Our Dossier arrived at the CCCWA in Beijing Monday April 27th!!
We bought two toddler comforters from Ikea (Hard to locate toddler comforters in the US, but they are very common in Europe). I found the cutest, happy fish print fabric on ebay and paired it with a soft pink flannel on the back side. I should add, I do NOT sew. I bought a sewing machine but I am totally winging it. I was going to take a class but I got the call to go to San Diego/Mexico and had to miss it. All that I have left to do now on the duvets is add either buttons or velcro to make the closure secure. The fabric is by Donna Dewberry and really cute!
We bought a large canvas on sale at Micheal’s not long ago and after a sale at JoAnn’s to grab black felt, Paul stapled the felt onto the canvas and we have a giant felt board. I’m going to mount this on the landing upstairs so we can trap the kids in a controlled area when I shower . I think we will add a large magnetic board too (think large oil drip pan).
I also finally finished beading that seahorse. I found a white frame on sale for 5 bucks and we have a winner! Still working on getting things ready. I still need to sew the rail covers for the cribs and the sheets for the travel cribs. Man I hope I get that done. HA!
Thank you all so much for helping the girls get home.. we have a couple of winners to announce tonight:
The winner of the iPad Mini is Robyn Hoekstra! Please see your e-mail!
We had a secondary prize of an Amazon Gift Card going out to Shane Wright!
We appreciate all the support and warm wishes more than you can know. This adoption stuff is much more stressful then either of us had ever imagined.
I wanted the girls to each have a dolly when they came home. As you may remember we do have a doll for each girl that we are taking with us. They are cute too but they do not look like the girls. These are amazing and just darling, perfect for little hands. I love them!! These are available at Belinda’s Garden on Etsy and very reasonable in price.
Having recently read how important many adoptees feel about having someone that looks like them in the family, I maybe should have considered that beforehand. The girls could not look more different if they tried. As they get older I will look for a company to make custom dolls so they have a “just like me” type doll and hopefully we can make enough connections in the adoption and NOAH community that it won’t make a difference that they don’t look like each other.
Our dossier is on the way to the Chinese Embassy to be authenticated!! We are using Caring Hands and they will go to the Chinese Embassy to drop off and then pick up our Dossier when its finished. Another step forward! The whole process feels like it is taking forever. We did not “expedite” the embassy part of the process because it apparently would only save four days and cost us double ($50 a document vs $25 a document). If it would have saved us 2 weeks or more I would have considered it but the cost did not seem worth a paltry 4 days.
On Monday I hauled the boys to Olympia and we had our I-797’s certified. It is $15.00 a document plus $50 to “expedite” (have it done now while you are there rather than wait four days – SKETCHY). Basically what this means is that the Office of the Secretary of State has a person that looks up the person that notarized your document to be sure they are actually a notary in good standing with the state. It takes two minutes. They staple a paper to the front of your document and its over. Your document is then officially State Authenticated. I sent our Fed Ex package that afternoon (Monday, April 6th) to our agency so she could add it to the other documents and Fed Ex to the courier service.
Last weekend we were in Spokane to see Ethan play drums in a concert. He does an amazing job and I love to see him play. Ethan is very musically inclined and can play several instruments. At school Ethan plays the viola in the Orchestra but this concert was for his Music School where Ethan takes drum lessons. The concert featured folks from the very young (maybe 6 or 7) to several in their 60’s and everything in-between. They tackled nearly every genre of music, it was pretty impressive to see.
On our little trip to see Ethan we found even more amazing eateries The first one was a little place called The Yellow Church Cafe in Ellensburg. I was surprised to find some gluten free options. We enjoyed a nice burger with a side of clam chowder before hoping back on the road. Stopping in Ritzville to see Kurt and Wanda we visited for a while before we were in need of more fuel we visited Cow Creek Mercantile for dinner. Unfortunately Kurt was on call and couldn’t join us for dinner. Usually everything I get from Cow Creek is spot on but my salad was underwhelming that evening for whatever reason. I love this place and the people that work there so we will give it another shot for sure. Next time I will try the GF pizza.
We checked in Spokane at the Courtyard by Marriott (points!) and later in the evening ordered a dismal GF pizza from Pizza Rita. Just no, the crust was too thick and sort of gummy and the sauce was nearly bitter. It was NOT our night. I generally check the ratings to be sure and should have done it for Pizza Rita, this is what I get for skipping that step.
In the morning Paul and I had breakfast at the beautiful Frank’s Diner. You usually have to wait but the food is delicious and Frank’s is in an old train car so it is beautiful. When you watch the cooks work it is pretty crazy how many work so effectively in a pretty small space.
After Ethan’s concert we had dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse Shogun. This is a hibachi style restaurant and you get dinner and a “show”. It is entertaining and a lot of fun. If you have not been to one I recommend it. The place has great ambiance and the show is fantastic. The food is not as good as Tokyo in Federal Way (no Yum Yum sauce?!?!). Please note that after seeing the antics of your chef for the evening your kids (or husband) may break a million eggs trying to perfect the technique. Bethany did this after a trip to Fuji Japanese Steakhouse years ago.
Sunday morning we got up and went to breakfast at the Satellite Diner. I had the Chili Cheese omelet and it was delicious. Diners have the best breakfasts and this was no exception. After breakfast we grabbed Gluten Free cupcakes at Boots Bakery you know, for the drive home. I have not had a cupcake in at least a year and a half and these were AMAZING. If they can just do one that is low carb, I’d have to live there. We bought a few and each of us had a teeny bit of each one. My favorites were the coconut one and the chocolate caramel but they were all perfect and delicious. I want Boots Bakery to open a branch here. I am stunned that Spokane has so many Gluten Free bakeries and we are hard pressed to come up with one.
Our last naughty stop was at the Red Horse Diner in Ellensburg. We’ve been here before and LOVE it. This place is a 50’s style diner and has fantastic food. We are talking the BEST onion rings and shakes you can imagine. The burgers are good but.. the onion rings are to die for. I cheated and had 2 onion rings. I PAID for it in spades. I am not sorry.
We had a simple (belated) Easter Celebration on Tuesday night. This was the only night we could all be there so you have to do what works. We made pizza and had a veggie tray, a green salad, a ton of fruit (blackberries, blueberries, mango slices, grapes), cookies and ice cream for dessert. It was a nice calm evening. The kids got a little chocolate and $$. We did not do the egg hunt this year this was just too much going on to pull it together. They usually have to HUNT for the money eggs. Next year I think Easter will be really crazy with the girls.
We found out this morning that our daughter Bethany got in to a masters program in global health practice and epidemiology at University of South Florida. That kid has a lot going on and I’m certain she will do great things. We are really proud of all Bethany’s accomplishments. We will so be going to Florida to “visit”. She just doesn’t even know. Florida has a ton of things I want to see so I think she is sunk.
I got up at 4am Wednesday morning and took my mom to the hospital to have surgery. She had a huge alien baby (which was actually a nest of 4 hernias) that needed to be removed. It was worse than the surgeon thought and took an extra hour to complete. The surgeon said she did well but they kept her in the hospital. Paul and I saw her in the evening and then went to the house to pick Cookie up and feed the kitties. Having Cookie at the house was nuts. She was greeted with a lot of “fanfare” from the other dogs. Snickers is like an overzealous groupie. He LOVES Cookie and gets a little stalker-ish around her. Our evening was spent trying to keep him away from her.
Wednesday I also took the boys shopping. Ethan needed some shorts for the summer. Kids grow like weeds! Let me get a plug in for Burlington Coat Factory. We picked up five pairs of shorts, most ran in the $15.00 range (everyone knows I LOVE a deal) and two packs of Puma socks. We moseyed down the mall and hit Old Navy and frankly I did MUCH better at Burlington Coat Factory. We did grab two pairs from Old Navy but the “sale” prices sucked. Seriously 2 pair of shorts for the same price as one. That is NOT a “sale” Old Navy!