Monday, December 31, 2007

2 more sleeps and Happy New Year!!

I can't believe I am posting these photos but they are kind of humerus! Warning for those of you that are still waiting. Don't try and do three years of nesting two nights before you are leaving for China. My place is a wreck right now. Partly from packing and partly because I decided to change some things around and reorganize. (nervous energy I guess but I should of left well enough alone) Below I give you my messy living room. I have some curtains to hang but will that be pre China????

My dining room table is my staging area.

Went to Walmart today instead of last night to pick up last minute items for the trip, stock up for my cat's, and get a little food on hand for Abby and I once we get back. Somehow I spent $233.00???????

Abby's room, Nuff said!

So these are the before pictures! I will post after pictures before I leave. My house will be in order before I go. I am about done packing. I haven't weighed my duffel yet. I'm scared to!
I am starting to get excited and more nervous (if that is even possible). I know I can do this! I am watching John and Kate plus eight while I run around. If Kate can do it with eight then surely I can do it with one :)
My clock says 11:30 PM. Thirty minutes until 2008! What an exciting year this is going to be with so many changes and lots of fun! Happy New Year to you all. And a special Happy New Year to my little girl Abby! She doesn't know it yet but she is soon to experience a whole new world and a whole lot of love :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Bullets

The bullet thing is working for me right now so I am going to continue to go with it for now.

I am packing in earnest now, It is amazing how much you can actually get done when your under the gun! My goal is to be done (for the most part anyway) before I go to bed tonight. I will post pictures once done.

I'm still feeling achy today. I took an almost 5 hour nap today too! I sure didn't have time for that but I will make up for it tonight when I can't sleep. My elderly neighbor woke me up early this morning wanting to know if I had any meds for a chest cold. She sounded terrible and asked me to come and listen to her chest. (Yep I am the neighborhood nurse). She apologised for waking me and then said just come on down once you are up. So I thought I would close my eyes for a few more minutes. 15 minutes later and she calls me again and asks if I am coming. I gave her some Vix for her chest, some tea bags, and some soup and told her to call her Doctor in the Am to see about a chest xray. She did look rough but was not complaining of any shortness of breath. I washed my hands good once I got home. That's all I need right now is her crud. She called again during my nap wanting to know if I had any codeine?????? NOT!!

I am watching The Sound Of Music while I pack. Love it :) The wedding scene is on right now. One of my favorite parts!

I still don't know how to use my new video camera that I got for my BD back in August. Adding that to the list of stuff to do before I go.

My cats know something is up!

Somehow I deleted Internet Explorer off my laptop. I thought I was freeing up disk space and that happened. Now I can't get it back. I was able to open up a MSN account so that I can still get on line. Unfortunately though, when I deleted it I lost all of my favorites! I had a ton of info not to mention many blogs saved that I follow that are now gone! I know I will find them again but it will take a while.

This is trivial but I will ask it anyway. Is there any truth to the 10 pound weight loss plan for new parents while in China? I am hoping so! My diet has really gone south in the last 2 weeks. I plan to get back on track when we return though.

I need to make a Walmart run. I am considering going tonight so there will be at least one less thing for me to do tomorrow. I need to stock up on some food for Abby. That is where I get scared again. What to get???? I am thinking maybe the Gerber toddler stuff? Yikes I am such a newbie! This girl doesn't really cook either.

So I have Monday and Tuesday left to get ready. Anyone know if the stores are open on New Years Day? We leave for the airport on Wednesday at 2 PM.

Well back to packing!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shower Pictures!

Thank you all for your encouraging comments with my last post! Last minute jitters seem to be the norm! I know everything will work out but it wouldn't be me if I didn't worry :)

Finally I am posting my shower pictures. It was a wonderful day hosted by my Mom, Sisters Laurie and Kelli and Sister in law Elizabeth. Below was the beverage of choice at the shower. Cranberry martinis! Yummy :) Thank you Elizabeth you did a great job making and keeping up with the demand!

Some of the decorations. Thank you Kelly for finding them! We had the shower at Abby's Meema's. Thank you Meema :)

Hard to tell in the picture but they are little Asian light up lanterns.

Beautiful Cakes made to order per my Mom's idea! Thank you Mom :) They were yummy!

The cakes passed Janie's test :) (I stole this photo from Shannon's blog)

It was a wonderful spread. Mom, Laurie , Kelly, and Elizabeth did good. I hear everything was delicious. Unfortunately I really did not have time to eat though.

Look! It's Shannon :)

Getting ready to open gifts.

Everyone was so thoughtful and generous! Abby received some wonderful gifts :)

The treat everyone got to bring home :) (This photo came from Shannon's blog too!)

My sister Laurie spent a lot of time planning the shower. She was responsible for the treats above. See how the fortune cookie has Abby's picture on it? The red thread bracelet is for everyone to wear while we are in China and don't you just love the ladybug wine stopper :) Thank you Laurie! All of the stress you experienced planning the shower was well worth it! It was a wonderful and so very special day for me! Below is Laurie.

Wonderful presents for Abby!

That's all I had on my camera. Not too many but I am waiting to receive more pictures from the paparazzi :) Shannon has some posted on her blog as well :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bullets Again

4 days people! We leave in 4 days!!!!!! My stomach is churning. I actually missed work today. Better to be sick now then on my trip that's for sure. Both my Mom and Hugh are fighting something as well. Lets hope we all get it out of our systems before Wednesday.

I went to Babies r us yesterday to pick up some things I still needed. (Gift cards rock!) I got Abby's car seat, a hip hammock (for China) and a bunch of other little things. I was standing there looking at bottles when it hit me. I didn't have a clue as to what type of bottle to get for Abby. There were so many to choose from. I started freaking out and feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have a husband to be clueless with... As I shopped I felt like I was just throwing little things in my cart without even knowing if I really needed them or not. I am nervous! So you all out there, I need your reassurance, this is normal right????? I should be nervous because this is a life changing event right? I haven't been until now though so that's why it's freaking me out a little bit.

I started packing some yesterday as well. I am the queen of zip locks! I pulled out some of Abby's outfits to pack. I still need to pull out some more. I know I am bringing too many. I still need to pack for me.

I picked up my money yesterday. It all looks good! Now for those of you that have been there and done it, How did you travel with it and keep it crease free??? They say to keep it on your person at all times but how am I going to sleep with it on me without bending it up?

I can't wait to see my Abby's face!!!!!

I am still overwhelmed by all of the generosity I received at Abby's shower! It was beautiful and everyone was so thoughtful. I hope to get my Thank you notes out before I go :) I still need to post shower pictures.

I have to work tomorrow (My last day Pre Abby) and I can't sleep. I am going to be tired tomorrow.

I am so HAPPY for my brother and Annita!!!!!

I called the day care center to check on Abby's placement today. (I have been on the waiting list for over a year. They told me I am still # 2 on the list.... I really hope I don't have to take her somewhere else.

My new furniture arrived yesterday. Is it me or is there really not much difference between a Queen and a Double Mattress. I got a new bedspread etc too an put it on the bed after it was set up. A little more then 24 hours later and my cat threw up on it. Go figure but at least this time I bought a bedspread that fits in my washer.

I am still reading but haven't been commenting as much on other blogs! Just running out of time but I need to work on that.

I am experiencing the major guilt's about leaving my cats for 2 weeks. One of my friends will be looking out for them while I am gone but I still feel bad.

Did I mention we leave in 4 days??? :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Special Angel

Hope every one had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was good. I worked the night shift on Christmas day so am still recovering.

This year we decorated our family tree at my Mom's late. We ended up doing it the Sunday night after my shower. My Mom loves to go all out with her Christmas decorations. She also likes to leave them up until January 6th (Her birthday and also Three Kings Day). As a result of being a blended family that means she has a ton of decorations to display. This year we convinced her not to put them all out because as you all know Mom and Hugh are coming with me to China. Taking them all down requires a lot of time and she wants to leave them up for Abby. That and jet lag did not agree so she grudgingly agreed. Anyways, My brother in law Chris brought out only two boxes of ornaments for the tree this year. The tree angel was not in either box. It worked out well because I actually had purchased an Asian angel for as one of Mom's gifts this year. On Christmas day my brother Pete rigged up some giant chopsticks using plant stakes and was able to get her on the tree top.

Success! And Porsha supervised.

Good job Pete! And a big shout out to Pete and Annita (my sister in law to be). They got engaged on Christmas day :) Shower pictures to come :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

My shower yesterday was great! Luckily I felt better after pretty much taking motrin around the clock. And Yes I finally met Shannon! I can't believe we waited so long to finally meet. She is wonderful and I am so glad she was able to come to my shower. Check out her blog for some pictures. She has one of the two of us (or should I say five of us if you count my chins) posted on her blog. It was good to meet her in person and we will definitely get together again once Miss Abigale is home. I will post some shower pictures in the next day or so, Everyone was so generous!

Today I just wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and to thank you all for all of the support you have and continue to give as my journey to Abby has progressed! I can't wait to share her with you all :) I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More presents for my girl!

I had to post these wonderful gifts for Abby. Mary, Chris and Luke gave Abby the gifts pictured below. The princess bank is so cute and matches her room perfectly, a cute ladybug yo yo, a beautiful silver bracelet, cute little bunny toy link. sweet card and an awesome book!

Check out what Mary wrote inside of the book cover for Abby. It says, "Abby, If you ever wonder if dreams really do come true.... Just ask your Mommy!!" Thanks SO much Mary :) I enjoyed our catch up at Starbucks :) And Thank you for all of the Mommy tips! I can't wait to introduce Abby to you guys :)

Candy gave Abby 3 of some of the cutest outfits that I have ever seen. I can't wait to see them on Miss Abigale :) Thanks so much Candy! And size too tall (2t) is just perfect :) :) I can't wait to bring Abby up to work and don't worry, Miss Abby will be visiting both the day and night shift!

Candy also enclosed with Abby's gifts, this sweet card and little ladybug. The wording on the card is just perfect and so thoughtfully chosen! It says, " The universe has a way of knowing when people belong together." Made me tear right up! Absolutely perfect and so true.

I am really looking forward to my shower tomorrow! Unfortunately I feel a little yucky. Achy and fluish. I was standing in the line from he** at Walmart and had to break into a travel sized bottle of advil. I got the DPAT shot yesterday and I am thinking it was that. It better be cause I don't want to be sick for my shower. And boy does that arm hurt today (felt fine yesterday) I think this was the worst one. So now I have had the flu shot, the hep A and B shot, the Typhoid shot, and the DPAT shot. Hopefully I am now covered.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I leave in 2 weeks. All of a sudden I feel like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. Oh the joys of stress mixed up with a little PMS. What was I thinking? My last day of work is the 30th and we leave on the 2nd. One of those shifts is a night shift as well so there goes another day. Plus my friends and family will be in town over the holidays and I want to spend time with them too. I also feel like I need to spend some quality time with my cats. I feel guilty for leaving them alone for 2 weeks. Poor babies! They have no idea how much things are going to change. And I still need to complete my last minute to do list. Sheesh, you would think that after almost 3 years of waiting I would not have much left to do but............. The only thing that I am not stressed out about is getting Abby :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just Because :)

My Aunt sent me this today :) It was titled "Sleep in heavenly peace". I don't know who the duo actually are but how sweet is this picture!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This and That

Lot's going on right now so I thought I would update bullet style :)

I got my shots today. I know I said I wasn't going to get any but when your stepfather is a physician and is traveling with you then you go with the flow. I got the Hep A and Typhoid shot today. The typhoid arm hurts but the Hep A arm feels fine. I have to go back next week and get the TD shot. (I am already covered with the Hep B shot and the flu shot) Insurance is covering everything but the typhoid shot.

I attended the final travel meeting by conference call last night. We leave in 2 weeks. I received the trip itinerary today. We will be meeting Abby on January 6th my Mom's birthday :) Guess I can say that I have my Mom's present covered. I can't think of a better gift than a new Grandaughter :)

I went to pick up the new money that I ordered for China at the bank today. It did not go well. They did not have any new 100 dollar bills for me and I need to have 30 of them. Out of the many (supposedly) pristine bills only 9 of the 100 dollar bills were even passable. The 50's were pretty sad as well. They were going to place a new order today and hopefully do better next week. Can you say down to the wire????? They told me weeks ago that this would not be a problem.

I wonder if Abby received her care package from me? I wonder what she is doing right now.....

My bedroom is only one half way painted. I need to get it done before I go. I ordered new bedroom furniture, it will be here on the 27th of this month. I upgraded from a double to a queen mattress just in case Abby doesn't like her crib.

Does anyone but me still watch General Hospital? Is Coop really the killer????

Where does the time go??? I still haven't actually packed yet. I do have Lot's of piles ready to go though. I still haven't weeded out any of the too many clothes I picked to take to China for Abby to wear :)

Abby's crib and rocker are sporting a lot of cat hair. It is driving me crazy!

I am practically done shopping and wrapping for Christmas. Just need to get one last thing.

I am broke.

Abby's baby shower is this weekend! Shannon is coming to Abby's shower! I am excited cause we will finally meet in person :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Abby's Stocking

I love Abby's stocking made with love with scraps from her 100 good wishes quilt. Hung by the chimney with care.........
UPDATE: I can't take the credit for this great idea. I saw the idea almost 3 years ago on somebody elses blog and knew I wanted it for Abby. When I had her quilt made I asked if they could make her a stocking as well with the scraps :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Great Wall

Yikes its 2:30 AM and I can't sleep. My counter says we leave for China in 20 days! That means that more than likely I will be standing on the Great Wall of China in 22 or 23 days! Next to getting Abby that is the second thing that I am most excited about. I can't wait!!! The whole idea is just so surreal. I have heard that when climbing the great wall you can go left or right. I read that left was harder but less crowded too. It is just now hitting me that I am afraid of heights. For those of you that have been there, is that something I need to factor in or are the sides of the wall pretty high? I will climb it regardless :) I googled images of the Great Wall and found these pictures. I think that the last three snow covered pictures are very cool. I know there is snow over there now too. I also know that know matter what it will be darn cold too!

On another note, My little girl is 13 months old today! At least I know that I should have her in my arms for her 14 month birthday :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Update and Thank you!

Thank you for all of your advice and suggestions for packing. Packing for several climates at once when you can't really bring much is hard but I will figure it out. I'm most stressed about my footwear. I have had several trips ruined because of blisters and when I get blisters I tend to get them on the soles of my feet. I will definitely be bringing moleskin to China. Now I'm on the hunt for a 2nd pair of shoes to bring. Either Merrill's or tennis shoes. I'm not sure but I will need to start breaking them in now.

In other news, Our Visa's and passports arrived a few days ago. We also have purchased our tickets. We leave on the 2nd and return on the 16th! We will arrive in Beijing on Thursday and tour for several days. Then we head to Nanchang for 5 days (where I will receive Abby on either the first or 2nd day there :=P) then head over to Guangzhou for the final part of the trip. We fly back to the US out of Hong Kong. We are considering taking the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong.

I think all of the excitement has caught up with me. I have been so tired this weekend and really have not gotten anything accomplished except sleep. After a pretty chilly last week, We have another 70 degree day on tap for tomorrow and expected 60 to 70 degree temps pretty much all this week. No wonder everyone is sick. Hope everyone had a great weekend :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Packing for me

I'm looking for advice for me this time. 2 pairs of jeans, 3 sweaters, 2 sweat suits (wear 1 on plane), 2 pairs of PJ's, 2 pairs of long underwear, 1 fleece pull over, 1 winter coat, hat, gloves and scarf. The only shoes I am bringing I will wear. They will be my UGG boots. They are warm, waterproof and the only footwear that have NEVER given me blisters. I figure if I need tennis shoes I can buy them there? How does that sound??????

Good Grief!!! Only that for 14 days?????

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Presents for Abby

First off A big shout out and Congratulations to all of the lucky families who received their referral this month! The CCAA matched through another seven days. It could have been worse but we were all hoping for much more..... I feel for all of the disappointed waiting families out there. ((HUGS))

Abby in the snow. Sent to us by Dad and Mel :)

This is quite possibly the cutest outfit in Abby's closet. It was given to Abby by Judy and her daughter Becky :0

Sandy gave me this beautiful angel especially handmade for Abby ;)

And check out these ADORABLE slippers sent for Abby's little tootsies by Tiffany and Eliza :D They are so soft and snuggley!

Thank You so MUCH each and everyone of you !!! I am overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness and generosity! :) You are truly a special group!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

One Month Today!

One month today I finally got to see my babies face! I will never forget that day and how special it was. Her eyes were the first thing to jump out at me. Beautiful like you can see down into her soul. I love her so much already too! She has no idea how much her world will change, how much she is and will be LOVED. (My Mom jokingly told me Abby will be lucky if her feet touch the ground by June.) There are so many people waiting to meet her, so many special moments and firsts for us both. I can't wait!

I sent Abby's care package off today. Below is a picture of it's contents. I am crossing my fingers and saying prayers that it will make it to her. The post office told me that there was no way to be able to track it. I just have to hope and trust....

Thanks for the packing advice too. I am going to take out some of the outfits for Abby but which ones??? I think too that I will have to possibly get a new suitcase for me to take. Mine weighs 11 pounds and that is probably too heavy right????? And we bought our tickets today!! We leave on January 2nd! Wahoo!!!!!

I have more thoughtful gifts for Abby to post too! People have been so thoughtful and generous. I am so thankful :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Moving along

I got my TA yesterday and my consulate appointment date today. We leave on the 2nd or 3rd of January and return to the US on January 16th. I am waiting now for the quote from the travel agency my agency uses for ticket prices. Then we have to let them know by tomorrow if we accept the quote or if we will be making our own travel arrangements. Did any of you all make your own arrangements to get to China verses using your agency resources?? How did it go? My Mom wants to try and use their miles. Also I am not sure why we are going so late. It seems like a lot of people are leaving much sooner then us and some will be lucky enough to be home by Christmas.

Here is my packing process so far. Pictured below are the clothes I have for Abby. The list as follows : 2 pairs of overalls with matching shirts, 2 pairs of jeans with matching shirts, 4 two piece outfits (shirt and pants), 2 skirts with matching shirts, 2 sweat suits, 5 dresses, 2 sweaters, 1 hoodie, 7 pairs of PJ's, a one piece fleece (for outside), poncho with attached hood to wear over the fleece, 1 hat and pair of mittens, 2 blankets (1 flannel and one fluffy), 10 pairs of socks, and 10 onesies. Too Much??????

Here are some of the supplies I have collected for both Abby and I.

In other news, I also had my homestudy update today. Hopefully all went well and she will send me the draft tomorrow.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree

First of all I want to thank you all for your suggestions as to what I need for Abby. I knew I could count on you all. If anyone thinks of anymore please let me know :)

Catherine issued a Christmas tree challenge this year so I thought I would post mine. I didn't even put mine up last year and debated putting it up this year since I will hopefully be traveling shortly after the holiday. I didn't use all of my ornaments this year and only put out a few other decorations for that same reason. I am also debating leaving it up until after Abby is home. Two weeks is a long time to leave it unattended and my cats will be looking for entertainment :0

As to where I am in the process for Abby, Here's a mini update. The visas have been ordered. I am still waiting for TA and have not heard anything yet from my agency. They are still estimating January 3rd but I know of some people that have already received TA and are leaving soon. Rumors say we might hear something this week coming up. Once I receive my TA then we will buy our plane tickets. I have ordered my new and like new money for the in China fees and expenses. I have been going over packing lists and have several piles going in Abby's room. I have my home study update visit on Tuesday. I spent last Friday gathering the paperwork required for the update. Would you believe that I had to be fingerprinted yet again??? That makes 3 times so far. This time it was for my home study update. Virginia has a new rule that you have to be fingerprinted. It was a lot easier this time, I only had to go to my local PD to have them done and the fee was only 10 dollars. Unfortunately it will be 500 bucks for my home study update fee :( I spent today cleaning my house for the visit. Finally, I put in for family leave at work. My last day is December 30th. (assuming that we do in fact leave on Jan 3rd) In the meantime I am walking around with excited butterflies in my stomach. People say this part of the wait is the hardest but it really has not been so bad for me. These almost 4 weeks that have passed since referral day have just flown by. I'm glad too! I just can't wait to get my arms around Abby and kiss those sweet cheeks :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advice Please

Okay Guys :) I need some help..... As a new Mom to be I am really not sure of everything that I will need to have for Abby. For those of you that are in the know please leave me comments with your suggestions of must haves for Abby. Keep in mind that she will be around 14 months old when she comes home. I would love to know what worked best for you and what didn't for that matter. I am talking anything that you can think of no matter how big or small. And how many should I have on hand for example crib sheets..... How many do I need???? Thanks oh wise ones :)