Saturday, April 30, 2005

I've been tagged

She Tagged me!

I'm It! Lisa Tagged me!

The idea is to pick 5 and complete the sentences, then pass this little meme on to 3 more of your blog pals! But no tag backs!

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...
If I could be a mob boss...
If I could be a fast food restaurant worker...
If I could be a preacher..

If I could be a scientist... I'd find a cure for cancer. And AIDS of course. Cancer really pisses me off. It's so indesciminate. You can be perfectly healthy, not smoke and get it and die. I'd also invent a mega sunscreen for pale people like me that would smell great, give you a non streaky, non orange fake tan, wouldn't sting your eyes, would sparkle of course, and wouldn't come off until you wanted it to.
If I could be a judge...I'd lock up child molesters, domestic abusers, rapists, and murderers for life at the first offense with no parole. And I'd make sure their cellmate was a pissed off burly man named Snake who needed a girlfriend.
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host... I'd interview all my favorite celebrities. I'd have my research department find local people doing good all over the country and I'd fly them out to my show. Then I'd take all the millions of dollars I made and I'd finance adoption for people like us.
If I could be an innkeeper...Oh, I love this one. I'd have a cozy bed and breakfast in the NC mountains. We'd have horses and croquet on the lawn. There'd be badminton and pancakes anytime you wanted them. And if you adopted you'd get a free night at the inn.
If I could be a bonnie pirate...This is my favorite one. I'd have a fabulous ship. I'd never steal or pillage. I'd be independently wealthy from my talk show days. I'd live in an amazing house with tons of windows and big porches all round on a gorgeous island in the Bahamas with Jon and our 5 Chinese children. We'd have hammocks all over the place. A steel drum band would play music all the time. We'd wear sarongs and go barefoot and drink lots of fruity umbrella drinks. Oh, and we'd zip around the island on brightly colored Vespa scooters. Then when we felt like it we'd take our fully equipped ship and the steel drum band out to explore the islands. All of our friends would come too of course!

Ok, now I tag...Andrea, Sara, and Shannon O..

Friday, April 29, 2005


All things Chinese are appealing to me right now. I love these silver items. The fortune cookie is actually a little trinket box. And the take out box can be used for all sorts of things. I'm such a party planner at heart that I can see these being used at my shower. But you don't plan your own showers. So I'll just leave little hints for the shower fairies!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Worth the Wait

I'm having a really hard time not buying all the adorable baby stuff I've been seeing. Luckily (for my willpower and pocketbook) we are poor, I am still jobless, and we don't know how old Lingling will be. So there's no sense in buying certain things now. Plus, I can't go too crazy and put the cart before the horse. I don't want to fill my house with fabulous things for her and have something go wrong. We won't start major shopping until we are DTC (when our dossier gets sent to China). Then we'll have about 6 months to wait (and shop!) until we get matched with Lingling. Until then I can still gaze longingly at the objects of my desire. ***Click all images to enlarge*** Like this FABULOUS diaper bag. Ok, so I already love dragonflies. Then they went and put them on a gorgeous shade of pinky red and made an affordable dressy diaper bag. Only $18.95 at Adopt Shoppe! This would be my 2nd diaper bag. I'd have one in a more sturdy fabric for everyday use.

Then there are these adorable mary jane socks at Uncommon Goods. Uncommon Goods has a ton of stuff that I'd put on a wish list if they had one. Like this ladybug hat. Ladybugs are considered good luck by the Chinese. *That's a bit of forshadowing for you. I've got a ladybug project in the works. One of my absolute favorite items at Uncommon Goods is this onesie: I love the message on it so much. It's so fitting. It only fits up to age 6 mos though, and the babies are at least 6-8 mos when we adopt. I wish I could screenprint myself so I could get that saying on something that would fit Lingling. Ah well, I can always paint that message on a little plaque for her room.

How do parents control themselves with so much retail cuteness out there???

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New Favorite Quote

Jon's parents took us to dinner at this cool restaurant downtown named Palomino and when the waitress brought the check she also passed out these cute little quotes. Mine is so perfect: I am always doing things I can't do---that's how I get to do them.-Pablo Picasso.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Pug Pile

Just another gratuitous pug shot for you. They were so cute sleeping all piled up on my MIL's lap the other day!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Local China Connection

Ok, so the picture has nothing to do with this post, but it's just so daggum cute. I took this picture of Jake a week ago on my Mom's stairs. I love this picture- he's very photogenic.

My Mil is a librarian and there is this older couple who volunteer at the library. Their son and his wife adopted a little girl from China. So information got passed around and I was able to talk to the son. He was so nice and offered tons of advice and information about the process. He even recommended his agency. They were so impressed with the agency when they adopted their little girl that they are going through the process again with the same agency. They brought Abby home at age 2 & 1/2 last August and are at the home study stage for child #2 right now. He said Abby is doing great. They adopted an older child because he is 50 and his wife is 45. Jon and I will hopefully be referred a much younger baby because we're younger. They are a really nice couple who are totally willing to help us and guide us through the process. I can't tell you how awesome that is! We've felt kind of alone in all this since we don't know anyone else in real life who's done this. We'll all be meeting up soon. I can't wait to see their little girl.

I hadn't spent much time thinking about the flight over to China until talking with that Dad. He told me it was 14 hours from Chicago, where they changed planes. And that because of the time changes that they took off at 12:30 pm and landed in China at 2:30 pm the same day! They were chasing the sun! The whole time zone thing blows my mind anyway, but what really boggles my brain is what are we going to do on a plane for 14 hours?! I can only sleep for so long. Will there be enough to drink? I'm a big drinker. It's been rumored that I snore and I don't want to bother people. I'm going to have to bring a BIG book that is remarkably interesting. Jon's going to go insane. He's 6' 5" and doesn't fit well into those seats as is. His knees get bruised because there's just not enough leg room. We may have to strap him to the wing!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pug Perch

Ike loves to perch up on the back of the sofa and watch what's going on in the kitchen when I'm cooking or cleaning. So cute. I realized it's been entirely too long since I've posted pictures of our puggies. Here's one of Miss Kea. She's recently discovered the joys of the belly rub and has assumed the belly rub position. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Slow and easy

When Lisa was in town last time, she noticed a major difference in how us Southerners treat time vs. up North. We had 10 am appointments that were supposed to last 2.5 hours. We didn't leave the salon until 3pm. I had to call the nail place twice to push back our appointments there since we were running long with massages and facials. Lisa couldn't believe it. How casual we all are with time down here. And I've been surprised when visiting up North how quickly things move.

Example: Let's say it's 10am and we're going to the store to buy lunch fixins. Here's how it would work down here vs. up there.

South: Someone announces that we need to go to the store. It's 10am. We discuss what we want at the store, call and see do any of our loved ones need anything at the store, get ready to go to the store, drink some sweet tea, answer the phone, clean the kitchen while on the phone, get in the car to go to the store, stop at the post office on the way, visit with a friend we see outside of the post office, get to the store, buy what we need, buy a lot of things that were not on the list, visit with a friend we spot in the aisle, load the care, make another stop at a different store on the way home since we're near it, get home, unload the car. It is now 2pm.

North: Announce we're going to the store. Get in the car and go. Buy what we need. Come home and unload car. It's now 11am.

I used to date a guy from Maine and once when we were in Maine visiting his family they announced they were going to the store, did I want to go. So I'm getting ready to go and they're already in the car! Amazing how fast these people move! Must be the cold Northern air!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Story People

I discovered Story People at a tiny gallery in Blowing Rock, NC about 7 years ago. I became addicted. Brian Andreas is the artist and he creates prints, cards, sculpture, furniture, the works. But the thing that gets me in my heart are the words, the little stories. I gave this one to Jon on our first anniversary (paper anniversary). It is called No Words. It says:" I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that." It summed up how much I love him- so much that it's almost more than I can stand. I visit the Story People site often, to catch up on new stories. I found one recently, called Such Small Things, that is serving as more motivation to bring Lingling home. It says: "For a long time there were only your footprints & laughter in our dreams & even from such small things, we knew we could not wait to love you forever".

So go check out Story People. I bet you'll find something that says what you've been feeling. Oh, and bring tissues- you'll be teary eyed in no time!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

***DISCLAIMER to swearing post below:

I do say ass, damn, and hell. On occasion I may say the s word, but I don't like to. I like a PG13 house. I do not condemn people who curse. It's not my place to judge, so I don't. My husband has a mouth like a sailor and I love him. My best friend swears with the best of them and tries to get me to say bad words. Peer pressure!

I just think that it loses it's effectiveness when people swear casually. If you are very angry and swear using the same words you used that morning to talk about your coffee, is your point made? Do you really get anyone's attention? Now, if I yell a swear word it's like the earth stops spinning for a moment and people actually say things like "OMG she just said bleep" and they pay attention to what I have to say. It's very effective.

I also think it's lazy and common. You can totally not pussyfoot around and still not use swear words. Come up with some better vocabulary words. You can't find some other way to describe what you're talking about than bleeping bleep bleep?

Now, this is just my opinion and if you want to tell me to bleep off then I understand. But don't expect a swear word retort from me. I'm the worst cusser and you'd probably hear something back like "Fine you shitblocker." And that just doesn't make a bit of sense to anyone.

You kiss your Mama with that mouth?

My sister and I have had some conversations recently about manners. Her husband (who's from Buffalo, NY) and his family think it's rude to say yes ma'am and no ma'am, or sir, because it "implies the person is old". We were brought up to always say yes ma'am no ma'am, please and thank you, and to call adults by Mr. or Mrs. Jones unless they say we can call them by their first names. Then it's still Mr. John or Miss Susan. And cussing? Don't even get me started. You just don't swear down South. Especially if you're a lady. Men shouldn't swear in front of a woman and women just shouldn't. We were raised to believe that it made you seem trashy if you had a trashy mouth.

So imagine our discomfort when my sister Sara and I watched Closer on dvd this weekend. Ay yi yi. They said all those c words, the f word every other word, it just went on and on. The whole movie was about sex, yet no one had sex on camera.

Today people are more casual. In some families it's ok to say huh and what instead of pardon me. And swearing is acceptable, even around your parents.

So I we still live in a fantasy world where it's considered "snobby" to speak with ma'ams and pardon me's, or is it just good manners? What do you think?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Show Me The Money

So here's where I whore myself out to you, my dear readers, in the hopes that you'll spend just 4 minutes of your life doing something really painless that will make you money. See, I'm trying to get creative about raising money for our adoption while I'm looking for a job. I'm not sure of the legalities of walking around with a jar asking for money from strangers. But I say if the cashier at the kwicky mart can put out a jar with a picture taped to it why can't I? I need to fashion something I can wear around my neck with a picture of a Chinese baby. This is all so distasteful, even in theory, that I'm sure my homestudy social worker would love to get an earful.

So, where do you fit in? Well, ING Direct pays 3% right now on their Orange Savings Accounts. Doesn't sound like much but most money markets are only going for around 2.4%. They are FDIC insured, and there is no minimum to open an account. You can get in for just one dollar. $1 people. No fees. And here's the part you'll like. When you open an account they give you a $25 bonus for opening the account! That money has to stay in the account for 30 days then it's yours. The part I like (besides seeing wonderful people get free cash) is that if you open the account by clicking on the link in the email I'll send you- I'll get $10 for referring you. And Lingling's adoption account is $10 richer. Everyone wins. And the cycle can go on forever. You open your account and refer people and you'll get $10 every time your friends get their $25. Lisa started this whole thing with me, she got her $25, then $10 when I signed up. I got my $25 too. I would never lead you wrong. So, who's with me? If you'd like to help out, just email me at blessblog at or leave your email in my comments box and I'll send you a referral.

And for everyone who does this favor for me- you'll get a free pair of handmade earrings crafted just for you in your favorite colors by me. You'll be $25 richer and looking fab in your new jewels. You can't beat that with a bat.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ya'll got my back

You guys amaze me. You really do. If you ever want to know who really cares for you, who your friends are, and who's got your back, just dive right in and start on one of the most challenging adventures of your life. In our case it's adopting a baby from China. Why it's challenging is that we have no money. We have no money because we spent everything we had on medical bills and making up for missed wages this last year while I was operated on and/or was sick from fertility treatments. And then, as you now know, I lost my job. So now we're doing the logical thing and are trying to adopt at a price tag of around $20,000 after travel and all that. I know I'll get a new job, and we'll do everything possible to raise money. I'm not above having car washes and bake sales right in my yard if needed. When I want something I plow ahead, even if I don't have all the details ironed out. So I sent Easter cards and included announcements to family members that we're adopting from China. I figured if I told you guys and told our family and friends then we'd have to make it happen somehow. And then the most amazing things started happening. I'm trying not to cry as I type this. I'm just overwhelmed. First I told you guys all about our plans and you responded with the most amazing comments and emails. Then I got a card in the mail from my friend Holly letting us know how excited she and her husband and daughter are for us. She included a check for the baby fund for $100! Then I check the mail and receive the most amazing little book from an amazing woman- Andrea. It's called I love you like Crazy Cakes and it's about a woman who adopted from China. I have it on an easel in the den so we see it every day. Then my MIL comes over Sunday and sees the book and said she bought it for me too, for Mother's Day. But she has another one in mind for me. It just blows me away the support we're receiving. It touches my heart and keeps me motivated to bring Lingling home so I can send you her picture.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

No money to pay your fines

Sunday night we went to the Comedy Zone to see Frank Caliendo. The show was awesome. Frank is Jon's favorite comic and he did not disappoint! I laughed so hard my face hurt. We took Jon's parents. This was their very first trip to a comedy club of any type. My in-laws are conservative people. They are the literal stereotypes of their occupations. My FIL is a judge- quiet, stern, no nonsense. My MIL is a librarian- quiet, sweet, no frills.

Well, we got front row seats and as luck would have it the 2nd comedian of the night singled out my FIL. Oh. Lord. Here's what happened:

Comedian: What's your name my friend?

FIL: Dennis

C: Are you married?

FIL: Yes

C: How long?

FIL: 35 years.

Awwwws from the audience.

C: Ok, Dennis, I'm going to ask you a question and you think of a real romantic answer and you might just get some booty tonight. Out of all the women you dated, and you look like you had lots of women, why did you choose this one to marry?

*At this point Jon is dying and I'm squealing because the LAST thing we want to picture is the 2 of them getting some booty.

FIL: Because she's my best friend.

More Awwwws from the audience.

C: Woo boy that was a good one! You're sho gonna get some booty tonight! Not right here Dennis, you gotta wait til you get home. But then you might even get some of that role play booty. Like she's a librarian, and you've got late books and no money to pay the fine!

*Now Jon's stabbing out his eardrums and I'm yelling to the comedian that she's really a librarian. My in-laws are laughing but they have a slight horrified look in their eyes.

C: Even better! Now she knows exactly how much to charge you! You're a lucky man tonight Dennis!

~The baby's name is Reese.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Shower the people you love with love

Saturday I went to my friend Michelle's baby shower. She looks awesome! Especially to be giving birth in less than 4 weeks! It seems like just the other day that I was dropping something off at her house, I thought no one was home so I was leaving a note when her husband comes running out the door yelling that they just found out they were pregnant! So exciting! Michelle and I met on our first day of 12th grade. We were both new in town and we bonded instantly. She's really great. I was worried about the shower- would I be sad, how would I feel surrounded by pregnant girls and babies? But I did just fine. Being excited about Lingling, talking about her, people asking about the process- it all makes it so much better. And everyone is incredibly supported and interested which is just awesome and makes me feel great. I really believe I'm not missing out on a thing now- I've got so much to look forward to!

Riddle me this At the shower Michelle told us that their baby boy's name is a secret. But she gave us clues and told us she'd tell us if we could guess it. Amy, Sara, and I racked our brains all afternoon. The clues were so vague! See if you can guess it:

1. It does not start with a J. It does include an E. It only has 3 letters, but it's not 3 letters long. Like Banana only has b a and n in it.

2. It's the last name of a famous athlete. The athlete is not a soccer or water polo player.

3. The name can be found in a grocery store.

Finally that evening at Sara's house for a get together to celebrate my BIL's 36th birthday, my BIL's brother's wife Julie guessed it. I called Michelle on her cell and she confirmed we were right. It took 20 people over 3 hours to think of it! I'll give you the answer tomorrow.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Black Bar

Jon was watching Headbangers Ball on MTV2 when he spotted a pug in one of the videos. I love how they've blacked out his eyes to protect his identity.

I've had to black bar a big part of my life for the last 2 months. But now I can safely tell you what happened. My employer (for whom I've worked for the last 6 years) has terminated my employment because I had one too many surgeries this last year and it put me over the 12 week disability period. Because I'd been there for so long I had earned 6 months paid leave but the government only guarantees your job for 12 weeks. My schedule was compressed into 4 day weeks so I used up those hours rather quickly. 2 of my days would equal almost 3 normal days. I had to wait until I was officially seperated from them to talk about it- even though I won't mention their name. I just didn't want any legal trouble. I never mentioned work in my blog for fear of being dooced as my job had a zero tolerance policy for even mentioning it's name on the internet. Plus, my professional licenses would be at risk if I mentioned it. So many things could be misconstrued and there's a lot of liability there. And I worked too hard to get licensed to lose those. I was really angry when they called me about it. Funny thing is that it is a HUGE company, like over 10,000 employees. So some HR lady who I've never met called me to tell me. It's all policy ma'am. Doesn't matter if you've been there 6 years or 6 months. All the same. Nice, huh.

Anyway, as you can imagine, this puts a huge kink in things. The thing I'll miss most about my job is that they would reimburse you $5000 per child you adopt. How am I gonna find that benefit anywhere else? And then there's the money thing. I've got to find a new job pretty quickly. I'm nervous. I haven't interviewed in 6 years! And I've never been fired. And we want to get our homestudy started as soon as possible. Geez. And now I don't know what to do with myself job wise. Between you and me, internet, I was only marginally interested in my line of work. I loved the benefits and some aspects, but I don't think I want to do that again. So now what do I do? Get a similar job that I won't like but would be a sure thing? Or go for a job I'll actually enjoy, but may take longer to get? Whatever happens I don't want Lingling sitting in that orphanage for any longer than she has to just because Mommy's boss was a wanker.

Friday, April 08, 2005

It comes in threes

I sure hope that is true because we can't afford to have anything else break on us!
1. Jon's car wouldn't start the other day. Totally dead battery. Wouldn't even jump off of my car. We had to tow it in to Toyota and get a new battery.
2. So Jon says since his car is dead he might as well mow the lawn. First mow of the season. He gets about 3 feet into it and the mower just dies. No reason. Only 2 years old. It's supposed to be a good one too.
3. I drove over to Toyota to wait on Jon's car and thought while I'm there they might as well check out my car since my engine light came on. Turns out my front breaks were paper thin, I needed new everything, including a tune up. The little guy from service called to tell me that my car was ready and gave me the total (almost $600!!!). I said Ok, now what about after you take off my fabulous customer discount. Keep in mind we already paid almost $200 the day before for Jon's car (including tow). I reminded Dexter the service man that I did bring in 2 cars at the same time and I did spend almost 2 hours in the waiting room with Mrs. Campbell who didn't take a breath from the time she said Good Morning, and who was STILL TALKING as I walked out of the room down the hall. So Dexter gave me the senior citizen discount and I saved 10%. Never hurts to ask.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by bless your heart.
The baptism or christening went well, and it was fast this time. Jake's lasted over an hour because of all the kids getting baptized. When you're in the audience you don't get the best view of the baptism. Ah well, most of the fun was had at the after party anyway (more on that later). Although while at the church my little sister Morgan who turned 15 on the 2nd showed me the earrings her boyfriend gave her for her birthday. They have since broken up. Ah, young love. Anyway, she says to me "Aren't they cool? He must be a metrosexual since he picked out such good earrings. Plus he wears orange Converse shoes." Who knew the metrosexual requirements were so simple?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Like I need another hole in my head

Originally uploaded by bless your heart.
My dad & his wife drove up for the weekend from Florida last weekend. They brought their new English Bulldog Sally. She's 70 lbs at 7 mos. I love her underbite. Anyway, this dog stayed in her crate in the car while we went to dinner. Granted, it was a nice cool day- a real treat when you live in Devil's Crotch, SC- but Lisa and I were sure she'd suffocate. My dad assured us that cars are not airtight. So we went in for dinner at Cap'n Steves- this awesome fish camp style joint.
Dinner was so funny- Lisa and I kept hitting each other under the table and trying to stifling laughs. But we just couldn't help it. My Dad is such a story teller. And he gets all animated and his eyes go all googly. Lisa said he looks like the Cookie Monster when he really gets going. And bless his heart he has these divets in the top of his head from hair transplants that didn't take. Lisa said it looks like an earthworm crawled in and out of his head leaving these little holes. My bil said once that my Dad "looks like someone hit him in the head with a golf shoe!". Moral of the story: you can cut a deal and ask for discounts on just about anything, except cosmetic surgery!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Where I run half naked through a salon

I'm late posting about this weekend- I guess I needed time to recover! I picked up Lisa at the airport and we went for Mexican. Holy frijoles was this place bizarre. And the odd thing is, it's a chain and I've never had problems at any other location. It was late though, and in my small town nothing is open past 10pm so we didn't have a choice. There were only a few people in the restaurant. There was karaoke going on in the smoking section- because nothing coats your throat and promises smooth tone like smoke! So while we waited AN HOUR for our food we were serenaded by croaky old people singing off key- poor things could barely keep up with the background tracks. I had requested no beans or lettuce (said I was allergic so I wouldn't appear picky). When the food came of course it was loaded with both. So I sent it back and when it came again they had just scraped the beans off- they'd left a bunch under one of the burrito things. Good thing I'm not really allergic or I'd have died listening to smoky karaoke! We did tell the manager about our s l o w service and we got everything half off. Small victories.

Saturday we woke up and Lisa told me to wear something comfy and no makeup. We grabbed breakfast and ended up at my salon where she had booked us massages and facials! So sweet! I hadn't had a massage since the day before my wedding 4 years ago. I really needed a day of pampering after all I've been dealing with this year. We had a ball. Our facials girl- LeeAnne (she does my waxing too) is so awesome, I've been going to her for over a year now and she's just a riot. She was making us laugh so hard during our facials that I had to jump up and run down the hall to the bathroom or I'd have wet myself. Except I'm not that graceful and I fell off the table more than climbed down. Picture it- I'm topless, holding a towel over my boobs, my hair is all greasy from massage oil, sticking up everywhere, there's a towel pinned to my head to hold my hair back and my face is covered with a black licorice mask! I'm sure the people getting pedicures and haircuts had a story to tell at dinner that night!