Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers

Review Room

Can I PLEASE be out of the review room soon! It was my Christmas wish this year. I see that you are running a bit behind and I am patiently waiting. Please don't make me wait too much longer!! It's driving me bonkers and it's making me check your website EVERY day! ...Pretty please with a cherry on top!! :)


Here is my mom's furry baby, Tolly. She is a yorkie just like Pirate!!! Cute, huh?

Giorgia's Mini Tree

I am still looking for that 3ft. White Christmas tree for Giorgia. CAN'T find it anywhere. I should have bought it a month ago! Argh. Anyway, I stumbled this ugly little white, red, and silver tree.

This is how I revamped it. (click on tree to enlarge)

I matched it to her faux sky wall. Soon, I will add some homemade crystal ornaments. (gotta have sparkly). I also temporarily covered the red base. When it's warmer out, I will repaint it so it looks a little nicer. So, she'll only have this one little tree in her room until I can find the 3ft one. Maybe next year!

Save the Dolphins

World's Tallest Man Saves China Dolphins
Thursday, December 14, 2006 7:28 AM EST
The Associated Press

“BEIJING (AP) — The long arms of the world's tallest man reached in and saved two dolphins by pulling out plastic from their stomachs, state media and an aquarium official said Thursday.
The dolphins got sick after nibbling on plastic from the edge of their pool at an aquarium in Liaoning province. Attempts to use surgical instruments to remove the plastic failed because the dolphins' stomachs contracted in response to the instruments, the China Daily newspaper reported.
Veterinarians then decided to ask for help from Bao Xishun, a 7-foot-9 herdsman from Inner Mongolia with 41.7-inch arms, state media said.”
"Some very small plastic pieces are still left in the dolphins' stomachs," Zhu Xiaoling, a local doctor, told Xinhua. "However the dolphins will be able to digest these and are expected to recover soon."

see complete article

Holiday Traditions?

Looking for Holiday Traditions. As a single person, my holiday traditions are not very "child" friendly. I think I've spent 10 or so of the last Christmas in Sunny Key West and on Christmas day, my mom and I usually go to the theatre and watch three movies and eat lots of candy. I know some of you are probably cringing right now but it works for us. I still decorated my home for the holidays and enjoy the spirit and gift giving. I still visit with family and friends. But, it's hard to do it "on" Christmas. Everyone has their families and their obligations. Some of you singles out there might get what I mean. Anyway, when I was younger, we had more traditional holidays. Now that the holidays are in full swing, I think about my first Christmas with my daughter? (may she PLEASE, PLEASE be hear by Xmas 2007)

So, this brings me to holiday tradition. I am looking to start some holiday traditions with the two of us! I am accepting ideas! I would love to hear of traditions that are very special to you now or want to create with your child once home! Drop me a comment and help me create some special cool holiday traditions! Thanks.


Okay...this sucks... I mean...did they have to say "DISHCLOTH" ???? :(

You are Dishcloth Cotton.You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.
Take this

My Fish Tree

This year, I'm really not ready for Christmas. I "thought" that my Giorgia would be home by now. But she won't be and I'm just not in the mood for all the decorating! I have a couple 3 ft. trees that I will put up but the big one won't happen this year. This is one of my little themed trees that I have up. It's my fish tree!

Air Travel with Kids

Found this interesting tip on one of my newsletters. For all of you BTDT parents...this is probably not new news but for some of us first-timers...I found it informative!!! "Traveling by Air with Kids" Allow extra time for getting through security, especially if you're taking a car seat & stroller. Sometimes the stroller doesn't fit through the scanner and they have to take it off somewhere to manually scan it. Make sure you put bottle, sippy cups, anything with liquid in it in a ziplock back they will leak in flight do to the pressure. I always take DOUBLE the diapers you think you need onboard. We have sat for hours on runways due to Air Traffic Control problems or weather. Being 4 1/2 mos. old, you aren't needing REAL milk, but for others reading this, a lot of airlines no longer carry milk as it winds up getting tossed at the next stop."
...this is a work in progress...tips anyone?
Things that I have read that parents are bringing to help entertain the kids:

FOOD: cracker snacks, fruit snacks, Cherrios, Pepperidge Farm gold fish, Chex cereal, dum dum pops -- give them all wrapped up and it is an activity to open them AND to eat them.

TOYS: portable DVD player small stuffed animals, stacking cups, animal flash cards, tiny IKEA finger puppets (a big hit), little Fisher Price people, new books she has not seen before, crayons if they are old enough, stickers, a sticker book that has the static cling stickers that you can stick over and over

MISC: blanket, a full change of clothes

Gigi Books

I stumbled across another adoption blog and I saw two of these new books that they had just purchased for their future daughter! They look so cute. I think I will head out to Borders to check them out in person. I'm learning not to buy books online. Sometimes it's just the cover that I'm attracted to. So, the inside has to match the outside and the story has to be cute! Hopefully Borders will have them for me to look at! Anyone seen them before?

Starfish Story

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide. The man was stuck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf. As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Diaper Bag

Cool Bag. I am thinking about getting it. Yet I already have 3!

Baby Sherpa Diaper BackpackThe First 4-in-1 Diaper Bag, Cooler, Video & Parent Pack All in One and Easy On Your Back

Easy clean
Water Resistant
Lifetime Warranty *
Fits as carry on luggage for all airlines
Padded pocket to hold camcorder or breast pump
Deep inside compartment with zippered pocket and 1st Aid compartment
Cell phone/PDA/Sunglass case
Soft-sided cooler integrated into the backpack (holds 6-8 canned beverages)
Modular insulated pocket holds large-size baby bottles
Mesh water bottle holder
Toy loops
Bungee X Cord to hold jackets, toys, blankets
Oversized changing pad 26" x 17"
Touch as nails zipper with easy pull
Heavy duty lug handle
Reflective tape for safety

Diaper Bag Contents

First time parent? I am? Still trying to figure out everything that should go in a Diaper Bag. Here's what I found:

Here's what's inside the Diaper Bag
put all this stuff in labeled ziplock bags and so that it's easy to put in Diaper Bag once in China. But when getting it ready first put all in Bag to make sure it fits.
One bottle of water for making formula
One bottle of water (two packs of Crystal Light mix)
Five Huggies diapers
Two disposable changing pads
One travel size package of wipes
Diaper Disposable Bags
Diaper Rash Ointment
Two plush toys (hang from little "nooses" on bag)
One package of Gerber Graduates Mini-Fruits
Wallet with money
Digital Camera extra battery extra memory
Zone bar (snack for mom)
Small hairbrush
Baby nail clippers
Thermos with hot water
pacifier with pacifier clip
Vinyl bib
Three single serving sized baby formula
Playtex nurser (bottle) with small bottle of juice inside.
Small sippy cup juice inside
Five disposable adhesive placemats
baby silverware
One small covered container with suction bottom
teething ring
Light green receiving blanket
One pair of pink socks with non-slip soles
Motrin or Tylenol for mom
One pair of pink lightweight pants
One "onesie"
lightweight baby sweater
One terrycloth/velcro shopping cart handle cover.
lightweight sweater for Mommy!

Ziplock with chapstick, hair bands, disinfectant wipes, mirror, bandaides and pill container with Advil, etc. makeup

Thanksgiving 2006

Tia, Codi, Chris (My Brother), Sophia, My Mom, Me & Pirate

Pet Peeves

Since I have a little doggie, my spin will be about dogs and babies. I am sure that this applies to any type of pet.

(Pirate & Moorea)
Anyway, they say that your dog will probably be jealous of the new baby. So, here are a few of their recommended tips on making the adjustment easier. They say that most pets are concerned with territory and that they like predictability and routine. So, if you plan on doing a nursery or switching up the layout of the sooner you rearrange your house the more time the pet will have time to adjust. Let your dog hang out in the baby’s room and get used to it. Let the pet sniff the baby while you hold her. Smell their clothing. Don’t forget that your pet is just like a baby, it wants love and attention. Don’t forget to give these things to your pet as well. Maybe even neighbors can come and play with the pet to help you out. Some pets urinate on the baby toys, they are not angry, but marking their territory. Try to figure out how to help him to solve this problem. One thing this article said was that your dogs moves from top dog to underdog after baby comes, he will likely be confused, and a confused dog is more likely to form negative associations with a new baby. Try to expose your pet to babies and children before yours comes home. Obedience school is also another positive thing for your pet. Fighting over toys frequently happens; try to keep the dog toys and the baby’s toys separate. Always take away the baby toy from the dog and redirect him with a toy of his own. When the dog plays with his own toys, reward him.


My mom made it on TV. (2 segments)

Baby JetLag once Home

I'd love to hear what you have on overcoming jet lag with a 9 month old baby! Tiffany (Needing sleep!)
Tiffany, first off, I have to say that Eliza is such a beautiful little girl!!! I just love her giggle! I'm so happy for the both of you!!!
Okay, so this is what I’ve found on Baby Jet Lag once home. Hope something in this post will help. Seems like it does take time. You won’t feel like a zombie forever and both you and Eliza will be on US time very soon!!! :)
I’ve read that babies adjust about one hour per day, so you can expect it to take about twelve days for her to get on the clock with her sleep.

The things that I’ve read that have helped others were to try and get back into a schedule as much as you can. Try to get up at a normal time and go to bed at your usual time. No matter how hard it is, keep her awake during the day! Go to the store, play outside, have music on, dance.... whatever it takes. Allow her two naps, but remember you may have to wake her and suffer her crankiness a bit.

Getting out in the sunlight helps adjustment. Both you and your baby need to “Get Outside” in daylight as much as possible. This is supposed to help reset your internal clock.

Limit her daytime naps to two hours. Depriving her of sleep altogether during the day can't force her to adjust faster -- it will just make everybody unhappier all day long.

Make sure her room stays dark at night and very light/bright during the day. She needs to learn that daytime is for being awake, and nighttime is for sleeping. (Do this only until she is on your schedule)

If your daughter is awake in the middle of the night, you can stay up with her in her room, with the lights very low, and played very quietly until she fell asleep again a few hours later. One person post that if she awakes at night, NEVER take her out of her crib. You can stay in the room and comfort her but make sure that she stays in the crib with the lights OFF or dim. Don’t make your little one think that it’s playtime in the middle of the night!

Jet Lag Tips

*Get less sleep and eat less than normal the few days before leaving. On the plane select juice from the drinks offered. And don't think about what time it is back home. Change the time on your watch upon takeoff.

*Water. If you drink lots of cold water, you will breeze you through the jet lag.

*Bring eyeshades and earplugs. They're indispensable!

*Go to bed extra early about 2 nights before a trip. The day of my trip, I'll go to bed around 7 p.m. (using a sleep aid usually)

If you’re jet lagged, you probably feel some (or all) of the following:
Poor coordination;
Swelling limbs;
Ear/nose/eye irritations;
Bowel irregularity; and
Loss of appetite

One of the secrets of seasoned international travelers is to book flights that arrive at night. That way you can go to sleep as soon as you get to your hotel. This helps you get adjusted to local time – you go to bed late at night once you arrive, and then wake up the next morning and fall in step with the local time zone.

*During your flight, get up and walk around every few hours. Not only will this little bit of exercise help alleviate jet lag, it will also ward off blood clots (a very dangerous, although rare, side effect of long distance air travel).

*Stay well hydrated during airline travel. In addition to helping your body fend off jet lag, good hydration will help your body resist the nasty germs that are inherent in the re-circulated air on planes.

*Some international travelers swear by melatonin. Available over-the-counter, melatonin is a hormone your body naturally produces at night. Supposedly, it tricks your body into resetting its sleep/wake cycle. If you take melatonin in the morning it will delay your bedtime; if you take it at night, melatonin encourages your body to sleep. (It’s probably wise to consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.) Furthermore, researchers have found that taking supplements of vitamin B-12 and vitamin C can help you fend off jet lag.

*Use the complimentary earplugs and blindfold.

*Invest in an inflatable pillow.

Melatonin, which had been available as a food supplement in health food stores, has been shown to be of help in reducing jet lag. Its effect is opposite that of exposure to light, so it helps to reset our biological clock by inducing “chemical darkness”. It has also been of benefit to many others with sleep disorders.

The recommended dosage, according to one expert, is as follows:

• For eastward flight, take 3 mg per day in the late afternoon prior to departure, and then for four more days at your destination, at the local bedtime.

• For westward flight, only take at local bedtime for four nights after arrival at your destination.

It seemed to work for me, but that is hardly scientific. Government authorities also seemed a bit skeptical about melatonin, not so much because of its use in sleep disorders, but perhaps because it was being promoted for everything else, from removing cellulite to improving one’s sex life. Correct dosages and potential side effects have not been adequately studied. So until that time, it may be prudent to search for other ways of dealing with this problem. Considering that it is no longer legally available in Canada, I shall not dwell on it.

Dove Beauty

I got this from Elise who got it from Janet!


I've done so much freaking research and I am trying to organize everything. Those that know me, know I'm a little nuts when it comes to research. Anyway, it's hard when you just don't know where to start. So, I am asking all of you, is there anything adoption related that you would like info on? Anything at all? I'll be happy to share what I've found! :)
I will post research below....

Activites to Promote Attachment (Long)

This is an article that I found very, very interesting. We have all heard about attachment and the issues regarding this, but it hard to find out exactly what we as adoptive parent need to actually do to promote healthy attachment.

These are suggestions from therapists and parents of RAD kids
1. Wear infant in a chest carrier, all day if possible, facing IN.
2. Mom should initially be the only person who is meeting the baby's needs. Baby needs to build a bond with one person first, then she can branch out to others.
3. Bathe together, to promote skin to skin contact. Baby & Mom can wear the same lotion so baby associates scent with mom.
4. If you use cologne (or if you don't, use your shampoo), place a tiny bit on her arm so she has your smell with her at all times.
5. Laminate loving family pictures of you together and put around her crib and other places.
6. Outline her body, as well as your own on huge sheets of newsprint. Color them (great activity). Tape the "portraits" to her ceiling.
7. When feeding her something she particularly likes, tell her you are a good mommy/daddy. Telling her with words that you are a good mommy is important -- otherwise, how would she know?!
8. Play with dolls to act out how parents always return after child goes to day care, babysitter, bed, etc.
9. Draw cartoon panels of the day's routine, so that your child can see that Mom and Child always come back to the same home together. Anxiety and stress can interfere with auditory processing, so it is important to use something visual that can be held in the hand.
10. Give your child a laminated picture of the family to carry with her all the time.
11. Limit choices. At first parents should make all decisions, including foods, toys and clothes. This helps the child feel safe. Then as the child becomes accustomed to the new family, limited choices can be given, e.g. a choice between 2 foods.
12. Dress alike. Wear the same colors, type of outfit, accessories, hairstyle, etc. and point out how you look alike.
13. Claim your child. Tell her she belongs to you. Give her a big hug and say "MINE!" Make up songs about your family, e.g.:I am your MomYou're my sweet girlJust like a pearlso rare and preciousYou are mineand I am yours'Cause together we're a family.

Encourage Eye Contact
"Look in my eyes. Don't look away" - Mr. Soil from Bug's Life
1. Bottle feed no matter what the age. Encourage eye contact by gently touching her cheek. DO NOT let her hold the bottle. Nourishment has to come from parent(s); be sure to hold her when feeding.
2. If she turns away (avoiding eye contact) try placing a large mirror accross from you. That way, when she turns away, she will see herself in your embrace.
3. Continue to hold her in your gaze. It may take a long time for her to glance at you. When she finally does, be ready with a warm, loving, approving smile. This sounds little, but is really big and pays big rewards in our experience.
4. Encourage eye contact by gently tapping the bridge of her nose and yours as a hand-signal to look at you.
5. Stroke her cheek.
6. Put her hands on your cheeks. Children's eyes often go where their hands are.
7. Play Peek-a boo. This develops the concept of object permanence (that even if you can't see something, it's still there). For kids who are still anxious about Mommy leaving, repeat "Where's the Baby? Here's the Baby! Where's Mommy? Here's Mommy! Mommy goes to work, Mommy comes home!" to emphasize the message that Mommy always comes back.
8. Have baby pull a sticker off your nose - and put it back.
9. Wear a stick-on dot or earring as a "beauty mark."
10. Stare into each other's eyes. If your child can keep eye contact for 20 seconds, feed her a chocolate kiss or candy heart. Increase the amount of time.
11. MUSICAL NOSE - Sing a song and let your child pinch your nose so you sound very silly. You stop singing if she breaks eye contact.
12. MUSICAL SWING - put child in baby swing. Face her as you push. Encourage eye contact by singing a song, and stopping if she looks away.
13. Fill your cheeks with air. Have child "pop" them.
14. Take turns feeding each other. This works great with raisins, cheerios, and popcorn.
15. Eskimo kisses - rub noses and stare into each others eyes.
16. Play in front of a mirror. Make faces, paint Mommy's face, trace each other's faces on the mirror with washable marker, finger paint with shaving cream. Let your child be your puppet and make her dance. Make dolls dance. Any kind of game that gets your child to relax and meet your eyes in the mirror, will likely get her relaxed enough to meet your eyes directly.
17. Instead of using an actual mirror, take turns being each other's mirror. Sit face to face, and have your child imitate every facial movement you make, and vice versa. Then try it with your whole body, mirroring each other's movements.
18. For an older child, try lipreading with each other. While you're not really getting eye contact, you're at least looking at each other's faces.

Games which Encourage Attachment
1. Play hide and seek (also develops object permanence).
2. Play catch! Roll a ball back and forth (teaches reciprocity). Throwing or batting a balloon back and forth may be easier than throwing a ball for little ones.
3. Hold baby in your arms and dance with her. A very synchronous activity.
4. Swim together.
5. Paint each others faces with paint, power, or just pretend.
6. Put lotion on each other.
7. A Memory game but with a more personal touch: Have your child look you over very carefully. Then leave the room and return after you've changed something about yourself. See if she can figure out what is different. It could be something really obvious for younger kids, like taking off a sweater, but for older kids you could get more challenging, like buttoning one more button on the sweater.
8. Guess the Goodies: Put several small treats in a bag or cup. child closes their eyes. You pop a treat in their mouth and they try to guess what it is.
9. Tunnels: Parents kneel on floor forming a tunnel. Child crawls through the tunnel as fast as they can before the tunnel collapses. first few times let child get completely through, then have it gently collapse onto child.
10. Pillow ride: have child sit on big floor pillow and you drag them around the room. You only move when given eye contact.
11. M&M hockey: Use bendy straws and blow candy across table to other persons goal. When you score a goal, the opponent feeds you the candy.
12. Marshmallow fight: Each person uses a pillow as a shield. Sit on the floor and throw marshmallows at each other. Gets wild and crazy and is a lot of fun. Can do the same with crumpled paper.
13. Crawling into arms: Child starts in corner of room. Cannot start until adult says go. Start by saying "lo", "mo" etc. instead of "go" to help child learn to attend better. Then child crawls across room as fast as they can to you. You are standing on other side of room and make a large circle with arms. Child needs to stand up in the circle. gradually reduce the size of the circle and gets a big reward of kisses hugs and/or a treat.
14. Jumping across pillows to arms: set up pillow islands in a pattern across floor. Child starts at one end, you are at the other. Child starts when you direct them to as noted above. Child jumps across the islands and into your arms. Finding goodies. Hide candies on yourself and child needs to find them.
15. Donut Dare: You hold a donut on your finger through the hole and the child sees how many bites they can take before it falls off.
16. Lifesavers on Licorice String: Put each end of shoestring licorice in yours and childs mouth (helps to tie a knot so that it stays in mouth better). Have a gummy lifesaver on the string. By standing up and maneuvering without hands, feed the lifesavers to each other.

Sensory Activities
Mouth - to improve speech
1. Lots of bubble blowing.
2. Drinking with a straw, especially thick milkshakes.
3. Whistle blowing (I know, it can become irritating to mom real fast).
4. Party blowers -- the ones that un-curl and then curl back up again.
5. Provide different kinds of textures to move around -- both with his tongue and with his hands: baby peas, rice, couscous, puddings, jello. Paint a plate with chocolate pudding and then eating it off the plate and hands is fun -- although you might want to try a colored plate and vanilla pudding if your child is under two.
6. Wake up his taste buds -- sour candies like Sweet Tarts, chili, pepper, mustard, paprika, pickles -- anything with vinegar. Learning the sour taste is especially important.
7. Tapping very lightly above the upper lip above the gum line--but NOT on the midline.
8. Making "mouth music."
9. Tear tissue in small pieces or strips and blow it across the table top.

One mom uses Creamy Style Vaseline, and makes lotion time an attachment activity time with these games:
1. Pass the lotion. Get lots of lotion on your hand and let your daughter try to get all of it off, and then pass it back and forth.
2. Slippy hands. After lotioning pretend to hold on tight to each others' hands and then "whoops" slip off backwards with lots of exageration and laughter.
3. Hand Stacking. Place your hand on the bottom, then one of your daughters, then yours, then your daughters. Slip your bottom hand out and put it on top. Just keep on going to "build the stack". Lotion painting. Paint pictures on eack other and then rub them in and start over.

Symptoms and signs of attachment disorder:

Lack of eye contact
Preference for strangers over mom
Turning away from affection
Cries; miserable all the time;
chronically fussy
Resists comforting or nurturance
Resists or dislikes being held
Poor eye contact or avoids eye contact
Flat, lifeless affect (too quiet)
Rarely cries (overly good baby)
Angry or rageful when cries
Exceedingly demanding
Looks sad or empty-eyed
Wants to hold the bottle as soon as possible
Stiffens or becomes rigid when held
Prefers being held with back toward mother
Does not hold on when held
When held chest to chest, faces away
Does not return or reciprocate hugs or check in with mom
Generally unresponsive to parent
Cries or rages when held beyond his wishes
Overly independent play or makes no demands
Little or reduced verbal responsiveness
Does not return smiles
Shows very little imitative behavior
Physically restless when sleeping
Does not react to pain (high pain tolerance)


“A thousand-year-old tradition - started in the Far East"
This is a gift from my Mom, isn't she BEAUTIFUL!
"Like many inventions of great wisdom, porcelain, the most beautiful and delicate of man-made materials, came to us from the Orient.”

Digital Asian Card Swap

Would you like to join my Digital Asian Card Swap?
Any takers?
The Concept: I am really into the whole digital world now. I still have a lot to learn but I am getting there. I have decided that Scrapbooking is just too hard and I’m switching to digital. I bought Giorgia this Brocade Photo Album that I am filling with 4x6 digital printed photos. Things like the stuff I bought or gifts from family or friends, secret pal gifts, etc. Think of those photo Christmas cards that some send out for Christmas with a photo, saying and a cute graphic. If only they came 4x6, instead of some odd size, I could put it in my photo album. I would love to look back at these and see the faces of the bloggers that I spend so much time with during the “wait”. And hey, you won’t even have to spend money on stamps because we can just email to each other. What could be cooler…NO stamps, NO envelopes, NO journey to a mailbox!!!

The Format: The size should be 4x6 inches (300 pixels min.) This way we can the photos printed up nicely if we decide to do so. Ideally would love to have some kind of photo within of the waiting family, or pets, or family already created through adoption. Add anything else you want. You can put poems, sayings, clipart…it’s limitless to the things you can do. As far as the “Asian” concept, make it anything you want but don’t get hung up on it. You could use Asian colors, ladybugs, etc. Also, it can be as personalized as you want. You can make a sort of “generic” one (I use this in a good way) that can be given to all or you can personalize by using their actual names or child-to-be’s name. Either would GREAT!

DON”T DO DIGITAL YET but want to PLAY WITH US??? For those wanting to participate but aren’t too much into the digital world, you could always make a regular 4x6 scrapbook page then scan it in. Just make sure that the scrapbook page is relatively flat and scan at 300 or higher.

The Swappers: China Adoptive Parents and Waiting Parents, Adoptive Bloggers

Post a Comment if you are interested in doing this. (Include your email/blog so that I can get in touch with you.

(I just made this up at work so you could get a idea. Mine is very generic...I will do better on the real thing! I scaled it down too much that is why it looks bad. But you get the idea. The sky is the limit!!!)

Deadline to sign up will be Wednesday, November 29th, 2006.



Can anyone help me? I want to change the background color (I know how to do this) but I want the padding around the posted photos to be white with a black outline. When I change the background color, the padding changes to that color as well! I've tried so many things and still can't get it to work. Any ideas?

My Celebrity Look-alikes

Wanted to join the rest of you in this Celebrity Look a-Likes!!
(Sure...I look like Catherine Zeta Jones...right! I wish)

New $100s for China

Why do we need "new" $100s for China? I don't have a problem with this and have already explained to my bank what I need and so far so good. They have assured me that this won't be a problem! So, I don't so much care as to why but an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal was found by a yahoo group member and I thought I would share part of it. The link to the rest of the article is at the bottom.
“In Some Places,U.S. Money Isn'tAs Sound as a Dollar”
“ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar -- Once a month, Jean Yves, a cabin attendant on an Italian cruise ship, gets in line at the purser's office to collect his pay -- seven $100 bills.

If he's lucky, the bills will indeed be worth $700 when he arrives in port and tries to spend them. If he isn't, they'll be worth closer to $600. The difference? The good bills are new ones that bear Treasury Secretary John W. Snow's signature. The bad ones are signed by Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin.

"Whoever goes first gets the new money," Jean Yves complained recently after returning home to Madagascar at the end of his cruise. Those at the back of the line get an instant pay cut, because in many of the countries the ship visits, old U.S. bills just aren't worth as much as new ones.

Americans are accustomed to the idea that the dollar -- the world's No. 1 reserve currency -- is good anywhere. After all, it's a point of principle that the U.S. never invalidates its notes. The government may add watermarks, insert security threads or enlarge Ben Franklin's face on the $100 dollar bill, but old bills are still legal tender.

Overseas, however, that guarantee carries less weight. In many countries, from Russia to Singapore, the dollar's value depends not just on global economic forces that move international currency markets, but also on the age, condition and denomination of the bills themselves. Some money changers and banks worry that big U.S. notes are counterfeit. Some can't be bothered to deal with small bills. Some don't want to take the risk that they won't be able to pass old or damaged bills onto the next person. And some just don't like the looks of them.” To read more…click here.


OMG! I must have died and gone to Heaven. Look how cute these are!!!! They come with a hefty price tag, one that I would never pay, but I sure can ADMIRE them!

My Fortune


Wow!! I feel for all of those brave men and women that serve our country. (and their families) Much love and thanks to all of you. Whether this was a botched up joke or not, WAR is not a joke...NOT IN ANYWAY, SHAPE, or FORM!


This just made me LAUGH outloud today!!!

Delaware Adoption Story

Check it out!!! Click HERE!


Let me just say that it was an HONOR to be your Secret Pal. Donna, you're a girl after my own heart! You are sweet, kind, loving, crafty, bloggy, and TOTALLY talented!!! I love all those things about you! I wasn't just picking out gifts for a fellow adopter, I felt like I was picking out gifts for a forever friend. It was FATE that I was matched with you, my JAN-DTCer, my EAST COAST PANDA, and my AHH TRAVEL BUDDY! It seems our paths just keep crossing!! Maybe our daughters paths are crossing halfway around the world? Wouldn't that be amazing!

Just to let you know, for every gift I picked out for you, I had to get one for myself and it KILLED me not to put it on my blog!!! Ha. Ha. It was worth it! Trust me when I tell you I enjoyed every minute of the shopping or creating. And yes, I am CRAZY!! (but in a good way)

Love ya lots!!!

Stephe & Pirate

LOVE Onsie

One of the things that us ECG Pandas wanted to do on our PHILLY Adventure was to paint onsies. We were having so much fun and cramming so much stuff in two days that we didn't have time to do our craft project. I had purchased three Asian stencils for us to use. So me, Donna, and Susan decided to make the onsies for the girls that came to my house for dinner and crafts. We each picked a stencil and ran with it! This onsie is the one that Donna made for me!! Isn't it just adorable!!! Look at the little ladybug!!! Too cute. I will upload a photo of one of the ones that I did and hopefully someone will send a photo of one of the ones that Susan created!
I told you Donna does GREAT work!! Thanks Donna...I LOVE IT!


Finally, my wonderful Secret Pal has been revealed!!!
It's Jodie, Brian, Madison & Dalton Rencher!
I want to thank you for making these past months just so much fun and something to look forward to. I knew that if I had my gifts sent to my office that it would just make it even more fun. (plus, I would never get them if they were sent to my home...seriously) Anyway, I have been the envy of my company! (the girls..that is) I would get a call when the box came in and I had to open them right there. They had a hard time at first grasping the concept of someone that you don't know would send you presents. They get it now and "we've" all had a blast. I'm so glad to have had you as my Secret Pal and I have just LOVED ALL of the special things that you've sent to me!!!
Below are photos of some of the super cool stuff that I got on this last month of our Secret Pal Swap! Look at this AMAZING CHINA DOLL.

She's beautiful and I LOVE her outfit! This will be one of those "look but don't touch" kind of dolls. Giorgi will just have to admire from a far. (Not as far as China, so hurry up referrals!)

Along with the doll came this little snow globe! It's just the CUTEST! It's so precious! It reminds me of my latest addiction....the mommy and baby panda at the Atlanta Zoo. I am addicted to their WEBCAM!!
I also received this BEAUTIFUL Asian Photo Album. Photos are my life so I will definately have this filled with photos of Giorgi! Now look at this totally cute jacket and hat!! LOVE IT...LOVE THE FLOWERS. You definately know what I love!!!Plus my SP sent me more red envelopes!! Now I think I have enough for my trip to CHINA!!!! Yippee!
Honorable mention (not pictured) is another HUGE Chinese Takeout Box of Candy!!!! I have a candy addiction too....they were gone within the hour...and it was a LOT of candy!!!!
Here is a stroll down memory lane... (click on the months to see my SP gifts)

  • Jodie, Brian, Madison & Dalton... You've been the BEST SECRET PAL EVER!!!!

    (((BIG HUGS)))

    Ellen Burstyn

    So I’m at work listening to “The View” on the radio and Ellen Burstyn is on.

    She wrote a book and was talking about how something she had done in her past had caused her to be infertile. The View girls were voicing their sympathies but Ellen was like, no don’t, because it brought me to my son. (adopted) She told of how, in the beginning, she didn’t know if she could be a mother to an adopted child and she struggled with it. Then her little dog became pregnant. (not sure if the little dog lost the puppy or it was a pseudo pregnancy) anyway, the day the dog was to deliver, she (the dog) went into another room and just started barking. Ellen followed her and finally figured out that it was a little stuffed tiger on the top shelf that she wanted. Ellen gave have her the little tiger and her dog nursed it and took care of it for almost two weeks as if it was her own. Ellen was like, OKAY, I get it!!! She would be able to love a child. She then looked up Mother in the dictionary and the first thing she read was that it was a verb; to mother and once you did that, you could become a noun…A Mother.

    Loved her story

    Madonna on Oprah

    See the transcripts from the Oprah show regarding Madonna's adoption of David.

    Calling Cards for China

    Here is some info that I've found when researching Calling Cards for China. There are lots of different ways to go!
    Don’t call straight to China from your phone unless you want those couple of minutes to be $300.

    ►Bring a calling card from the states. One person bought one from Sprint, and also purchased a cheap one from their guide. The Chinese card had complicated instructions and she never got it to work. The sprint card worked great and it was so easy. She says, If you want a really good deal, go with a Panda Phone. Its a cell phone provided by Lotus travel, very cheap, and works great.

    ►Don’t bother getting a panda phone unless people HAVE to be able to get a hold of you (like if you have children at home).

    ►Buy IP cards in China (Your guide will help you) and it is much cheaper.

    ►One bought 2 ASIA calling cards at SEARS and they were $10 each. All their family members called them while in China and there are lots of minutes left on them.

    ►Callingcardplus.com. $25 for about 500 minutes.

    ►Onesuite.com. Another says this is the best. They say, “You go to the website, and follow the directions--I don't remember what you do, but I think you have to state where you are calling from and to--though I could be wrong. You simply purchase minutes, kind of like buying minutes on a calling card. They give you a number to call before you call the number you are trying to reach--exactly like a calling card. The rates are *extremely* low--I'm talking CHEAP. I think China is maybe three cents a minute???? Something like that. For instance, I bought ten dollars worth of minutes when my friend went to China last March. I called her at least four times that I can recall--and, I still have minutes left. When you run out, you just buy more. Simple.”

    ►Someone used and AT&T card and had this to say… “AT&T prepaid card before we left for China in December. Every time we used it we were charged a huge fee by all the hotels we stayed in (sorry I don't know the exact amount) even though it was a toll-free number to use the card. Our agency tells everyone to buy calling cards in China however when we stayed in Nanchang, Jiangxi, our agency guide told us that the hotel blocks the use of Chinese calling cards because they can then charge for long distance charges instead. I don't know how widespread this is in China and it may have just as well been the hotel.”

    ►Some suggest also taking a US bought calling card just in case. Check first that you can use it from China before you leave. Some think most of the well-known ones you can.

    ►One more purchased phone cards in China. They were very inexpensive like $5.00 US for 30 min. Their guide in Beijing had a few we could purchase and then they were able to purchased several at local stores in our child's province and then one at the 7-11 in GZ. They were easy to use and they did not get charged extra for using the phone like several travel mates were for using US phone cards.


    Check out those BLUE eyes!!! He's gonna be one heartbreaker when he gets older!

    M Adopts Part 2

    "Anonymous said...
    just randomed by. You are missing a few crucial facts. The child HAS a family, his father is alive and aware of his whereabouts, his extended family visited the child regularily in the orphanage. Malawi does not allow international adoption - the normal criteria is that people have to have been resident in the country for one year. She has circumnavigated all of the normal procedures, and thats what is annoying everyone. The money she will spend on this one child could be spent better. Perhaps had she adopted a true orphan there would have been less of a hoo hah. I'm not adopting, nor planning to adopt, nor give two figs for Madonna, I just thought I ought to put you more in the picture. (oh and I also don't have a blog sorry. "
    Stephe says...
    Dear anonymous, first off, why won't you post your name. I hear what you are saying but I have to disagree...

    I think you are obviously missing a few crucial facts. You say Malawi does not allow international adoption unless you reside in the country for a year. That's funny...I know of one that just happened!!! "She DIDN'T circumnavigate" the system, Malawi allowed her to adopt. Maybe it's Malawi that you should have a problem with.
    Oh, and if there is such an extended family who regularily visits the orphange, couldn't one of them have taken the child.

    It's a complicated issue when parents abandon their children or "leave" them and I'm not judging their reasons. But I do know that it's complicated. Doesn't this little boy deserve a family that will never "leave" him, love and take care of him?

    Lastly, which I know will tweak people...

    Money and Status does come with priveledges. Hell, isn't it the American way! (actually, it seems to be the way of the world) I don't have money nor status but I know a few that do and you know what, they are just like me with a few extra perks.

    Listen, all you out their adopting from Wherever, let say you hit the lottery tomorrow, say 214 Million dollars. Your agency then calls you and says that they are now offering to "expedited" your paperwork for $10,000. Would you do it?

    I know I would, but some of you would say, "Oh no, my goodness, I would never want to jump a head of all these waiting parents, I'll just let my little girl wait for me in an orphanage until it's my turn. (maybe 10 more months)" Okay...sure! Not me. I'd jump on the first plane out and scoop her up!
    Just something to think about!

    Madonna Adopts

    Why are people so judgmental? Geesh. Why is everyone so up in arms about Madonna Adopting? Give me a break.

    Madonna did get her criminal reports done.
    She got her immigration done.
    Had a homestudy too.
    The particular area in Africa has NO waiting list.
    Hasn’t she appeared to have raised her Bio children well?
    Hasn’t she attempted to keep them out of the spotlight?
    Doesn’t this little boy deserve to have a family adopt him?

    Oh, I know, it would be better for him to stay in an orphanage for a year or so before he can be adopted…because that would be better?

    Oh, I get it, if you are rich that must mean you would be a horrible parent and should never; never create your family through adoption.

    Oh, I guess that if you are a celebrity, you couldn’t possibly give love to anyone but yourself so how could adoption be a possibility.

    Why are some of you sooo pissed? Seriously. Are you just pissed because she got her baby quicker than you? Go to Malawi and adopt.

    There are so many people in this world that make a lot of money/celebrity status but you don’t see lots of them actually trying to make a difference. She donated that money for an orphanage and she has opened up her heart to give a little boy a family. This is ONE LESS ORPHAN in the world. Open up your hearts people and stop being so GOD DAMN judgmental

    Oh, and to anyone getting ready to hit that little comment button and leave me an ignorant or negative email..."BITE ME"


    I'm Addicted to the Panda Cam!!

    Isn't the baby just too cute. Mom is a good mom too. She is always cuddling and nursing her. It's so addictive!!

    Chinese Fortune Outfit

    Laundry Tip

    (ie. Desitin or Zincofax)
    If you have a baby prone to diaper rash, you have inevitably gotten zinc oxide cream (aka diaper rash cream) on your clothing or your baby's clothing. Fortunately, many of the zinc oxide creams, such as Desitin and Zincofax can be removed with special washing care.

    Fill a sink with hot water and laundry detergent, and soak the garment. Then gently rub the fabric together over the spot to remove the oil in the cream. Next, empty the sink and refill with white vinegar, soaking the garment for 15 minutes to remove the zinc oxide. Then wash as normal. The diaper rash cream will be gone!

    Did anyone SEE??

    Did anyone SEE?? Not only is Sophie Lu getting a sister, Isabella, but she will also have a little brother, OLIVER!! Congrat's Shana!!!! How amazing!!

    Hi Lily

    Hi Lily, I just told my little dog that I met a new family on one of my groups and they have a daughter named Lily! Pirate got all excited and wanted to send little puppy schmooch and a ruff! :)

    Philadelphia Fun

    Wow, what a weekend!!! I created a blog just for the event. Pandas take Philly...go check it out and see all of the photos.

    When a few of us East Coast Girls decided to get together, we never thought that so many would join us. (some from pretty far away) It became more than I ever imagined it would be! I knew that I was creating bonds with a bunch of great girls (women, but I like to say girls) that I've been chatting with online. I just didn't realize how truely amazing each and every one was until I spent this weekend with them. We all had a story and a different perspective. Different but the same. Our Children from China will be our bond and I see all of us growing old together. It was a weekend with lots of touring, shopping, eating, and drinking. But in the end, what I'll remember the most was all of the fun, laughter, craziness, sharing, and tears. Thank you to all of you that came from near and far! This was just the BEST WEEKEND! I miss you all!!!!!

    Pirate's Philly Fun

    This is how Pirate was dressed to greet Donna and Susan at the Airport. He had on his tough skull & crossbone t-shirt and some bling in his hair. (Stolen loot from his pirating days). He was trying to get all the girls attention at the airport! What a cutie!

    Shopping in Chinatown was very prosperous for Pirate. I found him his official Mascot Outfit. He's my little Asian Pooch!

    Thank You Susan, Donna & Cheryl

    Susan, Donna & Cheryl gave me this ADORABLE little outfit for GIORGIA! Could this be any cuter!! Look at the Fur Collar and the animal print. Girls, you totally know what I LOVE!!! It is just so cute and I can't wait for her to be home struttin' her stuff in her new SPECIAL duds!!! They also gave me this georgous Panda Candle!!! It's so beautiful and detailed. I told them that this will be the new candle that I light on a full moon! Thank you girls! You are SO THOUGHTFUL! It was a pleasure for you to stay at my house. Bless you Cheryl for you slept on the couch! I hope that is was comfortable enough!!

    It was like CHRISTMAS!!!

    Look at all the fun stuff!!!

    Above: I made Precious Panda Welcome Gift bags for everyone. They included info on the weekend event and Philly stuff, Water, Snacks, Precious Panda Chocolate bars and a 4 pack of Precious Panda Thank You Cards. Hope, Sheryl and Jenna brought lots and lots of Tiara's for everyone. We had them in Pink, Purple, and Diamond Colors! Gotta love the sparkly stuff!!!

    Above: Kim brought me an awesome Hostess gift, a Mulled Apple Candle. It smells wonderful!!!! Kim also brought Chopsticks for everyone. Melissa brought us all Asian inspired Journals. I think that I will definately bring this to China with me for my China Travel Diary! Next is my Sparkly Wand! As Friday night hostess, Sheryl thought I needed a Wand to go with my Tiara! (Totally works for me!!!)

    Above: After our day running around Philly when we were having our slumber party, Wanda gave us this book, IMPERIAL CHINA. It's an awesome book and she even personalized it for each of us! Next we have a little taste of Texas!!! Cheryl brought 4 big jars of Texas Salsa, Raspberry, Chipolte, Blackbean and Black Bean and Corn! Yummy Stuff!

    Friday night at during our dinner, Lori presented us each with a little Asian Bear and a little Asian Take-out box. Inside the Takeout box was a Fan Magnet and an itty bitty Asian Duckie. Well, could you get anymore perfect!! It fits right in to Giorgia's Duckie Bathroom theme! Now, I just have to find a way to keep it from Pirate. Something about those duckies just drives him wild!! lol. Next is one of the three bottles of wine Cheryl managed to sneak on the plane! Yippee! Kathy wasn't so lucky...they confiscated hers!!!

    Above: Whoopie Pies! Yahoo! These are yummmmy!!! It's like a soft chocolate caked cookie with a whipped creamy inside! They are awesome. The infamous "Magic Cone"! Leave it to Sheryl. I know I've always wanted to pee standing up! ha. ha. For fun, I just might have to try it but darn you for defacing our Precious Panda Logo! ha. ha.
    Believe it or not...There is even more to come...I just haven't gotten photos yet!!!

    Related Posts with Thumbnails