Sunday, July 31, 2005


~Do you ever wonder what you look like to other people? Sometimes mid conversation I'll find myself thinking things like Does my face look weird right now? Why is she/he looking at me like that? I bet my mouth moves around all funny. Or you go through life thinking you look one way then you see a candid photo of yourself and think- who the hell is that?
~I don't like the word cusp. I don't ever want to be on the cusp of anything. It sounds like something you can barely get out of your mouth. cusp. bleh.
~Lately I've been craving Chef Boyardee beef ravioli like a mad woman. No idea why. But for some reason, right now, it is soooo good. Even bought the mega pack at Sams. Periodically I'll go through cravings like that- one week all I'll want to eat is cereal or something. Right now it is canned pasta. Wonder why that is.
~My eyebrows are out of control. For no apparent reason over the last few weeks they have decided that midday they will turn up on the ends like I'm Jack Nicholson or something. It's maddening.
~I wish I knew how to make a cute little banner for my blog.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Birthday Blunder

A certain birthday girl needs to remember that her birthday is coming up very shortly while shopping online or the following conversation will occur:

J: (looking at current issue of Real Simple) Is this yours? Do you have a subscription?
S: Yeah. That's my first issue.
J: Great. Well, be surprised when my Mom gives you a subscription next week.

Yikes! Lesson learned.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Almost Famous

Have any of you seen the new R. Ke!ly video about being stuck in a closet and it's part one of five? I saw the whole thing, all 5 parts last night and they were talking about it all like it was some amazing revolutionary song and video. Ok, this dude wrote a bad story about adultery, then sang it, then made a video that acted out each word literally. Like he's in the closet after spending the night with some girl and now he's hiding from her husband and his cell goes off and he sings "I tried so hard to put it on vi-i-i-brate". OMG. Dude, I can totally write a story and sing it. And like the music my boy listens to- all screaming, all the time. I can totally scream. Or those thin vocals on all the teen queen cds now- hey, I can whisper too!
And just the other day my friend Karen (who just got her referral! woohoo!) told me about a girl who blogs about not being able to get pregnant and some tv producer read her blog and now she's getting a sitcom! That's my money she's making! I mean, my family is nuts- I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!
Ah well, living in California would freak me out- with all the mudslides and stuff. Maybe it's better to be unknown and poor in the South!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Baby got back

Bingo back that is. Last night Shannon, Stacy, and I went and played bingo.. So fun! We didn't win a dime, but we had a blast. There were so many people there, serious bingo players with trolls, millions of dawbers, custom seat cushions, the works. Us newbies walked in in a daze and if it weren't for 2 helpful women at the next table we'd have been lost. We were all so focused on trying to keep up with the crazy pace of the bingo caller while playing up to 12 cards at a time (!!!), I'd forget to breathe! Spending 3 hours hunched over a bunch of bingo cards will kill your back! No wonder they buy those custom cushions!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Adopting Pros

Ok, no one told me about the incredible volume of paperwork that would land on my house as soon as we applied to adopt. I mean, I knew it was a paperchase, but I just feel so sorry for the entire forest that has died so far for our family! I've also learned that I should install a Kinko's in the living room to deal with the number of copies I have to make. Ah well, it is a small price to pay.

I've already discovered so many pros about adopting:
-You can still enjoy a nice cocktail all the way up to Gotcha day. Pregnant ladies can't touch the stuff! (disclaimer: I'm by no means a big drinker- maybe 2 a month)
-No hormone induced puking.
-No strange desires to eat laundry detergent or dirt.
-No screaming for an epidural.
-You get a chance to visit a country you may never visit otherwise.
-No need to drop a bundle of money on clothes you'll only wear for 9 months.
-I'd much rather have my life on display paper wise vs. having my girlie bits on display in the delivery room!
-I'd rather eat pinecones than go to the girlie doctor, and when you're pregnant you have to go like every half hour.
-Strangers don't approach me wanting to rub my belly.

I've totally come to terms with not being able to get pregnant. I'm so fine with it because I realized a while back that what I really wanted was not to be pregnant (a condition that lasts but a few months), but to be a mother and to have a family (something that lasts forever). Hmmm...did I miss any pros on my list?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I go

I need to get in shape before going to China. I want to be able to carry a baby around with ease while touring the cities. And, I just need to get in shape. So I was thinking about what I like to do that counts as excersize and came up with roller skating and bike riding. I have skates, it's just finding skate partners that's hard. Plus you have to pay the rink and it becomes a whole event. So on top of that I needed something I could do around here, for free, at any time of day. So Jon and I started looking at bikes for me. He's already outfitted with a good bike and even those weird little clip on shoes that clip to the pedals. He's into it. I wanted a bike that I didn't have to lay down on to ride, with a big cushy seat to hold my big cushy seat. We found the Electra bikes and I found a local store to order one in for me. We picked it up yesterday and the bike dude even put on a bell and removable basket for me. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It is so comfy to ride and my purse fits in the basket along with a water bottle. And when I stop I can stand straight up on the ground without falling off (short legs). I should be a super model by this time next week. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

When you're adopting you get to drink fun cocktails

Tonight I had the pleasure of having dinner with 5 other adoptive moms to be. We're all adopting from China and are at various stages of the process. We had dinner at Logan's and they were nice enough to let us chat and laugh for way longer than your normal dinner. I asked for something fun and fruity to drink, and they brought me this humongo jar of fabulous fruity flavor! Many more were ordered around the table. It was so great to meet Melissa, Susan and Danesha (a blog virgin), and to spend more time with Shannon and Karen.

Here's where I get a little sappy. When we first found out we couldn't get pregnant we were devastated. Then we went through a grieving process, then discovered adoption. Since then, things have been so wonderful. Everyone is so supportive and wonderful and I looked around that table tonight and about cried. Here were 6 women who are just genuinely happy for each other. Terrifically supportive of one another. There's no competition. We're all in the same boat financially, no one's buying $800 strollers. Plus, we've all been through some really tough stuff getting to where we are today, and we all know that. There's no cattiness, no gossip. Just 6 women who truly appreciate each other and the journey we are all on together.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wet & Wild

Yesterday afternoon I drove up to Greensboro with my mom, Hale & Morgan to go to Emerald Pointe, a huge water park. We went last night for just a couple of hours, and since there were no lines, and no sunburn potential, we got to ride all the big rides and pack a ton of stuff into just 2 hours. We stayed at a fabulous resort that Jon and I had seen lots of times on the side of the highway but we'd never stopped in. Who knew such a nice place was in the middle of nowhere? There was a big golf tourney going on with basketball stars raising money for basketball camps for kids. Michael Jordan stayed just a few doors down from us! Alonzo Mourning was there too. We saw tons of giant men with tiny women dripping in jewels.
This morning we went to breakfast at Denny's because Hale had seen some new dish on a commercial and was hell bent to try it. So I can cross eating at Denny's off my list of things I've never done. We spent the rest of the day at the water park and had a blast. All the boys were staring at Miss Morgan. One dude even walked right into a trash can and toppled the whole thing over. I used 45 spf and they have HUGE umbrellas there so not a bit of sunburn on my fish belly white body. Success!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

We're official

So...We are officially on our way to becoming parents! We applied with our agency on Saturday. We received our approval email on Monday. Throughout this week we've received enough forms to fill out that we could wallpaper the house. If everything stays on schedule we should be in China this time next year (how cool would that be to spend my birthday in China becoming a mom?!). If we run into delays (which are inevitable) we may be in China anytime between August and October 2006, which is also fine as it may be cooler temperature wise in October. Either way we are just psyched. So excited! Let the paper chase begin! Ling Ling (and hopefully Mei Mei) here we come!

Oh, and duh, the job situation. Forgot to mention that. I've accepted an offer for a job I'm really excited about. But I'm also halfway through a very comprehensive (personality tests, multiple phone interviews already!) interview process for another exciting job. So we'll see which one turns out to be the best deal. One is commission only and for a small company, but has lots of perks. The other is a large corp that also has perks, but requires a great deal of travel. I'll update when I choose. Both have good income potential, so we know we'll be all set with the adoption as long as we are diligent in our savings and have some fundraisers like yard sales. We'll get there!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wash, Set, Baby

So I'm sitting in the salon the other day while Morgan is having her first facial. That child is so spoiled. I waited until I was an adult before getting a facial like normal people. Anyway, I've been going to this same salon for a good while now to get my hair cut, and this is a small Southern town so I know everyone there. I walked in with Morgan and said hi to all the ladies then we were in the facial room for 2 hours. The esthetician facial lady- God love her- can talk like no one I know. This facial was supposed to be 30 minutes, but R talks with her hands.
We're in there 10 minutes when Mindy, another salon employee bursts in.
M-Shannon, you still want a baby?
S-(amused and a little frightened) Yeah, why, someone forget one in your room?
M-What? No. Ok, I'll be right back.
5 minutes pass and Mindy comes back.
M-Ok so I just helped this girl and I thought she looked a little different than normal. Then I heard her talking to Jane and sure enough she's 4 months pregnant. She's in school at (local university, but I'm trying to protect said girl's identity here) and she's real smart you know. So I said how does your boyfriend feel about it? And she said her boyfriend is real smart too and they don't want it and they want to give it up for adoption. So I said to myself "Mindy- this is a sign. Here I got one girl in one room who wants a baby and one girl who doesn't." So I ran back in here to get you.
S-Get me? For what?
M-You need to talk to this girl. I told her if she met you she'd like you so much she'd just give up her baby in a heartbeat.
OMGOMGOMG. The world has gone insane around me.
S-Mindy, that is really sweet of you to think of me, but I can't just go up to pregnant people and make a bid for their babies.
M-Oh hold on.
She leaves the room again and I am floored. Gobsmacked. In shock. Mindy comes back in.
M-Dammit she left. (probably ran screaming from the salon!) She told Jane though that she wants to give her baby to a family from up North because she's from up North. I'm sorry Shannon, I tried.
S-Really, it is ok. We're very happy with our plans to adopt from China.
M-Well I just figured, why go all the way to China to get a baby when all you gotta do is go to the salon? Oh, and I gave her your name and number just in case.

OMG. My name and number has been given to some poor girl who is in the process of making what is I'm sure to be the hardest decision of her life and here she probably thinks I was sitting in the next room with my checkbook at the ready. You know, at first Jon and I lamented on all the hoops and paperwork we have to deal with to adopt. Now I know why. It's to protect people from well intentioned, yet over eager salon staff.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cruisin with the oldies

My Grandmommy and her boyfriend Ray recently returned from a 10 day Alaskan cruise. She's been talking about this cruise for the last, well, forever. I got the scoop on the phone with G-mommy the other day. I couldn't wait to talk to her. So how was the cruise?
G-It was alright I guess.
Alright I guess? Being a cruise lover, and knowing that she went to my dream cruise destination, I was floored. I got the same answer to just about every question. She liked the cabin, and the food was really good. "We walked around those little towns." So did you see any glaciers? "Yeah, I saw one of them floatin on down the river." Did you see any shows? "Nah, Ray's not big on shows."
They basically ate and slept. For 10 days while cruising Alaska. OMG. She seemed to really enjoy that though, and they saw some dolphins, so that was a highlight.
The thing that surprised G-mommy the most about her ocean cruise? "Well, there was just so much water. Everyday we're floatin and floatin and there's just all that water."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Maybe the dingo ate your baby

Our little town is basically owned by one very large and very rich family who are in the textile business. So there are lots of statues all over town depicting family scenes involving textiles like sheets and towels and what not. This one statue features a mom, a baby who's just had a bath and is running to her dad. Well, periodically you'll drive by and the baby is gone. Kids steal her all the time. We've lived in this town for 2 years next month and baby has been stolen 3 times! You know that the dude in charge of making new babies is so tired of this. And what do the thieves do with a big, bronze baby?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ah, to be young again

Morgan and I did some running around yesterday afternoon, and while we were out we stopped by our cute little Starbucks to try their new green tea frappucino. It was really good I thought, different, and with a taste of something familiar and fruity, but we couldn't put our finger on it. It was really, shockingly GREEN. That night we had dinner and game night at my mom's with Mom, Hale, Morgan & Sweetface (Morgan's boyfriend). Morgan's still not too sure about being a mom to Charlie the puppy. She actually said at one point this week "I just have so many other things to worry about- like my hair!" Charlie is still at the house though, and we all just love him. Sweetface got a taste of life with my crazy family during an extremely competitive round of Scene It. Jon and I won, much to the chagrin of Hale, who morphs from super sweet man to crazy competitive game monster. Jon and I drove Sweetface home and the whole way he yes ma'am and no ma'amed me. It was so sweet, yet it made me feel so old. Sigh.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Molly Moon

Jon's been jonesing for another pug. They are addictive, like tattoos and heroin. He wants a little black girl pug and he's already named her Molly. He talks about her almost as much as we talk about Ling Ling. Well imagine my surprise when I'm searching for books at the library online and I type in pug and Molly Moon comes up. A whole series of books about a little black pug named Molly. Jon thinks it is a sign from God. We'll see about that. =)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Grosser than gross

Karen over at The Naked Ovary wrote a post the other day about her parents' dog eating her tampon in the living room, leaving a big blood stain. She invited her readers to leave their grosser than gross stories in her comments. I read those comments and laughed so hard while being horrified for those people all at the same time. Her post made me think of my grosser than gross stories.

The grossest thing that's ever happened to me:
When I was a teenager I worked summers at my uncle's skating rink. A bunch of us worked there and we all kept our drink cups with our names on them behind the concession stand counter. We'd skate up and grab our cups for a quick drink, then it was back out to the skate floor. I rolled up once and grabbed my cup and took a big swig. Then everything happened in slow motion. First I saw that the cup didn't say Shannon. It said Shaun. Then I realized that Shaun used his cup TO SPIT HIS TOBACCO JUICE INTO. I had taken a huge gulp of backwashed spit and chaw. That was the one time in my life I've experienced instant projectile vomiting. Justified I think.

Ok, your turn, gross me out! Tell me your grossest stories! Don't hold back my people!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Gone to Guam

Jon's cousin and his wife are in the Coast Guard and they just got deployed to Guam for 3 years. Guam! That's so far! They have two sweet little girls who will be big girls by the time we see them again! But they are settling into island life quite well, and we'll be sure to wave as we fly over on our way to China!
Oh, and a couple of you have asked about the job hunt. It's going well I suppose. I've been on a few interviews and have had some offers, but I'm being choosy. One place was in a bad part of town, one wanted me to commute 1.5 hours one way, one job meant traveling and sales. I need something I'm going to be happy with in the long run, and something that is family friendly. I've got some more leads to call this week, so we'll see how that goes. I'm blessed that our house payment doesn't depend on my paycheck, and that I don't have to rush into anything. But I'm antsy- the quicker I bring in a paycheck, the quicker we go to China!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Charlie and the camel

My little sister Morgan got herself a puppy yesterday. He's a 2 month old beagle-lab mix that she named Charlie Bean. He's a real cutie, but she's already learning the responsibilities of pet ownership. "Aw man, he's drinking again, that means he's gonna have to pee in a little while." She called me this morning after her first night as a mommy, exhausted. Heheh. Welcome to the world grasshopper.
I drove my mom to see the camel in my neighborhood yesterday. He's really friendly and came right up to the car. He even let me feed and pet him. He didn't spit though, thank goodness. Wait, is it camels that spit or llamas?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Status Check

Quick little update on where we are in the adoption process.
I've downloaded the applications for our passports. We've paid off our cars, thus freeing up 2 car payments worth of mulah each month that will go into the adoption account. We opened a safe deposit box at our bank to store important papers until needed for the dossier (I'm paranoid about fire). And the biggie:
We've learned over the past few weeks that certain items that will be in our dossier have expiration dates. This means that we're waiting yet another month or so before applying with our agency so we can save some more money. We don't want to get started then have to put the process on hold while coming up with money and run the risk of something expiring (like the fingerprinting and such) and having to start all over.
But, another good thing we've decided on...we're putting in for twins! Woohoo! I'm so excited. I've always wanted little twins. This by no means guarantees us twins, and the twin rate is low in China, but it happens. And if we can go ahead and adopt 2 at once then we will be thrilled!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Buy the yard

My MIL gave me this cute little gerbera daisy on Independence Day. I need to transplant it, but I feel so sorry for it because I know that by living in my care it has been dealt a death sentence. There are teeny little buds in there though, so there's hope. This morning I got up at the crack o dawn to go yard sale-ing with Shannon. I'd never gotten up and gone out for the sole purpose of yard sale-ing, but apparently it is a major past time. It was fun looking at other people's stuff, and their houses. This one lady kept showing up at all of our yard sales, sometimes ahead of us by so much it was if she were teleported there. She must have a gps system in her car. Shannon and I did decide to have our own yard sale sometime this fall. We paid attention and learned what to do, and what not to do. Lesson one: when selling children's chairs to 2 young ladies, try not to let the cigarrette dangling in your mouth become so ashy that your ashes blow in the wind and said young ladies have to wipe your nasty cancer ashes off them as they get back in their car. I didn't find any treasures, but Shannon came away with some great finds. Including 4 colorful kid's chairs from the Ash Man. I'm excited about holding our own yard sale now. Like they say, one man's trash.... or in my case, unused, HUGE George Foreman grill, computer desk, bowling ball.....

Friday, July 08, 2005

Robbing the blind

While tropical depression Cindy made for a rainy, nasty day here in the Carolinas, Jon and I braved the elements yesterday to get some errands taken care of. When we got home we found that we had lost a shutter to Cindy, but we'll take that over our neighbors who's tree landed in their living room.
While out and about we stopped at the library so I could pick up some books I'd reserved. I found a loop hole and I'm really excited about it. You see, I live in a small town in a small county with a small library system. If you don't reserve a "hot" book right off the press, you'll be 417th in line. I'd been wanting to read "The Mermaid Chair" and tried to reserve it online, but was told I was #67. Bleh. So I hit the back button and noticed an entry for "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd- Large Print. Clicked on it and found out I was #1! Woohoo! So yesterday I picked up my spoils, Mermaid Chair plus "The White Swan Express" and "The Queen's Fool" and ran back to the car in the rain. I tossed the books to Jon while I was wrestling to close the umbrella.
I got in the car and Jon said to me "Large Print?". I explained my new process. He explained "You do realize you are robbing blind people of their reading material now right?" "Oh, I'm sorry Old Lady Smith, but you can't read The Mermaid Chair right now, some 30 year old girl has it. Go back to your miserable old folks home!"
Damn him, librarian's son. Sucking all the joy out of my new easy on the eyes reading plan!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Never have I ever...

Talking about the Real World the other day, and how I've never kissed a girl, got me thinking about what other things I haven't done. You know, things that would seem everyone, or a lot of people, have done. And I've not avoided these things on purpose, they've just never come up. Here's a partial list (what I can think of right now)
I have never:
-Eaten at Denny's.
-Watched any of the Godfather movies.
-Bungee jumped or skydived.
-Gone on vacation and slept with a local.
-Pierced anything but my ears.
-Worked as a waitress. (it would be a disaster-they work very hard, and I am very clumsy)
-Been a part of a 3 way or attended a sex party.
-Traveled to Canada.
-Ice skated outside (just at indoor rinks)

What haven't you done?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I am SO out of date

So I've been reading a lot of Real Simple magazine lately. My MIL the librarian brought over 3 back issues and I had purchased the June issue. That magazine is chock full of information. However it has made me realize that I either live in a world where time seriously flies, or I'm just not paying attention to rotating out my product.
Case in point: apparently I'm supposed to be replacing my scrubby from the shower- you know, the little puffy, poofy, loopy thing everyone uses that has a little rope- anyway, we're supposed to be replacing that every 6 weeks! 6 weeks! I swear to you I've been using the same one since we moved in here almost 2 years ago! I usually just use them until they start to fall apart. I mean, I know they are only like $2 but it just doesn't occur to me to switch it out.
And don't get me started on the makeup drawer or fridge! I have soy sauce that's lived in 3 different houses. According to Real Simple it should have lived in the trash can after 3 months! And I've heard about replacing your mascara every 3 months, but 3 months can fly, and it just doesn't make sense to me to toss a tube of mascara if there's still more in there!
I can't be alone in this or otherwise Real Simple wouldn't have put out this article.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Bombs Bursting In Air...

Every Independence Day we would drive downtown along with a half million other people and sit in traffic to watch the public fireworks. Then we moved here, across the state line, and our lives changed. Fireworks are legal in my state. Our neighbors take this seriously. Last night we were treated to a show that lasted over an hour. At least 5 different households spent an insane amount of money at Big Daddy's Fireworks Castle. It was amazing. We sat out on the back deck eating hamburgers and strawberry pie and watching the sky above the pond out back as our neighbors battled it out. It blew me away. I tried to take some pictures but it's hard to time them. Click to enlarge the pics. And I was too busy being a kid again ooohing and aaahhhing. The kids next door would yell out "We like that one!" and "More sparkly ones!". So cute. Each holiday it escalates. These people set off fireworks for New Years, Halloween, random Wednesdays, you name it. We can't wait for next year!
Ike and Kea preferred it indoors- a/c and no loud noises for us thank you!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

Ike & Kea got all dressed up for the occasion.
Click to enlarge.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

30 Days

Have you seen the show 30 Days on FX? It's by Morgan Spurlock, the dude behind Super Size Me. Each week either Morgan or someone else tries something out for 30 days. It is very interesting. We just watched last week's episode about a Christian living with Muslims for 30 days. Who knew? There's so much that I learned about Islam. I may even read the Quran. I've always been interested in religions, and this episode just proves again that fear comes from ignorance.
One of the other episodes we really liked was when Morgan and his fiancee lived for 30 days on minimum wage. Holy smokes. I don't see how people can do it. Amazing.
It makes me wonder...what could I do for 30 days? I'd love to live in another country, experience another culture. I'd like to try living in alternative housing- like a houseboat. I'd try being a missionary, or work with Greenpeace or something. I wonder if they'd let me try being rich and famous for 30 days. I bet that's not all it's cracked up to be!

What would you do for 30 days?

Friday, July 01, 2005

Blown Away

Last night I took Morgan to see Bewitched (cute enough, but you're better off just putting it in your queue). After the movie we went to the restroom. While in the stall we heard a jet engine. Turns out it was a new hand dryer. The only hand dryer that's ever worked where I didn't have to wipe my hands on my pants afterward. It was so powerful though that it blew my hand skin all around in a freakish way. Look!