Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Doofii, part deux

Subtitle: Two dogs, free to a good home.

Remember how I said a couple days ago that Kenai & Josie are dumb as a box of rocks when they get together? Well, here's my evidence:

Idiots. Josie has a history of shredding her bed (that's the remains of the cover in the upper right-hand corner), so I'm pretty sure she was the instigator. Once she got it going though, I have no doubt that it was an all-dog free-for-all. I had to record it b/c my parents get back tonight, and I thought they should see Josie's handiwork.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The great remodel and new baby room

Our house is (was) a two-bedroom. With a second wee one on the way someday soon, we needed a third bedroom. Luckily, we had a fairly easy way to do it. Our garden level was pretty much one giant room. And I do mean giant -- 500sf, bigger than most apartments I lived in back in my single days. It was finished, but just one big, mostly empty room, furnished with all the mismatched, leftover junk we'd never gotten around to putting away or getting rid of when we moved into the house in 2003.

We decided to divide it up to make a smaller family room and a 3rd bedroom. I think it worked pretty well! Unfortunately, I didn't think to take "before" pictures, so the one below is the best I can come up with. It's taken from just inside the bathroom door, looking down what is now the hallway into the side of the old room that's now the family room. See that metal pole? You can see it from the opposite side in the 5th picture below. The igloo is pretty much sitting in the middle of what's now the 3rd bedroom.

The Bedroom

DURING: The framed new wall from the bedroom side (imagine the edge of the igloo in the bottom right-hand corner, with the tunnel running up the right side of the picture):

AFTER: Same view -- the new wall finished, from the bedroom side:

We put in built-in shelves because it's a pretty small room, and added a desk in case we still live in this house when she's old enough to be in school & needs a place to study. ( the interest of full disclosure: when I say "we put built-in shelves," I mean my husband, of course. I did finish them though.)

The south wall of the new bedroom (the windows will eventually have velvet roman shades in the same color as the purple behind the shelves...I'd better get sewing...):

And here's our wish for our daughter -- peace, love and happines:

I'm eventually going to paint this on the walls in our bedroom & the Bee's too. We all deserve peace, love & happiness! (I cheated on this -- I bought a stencil for it at Michael's.)

The bedroom is currently in use as a guest room, so it has a double bed in it. That will get replaced either by a crib or the twin bed I slept in as a girl, depending on how old our daughter is. There's also a beautiful quilt in the works from Grandma; stay tuned for pictures of that. I just realized it still looks a little naked -- it's getting there though. At least it's a bedroom now, and not just half of a humongous, badly-used room!

The Family Room

DURING: The framed new wall from the family room side (imagine the igloo inside that framed part -- the new bedroom -- with the tunnel running down in the picture toward the photographer):

AFTER: Same view -- the new wall finished (except for hanging up all that art you see stacked against the end table), from the family room side:

And a view of the opposite side of the new family room:

Doofus + Doofus = 2 Doofii

This is Kenai, our genius 10-month old, 80 pound lab mutt:

And Josie (another brainiac), my parents' dog, who's visiting while they're in Maryland to visit my sister:

Together, the two of them are dumber than a box of rocks. Their favorite game is to roll around on the ground, biting each other's faces. Oh, and here's the fun part: the two of them together outweigh me by about 20 pounds. Walking them is a true joy.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A tiny adventure

Today we went to Tiny Town with Nana, Bumpa, Bumpa's niece, and her 18 month-old daughter B. We rode the tiny train,

went in some tiny buildings, and played on the (not tiny) playground.

The Bee was very sweet (one rock-throwing episode aside) -- when a big girl fell off the monkey bars & started to cry, he got very concerned. He climbed down off the slide he was on, ran around to her, got down on his knees, and asked, "Are you OK?" He also had some good practice for being a big brother with his little friend B:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thanks secret pal!

My awesome secret pal sent me this fun gift this month:

A super plushy baby doll, a giggly blue hippo toy, and some very fun blocks. I'm partial to the one that quacks like a duck when you squeeze it.

Thanks SP!

Happy half-birthday to you...happy half-birthday to you...

Due to extremely poor planning on the part of his otherwise doting and thoughtful parents, the Bee was born on Christmas Eve. It's very hard to have a good birthday party on Christmas Eve, or even on the weekend before. Everyone's out of town for the holidays, has company visiting, has half a dozen other parties that day already, is spending it with family, etc. Personally, I also think it's cruel to make a little kid wait a whole year to get toys, then get all the presents he's going to get for a year in the span of two days. M thinks it would be funny (in his sick mind) to let the Bee choose: you can open your presents on your birthday and the batteries on Christmas, or vice versa -- you choose! While on the surface that looks like a terrific Parenting with Love & Logic choices thing, something about it just doesn't seem right to me...

So this year, we started a new tradition: the half-birthday. We waited until age 3.5 to start this, because, well, he just didn't "get" birthdays before this. He definitely got it this time (except for the "half" part of the birthday party & not actually being four may wish to review my Why you shouldn't argue with a preschooler post for the backstory on this one).

So this afternoon, we had a big BD bash with eight other kids and about 20 adults. There was a dinosaur theme -- dinosaur cake, dinosaur plates & napkins, dinosaur-themed goody bags for the guests, you get the picture...Snacks, juiceboxes, etc. for the kids, margaritas for the grownups. We put out the kiddie pool & borrowed a bounce house from some friends. It was a rager!

The favorite gifts (today; subject to change at any time without notice; god help you if you offer up yesterday's favorite gift tomorrow): a Razor scooter & pads, a giant tub of legos, a walking roaring dinosaur, and a go-fish game that doesn't even have batteries yet. Still apparently quite a hoot.

Being the rotten parents that we are (who would plan so poorly as to give a kid a Christmas Eve birthday party?!), we only took two pictures. And as a matter of fact, we didn't even take these; a friend took them. I saw a few other digital cameras around, so I'm hoping someone else will email me some pictures. Until then, you'll have to make do with these two of the Bee & his friend L playing in the pool.

The budding artist

The Bee can draw a person! Up until now, his "drawing" has been 99% scribbling. He mastered the circle recently (ok, it's really a blob somewhat reminiscent of a circle, but still...), but that was it until this week. Now he draws people! Witness the masterpiece:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Adoption news

Our agency received a new Waiting Child list today. Our daughter probably isn't on this list (although there's a very slim chance she could be), but is very likely on the next list. We hope the next list will come around September - October. Read on if you want to delve into all the adoption lingo on what this means.

Our dossier was logged in by China on August 1, 2006 (this is our LID), for the non-special needs program. China refers children to families in order by LID dates. Referrals come in batches, about once a month. Once upon a time, China referred more or less a month's worth of LIDs every month, meaning the wait stayed steady. The number of LIDs per batch dropped dramatically in October 2005, however, and has stayed low ever since. The last batch of referrals, received in early June, covered early November 2005 LIDs. That means they are still nine months away from our Aug. 1 LID. It's likely that if things continue as they are, we would receive a referral sometime in 2009 in the non-special needs program.

Except...we submitted a medical conditions checklist (MCC) to our agency in January 2007. This is a form you fill out, checking yes, no or maybe to various medical conditions. Filling it out is a weird experience, let me tell you! We said yes to things that are not life-threatening, and generally do not require life-long medical management. Our yeses included cleft lip and/or palate, minor heart condition, malformed or missing fingers or toes, etc. Our nos included major heart conditions, Hepatitis B, etc.

The program works like this: China sends our agency lists of special needs children. The lists don't come at entirely predictable intervals, but every three months seems to be fairly common. They also vary in how many children are on the list (20-30 seems to be average), and the types and severity of the needs the children have. Our agency matches specific children to families using the family's MCC. Those submitted first theoretically get referrals first, although a family with a very conservative list may wait longer than a family with a more liberal list.

When we submitted our list in January, our agency told us our wait for a referral would be around 6-8 months. We're just now reaching the beginning of that window. They also told us there were about 150 families already on the list at that time. Well, they have made 95 waiting child referrals this year, so that means there must be roughly 50 families still ahead of us on the list. We don't know yet how many children are on the new list.

Like I said, I think it's pretty unlikely our daughter will be on this list, but I am now officially very excited and a little bit nervous.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

But does it taste like feet?

I ran into the liquor store w/the Bee in tow yesterday to get some beer & wine. I was looking at the wine in the cooler, when this conversation transpired:

Bee: "I want to get this one Mommy!"
Mommy: "But I don't really like that kind" (not a chardonnay drinker) "so I'm going to get this kind."
B: "But does this one smell like feet?"
M: "No, it's not that bad! I just don't like that kind."
B: "But does it taste like feet?"

The the little lightbulb went on in my head. The kind he had wanted me to get was some Barefoot Vineyards or something, and had a drawing of a foot on the label. Of course it must either smell or taste like feet. Smart Bee!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tae Kwon Do Kid

The Bee had his first Tae Kwon Do class tonight. So much fun to watch him! He tried really hard & the instructor said he was really good at following directions and had good balance. He probably says that to all the parents. Seriously though, I could care less at this point how many kicks and punches he learns; I've got him there for the respect, discipline and self-confidence stuff. Can't get enough of that. He's been SO THREE lately -- I'm ready for a little respect!

Why you shouldn't argue with a preschooler

It's pointless. You can't win. Logic is useless. Examples (I'll leave it to you to figure out who is who in these):

Is 65mph the "speed limit," or the "speed lemon?"
What letter comes after L? "M" or "menno?"
Mommy, am I four yet? No, you're still three. NO! I'M FOUR!
What number comes after thirteen? Fourteen, or eleventeen?

8:30pm UPDATE: Apparently I was wrong (I was informed of this in no uncertain terms about two minutes ago). It goes eleven, twelve, thirteen, sixteen, eleventeen, twenty-two. Duh!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Why am I here?

J tries to blog. I have never been able to keep a journal before. I never get more than a week or so into it before I drop it for a couple years. Then when I come back to it, it just seems dumb and I throw it away and start over. I don't know what that is -- I like to write, so you'd think I'd like to keep a journal, but no. So maybe doing it electronically will make it easier & faster and I'll actually keep at it. Time will tell, I guess. If you get here in a month and there's just this one post, then I suppose we can assume the electronic aspect didn't make it go any better.

Ooookayyyyyy...An hour-long break to separate the giant puppy & the toddler before one killed the other (it's a toss-up as to which is which in any given spat), get breakfast on the table, replace it with a different breakfast for the Bee, who apparently didn't like the awesome stuffed french toast I got up at 6:30 to make...and I'm back. Off to a rarin' start.

So the reason I want to try blogging: it seems like life is just racing by, faster than I can keep track most of the time. People told me this would happen after I had kids, and it's true. My theory is that if I take the time to make note of the small stuff, put it in writing, then maybe I can slow it down a bit. Stop & smell the roses, you know? So I'll have to get back to you on that. Assuming I can manage to make more than two entries here.