Thursday, January 29, 2009

Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie

Spent most of today cleaning to prepare for our social worker visit tomorrow... Finished up the latest tye dye stuff I was making, and doing things like mopping the floors, laundry, dishes, etc. I also gave the bird and the baby a bath! (not together! LOL). I didn't go crazy with the cleaning. Just wanted to make sure things were relatively neat. With all that we had going on this week, I just couldn't get it done the way I would have wanted. Oh well... hopefully she will be understanding... or at least have a good sense of humor! :-)

I also decided to take some pictures of Rachel being silly while she was having her lunch. She was enjoying her peach yogurt and just looked so darn cute, I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homeward Bound

So they sprung my mom today. WOOHOO... She's still in lots of pain, but at least she is in her own bed! Oh... and she had my dad get her Chinese take-out for her first meal home!
I did get to talk to her oncologist. That was good. She told me they will start mom on chemo, probably in about 4 weeks, after she has had some time to heal. Mom seems to be in fairly good spirits, all things considered. The pain seems to be her biggest obstacle at the moment. But again, at least she is finally home.

As for me, well, I'm trying to get this house in order before our big social worker visit on Thursday. It's been rough with all that has been going on. I actually contemplated canceling the visit, but figure it will be even harder if I wait. Once mom gets on chemo, I'm not going to be in any mood to have this inspection!

I am also trying to figure out how we are going to deal with me going back to work. Now there is absolutely no way my folks can babysit for us, so I will have to find some other way. It's going to be tough to find someone willing to come here at night, especially for just an hour and a half! But I don't have any choice, so I'll be making some calls tonight to try to find a sitter I can trust to take care of the most precious thing in my life!

Monday, January 26, 2009

When I'm 64

Ok... shameless plug... Happy Birthday to me! And also, Happy Chinese New Year! This year they fall on the same day! I decided that since we didn't go to the CNY party, I would make a little Chinese food to celebrate here at home... So I made some dumplings and some Chicken Stir Fry. I also brought Rachel over to see her Nana.
The Dr's are talking about letting mom go home in the next day or two, however we are still waiting for more test results so I'm not sure how that will work! The oncologist finally arrived today (apparently nobody put in the request until my dad asked when one would be there!) She told mom that there is a possibility she will need Chemo and that there is possibly some spread of the cancer to other areas, but the good news is the lymph nodes are good! So each day is bringing a little bit more news, some good, some not so good... but at least she is starting to feel better and she is also thrilled they finally put her back on solid food! She had an egg this morning! Yahoo!
Well, that's about it for now... my birthday will be over in 30 minutes, so I might just go to bed before it does! :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Better Days

Today I got another little update on mom... the news was a little better than we were expecting, but far from over. Mom will probably need some radiation to take care of the remaining areas of cancer, but the good news is that the colon is benign. So that is a big plus. We are still in the dark about a lot of stuff, but the surgeon advised that the rest of the info will come from the oncologist, whenever he shows up.
Yesterday I brought Rachel up to visit my mom. Thought it would be the best birthday present I could give her! It seemed to work... Mom actually smiled and even laughed a few times.

Today should be a little better for her. The Dr said all the tubes except the oxygen can be removed. I KNOW she is happy about THAT!

that's about it for now... time to clean Fred's tank (YUCK)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No song title for this one...

It's been a rough few days. Mom went to the hospital yet again, with the same complaints of pain that she has had for several months. After running tons of tests (again), they found she had a blockage. Long story short, they removed a "fairly large" tumor from her colon and they are already talking about chemo... the biopsy won't be back until tomorrow, but I'm guessing that they already know it's cancer. Needless to say, I've been pretty much numb... I'm also really pissed off, since she has had all the same complaints for so long and I just don't understand how they didn't find this sooner! Besides all this, the damn Dr has a "no call back" policy, and so I haven't even been able to get the info from him about what is going on! This is NUTS! I want to know things like how many cm's are in a "fairly large"?

Well that's about it for now... too many phone calls to make to stay online but I'll update again when I know more...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


We had a really nice night out tonite. Went to the BB Mann theatre to see "RAIN" with my parents & their friends. For those who don't know, Rain is a Beatles tribute band. The show was really pretty good! They do a few costume changes and cover each major era of the Beatles music...

I've seen several tribute bands over the years (no kidding, right?) but these guys put on a good show!

My friend Rita was babysitting for us... Before we left, she took a couple of family shots for us. The social worker said she needs at least one photo of the 3 of us together, and I wasn't thrilled with any of the ones we had, so she snapped a few that I actually like!

I'll probably use the one with the baby looking straight ahead.

I don't really like how I look in it, but she is the one they really care about, right?

Anyway, Rita did an amazing babysitting job... (as usual) and Rachel was just perfect for her (as if there was any doubt) except she didn't care for the dinner I left for her so Rita had to scrounge around the baby food jars to find something else Rachel would agree to eat! (don't tell me she is going to start becoming a fussy eater NOW!)
I do have to remember that next time Rita sits, I will have to leave the computer on for her... I thought I did tonite, but forgot to tell her the password for windows! (DUH!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Farmer in the Dell

First of all, I am SO happy for my friend Trish... she FINALLY got her travel approval to go get her new daughter Taylor! YEAH FOR TRISH, TED and the rest of the family... I called her as soon as I saw yesterday that she posted... and so who do I run into today at Toys R Us? Trish, Hannah & Hailey! It was great to see her to say congrats in person. And the girls were absolutely adorable as usual. I just felt bad I didn't have Rachel with me. I was just supposed to run in and out quickly... yeah right! We talked about setting up a play date with all 4 girls (her 3, my 1) after they come back from China... that will be great. I can't wait to follow their blog on the trip!

Anyway, the rest of the day was spent clearing out some of Rachel's clothing that doesn't fit anymore... I can't believe how fast she is growing! She can still fit in a few of her 12 month outfits (and hopefully she still will when the weather warms up a little because there are a few beautiful things she hasn't even had a chance to wear yet!) but she's already wearing a few 18 month outfits too! I was also cleaning (still), took Penny out to play for a while (so now she is comatose across my feet), and of course, playing with Rachel as much as possible!

In the meantime, I took a couple of pictures of her wearing what I think will be my new favorite outfit! LOL... She just looks so darn CUTE in the overalls!

After all that playing on the couch, she was finally starting to get tuckered out... first she tried laying down on the couch by herself, but she didn't really like that too much...
So then it was time to relax on the big daddy pillow... Ahh... much better...

Who Let the Dogs Out

So today I discovered something else that makes Rachel laugh uncontrollably... I brought her outside to Penny's play yard, and she thought watching Penny run laps was just the funniest thing on the planet! She was practically snorting, especially when the dog would run close by her. So it was a win-win situation... Rachel got a good laugh and Penny got to run off some of that extra energy... Which probably explains why Rachel was ready for bed before 7 and Penny has been sound asleep across my legs for the past few hours!

I also found out today that Rach likes Black Beans & Rice... we'll find out tomorrow what her view of Enchilada's is... I finished cooking them after she went to bed. I'll try to have the camera ready in case she has some visible opinions!

The only other thing I did today was babysit for my neighbor... she runs a day care in her house but needed to run to the bank so she asked if I could come sit for a little while... Rachel was napping and Tommy was still home, so I figured what the heck... and besides, all of her day care kids were napping too!

Guess I should stop typing and get to bed already... lots of cleaning to do tomorrow... not to mention getting my hair cut. More photos soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

There isn't anything all that interesting to report on at the moment... Rachel is napping, and I'm taking advantage of a few extra minutes so I thought I'd post a couple of pictures I took of the little princess this week. Besides, it's too cold to play outside! LOL... ok for those of you suffering thru the bitter winter, I do apologize... but for Florida, it's COLD... I'm layered for the day and actually had to turn on the heat today!

Ok... no more whining... here are the pictures!

Someone didn't have a regular nap... so she fell asleep right after lunch. All I did was clear away her dishes and when I came back, there she was... zonked out!

I didn't know whether I should feel guilty for not getting her to bed faster, or run out of the room so I could laugh out loud at how cute she looked!

Here she is playing with her new favorite dolls... Raggedy Ann & Andy. She is partial to Andy... the little flirt! I'm actually going to put these away soon, so she doesn't ruin them... They are so special that I think we might want to save them for when she is just a little older

I tried to get a shot of her hugging the 2 dolls... she was cuddling them so tight. But naturally, the minute I grabbed for the camera, she took off running in that walker! :-)

And here is one of Rachel with her Nana.. Which one looks more ready for bed? Actually, we had just opened the last of her holiday presents... Nothing like making Hanukkah & Christmas last for 3 weeks! Guess there is nothing wrong with that, right?

So that's about all so far... we are trying to get the house ready for our 6 month post placement visit from the social worker... She will be here at the end of the month! It's just over 4 months since we are home, but she needs to do the updated home study now so she can work on the report to go to the agency and to China. Then someone will come back in another 6 months to do the final report to China. These are just formality, I think... it's not as if they are going to take her away if we don't comply... but it is already paid for, so what the heck!
In the meantime, I have just a few short weeks to try to find a job I can do from home. I am dreading the day I have to go back to work, but if I don't find something that pays enough that I can do from home, that's it... I'll have no choice. That's going to be the hardest thing I have ever done... Not that I'm worried about her care... Tommy is GREAT with her and has often taken care of her in the morning. So that will be his new routine... He'll have to care for her first thing in the morning while I go to sleep. I'm going to miss giving her breakfast! But I have a month so I'm not going to let it get to me now... She's up from her nap and it's time to get her up and running again... Love that... and her..

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Have a Drink on Me

Today Rachel & I went for a shopping excursion with my friends Nicole & Anastasia and their kids... It was terrific seeing them and Jack & Mikey were just the cutest! We went to Babies R Us and I got some great items from the clearance rack (the only way I'll shop at B-R-U... )

Besides the shopping, it was a very special day for little princess Rachel. Today was the day her car seat was turned around from rear facing to front facing! WOOHOO! She is finally getting a real-life view of life in the car! and it will be SO much better using the portable DVD player now, since her feet won't be able to reach the buttons to keep re-starting whatever movie is playing! (Thank you Aunt Tasi for installing the car seat for us!)

After shopping, we hit Perkins for a late lunch/early dinner... and Rachel hit another little milestone... she FINALLY learned to drink from a straw! I had forgotten her sippy cup in the car and they brought her out a juice in a "kids cup" so we tried it and loe & behold... she did it! I was so excited! (It's the little things in life, right?)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rag Doll

So today was my monthly breakfast with the girls and it was terrific as usual. The best part was when Kim gave me a present for Rachel. I knew about it, just didn't know when it was coming! Kim's mom is an amazing seamstress. Before we left for China, Kim told me to bring her some material. Her mom was making hand made Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls for Rachel! So while we were in Guangzhou, I picked up a really pretty silk material. Well today, I got to see the finished product! They are amazing. Each hair is hand stitched to the head and all the clothing is made by hand as well! And Rachel seemed to really love getting them too! I even had a hard time getting her out of the activity chair to put her in for her nap because she was busy talking to the dolls! Too cute!

Tonite we are going to my parents house to finally do our gift exchange with them (since we were away for the holidays). We actually got our big gift already... a big rolling ice chest to use during our parties (we have been borrowing one from a friend every year for our Shrimp Boils) so it will be just a little exchange for us, but I'm sure Rachel will make out great as usual!

Boogie Shoes

Today Nana bought Rachel her first pair of grown up shoes! Now that she is starting to walk, we wanted to be sure she had the right shoe for the job! She really seems to like them. Especially the little bells on the string caps! I never saw these things but mom insisted on them. I'm sure I'll be glad but just trying to get those dopey things on the shoe laces made me NUTS!

I also FINALLY updated our old web site! There is still plenty more I can add to it, but for now, I think I got it all caught up... well, relatively.
For those not familiar, the web site is and we started it way back when we started the adoption process. There are pictures, a time line, and our complete adoption story. Before today, I hadn't updated it since we left for China! So I tried to get it put together tonite, including photos from some of our sightseeing excursions... Enjoy!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Take Me Home

Wow... I can not believe it but we are FINALLY home! and I finally have internet! WOOHOO... I can't believe how addicted I am to this computer! We were only gone 2 weeks, but it feels like a lifetime since I've updated this blog!

Our trip was so nice. We got to see so many of our family and friends and introduce them to Rachel. We were sorry to miss many others. We tried to fit it all in, but that's never possible. We basically saw everyone who we got to make arrangements with in advance. Some others either we never heard back from or we just ran out of time! Hopefully, we will be able to work something out next time!

Ok, So here we go.... I'm going to try to sum up the rest of our trip... We already covered thru Christmas, so we'll pick up from Cape Cod.

I already mentioned that we were going to Shanghai Tokyo... well it was as awesome as ever! It was a great time. The wait staff also adored her and were even nice enough to babysit a while so we could eat!
Sunday was wonderful. All the kids were there, and Kea & Kalea even put on a show for us! It was terrific! and they are just too cute. We had a terrific time with everyone! Rachel really loved playing with all her new toys and the kitty cats! She actually learned how to say "Hi Kitty" while we were there! How cool is THAT!
As usual, Rachel ate everything under the sun... she had her first tastes of a standing rib roast and roast duck... loved them both!

Monday night we watched some old family movies... REALLY old... reel to reels... it was really great. we also looked at some old slides... that was my favorite part because there were slides of my grandmother and Aunt Bella... Marla is going to make copies of some of them for me.
After movies and slides, we decided to have a few drinks and play pictionary... let's just say that was FAR more fun than I remember! LOL... Tommy & I won the game too! (ok, so they gave us a break since we came in when they had already been half way around the board!) We laughed so hard, it hurt!

It was really hard to say goodbye, but we had to leave there Tuesday morning to head up to north NJ. We stopped along the way to pick up some deli (one of the many items on our food to-do list for the trip) and brought it up with us to have with Brian & Debbie for dinner. it was VERY yummy (not the Carnegie, but it certainly was delicious all the same!)

New Years Eve was spent at Zulema's house! It was terrific seeing her parents too. We had a terrific time with all of them. The only problem was when it was time to leave! The dirt road leading to Z's house had frozen over and we were stuck... so everyone came out from the party to push the van half way up the hill to get us out! It was an adventure, but fun anyway... for US... not for everyone PUSHING!! LOL..

The day after was lazy day... I don't think I even got out of my pajamas all day! But we were all hurting pretty bad (no hangovers... just old pains... ) so we opted to relax.
The day after that we stopped to see one of Tommy's oldest friends Ed and his family.... that was terrific. They have 4 kids, 3 of which were home when we were there, and they were so sweet...
we also went to see Tommy's Aunt & Uncle, and to see his Mom again before heading home.

Rachel gets her first piano lesson! She sure did take to Jesse Lee & Kate! I may be wrong, but I REALLY think she was flirting with Jesse!

Wait till she realizes she doesn't go on her first date for another 30 years! :-)

Rachel gets her first taste of SNOW! We were at Brian & Debbie's place in northern NJ and New Years Eve day brought a beautiful snowfall. Rachel even made a snow angel with her daddy! I hope to post a video of some of her playtime, but that will come later...

Rachel got to play with Aunt Z's puppy dogs! She loved all the good food Aunt Z made too!

One of the best parts of the whole trip was when we were on our way home. We got to stop to visit with Rachel's cribmate Alexis! The girls got to play together for a little while before we had to hit the road again to head for home.

Our Story

My photo
We are the proud parents of a beautiful little girl. I have not stopped smiling since the moment they placed her in my arms. We adopted her Sept 2008 and it's been nothing but wonderful! She is the best reason to open my eyes every day! Currently living in SW Florida. I've also become a MAJOR Twilight junkie, so now I'm told I'm a TWI-MOM & I LOVE it!

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi
Rachel MeiLi

Red Thread Legend

Red Thread Legend
Chinese Red Thread Legend


Jodi's Greatest Hits - Some of my Favorite Tunes