Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tree Trimming Extravaganza 2008!

Paige is Jewish

Mommy is Catholic........

We have a "holiday tree" in our house

The "holiday tree" makes Mommy H-A-P-P-Y!!!!!


My Mom & Dad......

Jack & Flo also joined our Thanksgving celebration in Tampa at Aunt Thel's just wouldn't be Thanksgiving for me without my mom & dad who I am so very thankful for....I love you Mommy & Daddy!  ps: and so does p!  & Jack too!!!


We may be all grown up, but I still feel like we are the kids of the family!!!

Gobble, gobble!!!

Thanksgiving Sillies.......

......a couple more of my favorite funnies from Thanksgiving....

.....Two sisters enjoying acting silly and having fun with cousin Melissa......I think Grandma Carole learned that expression from ME!  I may be a bad influence......

...Grandma Carole & p decorating Aunt Thel's house with p's "hand turkeys" ....there were turkeys everywhere!

......Larry & Papa George asleep in Aunt Thel's bed--Papa George finally had a napping buddy!

I'll say it again, we had a fun and memorable Thanksgiving!  YAY Thanksgiving 2008!

Good Thanksgiving Memories This Year......

yes, p was taking pictures at Thanksgiving this year.  Thanks to Grandma Carole lending her camera to P.  (Do you think Grandma Carole wants a new camera, which is why she let Paige play with her current camera??  Smart plan, Grandma!) 

Somehow, mysteriously, my little baby that used to lay in my arms while I ate past Thanksgiving dinners, is now a little girl who loves to capture "kodak moments" like her mommy & grammy.  

Don't you love that her photo "subject" is Jack's tush??  She cracked herself up taking this one! 

It's a miracle can still see with the amount of flashes that have gone off on her face in her almost 4 year life!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Girls And Their Shoes.....

I realized yesterday after Thanksgiving dinner where Paige gets her shoe obsession from..........Grandma Carole!  Check out their matching shoes!  

PS: Grandma Carole you will have to make a shoe trust fund for Paige, once she outgrows Target clearance she is out of my budget area and more into "your" budget area!

What a Difference A Year Makes.....

Aunt Thel spent Thanksgiving last year in a hospital room on a liquids only diet.......

Aunt Thel spent this Thanksgiving hosting Thanksgiving dinner in her house, dogsitting a friend's dog, named Lucky.

WE are the lucky ones to have a healthy Aunt Thel in our lives.......and are so thankful for our family!

Monday, November 24, 2008

One of the things I am MOST thankful this Thanksgiving...

is my husband Jack.  Jack is not only my hubby, he is my support, my parenting "relief", life assistant, live-in comedian, and the best friend I could ever dream of having.  He is the greatest "partner in crime" EVER!!!!  

So Jack my love, I am thankful for YOU and I love you SOOOO much!

Here is a story about true love and one of our soldiers who did not come home from Iraq.  This story made me thank God to have Jack by my side and to stop my daily "chaos" and tell Jack, "Babe, I love you!"

This is the story of Katherine Cathey & 2nd Lt. James Cathey:

"At the first sight of her husband's flag-draped casket, Katherine Cathey broke down in uncontrollable sobs, finding support in the arms of Major Steve Beck.  When Beck first knocked on her door in Brighton, Colorado, to notify her of her husband's death, she glared at him, cursed him and refused to speak to him for more than an hour.  Over the next several days, he helped guide her through the grief.  By the time they reached to tarmac to meet the plane 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body was being brought home on, she wouldn't let go.

When James' body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac.  

During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process.  "See the people in the windows?  They sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines.  You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the the plane that brought him home," he said.  "They're going to remember being on the plane for the rest of their lives.  And they should."

Minutes after her husband's casket was placed in the hearse, Katherine fell onto his coffin.  When her husband had left for Iraq, he wrote a letter to Katherine that read, in part, ".........there are no words to describe how much I love you, and will miss you.  I will also promise you one thing:  I will be home.  I have a wife and a new baby to take care of, and you guys are my world."

After arriving at the funeral home, Katherine pressed her pressed her pregnant belly to her husband's casket.  Two days after she was notified of her husband's death in Iraq, she found out they would have a boy.  Their baby was born on December 23, 2005, he is named James Jeffrey Cathey Jr.

The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time.  The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag.  Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of her husband.

One of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch while she slept, Katherine said, "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it, I think that's what he would have wanted."

The 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography went to Todd Heisler and Rocky Mountain news for this photographic series.  All rights reserved by Todd Heisler and Rocky Mountain News.

Paige is enjoying a couple of nights at her grandparents.....

Thank you Grandma Carole & Papa George!  This mommy is enjoying a little quiet time, I have read an entire magazine, took an hour long bath (alone!), and read many chapters of my current book!--Confessions Of  Prep School Mommy Handler--it is hysterical!

While I enjoyed the quiet, I am ready for p to be bouncing around the house again, and her imaginary cousin, Rianna, to be with her!  Let the adventures start back up again!

While p is away, I've had time to realize what a huge part, what a fun part, what a noisy part p is of my life--and it has made me even MORE thankful for that kid, if that is possible..

I am posting this story here, in the hopes someone will know someone who can help this little girl:

from Monica Miyashita at

"My daughter Lydia was adopted from Guangdong Province, China on July 5, 2004.  In August 2008, she was diagnosed with AML, a very pernicious and deadly form of leukemia.

With the help of her Chinese-born doctor, we were able to locate her birthparents and some of her siblings in China that her family kept.  We know she had at least two sisters older than her (born somewhere between 1993 and 2002) who were also abandoned.  The birthparents have refused to assist with her bone marrow transplant, even though two of her already found siblings were a match.

We are now looking for these other potential siblings to see if they were adopted and might also be a match.  

Lydia is part of the Hakka ethnic group, and so a match from someone other than a relative is unlikely because of her unique, almost bi-racial typing.  Lydia has classic Hakka features: "Brooke Shields" eyebrows, and rather full lips and a round face.

The Hakka are known as the Chinese diaspora, because several hundred years ago they migrated from the yellow river basin to southern China, and on to Taiwan.  Because of this migration, they have genetic features of both northern and southern Chinese.  Hence, the uniqueness of Lydia's features and alleles in her bone marrow.  Many people in Guangdong, especially rural areas may be part Hakka.  They also speak a distinct dialect.

Thank you for any assitance you may be able to lend.  If you have a daughter between the ages of 6 & 15, please help us.  If people are willing to have their children tested, please email me their name and address, and I will mail them a kit to have a simple cheek swab they do at home.  The kit is then mailed back to the lab that has Lydia's HLA typing.

Please visit our caring bridge site for more pictures and information:

Monica Miyashita"

Just trying to get this family's story out in the "blogosphere"............

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the main reason i started this blog........

........was to keep an online journal of my family's adoption journey to turn our happy, blessed family of 3, into a happy, blessed, & complete family of 4..........

we started paperwork for a China adoption, in August 2005, when p was only 8 months old..........i was a lunatic getting the paperwork done and sent to China to get our LID (the official date given to us by China that our paperwork/dossier is logged in in China)

So from start to finish, it took about 7 months to put together our dossier for China, meet with a social worker during numerous visits, write autobiographies about ourselves, go to doctor appointments and get letters from our doctors stating we were healthy and fit to be a parent, get background checks from our local police department, apply for and receive approval from Homeland Security to bring an orphan into the USA, etc. etc. etc. yada, yada, yada.........

Then all of these letters & documents needed to be notorized, state certified, and finally authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in Texas for Florida families..........

It was "paperchase central" in our house for many months, i had my own fed ex account was like i had my own company!  hee hee!

So after all that work and months passed by, and p turning one year old, we finally received word from our adoption agency that our official log in date was 4/3/06.  On the very same day our paperwork was logged in, in China, my sister was meeting her daughter at an orphanage in the Philippines--kind of cool, no?

So now 2 years, 7 months, and 6 days since our LID, we are getting to closer to having China assign a precious baby to our family.  There is no way we thought we would be waiting this long, it has been hard and trying on my faith, but I am finally to a point where, I understand it's out of my hands, there is nothing I can do to control it, when she is ready for us, it will be time.............

pssst.......Lily we are SOOOO ready for you..........!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Have You Ever Had One of Those Days As A Parent? Part 3

and the last picture of the 1st perfect day "EVER" says it all...........

Have You Ever Had One of Those Days As A Parent? Part 2

more pictures from our 1st "perfect day" EVER!!!

Have You Ever Had One of Those Days As A Parent?

..........where the day started off just wrong and then turned into one of your best days being a parent???  me neither, until today!

p woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, & I sent her back to bed......well it REALLY worked......she SOOOOO had a "right side of the bed" day!

after p's dance class, we went with my parents to Disney's Hollywood Studios for a couple of hours to enjoy the beautiful weather Orlando has been having!  We get to wear turtlenecks!

well p just hit the disney "lotto" with tons of fun & special moments following her throughout the afternoon........this kid definately has a guardian angel!

1st: she was asked if she would like to make a handprint for Mickey Mouse's personal Hollywood Handprint Book

2nd: she finally met Mike the monster from Monster's Inc......we haven't been able to meet him yet, so this was HUGE for p!

3rd: we got a great seat for the daytime parade ( a + for mommy to SIT down!)

4th: when we went to go on the Great Movie Ride for the 2nd time of the day, p started telling her life story to the cast member, Bridget, working outside the ride......well, this very, very kind cast member, asked p if she wanted to ride in the 1st row and not have to wait in line........ummm.....YES!  Jessica was our cast member guide on our no wait/front row seat.....we all loved EVERY second of it!!!

5th: after the great movie ride fun, we went back to get our stroller and thank Bridget again for our fun ride, when Bridget introduced us to Janson........

Janson has my dream job at Disney World, he is a Dream Squad cast member, and it is his job to give away dreams to guests all day long, 5 days a week!!  dreams such as, a night in Cinderella's castle, a dream fastpass, free mickey mouse ears, etc....

Well, Janson and p hit is off, and p told him all about her sister waiting in China, and how p is still sick from a cold, and needs to eat protein to get name it--she told him......well, Janson asked if we had been on the new Toy Story Mania ride yet,  which we hadn't because the line is always so long, and today it has been 60 minutes when we walked past it......

P & I played a pixar movie trivia game......which we did FANTASTIC at, because p has been watching pixar/disney movies since she was 3 months old!  (thank you Toy Story 2 for keeping my baby happy & content for all those months in her baby swing!)

well her "prize" was a bunch of cool stickers.......which p was gagga over, and FASTPASSES for Toy Story Mania to ride right that minute with no wait!!  I was gagga over that!  He personally escorted us to the ride, and we had a ball!

We even saw Janson, in the parking lot when we were leaving, & he called p over, and walked us through the parking lot.....he is one of the nicest people I have ever met....when the dream squad ends next year, Janson will go back to his former cast member positions at the Haunted Mansion & the Jungle Cruise in the magic kingdom....if you ever get the pleasure to meet him--tell him Paige sent you!

Do YOU have an invention hat??

.......paige does!  this is the sight I saw when I walked into the playroom last night

me: I like your hat!
p: thanks, it's my invention hat!
me: what are you inventing?
p: this........(she pointed to puzzle she put together)

then I asked if I could take her picture with her invention hat and she said "sure, but I want one of my kids in it."

Well it has been a while......... has been 2 years and 7 months since I started this blog, and I think it's about time to keep up with it, as my daughter Paige grows from my baby into a fantastic little person while we wait for a mei mei (little sister in Chinese).

are you ready for this roller coaster ride with us?!