4:54 PM

Ready, Set, Go!

Packed bags - Check
Showered with love twice - Check
Approved entry visas - Check
TA - Sorta Check (we pick it up in province from our guide on Gotcha Day!!! eeek)
Hotels - Sorta Check (we have 2 of the 4, but most importantly we have the first one, a place to go after the plane)
Car seats installed - Check
Paperwork done and packed - Check
Nursery - Check
Two excited parents - Check
One unsure big brother - Check

The Nursery

The Shower

6:36 PM

Heart is so jet lagged

What time is it where you are?
I miss you more than anything
Back at home you feel so far
Waitin' for the phone to ring
It's gettin’ lonely livin’ upside down
I don't even wanna be in this town
Tryin' to figure out the time zones makin' me crazy

You say good morning
When it's midnight
Going out of my head
Alone in this bed
I wake up to your sunset
And it's driving me mad
I miss you so bad
And my heart, heart, heart is so jetlagged

What time is it where you are?
Five more days and I'll be home
I keep your picture in my car
I hate the thought of you alone
I've been keepin' busy all the time
Just to try to keep you off my mind
Tryin' to figure out the time zones makin’ me crazy

I wanna share your horizon
I miss you so bad
And see the same sun rising
I miss you so bad

So we are down to single digit count down till take off, 7 days (only 4 more work days). You would think in the home stretch that things would be peachy. But I still miss her every second. In addition I am also (pre)missing my baby boy who we are leaving home with grandma. I am most looking forward to March 16th when FINALLY my whole little family will be in my arms and in one time zone. I wonder what it will feel like? What will the absence of sorrow, longing, wanting and waiting feel like? They have been my constant companions for so very, very long now. I can hardly imagine what it feels like to be waiting for NOTHING!!!!

On that note we are still waiting on our travel approval. Yep, 7 days till we are on a plane and we have no approval. Trying not to loose sleep over that... HA! It is about 45 days late (aka has taken 210% longer then it should have. So no one is sleeping in this house. Bring it on jet lag, I am so ready to function on less than 2 hours sleep, I am a pro now.

5:30 PM

Shout out!

I just wanted to give a shout out to the company I used for our latest update. They were amazing with me and all my emotions and I really feel they went above and beyond. They were prompt, had great English and helped me to navigate the whole interaction. Their prices can't be beat. They are new to this business and I know that it is hard to trust some one new, but I want you to know that they get a gold star from me. Thanks Gretchen and Lillian!

5:06 PM

Only 16 days till travel!

So travel is now in a category that I would actually call "soon". We leave on March 1st and we will take custody some time between the 3rd and 5th. One thing that is different then I thought it would be is that time is not flying by and even though the end is near, each day still drags and I think 16 days is still way too many. I am nearly ready to go, although the bags are not packed the lists are made and every thing is bought. I have started painting the nursery and the clothes are all hung in the closet. My baby shower is at the end of the month, and we have just jammed every spare minute with things to do, both chores and fun. I planned this mad rush with the intention of making this last month fly by. I would say it is only barely walking.
I do think a lot about leaving squeaker at home and how much I am going to miss him. I am trying to prepare him for our absence, but I am not sure how much I can. We have never been apart more than a couple of days, so he can not even comprehend what 2 weeks could mean.
I am also fantasizing about meeting baby girl. I know this is dangerous to some degree because I KNOW this is not going to be a fantasy for any one. Every time I catch my self daydreaming I try to shake my self out of it by imaging the exact opposite. So now my greatest hope is that she will let one of her parents hold her. She can cry or bite or kick or what ever as long as we can hold her while she does it. I know even this is a tall order. But that is my new day dream, I am holding her all googly eyed and she is screaming like a banshee.

I may have mentioned that I had this little niggling feeling that I have a brown eyed girl waiting out there for me some where. My husband thinks this is our last child, but I have been seeing some things that let me know that his tough exterior is not as finite as he wants me to believe. He stopped me from giving away our jolly jumper and bouncy seat! AHHH Ha!
So that leads me back to my brown eyed girl... you see I only ever really needed one daughter, I would welcome a swarm of them, but one is just perfect too. I have decided a few things, firstly I would never adopt internationally from any where but China, and domestic foster care is also an option. Here is the thing though, with the way China stands now, if we got back in line again and only changed our gender preference, if we opened up to boys I think we could adopt an infinite amount of times and still only get blonde boys. That is exciting, that the wait could be really short next time. At this moment I think there are 3 boys with albinism who are waiting that we would qualify for. Unfortunately they seem to always be on the list waiting several months even though they are very young, and cute as can be! So why did I think that there was a brown eyed girl in my future? Better yet why could I not shake the vision of her??? I love my family of blondies, and I love the idea of a bunch of blonde boys too, so why the nagging feeling?
Well I finally get it. My husband reminded me that our grandkids would most likely be dark haired since albinism is recessive. You may remember that my mom had a very clear vision of her granddaughter, insisting that she would have white hair and chubby with big round cheeks. Now I get it, I am invisioning Elora's daughter, my granddaughter!!! Our family is only clairvoyant when it comes to grand kids.

1:25 PM

How does she do it? Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of how to cheat and cut corners like me, in order to create a better, work/life balance.

It really does take a village

That is the saying and it's true, child rearing was never meant to be a one woman job. I am not saying that it can't be done that way, many mamas are doing this solo with flying colors. I am just saying its more fun and easier if you have the fortune of following the village approach instead. My village is made up of three main pillars of support.

1. My husband. He is AMAZING. He does most of the cleaning and I do all of the cooking and we split the child rearing half and half. Although I do more hours in a day he really does many hours as well and he is also much better at getting those quality hours to count. I have heard that some husbands can't be left alone with their own children?!?! That they can't cope for even a day. Hog wash! If this is you, get that man into baby boot camp ASAP.
Your mate is your biggest untapped resource for creating more free time for yourself. They are after all near by and will benefit most from a well rested mama. If what I hear around town holds true they are also not measuring up to their true potential. Real men change diapers, steam mop (click here to see the sexiest man alive) and they don't moan about having to do it either. I can guarantee that the men who are complaining to their buddies about how little sex they are having since the kids came are the exact some ones who's wives are always complaining about how little gets done around the house. If I have any male readers let me just tell you now the secret to post baby sex... do the dishes every day with out being asked. A mother has a different definition of romance now than when you were wooing her back in college. Sure flowers are lovely but a house that cleaned it's self while I was having a coffee with the girls.... HOT DAMN!!!!

2. My mom. I am lucky that she lives close enough to make vising easy but not too close as to drive me nuts. My mom rocks, and maybe you only really realize these things after you have kids yourself. My mom is so good at being a mothers helper/grandma that I have her out on loan to several of my other mom friends when they need a hand. She is a full time grandparent, so she is very available. That helps us to keep a tiny bit of spontaneity in our life and also time for luxury items like date nights. She will even take the baby when we are both dying of food poisoning... and then again when we had norwalk virus.

3. My mama posse. This is a group of hand selected carefully vetted moms. In case you have not noticed, there are a lot of mean girls in the world, and when you enter motherhood they are still there but they are often in sheep's clothing... aka hard to detect. It does not take much to be in my posse, the main criteria is live and let live. Rule 1 You do not need to agree with me, what you do need to do is keep it to your self and also not care that we disagree. There are soooo many choices today's parents make, and soooooo many experts that are going to back each of us up. In the end you are not going to convince me, nor am I going to change you, so just drop it and don't wince every time I give my 2.5 year old a bottle. That's just how it's gonna be at my house, get over it. Rule 2, no comparsies. I don't care who walked faster, talked more, counted first. In the end it really does not matter one lick. Our children will be who they are and there is very little we can do, that we aren't already doing, to change it. The simple point is that I let go of the idea that my children should be the best at any thing. I am parenting special needs child(ren), their happiness is the only success I measure. Rule 3 Don't gossip, don't judge, don't offer unsolicited advice.
So once you are in the posse you have an amazing resource at your finger tips. The posse provides, play time for the kids, girl time for the mamas and a safe haven to really be real and really be you.

4. My toddler. He is a cleaning machine. He loves it. He is able to:

  • load the dishwasher - quite a bit of supervision and assistance still required
  • load washing machine and dryer - very little supervision required, I just do the soap for him
  • Swiffer and mop - no supervision required although I do direct him to spots he missed
I am very happy about this since I feel I am contributing to another generation of new and improved males who know how to keep a house, home and family. I was surprised at how fast and eagerly he picked things up, in a few short months he was taking over my chore and actually being a real help to me. I look forward to giving him more chores once his sister comes home too.

There is much too much judging going on in the world, the media and in our selves. Mom's are under a LOT of pressure. I think most of it is coming from an internal place, but it never hurts to limit your exterior pressures as well. Ditch that parenting magazine, or that friend who can only look down her nose at you. Have confidence in your own ability to raise the kid that only you really know. Do what ever you need to do to make yourself happy and the rest of the house hold will benefit. I hope that my honesty in these posts and on this blog will inspire you to cheat more and have more fun doing it.

P.S. I do realize that many of these tips are counter to the attachment process. I will keep you posted on how my style develops with the new challenges that lay before us.

4:15 PM

Saying yes and meaning no...

Or was it saying no and meaning yes????

After a long, confusing and exhausting series of conversations though 3rd parties with Elora's orphanage we were given new photos. With all the language and cultural differences this process was at times very worrisome, since we were asking a lot of the orphanage, when really we already owe them so much. I felt compelled to break the etiquette and ask the hard questions about her finding and to try to document any thing about her life to date that I could AND get permission to visit the orphanage. I knew it was not going as I had hoped and was truly worried that I was risking it all, but in the end I continued simply because I know one day I would have to answer to my daughter why I did not try, and because I was afraid to offend or because that is against the rules was not a good enough answer for me or for her.

I still feel uneasy about the whole situation, obviously no one likes to perceived as rude or bossy, but I guess I will just have to learn to live with those perceptions because I am after all a Tiger Mom now. So with out further ado, new photos of the cutest little tiger girl there ever was, my sweet baby girl.