Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Can See Clearly Now!

Sean took one HUGE item off my list ... the windows!!! Now, I'm not going to get you all excited thinking he actually DID them ... but, he did organize a guy and sign the cheque and that is good enough for me! Good god ... they were absolutely filthly ... it was a little embarassing but now they sparkle!!! Take a look for yourself...

And then I put my niece to work too ....

While all this work was going on Sean was ...

And Winston was ....

As for myself ... I went for a pedicure!!! God I love summer!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Trying Something New

You will notice I have set up a 'poll' on my sidebar. The purpose is twofold: 1) to assist me in choosing the right brand to purchase and 2) to try a new feature on Blogger. Please give voting a try and then if you have any comments add them to this post. Sorry, I only really know of 2 basic brands so .... if there are 'others' out there ... let me know! Looking for good swimming ones too! AND, if you have any suggestions on size ... bring it on ... I am struggling rookie!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Five Weeks to Cadence

In a matter of 5 weeks, Sean and I will instantly become parents ... a joyous and momentous occasion ... for us! For our sweet girl ... a totally different perspective ... almost everything she has come to know will begin to change - her caregivers, her language, her food, her surroundings. Although in time she will come to adjust, this day will be a difficult one for her and I am trying to prepare myself for that. I expect her to grieve ... and hard ... and as much as I am ready for this, it will break my heart that I will not be a source of comfort ... not yet anyway! I know it will come ... in time ... good things come to those who wait ... I know ALL about that!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Itinerary

We certainly have an action packed itinerary for our time in China.
August 30: Depart
August 31: Arrive in Beijing.
Sept. 1: Depart and arrive in Chongqing.
Sept. 2: Meet Cadence!!!!!!
Sept. 3: Civil Affairs to register our adoption. Trip to local department store.
Sept. 4: City tour.
Sept. 5: Day of rest ... somehow I don't think so!
Sept. 6: Nan Shan Park
Sept. 7: Chongqing Zoo.
Sept. 8: Depart and arrive in Beijing.
Sept. 9: Great Wall.
Sept. 10: Medical and Canadian Embassy visa appointments.
Sept. 11: Tian An Men Square and Forbidden City.
Sept. 12: Peking Duck Dinner.
Sept. 13: Depart and arrive HOME!

We are staying at the JIANGUO GARDEN HOTEL in Beijing and the HOLIDAY INN in Chongqing. Both look like nice spots ... we'll see!
If you click on the hotels you too can check them out.
Almost time to start packing ........

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lots to Share ...

First off, I want to thank my blog friend, Kristen, for customizing my new template ... it looks just AWESOME!!!! She has been a great wealth of knowledge and a dedicated follower, offering much support ... both technically and emotionally! Kudos to Kristen ... ps - love the new look of your site too!

Secondly, another big thank you to two of my friends and colleagues, Leah and Katie, who provided Cadence with the lovely gifts below. This kid is going to be a fashionista for sure ... love, love, love the camo hat!!! And these fine ladies even went to Chinatown for the gorgeous pink asian 'outfit'. Now, someone needs to clarify for me ... just what is the proper term for these outfits???

Thirdly ... making great progress on the finishing touches in Cadence's room! The pink velvet ribbon I'm going to use for the border should arrive next week and I have a very good friend working on some window treatments and I need to fill a couple of spaces on the wall ... but I may actually wait and perhaps use photos of the little angel herself ... it only makes sense. In any event ... here is a sneak peak ...

And last but not least ... we received our complete travel itinerary today! Unfortunately, it came as a word document, so I couldn't open it here ... I'll need to break into the school again! I do know that we depart on the 30 ... arrive on the 31st ... depart for Chonquing on Sept. 1st and get our girl on Sunday, September 2nd!!!! I am still in complete awe ... do you realize we leave 5 weeks from today??? Never thought I'd be wishing a summer away ......

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A human resource representative from our employer called today to let Sean know that his request for a paid leave has been granted ... phew! We were pretty sure they would, but ... until we had confirmation, we had to be prepared to lose 2 weeks of pay, in addition to my piddly UI benefits ... which, by the way, I am grateful for! I know many of our southern neighbours would 'kill' for our parental leave benefits here in Canada. Our employer also informed Sean that they were working on my leave and I should have some 'paperwork' in a few days. As an adoptive parent, my granted leave under the employment standards is 37 weeks which means I will be due to return to work sometime in May. I've already put Cadence on a wait list for the daycare at my school for September 2008, but I will need to find care from mid May to the end of June ... guess I better add that to my list!

Monday, July 23, 2007


I think I have finally gone over the top! I have always NEEDED my ToDo lists in order to function, keep on track and basically, get things done ... what can I say ... it's in the genes! Well, today I think I may have taken the list thing to a new level. Today, I created a Room by Room To Do List. I jotted down every task I'm hoping to get done in each and every room in the house. Along with that I made a separate calendar and penciled in the days I plan to tackle each room, the weeks I plan to shop and pack, as well as weekends away (which are few and far between, I might add, as time is running out ... YAY!). And of course I still have the packing lists and the daily To Do Lists to keep me busy. Is this an addiction? obsession? compulsion? Do you think I need 'intervention'? (Nancy ... you are not permitted to answer that question!). Let me tell you this though ... I am ahead of schedule!



It worked!!!! Thank you P and K for your assistance. I must say the 2 of you are way more help than the Blogger Help Site!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Can't Keep Up!

I am WAY behind on updating the blogs on my sidebar ... and I'm thinking, I'm just not going to manage it at all. Instead, once I get a bit of time to 'play' around, I'll just put all the blogs I really enjoy following altogether in one list. In the meantime ... please go to www.dwimble.com and click on Videos on their sidebar to view a Gotcha in action. This baby is absolutely precious!~!! I'm thinking our experience with Cadence will more than likely be similar to the babies in the background ... you may want to adjust the volume ... poor little darlings!
PS - Can anyone tell me how to format that address so all anyone has to do is click on it? Is that what is known as a hyper link?
Keep in mind ... I use Mac!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Another Jean Queen!

Just this morning, I had a little chat with Jody about purchasing outfits for Cadence and how I needed to refrain from buying her any more denim ... spoke too soon! Old Navy had these darling little capri jeans that we just had to have ... a girls gotta have jean capris ... they're a wardrobe stable for goodness sakes! I think 8 pairs of jeans and 4 jean skirts are a good start ...

Not to mention the 6 or 7 jean dresses ...

What else is in the closet???? A lot of PINK!!! I just hope Cadence doesn't have the same problem with her jeans that her mother has ... I hope her jeans FIT!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Something Fun ...

You Are Strawberry Cake

Fresh, sassy, and romantic.
You're a total flirt, who never would turn down a sugary treat.
Occasionally you're a bit moody - but you usually stay sweet!

Hmmm ... very interesting!


Oh my god! ... we are booked! ... we have a flight! ... and we are leaving for China in LESS than 6 weeks!!! We decided to leave a day earlier so that we are travelling with our group; besides having strength in numbers, a couple who've BTDT, it will be a great opportunity to really get to know everyone! We depart on August 30th at 2:10pm and will arrive back in T.O. on September 13th at 6:15 in the evening. It is still hard to believe that this is actually, really and truly, happening. Having a hard time getting my head out of the clouds ....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Making Progress!

Today I have to say I worked hard ... along with my friend Alicia whom I recruited for her artistic abilities.
First off, I want to THANK Di for suggesting I add more colour to the back of the bookshelf ... it was a great idea at the time!
Do you have any idea how much taping was involved in this endeavour, not to mention the odd body configurations I had to
get into in order to paint parts of it? Okay, I will admit, when all was said and done ... I was more than happy with the outcome! See for yourself ...

Then Alicia came by to do the 'embellishment' on the wall ... she is a master!

Last, but not least (and after an inspirational beverage), we completed the canvases. Now I just need to figure out how to get them all in straight lines on the wall!

I'm hoping to have everything in the room and on the walls by the end of next week (except for the velvet ribbon which is on order). You will need to wait until then to see Cadence's room in its completed state. So far I'm pretty stoked!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

8 Months!

Wow ... I realized today that Cadence is 8 months old! We are just so lucky! She will be just under 10 months when we meet for the first time!
Thank you to my blog friend Kristen for adding her photos to the sidebar and Renee, Wanda, Kaitlyn ... your comments were published and I have had the opportunity to read them ... thank you for your kind words ... I am the luckiest mom to be in the world!

Introducing Cadence QianLi Marie

Since I couldn't manage to post this to the right (or replace our profile image) I am trying a trick divulged by my friend Penny.
When you log on, this should be the entry you see ... new entries will be posted below it (provided I do this correctly!). By the way, as you can see from the title, we have made a final decision on her name.

New Batteries

I finally acquired new batteries so I could upload some pictures ... I do have one of those sets of rechargeable batteries but I don't find they are all they are cracked up to be ... your thoughts?
Anyway, I was so busy serving champagne and mingling that I didn't even break out the camera ... except to take a photo of the cake Jody and Rui brought (THANK YOU GUYS!) as well as some of the lovely 'best wishes' friends gave.

Just get a look at this little number ... do you think it comes in my size?

How about these jammies ... Mommy! Daddy! It still doesn't feel real.
And of course NO outfit is complete without a funky pink purse!

AND check this out ... do I really think Cadence will 'lounge' around with her sippy cup and shades like a good girl?
YES ... at least long enough for one good photo ... PLEASE! It's just too cute!

Thanks for ALL of the lovely gifts ... there were more! And thanks again to everyone who came to support and celebrate with us! We hope you enjoyed the closing ceremony of the K***** Adults Only Resort!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Decisions, Decisions ....

Sean and I have been racking our brains and seeking assistance around a few decisions with respect to travel. First we needed to decide whether to book a seat for Cadence on the way back ($$$). At the onset, we were committed to doing so for a number of reasons; convenience being the major factor, but after several responses to my queries, we decided to forego it and hope for the best ... yikes! Yes, it's 13 hours, but it will end and we will survive! Then we came to realize the others from our
group have decided to fly a day early to combat some of the jet lag ... hmmm! Our main focus was safety in numbers ... we don't want to be all alone at that big, foreign airport so ...... it looks like we will fly out on the 30th instead (providing there is room on the plane) and still return home on September 13th.
We met with our family doctor yesterday and our SW and both gave us no reason to decline our referral so, our acceptance letter and documents were dropped off at UPS this morning ... this is really happening!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tag ... I'm IT!

A little off topic today ...
I was tagged by another blog I visit and am required to discuss my nicknames. I honestly have to admit, I don't really recall using a lot of nicknames in my past or present. My parents often referred to me as Debelina (on account of my lack of height ... recall Thumbelina?) and my father would often refer to me as ... no comments please ... 'The Queen" (and that I believe had to do with my 'attitude'!). Other than that I would have to say most of my friends refer to me by my last name ... we all kind of do that actuallly! So there you have it ... a tidbit from my past! And now I get to tag ... Penny, Kristen ... you are both IT!

Still don't have new batteries for my camera but it is on my list!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Celebrate Cadence!!!

Last night we brought many of our closest friends and family together to celebrate!!! I was overwhelmed and overjoyed that so many friends and family were able to join in celebrating this amazing journey with us. We are very lucky indeed!!! This little angel of ours has no idea how very much she is loved already by so many ... that was clear!
Despite the stipulation of 'best wishes only', Cadence received many lovely things ... I do plan to post pics soon ... once I replace the dead batteries in my camera!
Sean and I want to thank everyone there (even those in spirit) for all of your support. Words are simply not adequate enough to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to each and everyone of you!!! From the bottom of our hearts ... THANK YOU!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Too Organized?

Yesterday, after spending about a half hour carefully filling out our visa forms, I received a message from CB that China had just that day sent NEW visa forms that were required after July 15th. Okay, I can redo! Then today we received another message that the province we are going to no longer requires brand new US bills to cover the fees ... they now require Chinese yuan. Naturally, I managed to obtain pristine US cash back at Christmas ... now I'll have to close out the safety deposit box and convert the cash to traveller cheques. No worries ... these are all things I can handle. Perhaps I needn't have been so organized in the first place...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sean's Pick ...

My ever lovin, overly obsessed Notre Dame fan, husband Sean has picked out the following 'outfit' for our daughter ...

Honestly! I believe we have reached a compromise and will order the hoodie instead.
We are in the throws of paperwork ... have some documents to fax today regarding travel arrangements and have to redo our visas ... after I filled them out, CB sent an email with an attachment for the NEW visa forms now required ... oh well, I truly don't mind! We are also preparing for a little celebration with friends and family this weekend. If any of you who follow our blog are around this weekend, please feel free to drop by Saturday evening ... only request ... send a little message so I can make sure I order enough 'snacks'! Oh, and best wishes only please!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Special Delivery

At approximately 1:15 our referral package arrived via Purolator containing Cadence's photos and documents. We learned that she was found abandoned in the front area of Qianjiang District Stadium, Chongqing City on November 20, 2006. That just breaks my heart. (Who would have guessed at the time she would end up in the arms of one the biggest sports fans I know!) The police were notified, 'handled' her and the 'investigation', then brought her to the social welfare institute. After a few days she was examined at a hospital where she measured 48.2 cm in height and 3.0 kg in weight. He birthdate was estimated to be November 18th based on her development and umbilical cord. She was found with only her worn clothes. My poor little angel!

On a positive note, she is reported to be in a loving home with a regular routine and a sound diet. AND she will be united with us in early September ... that's right ... we have a travel date!!! We leave as two on August 31st and return as a family of three on September 13th!!! We couldn't be more excited!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

20 Months!

I almost forgot that today marks twenty months since our file was logged in China ... 20 months ... a FAR cry from the original 6-8 months presumed when we embarked upon this journey. However, THIS month there is a sense of peace in knowing who our angel is and knowing that we will be united with her soon. Her file will arrive tomorrow ... can't wait for that brown UPS van to arrive! We will share the additional information with you then!

By the way, thanks for the tips on adding Cadence's photo to the sidebar ... I manage all the way to choosing the photo but then it attempts to upload forever, until I give up. Kristen, if you have any insight go for it! Thanks!

Monday, July 9, 2007

I have been trying to add ,this, my favourite photo of our wee angel to our side bar page elements but haven't had any luck so ... I may just post it each and everytime I add a new entry!
Things have calmed down since the weekend ... although I did manage (after a whole 48 hours) to fit in a bit of shopping ... the girl needs some outfits! Tomorrow I thing I'm going to check out that carpet and a small dresser. Today though was all about the yard ... landscapers came, resodded, threw down some river rock ... cleaned things up nicely ... now I'm sitting here waiting for it to rain! It's threatened off and on today but so far nothing! I will give it until about 8:30 and then I guess I'll have to pull out the hoses ... argh!
I'm thinking Cadence's complete translated file will most likely arrive by Wednesday or Thursday and then we will have some additional information about her and some appointments to follow up with our doctor and social worker. Everyone's big question now is "When do you go?" NOT SOON ENOUGH I can tell you!!! I would think we will have a travel date booked in about 2 weeks ... that doesn't mean we are going in 2 weeks ... in fact it will be more like two MONTHS! Hang in there, if we can
do it ... surely you can! Oh, and please keep your fingers crossed that my friend Penny gets her referral ... tomorrow ... early in the morning!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Sean and I continue to be overwhelmed by the amount of support we continue to receive from friends and family both near and far ... we are truly blessed!!! Thank you for all the emails and good wishes. In time we will make every effort to thank each and everyone of you personally. We have had a number of visitors over the past couple of days and let me tell you, this little bundle is loved already ...

AND already my mother is showing me up! She has FRAMED photos of Cadence in her home ... I guess that comes from being an experienced Baba.

Yes, that's a wedding photo of Sean and I in the background. I gave that to my mother for Christmas ... this past Christmas. We'll have been married ten years this August ... yeah ... do the math!
Well, off to get working on the finishing touches in Cadence's room ...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What We Know ...

Alright, after a crazy ... good crazy ... evening, our feet are firmly planted back on solid ground! What an extreme high we were on last night ... we took that baby picture EVERYWHERE!!! Things certainly did not go as 'planned' though, I can tell you. We had the camcorder all charged up, paper and pen ready by the phone and the intention of not revealing 'her' until after I fed exed the photo overnight to my aunt who would then call me when my mother arrived at her place and who would then hand me the phone and my mother the package. THAT was 'the plan'.
Now here is how it all went down...
A couple of girlfriends had dropped in for the afternoon and we sat around chatting and enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. After Laurie left, I grabbed the computer to check for updates ... nothing ... and at about 4:30 I accepted that Monday was going to be the day! Just as Mary was leaving ... the phone RANG! Donna had news ... and it was good! Poor gal was subjected to my hysterics as we caught the first glimpse of our daughter ... it was magical! I then called my sister and told her ... "Check your hotmail and call me back!" Click. Can you believe that! Then we opened the champagne and had a toast upstairs in Cadence's room ... ahhh! From there, it was phone madness I tell you! I called my mom, talked to my sister, called a few friends, talked to my mom ... again ... and then Mary's husband came by and Martha and Jim ... it was a celebration! Dave and Mary treated us to a fantastic dinner at my favourite restaurant ... we brought Cadence with us of course and showed her off! Oh, and I need to add that NOTHING was captured on film!
And so this morning I am happy and calm and able to provide you with some details about Cadence:
Her original name is Qian Li Yao.
She was born on Nov. 18, 2006.
She is in foster care in Chongqing City in the Province of Sichuan.
On April 18th she was 61 cm long and weighed 6.1 kg.
She is described as active and restless (quite like her dad I'd say!) and likes to imitate and loves music.
That is all we know so far.
Thank you EVERYONE for all of your heartfelt comments ... we couldn't be happier!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Heaven Sent ...

us an angel!!! Gotta make alot of calls, but here is a quick pic of our beautiful daughter!

Long Labour!

Well my friends ... young and old ... looks like it will be a long labour ... right over the weekend.
I'm expecting that phone to ring EARLY Monday morning ... do you hear me CB!!!
Just sittin' out chillin by the pool with a couple of gals and Coronitas ... ahhhhh ... life IS good!

Nothing yet ...

Almost noon here and ... NOTHING ... yet! Thanks for checking in and sending all the good wishes. Going to 'chilax' by the pool now, beside the phone and ice bucket filled with a little bubbly ... ya know ... in case I get thirsty!

Hmm ... having trouble with these posts over the last 12 hours. Blogger is telling me it published successfully, but then ... it doesn't! Anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions?

It is now official ....

Oh yeah!!!! Now as long as our file didn't get lost, misplaced, misdirected ... which could happen with 30,000 files sitting around ... we should be good to go! Fingers crossed ... just in case!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Can't sleep ...

This wouldn't post at 1:30 last night ... Second attempt ..

Well, I spent about 2 hours in bed but I just couldn't get to sleep! I am sitting here with a hot cup of Neo Citron ... that's right ... I'm sick! Isn't that what is supposed to happen when you are trying to enjoy your first week of holidays? My throat feels like it has swallowed glass and my ears ache ... but, despite that, I am still in good spirits!
I decided to check things out in the adoption community while enjoying my 'drink' and realized I have had almost 2000 visitors in one day alone! Nothing like impending referrals and baby pictures to capture everyone's attention huh!? I think it is just great! Following the blogs and listening to the trials and tribulations of waiting parents and returning parents has really been helpful in getting me through this long wait ... thanks! You know I've never really been one to 'journal' and though I haven't 'spilled' my guts completely, I have put a little of myself out there ... it's been good therapy!
And now, as I sit here and reflect, I imagine a little one out there ... who is ours ... and doesn't even know it yet, poor thing. In a few short months three peoples' lives, from opposite ends of the world, will be forever changed. Change is good!

Tomorrow ? ... Possibly!

Well, perhaps by tomorrow we will know whether we have a Cadence or a George (relax, we aren't going to name a child George ... no offense to the Georges of the world though!). Calls are currently being made to waiting parents on the west coast of the US which means we could hear by tomorrow and if not ... for sure Monday.
Sean and I were going to go for dinner last Monday, but decided we'd wait it out, in case we had something to celebrate toward the end of the week ... I just had a feeling about Friday! And yesterday, I saw the most perfect area rug for Cadence's room ... y'all will be surprised to learn ... I resisted!!! My intention was to go home and get the paint swatches to ensure it would match properly ... and upon further reflection decided George would most likely not appreciate the daisy rug ... the store is closing so ... final sale!!!! You see, I can be reasonable when it comes to purchases. But as soon as we know who this baby is ....
Please enjoy this beautiful piece of jewelry I received as a gift from my sister ... I have only taken it off to take the photo ... it is a keeper! Thanks Marn ... you will be the first to know ... sorry Baba ... those long distance will have to wait a BIT longer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

An R5!!!

Our esteemed 'Queen' has declared the November 14th cutoff as an R5 ... that means we are IN!!!! We are about to become parents any day now (provided there are no glitches!) ... having virtual contractions at this very moment! It is a little overwhelming to be honest ... I'm nervous about who she or he is, what he or she looks like, how old he or she is, where he or she is (in foster care? an orphanage?). There will be a lot to do and a lot of emotions to sort through over the next week ... bear with me! Now for the sad news ... I don't think we will be getting the call until Monday ... yeah, that's right ... we're going to have to tough it out over the weekend ... blah! By then my router should be set up and ready to forward that 'wee' face to everyone we know!!! I think the worst is behind us ..........

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What Timing!!!@*&!

Okay folks ... we have an R4 that referrals have been mailed and should be arriving anyday now. It would look something like this:

I wasn't really planning on putting this out there for you family types just yet ... didn't want to get you all excited or anything ... BUT, I have been DYING to post that picture and it just so happens that my modem is FRIED! To the non computer literate types ... that means I have NO INTERNET ACCESS ... until Friday ... at the earliest! Which means, I. won't. know. ANYTHING!!!! I have a few choice words I would like to add but I will spare you them! Currently, I have broken into the school (was supposed to hand my keys in ... but ... refused!) in order to check up dates and let you know what is going on. I will try to do this nightly, but it sure is a far cry from the constant checking I do (about 10 times a day!). So there you have it. We just might be parents in a few days ... but you won't know about it! Sorry ... wish I could share more! I guess things could always be worse ....

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007

This just in from our agency ...

To our knowledge matching has not begun at the CCAA. We are not expecting the referrals for Group 249 to arrive until the week of July 9-13th. We will send another update once they have arrived with more information.

Each time they have said this, referrals arrived within a day or two of the newsletter ... this time, however, I believe they WILL be
delayed until next week. BUT, I think it is time to get prepared ......... WOW!

Happy Birthday to .....

My cousin Denise in Calgary who enters ... what, her mid thirties today???? Yes ... really!

My best friend Jody in London ... Ontario who turns FORTY today!!!!!

And of course my buddy Winston who is 10 years old today!

And also to Canada who I believe is 140 years old today.

Wishing everyone a great day!!!!