Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hi ho, hi ho--it's off to fingerprinting (AGAIN) we go...

Well, we are off in the morning to drive the 3 hours to Charlotte and 3 hours back to get our fingerprints renewed so we will be good for another 15 mos! Hopefully nothing in our fingers has changed in the last 13 mos and it will be quick and painless. Before we leave in the morning we have the HVAC guy coming to take a look and give us another estimate to put in A/C downstairs and the roof guy to fix a leak in our slate roof before we close everything up in sheetrock (hopefully very soon). Busy times, as usual.

Glad to know there are still a few of you out there still checking in--thanks for the comments! The new word on travel (not much) is that they predict that our travel date could be sometime between Thanksgiving and the first weeks of Dec.-keeps pushing out a bit with every check in-Sounding an awful lot like we may be spending the holiday in VN--I have a feeling. As these things always seem to take longer than predicted in the first place, I'd say it's pretty likely. As long as we get to VN before Christmas, I can deal. We still have so much to do on the house and our "Christmas haul" from house to house (We have 4 sets of parents alone) can reach 5 stops in a day and is exhausting and we actually dread it every year as it draws closer, so it could be a good thing. But I sure would like to meet our girl sooner than that and I would rather spend it at home instead of a hotel--that is the down side. The last couple of days have had me extremely down in the dumps for some reason--ya know, the ole' adoption roller coaster with it's ups and downs! My college buddies and I are getting together for a baby shower for me on Sunday, so something to look forward to!

Friday, October 12, 2007

if eyes are the windows to the soul....

Our girl's got great big windows!!!

We got a few more pics of our little buttercup! She is really changing (and getting a little more hair!) and we finally got a picture of her looking right at the camera. It is so precious- She has the biggest, beautiful eyes and the cutest little mouth with the most perfect lips.
No more news yet on travel at all--word is that our agency will be trying to get our referral group all to travel by the end of the year (fingers crossed) so that would mean several travel groups in Nov/Dec. Since our fingerprints expire at the end of Dec, we are going to have to get them renewed---we sent in our renewal request and got our appt. letter pretty quickly and have our new appt. for this coming Thurs. We will again have to take a day off work and drive 3 hours each way to get our fingerprints redone. I think it is pretty ridiculous that our fingerprints "expire" in the first place, but we will do what we gotta do!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Shower of congrats for us

Wow, has it almost been a month?? Time really has flown in a way since that happy referral day--I realize this is mainly due to the fact that I am working a full 40 hour+ week at work in my usual 4 day work week, while desperately trying to get farther along on the house renov. on the weekends before the little buttercup comes home, and then all the preparations and lists to do for the new little one....(come on people, somethings gotta take a back seat!:) BUT, we have managed to slip in some fun celebration in the mix as well--We had our very first baby shower at my parents' lake house this past weekend--(You may remember it from this post from my stepsister's wedding). The patio by the lake continues to be the setting for more of our families happy occasions, and we hope to be able to spend more time there with buttercup in the very near future. All 4 sets of our parents were there to celebrate our little one's impending arrival as well as our good friends who love us enough to drive over an hour to attend. We love and thank you guys!!! I told my dad that it really wouldn't have mattered to us if all the beautiful bags and boxes were empty (yet filled with love and good wishes), the real gift was the fact that *WE* were having a shower because we are actually going to be parents and everyone wants to celebrate with us!! After all the sweet babies we have helped celebrate and love, we finally have our turn too. It really made us giddy! It was beautiful and we appreciate all my family's hard work to make it so nice. We got to debut our Vietnamese "mom" and "dad" shirts for the first time (even though some of our dear friends thought I was announcing the day was all about "ME"--they finally got a clue after a little explanation. :) And yes, that cake tasted as good as it looked!
No travel news yet, other than a "rough" estimate that it could be around the Thanksgiving holiday--the countdown is really on and we have lots of work to do yet. Bear with me and stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yes, it's what you think it means!!

I've kept you waiting long enough! The day finally came!!
Yes, I am happy to announce we have received and accepted the referral of our sweet little buttercup baby girl!!!!!! We are so happy! She is a little peanut-so tiny. She has a ring of little-old-man hair, really long fingers and the cutest little yawn you have ever seen. We think she is just precious! It is so surreal to have been waiting so long and then be so surprised when the call finally came. It was perfect.

Thanks for hanging in there with me through the hard wait! Hopefully we will have an idea of travel time soon. I think the wait to travel may be harder than I anticipated, but we have lots to do to prepare the house for our little peanut buttercup! :) Right now we cannot get enough of her cute little face!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

the little butterfly has landed..... :)

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will allude you. but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder..... (Thoreau)

There is a now a little butterfly on my shoulder..... :) More soon.........

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wow, I got NUTHIN'!

I realize it has been a really long time, once again since my last post....and most of my posts start with an apology about that. Well, no more. When I have something to say, I will post it. Right now, I just don't' feel like talking about how long the wait is taking. Sure, I've got things going on here, but since this is not a work blog or necessarily a house renovation blog I just don't have a lot going on in the adoption world right now. Things are unfortunately quiet. Other than the fact that I don't think I have officially congratulated my friend Em yet on here about the referral of her beautiful Lulu recently. Yay, finally!! (Of course I have officially congratulated her in real life!!) She knows how thrilled I am for her! :)

Let's see, we moved our offices--so I guess I changed jobs, technically--even though I am still working with the same people doing the same thing (only it's just the 8 of us now)--just under our beloved company banner again. That is a good thing--no more cube world and much more conducive to bringing buttercup to the office if the need arises. I did actually talk them into converting the almost three weeks personal time I had built up for travel at the former company into a leave package so I wouldn't lose it--that is definitely good. I heart my little company. They are trying to do what they can to help and are truly interested in getting little buttercup home. Now I just have to see what I have to do about updating our home study for this little job change....

The house progress continues slowly.......I can't see the light at the end yet.......but hopefully we will turn the corner soon.

All the news I've got in the world of adoption is that we are hanging at #6 on the list at the moment with, as always, the promise of a group of impending referrals that may include buttercup. But I am trying to be guarded about that--even though my non-rational side is so excited at the thought!--I don't want to be disappointed. Things in IA do not seem to ever go as you think they will.

Well, I guess I did have a little to say :) Ta-ta for now!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The One Year Mark

Well, today we have been "officially" waiting for buttercup for one year. One year ago today, CIS received our I600A and our wait officially began. However, we were actually waiting to begin a long, long time before that, but that is when we could throw our hat into the ring and send in our first official paperwork. We hadn't even officially signed with an agency yet at that point. I had no idea at the time that we would still be waiting now. I feel like we are definitely closer.....but still have a ways to go. I have been having a wide range of emotions these past couple of weeks. One day I will feel so positive and that we are so close, and then I will come crashing down to reality that it is one year later and here we are still.....waiting. No referral. I know I am not alone in this wait, and actually it has allowed me to meet some really great friends that wait along with me. However, I do wish we all had our little ones and could be planning play dates already! (As you can see above, it is not keeping Bijou from resting comfortably. :) This cat knows how to relax. She knows not what's in store for her-she just likes to hang out in her room.)

To commemorate this momentous event, M & I went to an awesome Vietnamese restaurant for the first time last night. It's been open only about 9 months. I mean, OMG, it is my absolute fave restaurant now. It is a little pricey, but the kind of place where service is key and we are talking the fold-your-napkin-for-you-and-put-it-on-the-back-of-your-chair-while-you-are-in-the-ladies-room-and-pull-your-chair-out-and-hand-it-back-to-you-when-you-get-back kind of service. Nice. The food we had was so yummy and the presentation was lovely. I had the pho and it was the best I have ever had. Don't know if we will be able to go every week, but let me tell you the next few special occasions and we are there. Can you tell I liked it? It was a nice way to end the year of an ever growing wait. One year down........ let's hope we are on the homestretch and buttercup shows herself soon.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July Everyone!
We took some time out of more fun of cleaning out the basement and taking all the stuff to storage to make room for the AC contractor to do his magic. You know--day off of work--more time to get some house stuff done! :) But we did manage to make our yearly tradition of watching the fireworks with our friends and god-daughter. She is almost 5 now, so was into the sparklers, but not so into the loud booms. I got some cool pics of the fireworks.

No more news on referrals--we got some promising news about a week ago that made us think things might be moving along soon, but this has not happened yet. Still hoping we hear some news this week.......

Some interesting changes are coming at work soon--our department will be leaving our current firm at the end of the month and reopening the small firm that closed when we merged with this firm a little over a year ago. Opportunities have arisen and we are all excited to be making the move back to resurrect the company we loved so much. The new office is less than 5 mins from home in a converted 1920-30's old house which we have been having fun selecting all new finishes to give it a much needed face lift-- office first impressions are quite important when you are an architecture/ interiors firm so we are hoping we can get the look we want with what with what we have to work with. (The owner seems to be a little reluctant to give us free reign.) :) Just what we need--extra work! It is good news though and should be well worth it.

Hoping referral news comes soon for those waiting.....including us.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More May Recap in Show & Tell--Part Deux

See, I told you I'd be back! Man, I started this post and it has taken me three sittings--I can't ever get the pics to go where I want them to in blogger--perhaps that is why I don't post more often--I really have to block out some time! (that's my story and I'm sticking to it) Well, let's see, I have a few great pics of the family at J & B's wedding at the lake house--the weather that day was absolutely beautiful. It looks like a backdrop, huh?

Little D makes an adorable flower girl--(after she threw the petals down, she bent down and picked them all back up--ha, ha!)

And off they go to get ready to head off for the honeymoon.... (BTW, I made the sign!)

and Baby K-the mini flower-girl :)...
and this little flower girl is going down fast...Nap time! :) Notice the zoning out gaze.

....and little C is just plain tuckered out from the big day!

Then a couple days of some more fun on the boat and playing at the playground for D and then the Brother and Fam headed back to Cali......I always get teary, but this time, yes, I actually shed the tears when telling them bye--I miss them and wish we got to see them all more often.

And after all the fun of the weekend, we get back to what we usually are up to on the weekends-the darn house. Fun's over and back to......... PLUMBING! And the fun continues each weekend since.....We actually did get through most of the plumbing and are now framing the coffered ceilings in the powder room and kitchen. Next phase: Insulation. I will keep you updated on the progress. Now you are caught up!

Yes, that is my downstairs at the moment and M toiling away (I am fetch-it girl).........sad, isn't it? ;)

Oh, in adoption news--not much, but there is rumor that we may see a few referrals come through by the end of the month!! (Two more weeks-Yay, Emily!!) We could be leaving lucky #7 behind soon--yahoo! Wishing everyone speedy referrals (including us) and fast travel too!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

May Recap (Show and tell w/ Pictures!) Part One...

Yes, it's me. Wow, those bad blogger's anonymous meetings are going great (thanks for asking, Em!) I think I'm still working through from reading steps to actually doing the writing. :) May has been an unusually busy month, as I have mentioned before here, so I will just have to post extra pictures to illustrate what's been going on......kinda' like show & tell. Let's see.....

First, at the end of April/First of May, my girlfriends and I had a lovely time at our college friends wedding on the beach, and also celebrating all of our 40th's this year with a nice girl's weekend.
Us at the barefoot wedding ...... commemorating our b'days..... and being touristy goofy.

Then the next weekend, Cinco de Mayo, another wedding to attend--very small and touching (w/ Margaritas!)--the groom cried when he saw the bride and we saw lots of friends we hadn't seen in a long time and stayed up waaaaayyy too late & had to recuperate all day the next day because of it...

The weekend after, off to Charlotte for M's sister's college graduation. Congrats, L! And there was Mother's Day--Had lunch with M's mom and the "fur kids" gave me a box of my abosolute fave choc. truffles and cards--one from the dog and one from the cats (I think they had help from dad.) I also got a sweet Mother's To Be note from my friend, Em. Sweet!

This brings us to the next week, where I got to meet my new little nephew Caimin and visit with the family for a few days. I even got to have a "slumber party" with my niece at my mom's house (I slept in the trundle beneath her, until she ditched me to go sleep with her parents in the next room :)

You know I gotta share a couple more pics of the new cutest nephew ever! (Really bad pic of M and me, though-we look really tired!)

He is a very easy-going little guy-(but quite a big diaper-soiler!)-just goes with the flow, while his sister keeps everyone in line, like most 2 year olds try to do! More later...

Baby steps, baby steps! If you're still out there, thanks for hangin' around.... :) Oh, and speaking of baby steps, We MOVED UP a couple notches on the list! We are now #7!!!!! Let's hear it for more referrals for June!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

bad bloggers anonymous...

Is there such a thing? I have been a better blog reader than blogger these days, as usual. I mean to keep up, but I fall back over and over again! I just feel I have nothing to add at the moment. There is NOTHING going on in adoptionland right is crazy busy........ and we have been on the wedding/graduation circuit literally every weekend--we will be attending Matt's sister's college graduation out of town tomorrow and then we will have mom's day stuff all day Sunday. Next weekend is the third and final wedding in the last month......My lovely stepsister will be wed at my parent's lake house--it will be nice and my brother and family will be in town from CA so that will be very nice to spend some time with them. We will get to meet little Caimin for the first time finally! I will post pics. Then it's back to work on the money pit......we gotta get this house done! Happy Mom's day to all those moms and moms-to-be out there! Hopefully we will have some news soon on referrals and move up the list!!! It's been way too long....I'm tired of saying #9!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Well, I am off to the beach this weekend with a couple of my college friends to attend a wedding of one of our other friends. Yay! Should be fun once we finally get there--It seems we are trying to cram a lot into a weekend, so hopefully it won't be too hectic. I would love a nice, relaxing beach weekend. We have quite a few weddings coming up....this is just the first of 3 weddings and 2 graduations between now and Mother's day. Whew!

We have been trying to make progress on our plumbing, but it's going much slower than the electrical--we have been fortunate to have the help of M's dad and uncle. It would be sssssooooooo nice to come back on Sunday and have it almost complete. NOT pretty clean work though--we are having to go ahead and run future pipes for a future kitchen-turned-master-bath as well as replace existing, so it can get a bit confusing. I have pretty much been on the sidlines for this phase and ducking out for various wedding showers.

Also, I found out last night that my new little nephew and SIL will be joining my brother and niece out to visit and attend our stepsister's wedding in May. Yay! I was afraid he would be walking before I got to see him. They had found an irregular hearbeat and that is what we were worried about, but they have done tests and thankfully everything seems to be okay. Good news indeed.
No real news in adoptionland--we are reportedly number 9 on the list at the moment. Still waiting and trying to keep busy (which has not been hard-the busy part, that is).....

I'll say an early "Have a good weekend" to everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cutie Pie

Check out the little smirk! Finally got pics Saturday of the newest little addition to our family--they took long enough! Shame on them! :) I think he is sooooooo cute, but then again I am a proud aunt! He is still in the hospital, though we are hoping he will be released mid-week. It seems they may have discovered another health issue, but they are still monitoring him to find out for sure. If you would like to say a small prayer for my little sweet nephew, it would be appreciated.

I am so upset by the horrible tragedy at Va Tech today--our friend is attending graduate school there, as well as her sister, an undergrad. Luckily, they were both away from the school today and safely out of town. I just can't stop thinking about it--so sad---32 people gone at the hand of one unstable person.....Why?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Nephew has landed!

Well, he finally arrived yesterday (via VBAC!) and mom and baby are doing well. When he was born, his lungs were full of fluid and he and SIL both had a fever, so they are keeping him in the NICU :( for a few days to test him again and make sure there is no infection. My brother said he is doing well and they can scrub up and go in and visit and touch him, just a precautionary measure to make sure before they let him go home....hopefully he will check out fine and be able to go home this weekend..

Drumroll please......... His name is Caimin Royal M------- Named after the Irish Saint Caimin (whose Feast Day is around his birthday) and Royal is a family name. So he's here and he has a name! We have yet to see pics, as my brother had been up for 30 hours and was wiped out when I talked to him--hopefully we will get a peek soon! BTW, he was a whopping 22 inches long!!!!!!!

Welcome to the world, little Caimin!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still No Baby Nephew Yet

Well, I gotta give SIL an 'A' for effort...When she got to the hospital this a.m., her water broke, so they cancelled the scheduled cesarean and now they are trying to let her progress on her own with some helpful meds and hoping she delivers by morning ......Man, this little baby is taking his sweet time!

**Just got an update and she is progressing well, so hopefully he'll be here by morning. Go G- You can do it! :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy B'day to my Hubs!!!

Today, A birthday shout out to my dear hubby-- Happy Birthday to Matt! We both had the day off today and had a leisurely day of errands and dream shopping for house speakers and a new digital camera (bought neither) and then to dinner with M's dad and stepmom to a very yummy restaurant near our house. I am always the most excited to see his birthday come around because from Oct to April, he is six years younger than me (yes, I robbed the cradle) :) and after his birthday, it is back down to five. I like the sound of that better..... it was nice to not spend a day off working on the house.

Also, the nephew has STILL not arrived! For a bit there, we thought he might be sharing hubby's b'day. SIL talked the doc into letting her celebrate Easter (she pulled the religion card) and give her until tomorrow morning (their time, noonish our time) so unless he comes during the night, he will be arriving via cesarean around lunch tomorrow. I just talked to them and my brother was watching as she was walking up and down the 30 degree incline hill down their back yard to try to push the labor--ha,ha--my 2 year old niece was being prompted to yell, "go mommy, you can do it!" A funny picture in my head.... As for a name, he is currently being called "baby boy", but I have been told the front runner--I will wait to post it until he has been officially named, just in case they change their mind after meeting him--they are still on the fence for the middle name...

I just read this post on another blog and I thought it was so insightful. There is so much debate about the SAHM v. the working mom and she is right, there is no one right answer and the key is to support each other and not judge another family's decisions based on what you think is right for you. I thought she did a nice job of giving the view from all sides--thanks, Dianna.

I'll fill you in on "Baby Boy"'s arrival tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No Nephew yet.....

Well, I had hoped I would have posted before now that we have a new nephew and unveil the name that I got so many good suggestions for from you guys.........but he is being a little stubborn about making his appearance! My SIL has her heart set on a VBAC, but they will only allow her to go a week after her due date before she will have to have another cesarean, So if he doesn't come before then, he is scheduled to arrive on Friday. SIL had big plans today for church (to pray), accupucture, and walking up hills, all in her quest to start labor before then. Thank you so much for all the name suggestions!! I really did pass them along, so I will let you know as soon as I get the news!! I'm just praying he arrives safely and everything goes smoothly!

In adoption news, we are number 10 on the list...Woohoo! Hopefully, now that things are starting to roll after the new changes have gone into effect, we will see some more activity. I asked our coordinator what her best guess would be for our referral, and she guesses around late summer.....but, it's only a guess and only time will tell.

In renovation news, we have lights! We now have can lights shining all through the kitchen, breakfast, dining and living room. We even have new flood lights outside. I'm sure we were a sight out there that night testing the motion detector......Matt on the ladder and me dancing around trying to see where I set off the light. It is soooo nice since we have been without power downstairs for so long during the rewiring mess. We will have to wait a bit for the outlets--they have to go in our baseboards which have yet to go back up. But, ahhhh, the small joys of life! Lights! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


U'L B OK.... As I was driving to the dry cleaners today at lunch, this was on the license plate on the car in front of me. A sign? I hope so. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dragon Baby

What little girl doesn't need a little stuffed dragon? B'cup's daddy noticed this at a store when we were visiting friends in Atlanta a few months ago. I could tell he thought she should have it, so it came home with us! I think he's really cute--we'll have to think of a name for him. We also have a book called Children of the Dragon that we got soon after we decided to adopt from Vietnam.
No news in adoption world.......absolutely nothin'.

House update: We are in the middle of electrical phase full force--wires everywhere--Man, it will be nice to have lights and outlets again! I counted all the outlets we had downstairs before: 16...How many we will have after reno: 48. Yay for electricity!

Speaking of names...We are trying to help my brother and SIL brainstorm for names for my nephew who is due in 9 days and they have yet to decide on a name and are stressing about it. Any cool ideas??? They'd like something unique, but not wacky, and they like that last-name-first type of name. My niece's name isn't found in any baby book--they made it up. I have two baby name books and I have tapped them out trying to help them with ideas for the little prince (yes, they asked! :b).......They say whoever comes up with the winning name, gets all the naming credit for it *LOL* a contest. We'll have to wait and see......Seriously though, any suggestions accepted here and I will pass them along.... :) But hurry!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring is in the air

Today was gorgeous and warm. I found these blooming in the back yard. Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. They almost look like they have little faces. Also, one of the first signs of Spring, my favorite season. They make me happy. I hope it is a sign of things looking up after a long winter. On adoption news, the agency has warned me, with the new laws in Vietnam, that the referrals may not go exactly in list order--that log-in dates may come in to play as well. They cannot yet verify our log-in date though. They think it is sometime in the second week of Feb., but will not be able to verify until our facilitator gets back from VN at the end of this month (if then). They are not sure just how the new system will work yet. One thing to know about me is I do not take easily to change that was not necessarily initiated by me. So for some reason I always look at those changes as bad--when it could be that these changes bring us more referrals. This is an unfortunate trait to have for this process. :) I need the list to watch my progress....Yay for Spring, Boo for the unknown of the list's validity..... Hopefully Spring will bring lots of referrals for everyone and lots of good news. I am going to do my best to stay positive.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Still here...

Ha, I have been reminded in a not very subtle way by my friend Em that it has been a while since I updated! I can't believe it has been so long--I have had a couple of very swamped weeks at work--you know, the ones when you forget to eat lunch until you realize it's already like 4 o'clock--and have been getting home late trying to meet some deadlines. Too much to do in too little time lately, but we are seriously realizing we need to hire another person--we all are getting a little crispy!! I am very worried about how this is going to pan out after we have the baby--we will have to adjust somehow and do what is best for our family. This type of load will just not work when she becomes our top priority. I am able to work from home some, so hopefully I can just cut way back on this crazy schedule and let someone else take over for a while. I worry about it every day. I just need to have faith that it all will work out and we will figure out the best solution. Anyway, I have just been exhausted and add to the working on the house all weekend, and it's even doubled.
Not much news in the world of adoption either, so I have been a bit uninspired. We so need to see some movement--there haven't been any referrals in so long, but word from the agency is they are expecting some soon. The bad news seems to be that my feeling that we might get a referral in May sometime probably will not come to pass........I just don't see how our number will come up by then. I have been really trying not to dwell on it and just concentrate on making it through one day at a time, and that day will be here before we know it.
I did have a fun get together last Friday with fellow PAP Em to visit Jenny and her twin girls--so nice for each of us to have a sweetie to play with to get our baby fix. We are both now even more addicted to the thought of twins, of course! :) A hard job, I am sure, but rewarding though! On family news, my little nephew is getting close to his due date, so we will have a new member of the family soon--I heard from my brother tonight that he is already a strapping little guy and he has almost a month more to go until we expect arrival.
Just wanted to let anyone still interested know I am still kicking! I will try to post more soon ! Have made some handmade baby purchases and we are moving into electrical phase on the downstairs...moving in the right direction!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fun Tet times

Well, I had a very nice Tet lunch thanks to hosts Jenny and Conor and their beautiful baby daughters, Mia and Cammie and their friends. I say "I" because Matt woke up with a cold and didn't want to expose anyone, especially the babies, so he stayed home and missed the fun. We had a nice relaxing lunch of bunches of fried rice, beef sticks and pho--and coconut cake and green tea for dessert. The girls just came home from Vietnam in early Jan. and are happy as little clams with their new family. It is sooooo nice to get first hand tips on travel and baby stuff from them---there is so much to know and learn, I need all the info I can get! Thanks guys! It was so nice to share in the girls first Tet celebration and I look forward to more and playdates when buttercup comes home!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Tet! 2007, Year of the Pig

Today marks the beginning of Tet (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration) this year--It is the Year of the Pig--important to us because we figure Buttercup will most likely be born in this year--that is a picture of her little stuffed pig-it is so soft--I hope she likes it! I have been learning a little more about this important Vietnamese holiday and how it is celebrated so that I am not so clueless. I'm sure there is a lot more to it than I have read so far, but I was just looking for some kinds of things we could incorporate into our way of celebrating it in the future. Here are a few Tet highlights that I have learned so far....
- The holiday lasts for 3 days, however the preparation and celebration usually extends it considerably. It is a time of excess and revolves around lots of food. Everyone cleans and paints their houses, pays debts, makes amends with family and friends and buys new shoes and clothes--all for good luck in the coming year and to start off the year anew.
- It is a time to visit with friends and family--much emphasis is placed on the first visitor to the home...if the person is rich, prestigious or happy then the family will have a year full of good fortune. The first day is reserved for visiting family and relatives- the second, for special guests and good friends, and the third for teachers and business associates. Visitors end their visit with a farewell wish for the family (for ex: "I wish that money will flow into your house like water and out like a turtle." Negative talk or arguments are taboo. Children are encouraged to behave positively during the holiday in order to ensure good luck in the new year.
- Many people shop for and give as gifts small trinkets, food, firecrackers and flowers. Homes are decorated with flowers and good luck symbols are hung from the Tet tree (or Tac). There are dragon dances in the streets. There is gambling everywhere--in homes and on the streets--as the winners are guaranteed good luck in gambling all year and the losers will have good luck in all other affairs. Firecrackers used to be set off everywhere, but were outlawed in 1995 when 71 people were killed by them in celebrations in 1994.
- The holiday is also a time to honor deceased relatives. On altars are places pictures of the deceased with trays of fruit, coins and a tall vase of flowers which symbolizes luck and prosperity. The third day of Tet is also reserved for visiting the graves of relatives.
-The color red symbolizes luck and prosperity. A watermelon is sometimes cut and the redder the inside, the more luck for the family. Red envelopes with coins (Lucky money or Li xi) are are given to children on the first morning of Tet by parents, siblings, other relatives and close friends to congratulate them on becoming a year older.
- The Vietnamese do not know or acknowledge the exact day of their birth. Tet is the celebration of everyone becoming a year older. Instead, they simply say they were born in the year of the pig, rat, horse, etc. Everyone is considered a year older at the new year regardless of when their actual birthday occurs during the year.
So, now you know what I know! Just thought it was all very interesting and thought I would share...... we are going to our first Tet get together-today with another adoptive family--I'll update later on the fun.......

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another Friday has come and Tet is almost here...

Wow, it's Friday again already? Well, still no news in Adoption World--just in a waiting holding pattern--But, Happy Tet to everyone!! Tet is February 18 this year--it will be the Year of the Pig (or Boar). We are hoping to find some way to celebrate this special Vietnamese holiday---hoping to get better at it as the years go by because it will be important to Buttercup to acknowledge her culture of birth. I have been researching how it is celebrated some and will post a little of what I have found later.

Until then, a couple bits of buttercup stuff for your viewing pleasure!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Buttercup Stuff

Well, not much news here this week, hence the lack of posting! I thought I would start a trend during the wait, when I've got nothing else, of giving peeks of some of buttercup's stuff that has been piling up--I know we have no idea what size or season, but that hasn't stopped me-I have made an effort to try and curb myself since Christmas, though!~Hello, my name is Kim and I am a baby clothes addict..... ;)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lucky Number 13

Wow, two posts right in a row--almost unheard of from me! :) Just wanted to share that I got the official update and we are now officially number 13 on the list--someone else ahead of us on the list decided to hop off and pursue other options, so we move up again! And we also heard that our dossier was sent off to Vietnam this morning!! Yay--all good news for the weekend!

Last, but not least, there are a few special needs children that my agency is trying to find families for, so I thought I would put it out there and help get the word out....
This is what they said:
".....we are trying to place a few children with special needs in case you know of anyone who is interested:
a 6 year old boy who may have some developmental delays (cute photo)
an older baby girl with cleft palate ( very cute- I saw the photo)
an 11 year old boy healthy ( also a cute photo)
a 13 year old girl- healthy and quite beautiful"

So, spread the word if you know of anyone that may be interested in bringing these sweeties home....
Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A little more snow......

We got a little snow today! It didn't last long, but it was pretty and I managed to snap a couple pics as I was leaving for work and before it started to turn to rain that washed it all away........

Adoption update: We are "officially" number 14 on the list at last "official" update (but I think we are actually moved up a slot, but we'll see next time we ask.....We are hoping there are at least a couple more referrals this month, but with Tet (the Vietnamese New Year Holiday) coming soon, that may slow things down this month for a bit with gov. offices being closed some with all the celebrations in Vietnam. We can only wait and see....and hope. Considering at Christmas we were still number 19, that is definitely an improvement. Happy February!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our House- Part 2

Thanks for all the sweet comments about our little money pit--you are all welcome to join the neighborhood anytime! Come on down!

Well, we got a lot done on the house-work today (the work on the house, that is--the housework still needs some attention! :) ) We got a wall opened up and moved and widened the opening into the kitchen. The work continues today as well, hopefully we will get the new powder room framed up.......We have been renovating our house for what seems like half my life. In reality, we bought it almost 5 years ago as what is affectionately known as a "fixer-upper" or a "handyman special". It was set up as a duplex with one unit upstairs and one downstairs with a common foyer. We moved into the downstairs and commenced to making a lot of very needed cosmetic repairs and gutting and rebuilding the bathroom--(all upstairs). We scraped off over 80 years of painted-over wallpaper down to the plaster in the two bedrooms and then painstakingly repaired all the cracks and loose areas. When it was livable again, our friend Katie lived up there for two years while we redid all the landscaping, had the exterior painted, built a large deck, and started to renovate the downstairs.......which we thought we would do one room at a time while we lived down there. Well, we got halfway done with the sun room and figured out that was *not* a good plan! We sectioned off that room with plastic and lived that way for over a year. After two nice years with Katie sharing our house, we decided it was time to kick it into gear if we ever planned on this adoption coming reality. Our plan was to get the upstairs to a point that we could move up there and get through the home study and work on the downstairs while we waited. We basically started all over again. Mind you, we are doing almost all of work ourselves...on the weekends.....We have passed up many an invitation in order to "work on the house" because in our minds, a day or a weekend without house progress was that much longer in pushing the day we could start the adoption paperwork. It had already taken longer than we would have liked. We took all the plaster down to the studs except for the two bedrooms that we had worked so hard to save. We worked with an electrician and rewired the entire upstairs (and if you have ever lived in an old house, outlets are hard to come by--I now have an outlet on almost every wall!), had central air added, added a pair of french doors & access to the attic, hung and finished all the new sheetrock, etc. Finally the day came and we moved up and we soon afterward set out to start all the adoption paperwork. Now that the ball is starting to roll along with the adoption finally.......Now the renovation begins again. The goal is to convert it back once again to a single family residence, but it must remain separated until the downstairs is almost complete. Since we have some months to wait for referral and travel, the time has come to start it all over again downstairs. We are in the demolition phase at the moment. We hope to be pretty close to finishing by the time Buttercup comes home and plan on hiring out some of the very time consuming parts that we learned the the hard way..... such as plaster removal and sheet rock (the absolute most frustrating and slow labor I have ever done!) so we are hoping it moves along much quicker than the upstairs did. It will make the wait pass very fast, I'm sure. So, now you have the low-down on another "member" of our family--the member that keeps us safe and warm....... and very busy!

I will try to update as we progress on the mess!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Our House: A.K.A. The Money Pit :) Part 1

" If you sweep a house, and tend its fires and fill its stove, and there is love in you all the years you are doing this, then you and that house are married, that house is yours." ~ Truman Capote

This is our house. It has been the center of our life so far since we encountered it. It truly does contains our blood, sweat, and yes, tears. I really identify with the quote above. The house was built in 1923. We are the third owners. Each owner has lived here over 35 years. We plan on staying in this house and raising our family. It is not a flip. This house has become a part of us. Our neighborhood is the old kind you don't see anymore--there are sidewalks and alleys, green parks, and we can walk to shopping and the library and to the neighborhood school. Every house is different and charming in it's own way as only old houses can be. They are quirky. They're not meant to be perfect. There are Easter egg hunts, July 4 parades, Labor Day cookouts, progressive dinners, lemonade stands--you get the picture. Even though we haven't participated in much of these activities yet, that is what we wanted for our children. We fell in love with the house and the neighborhood. Now, if we can just get it finished!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Whew!! It's OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look closely, can you see my blood, sweat and tears on these documents????
Well, believe me, it's all in there. I finally got the whole thing authenticated, but not without yet more incident that entailed me actually having to run (yes, I did the real, actual Dossier Dash--and I am out of shape!) back to my car, fly home, get something else they needed and go back before they would authenticate the last document-- (And YES, they were the docs I had been waiting on that set us back two weeks!!) I wasn't about to let them push me off another day, and yes, I did tell the lady I was going to lose it. :) She wasn't amused, but I really was (about to lose it, that is. Amused, I was not.). So whether Vietnam likes it or not, they are getting my attachments that they did not ask for, because the SOS says they have to---just thought they might need a couple more bits of our life!!!! Ha, ha.

BUT, the important thing is.......the dossier is OUTTA HERE and on it's way to our agency to be sent for authentication and then on to Hanoi. Whew! Dossier, check! Bring on the next step! Bring on our referral!

I think I'm gonna have that glass of wine now! Happy Friday everyone, and thanks so much for your comments of sympathy!!!! I needed them!

It's Ready!!

I just called and it's ready!! I'm off to go pick it up--Wish me luck--I will update later! :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A little Snow and Dossier Roadblocks

Well, I was so close to getting my dossier state authenticated today, but it SNOWED!!! It has been 70 degrees for the last couple of weeks and the morning after I get my last, long awaited pages, it snows. (I was supposed to authenticate 2 weeks ago, but had to order updated documents, as they had just past the 6 month shelf life). Until that time I was zipping along at a nice speed of dossier dashing, so proud of myself, then I stopped dead in the water for two weeks of waiting for these last pages. I scramble out this morning in the nasty snow-turned-to-rain to get to the SOS Office so that I can drop off and pick up same day and then FedEx it off to my agency (I even had the FedEx envelope ready!), and what do they tell me when I finally get there?....................... No one is in the office today to authenticate due to the snow!!!!!! UGH!!! I just can't get a break these days. The roads were really pretty clear and melted by this point and it was only 10 am. I actually shed a couple of tears as I was walking in the rain back down the two blocks to my car. Oh, well, I've waited this long, what's a couple more days, right? I can only hope it won't matter in the long run, but I just feel like I am missing some preferred log-in date by a matter of days and Tet is coming up soon........ Hopefully I will be updating tomorrow that it is on it's way to the agency. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2007 Catch-up:First Post of the New Year

Wow, it has been a while since I posted! We have had a lot going on.........let's see.....

We had a good time on our New Year's trip to the mountains. It was quiet and very, very rainy--we braved the inclement weather on New Year's eve and went "into town" to the cute little town of Blowing Rock, NC. Cute shops and it was nice to get out. Our dog, Ayla, even loved pretending she was a mountain dog and made a break for the hills until Matt caught up with her. Unfortunately, she is not an off-leash dog! The trip was very low-key compared to our former New Year's trips--we used to go with a group of eight of our friends, but sadly a divorce and a break-up have put a wrench in the plans with that bunch for the future, but that's really okay with us about the low-key part--this year we hung out with the friends that are still married and their 4 year old daughter (our adorable god-daughter). We hope to have buttercup to add to the crew next year!

On the adoption front, we are almost finished with our dossier. I have been ready to state certify for a week and a half now, but had to reorder one set of forms that I am STILL waiting on to arrive in the mail. Then I will rush it to the SOS office (which luckily is in our city) and get it overnighted to our agency. Man, I'll be glad to have that step done and on to more waiting, officially for our referral.

Also, we had gone gung -ho with the demo of the downstairs. I promise the upstairs is completely finished and livable, so don't worry about buttercup's safety! :) Here is a little peek of what's going on......
That was then.......

This is now.

Quite a difference don't you think? Really, you may not be able to tell in the pics, but the plaster was in horrible shape and unable to be saved and the butler's pantry, though I had a soft spot for it, was not well-made and needed to make way for a much needed bathroom. This is what progress looks like! :)