Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just like China...

China draining farmers' water to meet Olympics demand By Henry Sanderson

Associated Press

BEIJING - When 16,000 athletes and officials show up this summer, they will be able to turn the taps and get drinkable water - something few Beijing residents ever have enjoyed.
But to keep those taps flowing for the Olympics, the city is draining surrounding regions, depriving poor farmers of water.

They're aren't allowing the farmers to grow rice or vegetables because they use too much water to grow correctly, but the Olympians are going to be able to drink tap water. Make sense, ha?

And in other news--our friends are coming home today with baby Ilayna and Brynn can not wait. She is so excited to meet Ilayna. Ok. Kevin and I are pretty excited too. We'll probably relive our trip by hearing about theirs. So, welcome home Jim, Amy and baby Ilayna. Can't wait to see you!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's in my bum?

Oh Lordy. Another question while I'm in the shower.

Brynn "passes gas" with no "Oops" or "Excuse Me". It happens so often that we correct her and then shake our heads knowing it will probably happen again in mere minutes. I love that reckless abondonment that comes with 3 year olds. They don't know that it isn't acceptable to do that. They just do and keep walking. Kinda like old women.

This morning while I was enjoying my nice, hot shower, Brynn comes in, sits on her step, and rattles her bum. This is the questions that follows:

"Mom, what's in my bum? "

Off to explain our gastointestinal tract to a 3 year old. Think she'll get it?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sled Riding!!

Me (in all my camo beauty) and Brynn

Just a little FYI--Camo is not mine. Kevin used to hunt but gave it up a long time ago. I don't have any snow gear of my own so I use his old clothes.

Brynn loves her slide even in winter

Kevin with our 2 dogs. He is holding Jasper. We call him Pupper. He is a malamute/shepherd mix and dumb as a door. The shepherd in the background in Jesse, or Jester. She is the best dog we have ever had.

Brynn loves to tube.

I hate walking back up the hill. Don't you think the little one could help a little?

Having too much fun. (No, she didn't hit her head on the hay. She purposely posed against the hay.)

The 2 best things in my life...

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Did I sign something amidst all the paperwork in China that said that I would never be alone in the bathroom again, ever in my life? I swear I did and I don't remember because I am not allowed to be there by myself.

This morning while in the shower, Brynn HAD to come in and go to the bathroom. (We have 2 others that she can use.) She finished, then went out and starting eating her breakfast again. 2 minutes later, a knock on the door. She needed to go again. No problem. Flush the toilet all you want while I am in the shower. I love the cold blast of water. Then out of nowhere, she starts this question and answer session.

B: Did you bring mustard into the shower?
Me: Mustard?? (I thought maybe I had misunderstood and she said monster.)
B: Yes, mustard.
Me: Nope, no mustard.
B: Did you put mustard on your head?
Me: Nope, no mustard on my head.
B: Does Daddy bring mustard into the shower?
Me: Nope, Daddy doesn't either.
B: Can I bring mustard into the shower?
Me: Nope, no mustard.
B: Okay.


What a weird little girl.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My New Umbrella

Brynn bought an umbrella when we were in Chinatown in Chicago and has played with it all the time even though it was completely broken. She was so excited when she saw them at Chinese New Year. Grammy had given her money for Valentine's Day, so she bought it with her own money. And she has played with it continuously. Aren't the little presents always the favorites? By the way, Lin Lin (her doll) loves it too!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

First Friend's Birthday Party

Brynn's bestest buddy at school. Isn't he a cutie? Love the blonde curls!!

She loves this crown. She wore it all day Sunday!!

One last hug before we left for Chinese New Year!!

Brynn went to her friend's birthday party on Saturday. This is the first time she was invited to a friend's party, not just a party for Mommy's and Daddy's friend's kids. It was so much fun. It was at a local Burger King that had a huge play area. Brynn is a very cautious little girl and would not climb very far into the play area. She just sat on the outskirts. It is actually very interesting for me to raise a child like this because I am not introverted. In fact, in high school, I was voted Most Outspoken and have worn that badge with honor ever since!! But, she is who she is and we love her more every day for it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Chinese New Year Celebration

This picture just cracks me up.

Our local FCC group held their annual Chinese New Year party on Saturday. It was really nice. Brynn noticed immediately that there were many other Chinese girls there. It is always interesting to be with other families that have adopted. For once, you aren't in the minority. You are just like everyone else. You don't stand out.

I think this is one reason we are so excited for our friends to come home with Ilayna (By the way, they should have her now!! Woo Hoo!!) Brynn can hang out with people that are just like her, another family just like hers. This is so important, yet we don't have a huge connection to people locally. I think a lot of it is our fault. Some, though, is our community. We just aren't a big Asian hub. We are so jealous of people who have that local connection. Like our Chicago travel buddies. The girls are friends, which is just so cool.

Anyway, the party was wonderful. We sat with a really snarky couple and a single adoptive mom. Believe me, they made the party even more fun than it should have been!!

Friday, February 15, 2008


I think we found was Bigfoot does for an occupation. He's a carpet cleaner. Kevin's foot print is on the right. The carpet cleaner's is on the left. Huge!!

Anyway, our carpet is clean. Thank God. The only problem--everything that was on our carpet is now on any flat surface that is in our house. Brynn's bed is stacked ceiling high with crap. (We didn't know until I was walking out the door yesterday that they carpet cleaners were coming or we would have stashed things out of the way.) And yes, she slept in our bed. We couldn't put anything on the carpet last night because it was still wet so she had no where else to sleep. Of course, on the way to my mother-in-law's house this morning, she asked what day it was today. I told her Friday and she exclaims Yeah, I get to sleep in your bed tonight. (She gets to sleep in our bed on Friday nights as a special treat for her.) Like she hasn't slept there all week because of all
the issues with the house this week. But, the house should be done except for the new blinds that we have to buy and the painting of two of the bedrooms which we have to pick out the paint colors for.

A Brynn story for the day:
Last night, on the way home, we passed an accident on the interstate complete with fire trucks, policemen and ambulances. Brynn asked what was going on and I explained an accident to her. This is our conversation:
B: What are those cars:
Me: Ambulances
B: What do they do?
Me: They take people with serious boo-boos to the hospital.
B: The Hos ta bull?
Me: No, the hos pi tal.
B: Hos ta bull?
Me: No, repeat after me hos pi tal.
B: Hos ta bull?
Me: Hos pi tal.
B: Yeah, hos ta bull.
So ambulances are to take people to the hostabull according to Brynn. Gotta love a 3.5 year old trying to figure out our language.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

At a snail's pace

The restoration company was at our house again this morning. They are hoping to be done with the cleaning tomorrow. The carpet and upholstery cleaners will be there tomorrow too. They don't think the walls of 2 of the bedrooms will come clean, so they will need to be repainted and they aren't sure that the carpet will clean either so we may be getting new living room carpet. What a mess. I really just want my house back.

Nickelodeon has a new show called "Ni Hao, Kai-lan". Brynn loves it. She seems to asscociate with Kai-lan even though Kai-lan doesn't look completely Chinese. It is really interesting to watch. She never really responded to Dora or Diego, but she will actually get out of the chair and do the actions that Kai-lan does. And she tries to say the Chinese words, although they are so hard to hear correctly, but she tries. It just reinforces what Kevin and I have been noticing a lot recently. She is starting to notice the difference between her and others around her. While watching Good Morning America, she pointed out that JuJu Chan looked like her. I don't think she would have commented about that a couple of months ago. This leads to many questions that I can only pray we are ready to answer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Out my window

This is what the weather looks like out my window at work. See the road? That is the road to the emergency room of our local hospital. Scary, ha? The city, state and hospital fight about whose responsibility it is to clean it. So, nobody does it. Don't get sick in this town because you probably can't get to the ER anyway. And now we have ice falling. Is it spring yet?
The furnace dude came last night and explained to Kevin what happened with our furnace. It is so nice to be able to flick a switch and have heat. And the original furnace idiot is getting a notice from our insurance company. Hopefully, they will be found liable and we will get our deductible back. This whole situation has been insane. I can't wait for it to be over.

Monday, February 11, 2008

This weekend

I get home Friday expecting to have a lot of the house clean. No such luck. The restoration company cleaned most of my kitchen and mudroom. That is it. It is so annoying because I know that so much more could have been done in the time they were there. All I want is for all of this soot to be gone. Is it really too much to ask?

Saturday morning was spent making pancakes and getting ready to go shopping. Kevin stayed home while Brynn and I went to the mall. She and I just don't do this type of stuff often enough. I bought her clothes that she doesn't need, but she just looked too cute not to. And I found out that she loves to try on clothes. She was such a hoot in the dressing room "modeling" the outfits.

Sunday morning was spent at church, then we went to The Home Depot because we have to replace all the blinds in our house. It was insanely windy and cold. How can it go from 52 degrees on Saturday to 12 below on Sunday? Absolutely Crazy. We ended up going home empty handed, changing into sweats and waching the John & Kate +8 marathon. Oh my, does Brynn loves that show. She calls the sextuplets "The Babies" even though the babies are 3 months older than her. She just loves the interaction. She is really missing that by being an only child and you can tell that she craves that. So, come on China, get my baby girl a sibling!!

And by the way, it was 56 degrees in my house this morning. It is crazy. All this mess just had to happen on one of the coldest days we've had in years. We still have no furnace, although the furnace dude is supposed to be there today. I hope he finds the problem and can fix it for mininal money. I'm sure that won't happen, but it sure is a nice dream. And at this point, I am dreaming of a vacation where it is hot, hot, hot!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Happy Year of the Rat!!

We had such a fun time celebrating Chinese New Year yesterday. Brynn took goody bags, a treat, a craft and books to school. She had such a great time celebrating "her" New Year with her friends. Then, last night we went out to a Chinese restaurant with my aunt and cousin who are in town visiting. It was such a great time. And we forgot the camera! Ugh.

I hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous year.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I hate contractors!!

These are my fingers after running them over my dining room table. I'm really not that bad of a housekeeper. This is from soot that is all over our house. And I mean everywhere-tables, chairs, our brand new furniture, our newly painted walls, our new washer and dryer, our nasal passages, our lungs, everywhere.

Kevin and I noticed last week that Brynn's socks were getting very black and we couldn't figure out where she was going that was so dirty. Then, Kevin noticed his white robe that hangs on the back of the bathroom door was black. Same with the towels. It was really strange. Then we noticed a dark black line by a heat register. We finally figured out what had happened, we thought. Our furnace had a puff back which just means it malfunctioned and put the soot back into our house

I called our insurance company yesterday and talked to the adjuster, told him what the problem was and he just happened to be in the area so he stopped by to see it. The "soot ghosts" were everywhere-places we didn't even notice. We have a restoration company coming in tomorrow to start the cleanup. What a mess.

The truly scary thing is that we had our yearly furnace check up on January 11th. We noticed the smell of oil, the company came back and fixed the problem and told Kevin to get new air filters for it. They just forgot to tell either of us not to use the furnace because it was spewing huge amounts of carbon monoxide into our home. Huge Amounts. Fatal Amounts. Luckily, we like our house cold, so the furnace didn't run as often as it would in normal households or the outcome could have been deadly. Our detectors didn't go off, but we are installing a couple more in different areas just to be more safe.

We now have an engineer looking at our furnace, a clean up crew coming to spring clean a few months early and no primary heat source (luckily we also use wood to heat the house). And the furnace idiot doesn't think he did anything wrong. Brynn's snot has been discolored for a week now and we couldn't figure out why. Now we know. We have been breathing soot for almost a month. And slowly poisoning our systems. We could have lost our daughter. I could have lost my husband. And all because someone didn't do their job correctly.

Update: I just talked to my stepmom and she has soot on her walls too. Any guessese who did her furnace work?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


On Saturday, we had a beef roast for supper and like the good mom that I am, I took any fat that was on it and put it on my plate. Brynn saw it and here is the conversation that followed:

B: What is that?
Me: Fat from the meat.
B: I don't have any fat.
Me: No, I took all the fat off already.
B: Does Daddy have any fat?
Me: No, just me.
B: Oh, so you're fat but Daddy and me aren't. (Insert Kevin tring not to laugh)

Thanks Kid. Just what I needed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Thank You Uncle and V

This is such a great book. Brynn said "Thanks for helping me celebrate Chinese New Year and Love you!!"

(Can I have just one picture where her hair isn't in her face? Will someone please make a barrette that will stay in her hair? Please? I'm begging!!)

Weekend Wrap Up

What a relaxing weekend. The sun decided to make an appearance, so we got to do one of our favorite things--walk through the woods around our house. Brynn loves this since she gets to play in the water, get muddy, and watch leaves flow down to the "big water".

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Such an important post

I am sure by now that most of you have heard about the storms in China. They could not have happened at a worst time. Workers were planning tripd home for Chinese New Year. For many, this is the only trip they will make home for the year. This is the only chance that parents have to see their children as many people work in the city and leave their children with their grandparents in the countryside. This year, they will not be making the trek. They can't. The weather is just too bad. People are stuck. My heart goes out to them.

But, we are now hearing of orphanages that have no money, no food, no water, no heat, no electricity. Half the Sky has started a fund called the Little Mouse Emergency Fund (in honor of Chinese New Year since it is the year of the rat). If you click on their name, you can read the latest update regarding the orphanages that they are in contact with. This doesn't include hundreds of other orphanages. There are babies in China starving, dehydrated, freezing, dying. I just can't imagine.

I just keep thinking "What if Brynn was still there?" Or "What if our second child is there right now shivering or starving?" I would do everything in my power to make sure they were ok.

If you are so moved, Half The Sky is accepting donations to help with the orphanages that are in desperate need. You can click the "Click to Give" picture on the update page of the above link. $10 can go so far in China. Please think about it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Referral Rumblings

There are rumblings today that referrals are coming. The good thing is that the rumor is that there are 8 days in this group. I am still at a wait and see point. I hope there are 8 days, but that doesn't mean that everything is going to start speeding up. It just means China was feeling overly warm this month. Plus, if they keep referring eight days from now on, it still makes us 31 months away from referral.

Anyway, congratulations to all the families made today. It is definitely worth the wait.