Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's Getting Real

George set up the pac-n-play last night and the carseat is in the car. The strollers are lined up, the johnny jump-up is up, the highchair is in the kitchen. This is so crazy for us, you can't imagine. I packed our bags tonight. This is what it looked like before I stuffed it all in our bags.
Tomorrow will be clean the house day and a trip to the bookstore for some good reads to get us through 18 hours of flying! One and a half days and counting...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Three and a Half Days!

Wow, time has flown! Just spent a week up at the lake with my family. Would love to post photos but just too busy. I only have 3 1/2 days left until we leave and still A LOT to do!
Car seat is going in today, lots more errands and last minute shopping, cleaning, laundry, and packing! My stomach is full of butterflies with so much anticipation. I can't believe we'll be in China this weekend!
More later...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

China Gifts

We have been instructed by our agency to bring gifts to people in China as a small token of our appreciation. This is what I came up with. My Chinese friend, Jing, came over yesterday and approved. :)

1. Director of the Orphanage: Large Box of whole Ginseng Roots, grown right here in Wisconsin. American Ginseng is premier to Chinese but very expensive to buy in China.
2. Notary and Registrar: Each a smaller box of Ginseng Roots
3. 3 Gifts for the nannies in the orphanage: deodorant (believe it or not, they don't have this and love it), small packets of potpourri to make their homes smell good, eye cream, face soap,
chapstick, jelly bellies, trident gum.
I'm also bringing tootsie rolls and stickers for kids.

I wish I could do more for the nannies, especially. How can we even begin to thank them enough for all of their care of Magnolia over the past 9 months.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's a Big World

This is my favorite new CD. I downloaded it off iTunes and can't get these songs out of my head. Since we're bringing our laptop to China I'm uploading music for Miss Magnolia.
Check it out... Three Little Birds is definitely worth listening to.

I made this bib clip yesterday. I took two Haba pacifier clips and sewed the ribbon on them. The idea is that when you eat out you just clip on a paper napkin and you have a disposable bib!

No, I do not have so much extra time that this is how I'm filling it. I have no time! I'm extremely busy BUT I can always make time for a little project. :)

Our visas should be arriving today. Our detailed itinerary should be arriving sometime this week. We are going to work in the nursery tonight. Hopefully I can make the shades today...

I just ordered a charm for my charm bracelet with Magnolia's name on it, to add the one with Joy, Madeline, & Anne's, just in time to have for China. I just realized that we should have a pac-n-play, making a trip to Target for that... My lists are endless, it's really unbelievable. I could go and on but I don't want to bore you. Hopefully I'll have pictures of the nursery soon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Visit with Lilah

Friday I went to Mary's while George was in Atlanta. Had a blast playing with Lilah who now calls me "ucy." We took her to Trader Joe's & J.Crew. She was so good! Here she is playing in the yard when we got back to her house. Can't wait to see her again next week!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's in a Name

"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." -W.B. Yeats

This was my Grandma June’s favorite poem. Grandpa recited this poem to me the evening before we were to be married 7 years ago, and told me to always remember to “tread softly.” I always knew my Grandpa loved my Grandma June but the tears in his eyes as he recited her favorite poem, made me realize just how much and how much he missed her. My Grandma June was an amazing woman whom I always loved and cherished. She was fun, exciting, smart, and loving.

Aside from choosing June as the middle name for our daughter because I adored my grandma, we also chose it for many more reasons; we simply love the name, it was the month George and I were engaged and the month we were married, which was also the month and day my Grandma June was married, and best of all, it is the month we saw our daughter’s face for the first time.

Magnolia is just simply a beautiful name that George and I both love. It’s a very old name that was used at the turn of the century and even then it was a rare name. We think it suits her perfectly. We also like that we may call her Maggie which we love as much.

Ling is her Chinese given name. Her full name in the orphanage is Jiang Cheng Ling. Jiangcheng is the name of the orphanage so they give all the babies those two names and then they are given their own special name. Ling means smart or bright which we're sure she is. We always knew we would keep her Chinese name. It is part of who she is and we would never want to erase that. We love the name Ling and think it makes her new name even more beautiful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Special Delivery

Mail carrier delivered this box yesterday. What could be in this little box sent to our Magnolia from her 2 year old cousin, Lilah?
It was so nicely colored with markers and when I opened it up, this is what was inside:
My sister, Mary, has been wanting Lilah to give up her "ahs" for a long time now so when she put Magnolia's picture on their fridge and Lilah kept saying, "baby, no ah?" Mary decided maybe Lilah should "give" Magnolia her "ahs." SO, Lilah very reluctantly put all her "ahs" in a box, colored the box, went to the post office, said goodbye, and off they went...forever.
Mary says she's doing surprisingly well without them. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good Find

We just had 5 days on the lake. It was wonderful. We read and cooked a lot. I don't remember reading The Good Earth in school. I'm reading it now and can't put it down!

Aside from discovering the homemade doughnuts one of the restaurant makes every Friday and then discovering that the coffee shop now bakes croissants that rival any I've ever had in France, finding these chairs at the dump were the highlight of my trip. They sit under a canopy of cedar trees and look great.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Travel Itinerary!

We received our travel itinerary! Our tickets are purchased and we will have Magnolia in our arms on August 6th!!! 28 days and counting!

Thurs Aug 2: Leave the US
Friday Aug 3: Arrive Guangzhou late
Saturday Aug 5: Free day
Sunday Aug 6: Rest of group arrives via Beijing
Mon Aug 6: Receive Magnolia
Tues, Aug 7: begin adoption process
Wed, Aug 15: medical exam for children
Thurs, Aug 16: ACS appointment
Fri, Aug 17: Go to ACS to take oath and get visa late in the afternoon
Sat, Aug 18: Departure from Guangzhou back to the US

Can you even believe it? Seeing our itinerary is crazy, we're finally here, just over 3 weeks away before we leave! We are so excited we can hardly stand it!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

CHI Newsletter

Our little Magnolia made our agency's newsletter this month. http://www.childrenshopeint.org/chicago/ChicagoNews.htm
You have to scroll down about halfway until you see her picture.
Great news to post tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sewing Room is Back

This chair has been a thorn in my side for months now. It was difficult and because of that it sat unfinished for months. It clogged up my sewing room not allowing me to do anything else in there. The other day I was determined to finish it. I did and it's possibly the worst chair I've ever done. I don't care, it's going up north and I'm just so happy to have my sewing room back!With a clean and organized sewing room, I started to look around the nursery for some kind of inspiration for my next project. What I started to realize is just how many things I have made during this wait. Here are just some of the things.

I appliqued these animals onto these little t-shirts and added wooden buttons as the eyes.
I got this idea of putting little "flowers" on the shoelaces from a very posh store on the upper east side of Manhattan. These are $3 shoes from Walmart and I think these extra adornments make them a little extra special.
I love the Asian style wrap jacket. I bought the pattern and have experimented with different fabrics. This one I cut up an old bed skirt and used some ribbon as the trim.
I made these little dresses out of vintage hand towels. They are so sweet and were so easy to make! I love giving new life to things. These beautiful pants from France were going begging for a dollar because they were missing the tie that goes through the waistband. I put this cotton twill tape in and voila, like brand new!

I wish I could do this kind of embroidery but I bought this sheet from the Land of Nod outlet, added the ribbon, and made a toddler duvet for Magnolia's down comforter that I bought at the Company Store Outlet because it has the name "Rowan" monogrammed on it. :)
One day in George's workshop I cut these out of wood and put the pegs in them. They are going to get hung down low so we can teach Miss Magnolia how to hang up her things.I sewed and painted this growth chart. Truthfully, I think it's the hanger that makes this special, my painting skills are pretty lacking...
So now with a clean sewing room I feel my creative block has been unblocked after all these months! I got right back into it yesterday. I found 6 of the cutest rose buttons that I put on this white cardigan. I also discovered some Lily Pulitzer bermuda bag covers, remember the ones from the 80's that go on the bags with the wooden handles? I put a zipper in them and now I have a little cosmetic bag for Magnolia's shampoos, hairbrush, and bows. Pretty cute.
We're going up north this weekend and I have a bag of new projects to take with me to keep me busy. I know my time for these projects is going to become seriously limited as soon as Magnolia arrives. I do, however, think of my mom (with 6 kids in bed) sitting at her sewing machine at midnight some nights trying to finish something she was making for us. If you love it, I believe you'll find the time for it.
Happy 4th of July! Holidays have taken the backseat around here for years, we almost forget about them. We know that will be changing very soon!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It's the Little Things

Yesterday I met with Magnolia's pediatrician. When they came to get me, they called out "Magnolia." I just had to smile. I'm finally a mother, going to the doctor, getting her prescriptions. I have a daughter with a name, with a face, waiting for me. When I went to pick up her prescriptions I told them they were for my daughter, Magnolia, and found myself beaming at getting to say this. So, it was just these little occurrences yesterday that made me feel so happy. The pharmacist, the doctor, and the nurses all comment how much of a process the adoption must have been. All I can do is smile and tell them just how long I have waited for her. I've heard it said that when you finally get your daughter it's like seeing a celebrity. I can imagine because all we do is stare at her picture studying every part of her and imagine what's she like. I can see how awestruck we'll be when we see her in real life.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Making Room for Baby

Beautiful summer weekend at home. We did a little yardwork and mostly hung out on the patio. We made room in the garage for the strollers & toys. We put Magnolia's bike seat on my bike. We went to a new italian grocery that opened in town and was sorry to discover their pistachio gelato.
We also made several trips to Walmart and Target in attempts to purchase baby essentials. I have to say it's all pretty overwhelming especially when your baby is already 8 months old and you have yet to see her. It's hard to know what size diaper she'll be in, what kind of bottle she's used to, if she reacts to a certain wipe, lotion, or soap. Harder because you're hoping you get it right the first try with these products since you'll be traveling halfway around the world without a Walmart around the corner in case you need something else. Then it's the medicines they have suggested to bring, an endless list of drugs! Finally on Sunday, I went by myself to Walmart and got started. Now I'm on a roll and nearly finished.
I'm anxious to finish the shopping and get started on finishing up the nursery...