May 25, 2007

May 25, 2007

We were headed upstairs this morning to get showered and ready for work & school... while climbing the steps I told Cackie that 2 years ago today Mommy & Daddy got on a big airplane on our way to China. She nodded her head excitedly. Michael then asked her, "do you know who we were going to China to get?" She said, "Me... Cackie" and pointed at herself. We said "yes, we went to China to get Cackie." Her response.... "You're so silly, guys!"

Later, as I was getting dressed, she asked what my shirt said. I'm wearing my Phillies T-shirt and I told her it said "Phillies". I never told her who the Phillies were, but she must have figured it out. She said "Go Phillies", so I of course took the opportunity to chime in with her. From the bathroom Michael said "Go Cardinals", so Cackie replied "Go Phillies". It was really cute. And, still somehow I got swatted with the towel!??!

May 21, 2007

I'm a Grad Student....

Now, for the last “big” news in my life…
I took the GMAT the day before Mother’s Day and scored 30 points higher than my “dream goal”. All my practice test scores were a lot lower, so I never thought I’d hit that goal, much less exceed it. When my score came up on the screen I thought I was going to scream & jump up and down!
So, last Monday morning, I faxed my score to TN Tech. I was hoping that they would email or call, but they mailed a letter that I received on Thursday. I’m accepted! Yay me!
I feel like I’ve hit just about every institution of higher learning in the State of TN. My school colors are majorly screwed up…
University of Tennessee – Orange & White

University of Memphis – Blue & Grey

Christian Brothers University – Scarlet & Gray

Tennessee Tech University – Purple & Gold

God help me if I have to wear all the colors together, yuck!

Looks like I’m going to start with one class this summer. The summer session starts next week, so gotta get busy getting my stuff together! I’m waiting to hear back from the registration people to find out what else I need to do, etc. It’s kinda weird to be living in Memphis & “going to Tech”. I am excited, though and can’t wait to get started!

The dental saga continues...

OK, so I'm my dentist's best customer!
I think it was 2 weeks ago, I had the first part of a root canal done. After the pain that caused me to have the root canal, it felt pretty good. Well, on Mother's day... eating an english muffin for breakfast and "snap"! My temporary crown broke in half. So, I went all day making sure I ate soft foods and didn't do to much to hit the exposed tooth.
The next day, I called the dentist (no lie, they are on speed dial on my cellphone!) and they got me in to replace the temporary crown. After that I felt great! I already had an appointment scheduled for last Thurs to have the permanent crown on, but it wasn't in yet, so I was brave and moved it to today.
Well, on Wednesday I started having some tenderness and made a note to call the dentist first thing Thurs morning. They called me to confirm my Monday appointment, so I mentioned the pain. I had a feeling that I'd need an antibiotic, and that's just what they called in for me. I started that and had great hopes that I'd be OK. Wrong!
Four AM on Friday.... I woke up out of a dead sleep in pain. I never wake up like that, so I knew it was bad. I knew I had to go into work for a while, so I took some naproxen and tried to rest some. I called the dentist that morning, but his office is closed on Friday and I had to leave a message at his house. I came home around noon and took a lorcet, ahhh! That is until it started making me queasy and dizzy around 3:15. I hate that feeling!
So, at that point I laid down trying to rest and prayed that the dentist would call. He did, just at that point! Michael came & picked me up and we met the dentist up at his office. He tried to clean it up some, numbed me up real good and gave me some steroids to help with the swelling. Yay!! Relief!! The pain had gotten so bad that I couldn’t hit the tooth with my tongue without jumping.
All this, was really crappy timing. Friday night Cackie went to Nita & Billy’s and we had dinner reservations with friends for CafĂ© Society, my favorite restaurant! Cackie still went to Nita & Billy’s, but we cancelled our reservation and ordered in Indian food instead. Not as good, but still one of my favorites.
Saturday morning I woke up and felt great! No pain! I didn’t have to take any more pain meds, it was awesome! Sunday was good, too. I did bite down on it at one point and that obviously hurt, but otherwise I was great.
Today, it felt pretty good, too. I brushed my teeth before leaving work to go to the dentist and it started to tingle. By the time I got to the dentist, I could “feel” the tooth and that concerned me. He was a little weary of that and was cautious with the whole thing.He worked on numbing me and I wasn’t getting numb. I was partly there, but couldn’t get it all the way down to my chin. This is a sign of obvious infection, I’ve been there, done that, so I knew what was happening. He did what he could, but there were a couple of times that I thought I was going to pass out. He’d hit a certain spot and it would shoot pain into my left ear. I should have known he asked if I still had pain meds in case I needed them…. I came home to relax after the appointment, just waiting to see what would happen. Around 5, the numbness started to wear off slowly and pain started to set in. If my tongue hits the tooth when I swallow, I can feel it! This sucks! I sat here trying to stay occupied until Michael got home with Cackie, didn’t want to take a chance and get all dopey from the lorcet and then have to drive. They got home at 6 and first thing I did was take a pill. Now, I’m starting to feel loopy, but the pain is still there…. Praying that this isn’t going to be a long night

Two more...

Thank you Knutson & Brown families

OK, I think these are the last two that I have right now. They are all soo beautiful...

Quilt Squares!

Can you tell I'm trying to catch up on stuff I wanted to post?
Quilt squares have been coming in every other day or so. I had to stack them in a pile for a few days and I lost track of what order they came in. So, I just started shooting pics and here they are. Aren't they great????

Thanks to the Whitmer & DeLonay families

Thanks to the Phung & Gower families

Thanks to the Caruso & Willoughby families

Thanks to the Schofield & Dunaway families

Thanks to the Verrone & High families

Thanks to the Synder & May families

More to come...

My Mother's Day presents

For Mother's Day, Cackie & Michael gave me a beautiful keepsake box by Willow Tree. It shows a family of four, so it's a great way to remember that eventually, someday, Mei Mei will be here.
I love it! It's sitting on my desk at work and I smile whenever I look at it.
My Mom & Dad sent me some Crocs that I had seen and thought looked comfortable...
These are some of the most comfortable sandals! I sure hope I still have them or can get more for when we go to China. If we go in the summertime, they will be just perfect!

May 20, 2007

Mother's Day was great!
On Friday, Cackie & I had Mother's Day brunch together at her school. I had been a little nervous about going because of all the pregnant women, but I wore my new t-shirt and felt prepared....
It says... I may not be showing... but I am glowing! (China adoption in progress)
I also have a t-shirt that says "Be kind to me... I have the gestation period of an elephant!

Cackie gave me the greatest card at her school...

On Saturday I took the GMAT and Michael took Cackie to a Dora the Explorer picnic at the Children's Museum. They had a great time and I did pretty good on my exam, so it was a good day.
A tribute to Mom's teeth...

On Sunday we went to church and then went out to dinner with Michael's Mom & Stepdad in the evening. After we got home from dinner we launched our annual balloon tribute to Cackie's birthmom & stepmom.

May 18, 2007


I’ve been meaning to write these down to keep them for later years. Here’s a few that I can think of now and I’ll add more as they come up or as I remember them…
-The other morning she was real quiet in the car on the way to school. That’s not like her so I asked if she was feeling OK. She said that she didn’t feel good and then I could hear that her breathing was kinda heavy because she was congested. I asked her if her nose was stuffy and she told me, yes Mommy… I’m snoring.

-Cackie’s Chinese name is Fu meaning good luck. I have a silver charm that I wear on my necklace a lot that is the Chinese character, Fu. When I wear it, I often talk with her about what the symbol means and that it is her Chinese name. She’s learning that her Chinese name is Fu Xia and that it means Good Luck Summer. So, one day I was wearing my charm and she said that’s my Chinese name. I said yes, what is your Chinese name? Her reply was…. Mary. Don’t know where that came from.

-Michael took her over to his Mom’s so that Cackie could spend the night. She was sitting with him on the couch and was about to get up to go play, but stopped before hand to give him a hug & a kiss. A few minutes later he got up to leave and asked if she was going to come give him a hug & a kiss. Her reply was “I already”. (as in, do I really need to do that again?)

-Cackie is starting to develop favorite foods, colors, etc. She has been showing a real preference for the color orange lately. I have not influenced this (mostly because I know it drives Michael nuts), because I want her to choose her favorites. But, it is very obvious that she really likes orange. I picked her up from school the other day and in her file was a painting that she had done, all in orange. On the way home we were talking about what she did at school and I asked if she painted the picture. Here’s how the rest of the conversation went…
C – yes, it’s orange
D – Do you like orange?
C – Yes, it’s my favorite. I love it.
D – Did your LaoYe (my dad, Chief Big Orange) get to you?
C – Yes, he like orange a lot.
She figured that one out quick!

May 11, 2007

Stressful week...

It’s been a few days without an update, mostly because things around here haven’t improved too much and the thought of typing it all out has been somewhat depressing...
We brought Jackson home on Saturday. I’m not sure who’s more pitiful, him or Bruno. Jackson seems to be adjusting to his splint pretty well. He does chew on it and Michael has been keeping it covered in duct tape. But, he’s getting around quite well. He has definitely become calmer, it’s almost sad that he can’t jump around like he did before.
Bruno is so pitiful because he really misses Jackson. We let him out so that the two of them can play, but Jackson tires easily and Bruno is really too rough for him. Bruno is learning though and hopefully this will calm him down some as well. Michael teases that he wants to put a cast on Bruno’s leg too, just to calm him down. Sometimes I think it’s not such a bad idea!
With Jackson slowed down and interacting with us more, he and Cackie have become best buddies. She’ll hug on him and talk to him in the sweetest voice… “does your leg hurt, buddy?” “are you OK?” “come here Jackson, I love you”. It really is too cute! I can’t wait till their both old enough that Jackson can sleep with her at night.
So, back to Saturday… we had invited some friends over to have some Mexican food & margaritas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. As our day went downhill we decided that we’d order in from our favorite Mexican restaurant to help relieve some of the stress. When I called to place our order they told me that they weren’t doing to-go orders because they were super busy. Great! Then the power went out at the house about 30 minutes before our friends were supposed to arrive! Thankfully the power was back on about 20 minutes later, but we still had no dinner. Michael ran up to the store to get stuff for fajitas, but the mess involved and the stress of trying to cook dinner overwhelmed me. I freaked out and we decided to just order pizza and try to relax. We really needed some relaxing and I think it did us good.
We didn’t end up moving the hot tub until Sunday morning. Zack came over and he, Michael & I were able to get it moved. Poor Cackie had to stay strapped in her carseat while we loaded it and unloaded it, but I think the trauma was minimal. The rest of Sunday was pretty laid back. I tried to study as much as I could and Michael did some work around the house. Thankfully no more toilets were clogged and no more puppy legs were broken!
The new joyful experience was an increasingly painful tooth for me. I had the crown put on last week, but on Thursday or Friday it started to hurt some. By Sunday it was really painful and very sensitive to both hot & cold. I know from my previous experiences that this was not a good sign and would likely mean a root canal.
So, Monday I called the dentist first thing and got an appointment at noon. Sure enough a root canal was in order. This was my 4th root canal in 2 years and with each one my stress level has increased. Thank God for laughing gas! The dentist hardly had any trouble numbing me for my crown last week, but on Monday he had some trouble. I felt VERY numb, so much so that the back of my tongue was numb and swallowing was difficult. But, when he started drilling I could feel it, pretty bad too. He ended up starting the procedure and I go back next week to finish it up. I was really worried about pain, so I took the rest of the afternoon off of work and went home and took some meds. Since I was home I did some studying while the house was quiet and felt like I made some progress. The tooth feels pretty good now, every once in a while I feel some tenderness, but not much. This is a HUGE relief to me!
Tuesday at work, we had a couple of power outages because of some construction in the area. Of course this caused our servers to go down and our accounting system to have problems. Yay! That was a lot of fun!
I’ve had to give up on my pictures of Cackie for a few days because things have been so busy. I had taken some great ones of her and Jackson, but the media card on the camera decided to malfunction and the pictures were lost. Just another thing that screwed up! Thank goodness the camera was not the problem!
The rest of our week has just been constantly busy. I’ve been studying as much as I can… tomorrow is the big test and I can’t wait to be done with it! Things have been gloomy dealing with Zack and his lack of a job. Michael’s business is slow so that doesn’t help moods either.
I’m really hoping that things start looking up around here! It’s sad, but I can’t wait to be done with this test so that I can give the house a good cleaning! I have piles of laundry and floors that need to be vacuumed… when that is done is should help my spirits at least!
A good score on my test tomorrow sure would be a good way to start the ball rolling…

May 8, 2007


Here are some pictures that I was able to get over the last few weeks...

Cackie reading Jackson a book...

Cackie loving on Jackson

Cackie acting silly...

Jackson with his broken leg... poor puppy...

May 5, 2007

When it rains...

well, you know the rest.
First, I'll start with the pleasant news...
I didn't get a chance to post a picture of Cackie yesterday, but I did get some taken. So, here is Cackie enjoying peanuts at the baseball game...

She's become quite the peanut sheller! She even took the bag of peanuts off my lap to put it in hers - that way she didn't need to keep asking for more! We had a really fun night with lots of excitement at the ballpark. The weather was perfect and for the most part she really behaved well. They have a kiddie playground and some carnival type rides & games for the kids. Michael got her some tokens to go on the big bouncy slide and she loved it. She'd climb to the top just to stand up there and bounce. One time the bigger kids were getting quite pushy and she came down the slide all cocksywopus. Poor thing ended up in a crying heap at the bottom and Daddy had to go rescue her. No one ever believes that she's only two, so I think that has a lot to do with their pushyness. After the game she was talking about her experience, so it was definitley a learning lesson for her. We only had my little cheapy camera last night, so it was hard to get any good pictures. Here's one of her climbing up the ladder...

And here's the only good one I could get of her starting down the slide...

The Redbirds ended up losing the game 10 - 9, but they had some great fireworks afterward. This was the first time Cackie was exposed to fireworks, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. She did great, better than me in fact! After they were done she kept saying "more works Daddy". We didn't end up getting home until just after 11, but it was worth it and we all had a great time.

So, now to the rain....
Since we were out so late last night, we all took advantage and slept in. We were awoken by the phone ringing at 8am, never a good way to start a Saturday! We got up, doing our regular Saturday thing... sitting on the couch, reading the paper and watching the Little Einsteins. After a while we starting getting on with the day and Michael offered to go to Walmart to pick up the things we need. Now, for anyone who really knows Michael, they know that to him going to Walmart is like torture and going by himself is like double torture. So, I was quite shocked when he offered. But, he loves me and knows that the time at home to study was needed, so he wanted to help out.
Well, while we're getting ourselves ready, Cackie had a poopy incident and needed some help cleaning up. Michael gave her a hand while I put together a shopping list, no big deal.
A few minutes later we're still getting ready when we hear Cackie flushing the toilet. After a second we get the feeling that something has gone awry so we go into her bathroom. There we find her naked from the waist down with her soiled panties wet in the bathroom sink and the toilet absolutely full of paper. But, wait.... it's not just paper, it's a HUGE wad of toddler wipes that Michael had left out when he used them earlier to wipe her little booty. I swear she is absolutely obsessed with those wipes (this is our first clogging the potty incident, but not her first fascination with the wipes) and she just went crazy with them when she had the chance. So, Michael works at unclogging the toilet (thank goodness they are flushable!) while I get her dressed and we "talk nicely" about what went wrong.
Just as Michael & I are both finishing up we hear a racket of puppy yelping coming from the back yard. We run to the back door and Bruno starts his "Help Jackson" barking. Jackson had gotten his left hind leg caught in the unfinished edge of the deck, right where there were nails sticking out from where the deck framing was joined together. Michael rescued him from his predicament and we rushed him in the house.
We sat him on the couch and after just a few minutes it was pretty obvious that he was not right. I called the vet and they said bring him over. So, Michael heads over to the vet with Jackson while Cackie & I stayed at the house to try and clean up, etc.
Less than an hour later Michael comes home, but no Jackson. His leg is broken, right in a growth plate! Geez, we just can't win! Poor guy is only 5 1/2 months old, so he still has growing left to do!
(Just a couple of weeks ago Jackson started acting really funny, almost like he was having a seizure one Thursday night. He vomited all over the place, so Michael rushed him off to the emergency vet. After 3 hours at the ER, a couple of hundred dollars and a shot to calm his tummy they had no clue what was wrong with him. So, this poor little guy has just been pretty unlucky lately!)
Now, Jackson will stay at the vet until late this afternoon. They have to sedate him to put a splint on his leg and since he had just eaten an unknown amount of food they had to keep him a while before they could do all that. The vet wants us to take him to a specialty dog orthopedic on Monday to have it looked at since the growth plate is involved!
Then, to top things off... last week when we rented the parking spot for the RV we found out that the self storage place could give us a better price on a bigger storage unit for all the files that Michael has from the business. We signed up for that in a hurry, saving money on the unit is a great thing, especially for a bigger unit. So, today is the deadline for getting everything out of the old unit. There is one thing left in there... the hottub that Nita & Billy gave us when they sold their house & moved into the retirement village. This is the reason that the deck is unfinished. For quite a while we have been trying to decide what to do with the house, etc. We never fisnished up the deck because we always considered expanding and wanted to put the hottub back there. We have so many projects going on around here that it's real easy to get distracted and move on.
So, back to the hottub...Zack & Michael can't really move it themselves, so they've been waiting to see if they could get some help. No such luck. Plus, Zack actually got 8 hours of work today (a small blessing), so he's unavailable until this evening. Somehow we're going to figure out how to get Jackson from the vet, keep him immobilized, move the hot tub, etc.
Right now, Cackie just went down for her nap and Michael is at Walmart, so I'm about to hit the books. After that who knows!
Thank goodness, it's Cinco de Mayo... as if we needed a reason to drink margaritas tonight!

May 3, 2007

Celebrating Cackie

This month we celebrate 2 years with Cackie. So, I'm going to try and post a daily picture of her to show how wonderful she is and to celebrate our love for her.
Here's today's picture...

loving on her Daddy!
After Cackie went to bed we "released the hounds"...

they are really getting too big for one of us to hold, but they are very lovable.
Tomorrow night we have tickets to the baseball game and there are fireworks afterward. I think this will be Cackie's first fireworks (we've tried multiple times, but either the weather messes up or we all poop out). We're looking forward to hotdogs, baseball & ice cream!

May 2, 2007

A First for Mei Mei!

Today I recieved our first items for Mei Mei! I've joined a 100 Good Wishes Quilt exchange and today my first two quilt squares came. Here's a picture...

Thanks to the Matzker & McDonald families for the quilt squares! If you are family or friend and want to send fabric for Mei Mei's quilt, email me and I'll tell you what to send.
And, here's the Cackie picture of the day...

Happiness is...

Happiness is…
Seeing your daughter & your husband goof off on the couch.
Giving birth doesn’t create this experience… It just takes being a Mommy!
I love these moments!
Here they are making "farting" noises on their arms....
And seconds later she was upside down!

I had a night off tonight, no studying, just spending time with my favorite girl & guy! We walked down the street to the little restaurant, had a great dinner and walked home. I’ve been pretty stressed lately, so it was a lot of fun!

On the way home we talked about how next Friday will be the “Mother’s Day Brunch” at Cackie’s school. I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about it. Half of the moms in her class have either had babies recently or are currently pregnant. Even with Cackie in my life, this still makes me anxious. Somehow I still feel inadequate. It’s not that I didn’t change sloppy poopie diapers or deal with a colicky baby. It’s that I never grew a child in my womb that makes me feel this way. This will never go away and I do need to learn to deal with it, but honestly it can be very hard. I believe that most women are hard-wired to want to birth a child. I would love to grow a baby in my womb, but the actual giving birth part scares me to death!
So, to continue my story… I was anxious about going to the “Mother’s Day Brunch” next week at Cackie’s school. Michael & I talked about it and I bought a t-shirt to wear that will let everyone know that I’m expecting just like they are/have been! When it comes in I’ll post a pic of me wearing it! I’m such a rebel! (I’m buying some other stuff, too. These will be fun to wear and give as gifts!)

Well, in case you haven’t guessed… I survived my dental procedure today. I was numb until after lunch (the dentist said he used less drugs than he uses to numb my right side!), and after the numbness wore off I was very sore. But, I’m doing OK now and hopefully tomorrow I won’t know that anything happened!

OK, that’s about it for today! Tomorrow back to GMAT studying… 10 more days and it will all be over!

May 1, 2007

A better day

Today was a better day with Cackie. She got a nice "talkin to" at school and they discussed how she should say "nice words" to Mommy & Daddy. She did start to sass at me about eating her green beans, but when I brought up the "nice words" she quickly stopped. Wish that would work forever! I think she even fell asleep right away tonight. We didn't hear anything from her, so that's a good sign.

We got wonderful news yesterday that our friend Kim got her LID! We were anxious to find out whether or not she was logged in because of the new rules that went into effect today. Her dossier had gone to China the same day as ours (3/12) and she's LID 3/29, just like us!!! Yippee! We'll get our referrals together! We are sooo happy for her!

I'm starting to not look forward to tomorrow... I have a dentist appointment at 8am to have another crown done. This will be my 4th crown in two years. Hopefully this one won't need a root canal. The other 3 have and one was especially awful! Keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be relatively painless and that once it heals I can finally go see the orthodontist about braces.

It's soo sad... I'm almost 35 years old and I want braces!

Cackie Today

There she is! Our sassy little girl! What a mess!

We have a trailer!

Yay! Michael got home Thursday evening safe & sound with our new camping trailer. He brought it home from Selma, AL after dealing with rain, wind and no brake lights! Yes, that's right, no lights on the trailer! I was soo thankful when he got home!

The trailer needs some more work than we had anticipated, most of the electrical system was scavenged and it needs a pretty good cleaning, but it's all work we can do and after it's done we'll have a pretty cool camper.

Michael spent the weekend reading the manuals and making parts lists while I did as much studying as I could. I was pretty busy, so I didn't get out and get a picture.... but this is the one from the GSA website...
So, now we start buying parts and making repairs. We've rented a parking space for it at at self-storage facility not far from the house. It will work out real well because Michael can go there and work on it without having to have it sit on the street. First priority.... brake lights!
I hope it doesn't take long to make the repairs, we're all anxious to do some camping.
Michael measured Cackie over the weekend, she's gotten SOOO tall lately. She measures in at 38.75 inches and weighs 36.5 lbs! And it's still 2 1/2 months before she turns 3! I did my own check on the growth chart and she's in the 95th percentile for both height & weight on the American charts. I'm sure she doesn't even fit the Chinese charts anymore.
I'm just glad that I can still pick her up! Yesterday was a trying day for her and I ended up having to pick her up and carry her out of the school building. It was pretty warm yesterday afternoon and I had just picked up Katie from the vet, so she was waiting in the car. I couldn't dawdle around the way Cackie likes and she got pretty upset with me. She's in this stage of constantly arguing with us (think of the Genesis song, That's All "I could say day, and you'd say night tell me it's black when I know that it's white) and she just put her foot down and didn't want to leave. So, I had the most joyful ride home with a raging, screaming toddler in the backseat, yay me!
We thought she had learned from our little mishap, but just after dinner (at least she waited until after dinner) she started yelling at Michael and in her push toddler voice said "Do you hear me, I don't like it". I thought Michael was going to spit flames! Within minutes she was in bed.
Poor thing, I sure hope tonight is a better night!