Thursday, September 29, 2005

Monkey Foot Mandarin

You guys are the best. Thank you for all your kind words and support. I took a sleeping pill last night and finally got a good night's sleep so today I'm so much better. And I just got an email from my SW that she has to reschedule to Sunday morning due to a death in the family. Yay! Not for the death, but for the 2 extra days we get to prepare. We've been painting and with the yard sale our house basically exploded. Now for some fun stuff:
~Remember I told you a couple weeks back I hit the wrong button and now Jon's atm card will only talk to him in Chinese? Well I called the bank and they sent a new card and said the new card would default to English. It didn't. So I called the bank again the other day and told a new person the situation. She said there was nothing they could do from their end. What do you mean? You're Bank of Metropolis- the most powerful bank in all the land. She said the language option can only be changed at the atm. I said ok but the problem is the atm will only talk to us in CHINESE and we don't read or speak Chinese. She suggested maybe we take a Chinese friend with us to the atm. Oh, Jimshum- er, Jason, I know I called you by the wrong name for over a year but could you please help us with our atm troubles? How do you say fubar in Chinese?
~Speaking of Jimshum, we went in to pick up Chinese for dinner the other night and I'd been listening to my Learn to Speak Chinese audio book on Hale's iPod so I was all prepared with a new phrase. I walked in and said hi to Amy, Jimshum's wife, and told her I had a new phrase for her. So I said "Ecuse me, I can speak a little Mandarin." in Chinese. She looked at me and said "Listen to you! You said 'Mandarin!'" I said I said about 8 other words too. But apparently I don't have the tones down so the only thing she understood was the word for Mandarin. I probably walked in and said "Chicken toaster singing monkey foot Mandarin." Dammit! I was already on unit 2 and now it seems I failed unit 1. Back to the first lesson of Mandarin for me!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Our home study is on Friday and I'm a nervous wreck. I've literally made myself sick over this. I've been throwing up for the past few days. I'm so nervous. Everything is riding on this one day, this one lady, this one opinion. This woman can make or break our chances to have a family. Everyone says don't stress you'll be fine, but this is so big. This one social worker will decide if this time next year I'll be a mom and Jon will be a dad. My boss gave me Thursday off today when he saw me shaking at work. I'm totally over the whole anger thing, but I'm seeing it through other people's eyes now. My mom just can't understand why I should have to stress so hard when we're trying to give a home to an abandoned baby. I understand the process and if it were my child I'd want the social workers to do their jobs well too. It's just ironic that when you get pregnant you don't have to be visited in your home and scrutinized. I get along with most everyone, but what if this woman thinks I'm weird or doesn't like that we have dogs or something off the wall? Jeesh I need a valium!

Monday, September 26, 2005


The techno geek in me is going insane. Why did all these cool new gadgets have to come out right when I couldn't be more cash strapped with the adoption and all. I mean, my priorities are in line and I'm not out maxing out my Visa, but man, the temptation is there. First there's the iPod nano. And I'd love an Apple laptop in time for our China trip. My digital camera is acting up so I'd love to have a new one of those, and since my cell phone died and I had to get a new one- the cheapest one they had, but I'm working with all these Blackberry toting guys and I'm dying for one. I'd also love to get a video camera in time for the China trip to capture Ling Ling on film. I am having fun with an iPod though- Hale got a free one for buying a Jeep and I've been using it, and falling in love. Such a cool toy! Hmmm, is winning the lottery really such a statistical impossibility?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

GTC Yard Sale Results

The yard sale went great! We were up way too late Friday night putting out signs- we were delayed a bit by a friendly police officer. Then the alarm went off way too early Sat morning. I couldn't believe I was up and dressed and dragging stuff out to the driveway before 6. Shannon arrived and we were ready for business by 7. Our first customer came at 7:15 and for the first hour all we saw were men out yard saling, which was surprising. People came in waves, everyone (save one lunatic) was super nice. Most everyone asked if we were really going to China. Some people thought we were missionaries, some thought we were moving there permanently. We told all who asked our stories and everyone was so great and supportive. Seems just about everyone these days knows someone who has adopted. Some people even bought things after hearing our stories when they weren't buying anything before. It was great. Saturday reminded me yet again why I love living here. Nice, friendly people wanting to help. There was this mother & daughter who bought Jon's old papsan chair and couldn't fit it in their car. I told them they could come back later, I'd hold it for them. Then a big truck pulled up and a couple got out. I called out Good Morning! Where do you live? They happened to live not far from the mother & daughter and the next thing you know phone numbers were being exchanged and the papasan was in the back of the truck ready to be delivered to the ladies later in the day. So nice! We got rid of sooo much stuff, which was necessary as we're moving the office into the bonus room to make room for babies. My mom and Hale donated things for the sale, and so did my boss, which I thought was so cool. The people were all great and we got surprising offers. 8 or 9 people wanted to buy my new bike, we got a couple offers on the house, and some inquiries as to if I would sell my car. At the end of the day we were sweaty, tired, sunburned, happy, and over $300 richer, which Shannon and I split evenly between us. It went so well and we had so much fun that we're planning another sale for the spring!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Going to China Yard Sale

This has been a busy week working and getting ready for our big yard sale tomorrow. I'll be sure to post pics and results. We've made fabulous signs, taken out ads, notified friends and neighbors, so we're hoping for a success. If only Rita wasn't threatening to make gas a million dollars a gallon again. I hope Rita doesn't scare people into staying at home! I might have just the cd or book or lamp they're looking for!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Sunday was my MIL's birthday and Monday was National Talk like a Pirate Day. AArrgghh! I hope my girls love pirates like I do. I wonder, is it weird to have a pirate themed birthday party if you're a girl?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cribs & Cub Scouts

Saturday Shannon and I headed out to the mall so I could pick up a little present for my MIL's birthday. I also had a pair of shoes to exchange at Nordstrom that my inlaws had given me. I think I'm the only woman in the world who didn't find a pair of shoes at Nordstom Saturday during their big end of season clearance. So armed with my refund Shannon (with a new pair of fabulous shoes) and I headed over to USA Baby for their big sale. We didn't buy anything there, but when we walked in there in front of us was Ling Ling's nursery, just as I had invisioned it, sort of- I mean it's a store display so there would be minor changes. I took a picture to show you but my camera is acting up and it just looked like a psychotic mess.
I have no idea how much these things should cost so I sure didn't want to buy something and be ripped off. We've still got plenty of time for furniture shopping anyway. I'm just so excited about the whole idea now!
When Shannon first got to the house and rang the doorbell I had just finished drying my hair and my pants were still in the dryer downstairs. So I ran to the door and opened it with wild hair and no pants. Shannon was standing there next to my 7 year old next door neighbor Cub Scout. He's looking up at me with wild eyes and I went completely stupid in a matter of seconds. I said hey to Shannon and looked down at little Noah and said "Hey Noah are you selling popcorn for the Cub Scouts?". He just nodded, eyes bulging. So I said nice and loud, "I don't have any pants on!". Luckily Shannon had the presence of mind to lean in, grab the doorhandle and pull it closed while instructing me to put on pants and meet them downstairs in a few minutes. I made sure the door was unlocked, ran and put on pants and made my hair presentable. By the time I got downstairs Shannon was standing there with a big tin of popcorn. Seems my no pants episode cost her $8 in carmel corn!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Til death do us part

I've decided that adopting is a lot like planning a wedding. You're pledging to spend the rest of your life loving and caring for someone. A big trip is involved. A big party will be planned. Lots of pictures will be taken. Everyone has an opinion and must share it with you or else you'll do it all wrong. You begin living with someone that you already loved, but never knew on such an intimate level. You're scared as hell and couldn't be more excited.

I'm starting to feel like I did about a month out from my wedding. I NEED MORE TIME is fighting it out with I JUST WANT HER HOME. I want everything to be perfect for her (or them) but I just want to hold her (or them) so much.

We're having a yard sale next Saturday to raise some money. I'm so excited! I'm hoping for lots of traffic. We need to get rid of a lot of stuff to make room for baby furniture. Holy mother of bisquick, this is really happening!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Witchy Woman

I finished reading the latest Harry Potter book recently and tonight Shannon and I were discussing it. I have questions. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything for any readers, these are general wonderings...
- Why do they have to have a wand to do magic? If I were a wizard I'd want to be able to just think my wish and it would happen. Those wands are long and don't look like they'd fit in my purse.
-If you have magic powers, why would you wash dishes, or peel potatoes, or rake the yard? Wouldn't your clothes just never get dirty?
-Why would you need to drive anywhere? Or purchase things? Couldn't you just say "I need a book of stamps" and there they'd be?

If I were a witch I'd have all sorts of spells on myself- the no need to ever shave my legs or underarms again spell, the feet will be pedicure perfect always spell, the thou shalt not spill anything on thy shirts spell, the no more zits charm, the no more random hairs that show up but only after they are like a half inch long (why don't you notice them before?) spell, the never forget where I parked again spell, the insto presto lipo spell. Our adoption would have taken, oh, a week instead of a year, and we'd be guaranteed two babies and a paid for nanny. And all adoptive parents to be would be able to buy first class plane tickets for the price of coach. I'd also make all those techno gadgets that I'm lusting over more affordable. Why doesn't the iPod nano have a nano price tag? If it's that tiny it should be about $27 and no more. Of course I'd cure hunger and poverty and disease and all that if I were a witch, but those are givens and it's more fun to discuss the Coach bags only cost $1 spells! And the spell I'd put on my wide paddle feet that would let me wear sex and the city shoes without looking dangerous and pained. What spells would you brew up?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Just don't put me in a home

So I've decided how I want to spend my golden years. After Jon dies I refuse to go into a home. I've decided instead to live out my remaining years on a variety of cruise ships. Turns out I'm not the only one with this idea. I mean, what more do you need? Great food, see the world, maid service, doctor on board, Vegas style shows, and your grandkids will come visit all the time. I won't have to live in some urine smelling nursing home that would just depress me- I can switch destinations and ships whenever I want and live my final years in style!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Practice makes perfect

We got our firm date for our homestudy- the 30th. Jon's in a frenzy of home improvement projects. We finished the half bath downstairs- pics to come, just gotta find the befores. and we painted the upstairs hallway. Jon put in a new faucet in the 1/2 bath and we put in a new mirror, but changed our minds on it, so that's still in limbo. We used to be such careful painters, taping off, drop cloths, the works. Now all we need is a brush and some paint and if we spill we remind ourselves we're not married to our carpet anyway.
Yesterday Jon, Marc & Kevin (our BIL and friend) went to watch football for the afternoon while Sara and I took care of the babies. Kevin's little boy Nicolas was there- such a cutie. We all got back together at Sara's later for dinner. I've been getting lots of diaper practice in, and now that Joey's on baby food I've been practicing that too. Jon came in while I was feeding Joey dinner and announced we'd have a drain in our kitchen floor so Jon could just hose off the walls, high chair, baby, me. It's a messy process that's for sure!

Friday, September 09, 2005

No see ums

For some reason it weirds me out if they keep cutting back to shots of the commentators during football cause then I have to accept the face with the voice and sometimes they don't match. I don't mind the pre-game commentator intro, but I don't wanna see them again for the rest of the game.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dong Business

My main role at work is recruiting. I spend hours reading resumes and calling people to come in for interviews. In the last 3 weeks alone I have seen and heard some seriously funny stuff. From this I have decided that there are lessons to be learned when it comes to writing resumes, talking on the phone, and sitting through interviews. *All names and identifying characteristics have been changed to protect the stupid innocent.

Lesson #1: Dude, get someone to read over that resume, and don't forget spell check.
-"....dong business." Instead of doing business.
-Under Special Skills: "I don't really have any skills to speak of, but the ones I do have are surfing the internet and getting the email."
-Under Summary: "I just turned 21 and am getting married soon, so I want to be a big time executive."
-Leave your name as just your name and skip including nicknames like "Schizo". You don't want what is basically the title of your resume to read: Jonathan "Schizo" Smith.

Lesson #2: When you are job hunting, be prepared to speak to a prospective employer any time the phone rings. Change your outgoing answering machine message to something more professional.
-"I was just thinking about you" dramatic music "Why can't we get together" dramatic music "Leave your number" bom bom bom BOOOOOMMMMMMM! This was a machine message. OMG.
-Another message I heard recently: "Hi this is Lucy Washington. Standard stuff about not being able to get to the phone, then the clencher: And remember, if you THINK you can....YOU CAN!"
-Yet another machine preached to me: "GOD is mercy. God is love. God is almighty. IN THE NAME OF THE SAVIOUR JESUS, leave a message."
-After I did my little speech about the company and the position available one lady says to me, "So you're not a photographer?".
-I described the position and duties and this one girl says "So would I have to go out to places to do something?". Yes I said, you'd go out and meet with clients. She says "Oh, well I can't be doing none of that. Why can't I just sit at a desk?". Don't call us, we'll call you.

Lesson #3: When you come in for the interview, remember, you are there for an interview! Act professional! I heard these nuggets during informational interviews, the first step in securing a job at my company.
-When asked why the applicant was interested in my company one girl said "Oh, well, I thought I was here to be a receptionist." Then spent the rest of the time applying makeup.
-My favorite, let's call him Dave, when asked the same question as Mary Kay makeup: "Well, my name is Dave. I just graduated from Wonderful State University. I have a girlfriend, and well, SHE'S PREGNANT. So I, uh, need to be making more money than I did selling cars."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Small but mighty

I finally put up a hummingbird feeder- I'd been wanting to put it out since we moved in but didn't feel like looking through the garage boxes for it. I'm so excited, this morning 2 little hummingbirds were fighting over who got to eat there. I said simmer down babies, there's room for everyone. I just love them, they are so tiny and mighty and beautiful. I was telling Lisa about them and asked if she had them in Baltimore and she said "Yeah one time at my aunt's house one flew into my hair. But then it flew out and hung upside down from a tree cause it wasn't a hummingbird it was a baby bat." Ah, urban nature at it's finest.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

2 or 14

My baby boy Ike Jit-Boo Kung Pao turned 2 (or 14 human) years old yesterday. It's hard to believe he was once so tiny! Now he's such a big boy! It seems like he's been with us forever and I can't imagine life without him, as crazy as he is!

Monday, September 05, 2005


The rest of our Labor Day weekend was spent with a paintbrush. I'm the cut in girl and Jon comes back with the roller. I've finished the 1/2 bath and worked on the hallway. I got caught up on laundry and vacuuming and whatnot too. I feel like I have so much to do, but we're still drawn to the news, and the horror of what is going on in our country in the wake of this hurricane just leaves me feeling so sad and empty and tired. Once Jon rolls out the bath and the hall I'll post pictures. I have so many other things on my list. Just 2 more weeks and I'm planning on having a yard sale. So lots and lots to do. I can't be setting up for the sale with one box and hope to make enough money to get us to China!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


We spent most of the afternoon and evening at my sister Sara's new house hanging out with the family and some friends. I got a look at the fence my husband helped my BIL Marc build last weekin Marc & Sara's back yard, lots of hard work, picket by picket, but it looks great. (for some reason blogger won't let me post pics today so you'll have to click the pic to enlarge) We grilled hamburgers and hung out playing with the boys, my nephews. Jake had a big time opening and closing my cell phone, and now it doesn't work. Must remember that just because they look cute it doesn't mean they can't break things. My camera is acting up too- taking all these psychedelic pictures when you turn it on, but going back to normal after shot # 2 or 3. I can't have all my electronics die at once! Jake had a big time playing with my sunglasses. He looks like such the tortured movie star!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Like brushing your teeth right before a dentist appt.

In a mad frenzy to get some home improvements taken care of before the homestudy, I bought some paint for the front door (I know I painted it red but it doesn't look good with the bricks & siding), and I'm also repainting the half bath and painting the hallway. I painted the half bath creamware, but it was really cream only in direct sunlight otherwise it is yellow in disguise. Dag! So I figured since I'll be trapped at home this weekend due to the gas situation I might as well be productive! Pictures to come- I'm a big fan of before and afters!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Can't look away

I keep watching CNN and MSNBC and I just can't look away. I feel so badly for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Luckily I have a dear friend who works for Red Cross and she sent me a list of ways I can help. Please check with your local Red Cross on how you can help too. And pray.