Adoption Limbo

I get the occasional email and Facebook message from people wondering how the adoption is going.  Well, up til about a month ago it was going pretty well.  Our social worker came to visit and do our individual interviews last month and it went great.  But we have had some more speed bumps.  We are still working on the next steps I blogged about, but in the mean time we are dealing with some issues.   Long story so get comfy.  Continue reading

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5 minutes with myself 10 years ago

The Daily Post offers up topics about which to write when you’re looking for inspiration for your daily blog posts.  One struck my fancy a few days ago.

If you could go back in time and have a 5 minute conversation with yourself ten years ago, what would you say?

I thought this was pretty interesting because we are coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary, so if I were to go back in time right now to 10 years ago I’d find myself in the final countdown to the wedding.  This is some of what I’d say to myself:
  • Hire a videographer for the wedding.  I know you think you can’t afford it but you’ll regret it years from now that you didn’t.
  • Push that piece of hair out of your face.  It’s caught on your eyebrow and drives you nuts every time you look at your wedding pictures.
  • Tuck some lip gloss in your bra.  You get a little stressed at the reception because you can’t find any.
  • Take that wedding gift money and buy stock in Apple. They are going to invent the iPod and it’s going to change the way the world listens to music.
  • In a few years you’re going to be tempted to build a house by CP Morgan. RUN from this company.  They are the devil and will cause you nothing but stress.
  • One day you’re going to meet a girl who you think will be a great friend.  She’s not.  Don’t waste your time investing in this friendship.
  • Take some more of that wedding money and buy into the Walt Disney Vacation Club.  You’re going to fall in love with their cruise ships and the club will save you money.
  • Spend a little extra time over the next year with Jade and Melissa.  They will both pass away at a young age.
  • Moisturize.  Moisturize even when you think you’ve moisturized plenty.
  • Wear SPF at all times.
  • When you’re selling the house in Fort Mill, don’t run through the kitchen.  There’s water on the floor and you slip causing you to tear your meniscus.  This results in surgery.  Might as well avoid it!
  • Don’t color your hair with box color at home.  You end up with hooker hair.
  • When you’re in Las Vegas next week on your honeymoon, get up a little earlier on your planned Grand Canyon day.  It’s a heck of a lot farther away than you thought!
  • Don’t spend even one second being nervous.  Soak in every second of this week’s wedding activities and next week’s honeymoon.  You’re marrying the best man you’ve ever known.  He’ll make you happy forever.  The best thing you’ve ever done was saying yes.
When I was thinking about this list I thought about maybe warning myself against getting into the China adoption or Guatemala adoption because neither of them worked out.  But so much good came out of all of them.  Friendships were made that would have never been made otherwise and they’ve lasted.  Plus, we are a sum of our experiences and even though it would save some pain and a lot of money and stress, I wouldn’t change anything in regard to the adoptions .  I’m exactly where and who I’m supposed to be now because of all I’ve been through.
What would you tell yourself 10 years ago?

Words With Friends

Words With Friends is one of the apps on my home screen.  The home screen of your iPhone is prime real estate.  Only the best of the best apps end up there.  My home page has the clock, photos, text messages, iPod, and calendar apps plus ICS (In Case of Emergency), Facebook, Dragon Search, Awesome Note, GetGlue, MapQuest, EverNote, Kik, some social apps like Twitter, Duo for iPhone, Foodspotting, Instagram, Skype;  and the main bar at the bottom which includes Mail, Phone, and Camera.

If you don’t play Words With Friends you may be wondering what about it makes it worthy to be on my home screen.  Words With Friends is basically a free Scrabble knockoff. To buy Scrabble as an app on your phone you’d pay like $5 I think.  You can play Words With Friends for free on an iPhone or Android or buy it to get rid of the adds for like $3 (I think) or you could do like I did and wait for it to go on sale for 99 cents.  Every night before I go to sleep I play my Words With Friends turns. Everyone is addicted to it.  Even Jason Bateman talked about his Words With Friends addiction on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  Anyone know his screen name?  I’d love to play him!  I have about 15-17 games going at any given time.  I play with friends and their friends.  For instance I play with my Virtual Twin Deb and her sister in law.  Her SIL kicks my arse 9 out of 10 games.  Come to think of it, Deb kicks my arse 9 out of 10 times.  But playing them has made me a better player.  I get scores now I never used to achieve.  I love how Words With Friends has a chat feature too.  Helps me keep up with my peeps.

My screen name is iShanny if you wanna play!

Kik it

One of the apps I use every single day on my iPhone is called Kik.   I LOVE this app.  It’s free, it’s easy, and it does what it’s supposed to do.  Kik is a free  texting app.  You can text any Kik user an unlimited number of texts no matter what type of phone they use. iPhone, iPod, Android.  It has never crashed on me. It has a clean UI that reminds me of the iChat format.  It has never not delivered a message.  And it saves me a TON of money a month.  Because I use Kik I’m able to use the $5 a month texting package.  That allows me 200 texts a month.  Then I use Kik for the rest of it.  Awesome.  Go here to get it then we’ll text!

Hola or Ni hao?

Cover of "Learn Spanish (Learn Languages ...

Cover of Learn Spanish (Learn Languages Series)

I’m a planner.  Considering we’ve been trying to adopt for 5 years now I’ve had plenty of time to plan.  We’ve discussed everything from dating rules for our kids to who’s going to pay for their first car etc.  One of the things I’ve thought about lately is languages.  It is so important now to be bilingual at the very least.  I took 4 years of Spanish in school.  I can be cordial with the waitress at our local Mexican restaurant but I’m nowhere near conversational or fluent.  I do have a book on tape on my iPod, I guess that would be audiobook now- old habits, and I’ve listened to it some . I bought it when we were working on our Guatemalan adoption.  I think it would serve our children well if they learn Spanish, whether in school or at home.  I’ve also been thinking about Mandarin, especially with my recent trips to the Grand Asia Market.  China is clearly emerging as a world power so learning Mandarin could be a huge benefit too.  I have Pimsleur’s Quick and Easy Mandarin on my iPod too.  I haven’t made it past the first 3 chapters though.  Once I got to chapter 3 we were disqualified from adopting from China so I had to stay away from learning it for a while.  When I was with Susan at the Asian Market the other day we talked about this and she suggested teaching the kidlets Mandarin because they’ll likely pick up Spanish from friends and in school.   I think that’s a good idea.  I really admire people who are fluent in more than one language.  Ooh, I know like 5 words in Greek, does that mean I’m trilingual?  I think it would be really fun to learn the languages along with my kids.  Plus, we can totally speak in Mandarin or Spanish when we don’t want bystanders to know what we’re talking about.  Like a secret code!

Do any of you plan on teaching your children another language?  If so, what?

My gift to you

If I was independently wealthy then I’d buy all my peeps iPhones and iPads for Christmas.  Alas this is not the case.  So instead I will give to you free Apps that you will love and that will no doubt change your life for the better.  Huzzah!  Now, first understand that I do not get paid or receive any swag from any of my endorsements (not that I’d turn it down- I love presents!).  I just love to share things I love!

This week let me tell you about Waze.  Waze is a free app for iPhone,  Android, Blackberry and other smart phones.  It’s a GPS service that is also social.  It offers turn by turn directions and users submit traffic alerts in real time.  I have one of those FM transmitter things that I use to plug my iPhone into my car.  It allows me to listen to the music on the iPod part of my phone through my car speakers.  While I’m driving and listening to music I’ll also have Waze running.  When it’s time to turn the music will go quiet for a second and Miss Waze will come through my speakers and say “In half a mile turn right.”  It’s so awesome.  I don’t have to take my eyes off the road to look at a map.  I don’t have to switch back and forth between the iPod and Waze apps.  It all works together.  And I don’t have to listen to annoying talk radio to get traffic alerts.  Because users send in alerts in real time I usually hear about accidents or construction before it is reported on the radio.  Fab.   You can join a group on Waze to get more specific info.  For instance there are groups based on geographic location.  Charlotte is made up of tons of neighborhoods and has lots of suburbs.  I am a member of a few different groups based on geographic criteria so when I’m out and about I’ll get alerts on my phone that are specific to those groups.  You can ping other users that you can see on the live map and ask questions or just chat.  There is a Foursquare badge you can earn using Waze, and you can check in on Foursquare without ever leaving the Waze app.   You also earn points and there is a leader board for friendly competition.  Waze is on Twitter so if you have any questions you can ask via Twitter and they are super quick at getting back to you.  On the main Waze website there’s a forum and support area as well.   Waze is global so you don’t have to live or be in the US of A to enjoy it.  Now, go join up on Waze so I can earn extra points by referring you!  Oh, and so you’ll never get lost again.  That’s more important.  But the points are nice too! 🙂