wicked cheap (like $3). I’m going to get these for all over the house. And the cool thing is- you don’t have to go buy the pricey kits. All you need is a vase, reeds, and oil. I’m thinking this will be a good Christmas present to put together for people this year. Hmmm.

Happy Birthday Little Sister!

Tuesday was my sister Sara’s 29th birthday. The family all met up at Chuck E. Cheese (Sara’s choice-for the boys). We ate lunch then she opened up her presents- Joey helped. You must click on that picture to enlarge it because his face is way too cute- he looks more excited than his mom is to be receiving a set of chip and dip party plates. What 4 month old wouldn’t be? Jake had fun with all the little rides and things . Jon was still waking up. We all played a bunch of games and won those little tickets. So Jake walked out with a Tonka truck and that made his day.

After lunch we dropped the boys off at Sara’s house then went to see the new house her and my BIL Marce are building. They have a great lot in a really good neighborhood that’s close to all the conveniences they’ll need. She then took me to another community so I could see the model of their particular home. Such a cute house. I can’t wait for their house to be finished.

When we got news that Sara and Marc’s current house finally sold! Woohoo! So we decided to stay for a celebratory dinner- Marc made wings mmmm, and we had cake as well while watching the final American Idol singing showdown. Jon and I finally got home a little past 11pm. Whew. Long day- but totally worth it. Happy Birthday Sara! xoxo

I am an International Jackass

So we ordered Chinese take out again last night (this place not only has really great food but ridiculously cheap prices- like $4 for dinner so that’s how we can afford to budget it in, plus they often give us freebies).
We get there and I go in and Amy is back from maternity leave. She’s married to the main dude that works there, Jimshum. They just had their 2nd child, a girl named Katie- sister to Kevin. She’s all excited to see me and says “my husband told me you’re going to China to get a baby” and she had tons of questions. After we talked about that and she quizzed me on the little tiny few words of Chinese I’ve learned she asked where was my husband? I told her he was in the car waiting and asked about her husband, Jimshum. She looked at me funny then said he worked that morning and was at home. I said “Am I saying his name right? Jimshum? Jee um shuh um?” I made sure to say it loud and sound it out.
She said to me “No. His name is Jason.”
OMG. I am such an ass. I’ve been calling him Jimshum on the phone, in person, in conversation, on the internet, for a year! Before I asked his name I just called him Excuse Me. I guess I just heard Jimshum when he said his name was Jason. How easy is Jason?? How can I screw that up? I mean, his wife’s name is Amy, their kids are Kevin and Katie. WHY would he be Jimshum?? No wonder he always looked at me a little weird when I’d walk in and yell Hey Jimshum! like the jackass I am. He must think I have a major speech impediment and am not fit to raise a child from their country. Oh no, I hope he doesn’t think I was making fun of him! I’m the laughing stock of the local Chinese community. I am so embarrassed.
I’m going to go paint a scarlet C on my chest now.

The Power of 3

Lisa challenged me to take this little quiz. 3’s my lucky number so I’ll go for it.

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1. Shannon
2. Shann.y
3. Honey

THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
1. heyshann.ygirl
2. shannylj
3. prettycraftygirl

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. my hair
2. my mouth
3. my eyes

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU DON’T LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. I have wide feet
2. I have short stubby legs and arms and hands
3. I have excema

THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
1. Irish
2. English
3. American

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
1. Losing Jon, a family member, or a good friend to death
2. Being rear ended by another vehicle, esp on a highway causing a pileup. (all because of a terrible wreck I had in 2001 where I was rear ended by a Cadillac at 55 mph and I was stopped at a light in my tiny Honda Civic. It wasn’t pretty)
3. never having children

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1. Lip gloss or balm
2. Lotion
3. Water

THREE THINGS YOU’RE WEARING NOW:
1. Pink satin sleep mask up on my head
2. Nightgown (I just woke up)
3. Wedding rings

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS OR MUSICAL ARTISTS
*this changes a lot but BNL and Liz are forever favorites.
1. Barenaked Ladies
2. Liz Phair
3. Aslyn

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS
* of all time or at this moment? I’ll go with a mix.
1. Baby I love you- Aretha Franklin
2. Wally- Aslyn
3. Gotta Get Up From Here- Ellie Lawson

THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
1. Love
2. Humor
3. Trust

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
1. I have one tattoo and think about getting another one a lot.
2. I have no desire to travel to Europe or Africa.
3. I am scared of the dark.

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS ABOUT THE PREFERRED SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
1. Eyes
2. Hands
3. Smile

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
1. Making Jewelry
2. Painting
3. Scrapbooking

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
1. Go get Ling Ling
2. Go on a private cruise with all my family and friends
3. Win the lottery

THREE CAREERS YOU’RE CONSIDERING:
1. Mother
2. Party Planner
3. Artist and boutique owner

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
1. Alaskan cruise
2. Las Vegas
3. Atlantis

THREE KIDS NAMES YOU LIKE:
1. Aidan
2. Claire
3. Sophia

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1. Have children
2. Visit each of the 50 states
3. Be a contestant on Family Feud and The Price is Right.

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A GIRL/BOY:
1. I love Makeup & beauty products
2. I love all things sparkly and glittery
3. I don’t like yard work or getting dirty and sweaty

THREE CELEBRITY CRUSHES
1. Brad Pitt
2. Orlando Bloom
3. Jeff Goldblum

THREE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO TAKE THIS QUIZ NOW:
1. Shannon O.
2. Amanda
3. Bethanie

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

Our house is a 2 story and we have 2 heating/cooling units. The unit that cools the upstairs has decided that there is no need for cool air where we sleep, shower, use the computer, do crafts, etc. Lucky for us it’s been unseasonably cool. It’s only 79 degrees today. I’m dying people. Remember from your science class that heat rises. Sleeping upstairs lately has been like crawling into a hot bean burrito and trying to rest. The a/c man is coming today between 2 and 4 and hopefully this will be a quick fix. Pray that I don’t melt.

The Process

Hannah asked if we’d be going to China to get Ling Ling and I realized I haven’t explained the process. According to our agency this is what our lives will be like the next year or so:
-Parents apply with CWA and send Application Fee. Fees are billed as incurred and are non-refundable. Fees will wreck you financially, but it will all be worth it in the end.
-Upon acceptance, CWA provides access to the Initial Adoption Procedure (IAP) webpage.
-Parents complete and return all forms from IAP and send first half CWA Professional Service fee.
-Parents are assigned a CWA case manager. Case manager tries to maintain a straight face while determining if these two goofballs are fit to be parents.
-Parents apply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and begin a home study with a certified investigator from their state. CWA provides home study services for parents living in NC or SC. (for another fee) Social worker walks into Parents’ home and laughs menacingly as she writes nasty things on her report. Doubts if home is safe for child while being inhabited by two bitchy cats and two insane pugs.
-Parents send their completed dossier (paperwork) to CWA along with the second half of CWA Professional Services Fee, the China Program Fee and the translation fee. Parents obsessively check with agency to make sure dossier wasn’t lost.
-CWA sends dossier to China for translation, review, and approval. A child is referred by the Chinese government. Parents receive pictures and medical information. Approximate wait time for referral is 6 months. Parents go crazy waiting for referral because there is only so much decorating you can do.
-Parents send post adoption administration fee and China travel fees to CWA within 30 days. Parents purchase international airline tickets directly from travel agent. Parents beg for first class upgrade.
-Parents travel to pick up their child. Mother goes into ugly cry when child is placed in her arms. Mother’s face must now be edited on home video as she looks like Tammy Faye after a monsoon. Parents pay adoption expenses to Chinese adoption authorities, children’s welfare center, and US Consulate.
-Child receives citizenship upon returning to the US. Hooray!
-Parents and child go home and spend next few weeks recovering from jet lag while child tries to get used to the woman with yellow hair and the giant man who are now her parents.