Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers

Traveling Alone?

Best Reason for Traveling with Someone…
Is to have someone to share the memories with down the road but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way for whatever reason.
I have been reading lots of threads on this topic because there might be a small chance that I will travel alone. I am comfortable with the idea either way; it’s just my nature. Here are some of the concerns and solutions that I’ve read.
Bonding Time
Cherish this special time together. It’s the perfect time to bond with your child.
Group Support
Some say that traveling with a small group of people was very helpful. Lots of people meet other families through online yahoo groups ahead of time.” Plus a good agency can make a huge difference when you are traveling alone. It is a good idea to check to see if you will be met at the airport, what services are provided at or near the hotel (babysitting, a restaurant, laundry, email or fax). Find out if will have access to a translator and someone to walk you through the “paperwork process” while in the country.
Taking Photos
You might not be able to take thousands of photos or tons of videotape documenting the journey. It’s kind of hard to do well by yourself but it’s doable. You might not be in a lot of the shots but I am sure that others in your travel group will definitely help you out here. If you have a baby carrier or stroller, you’ll be able to have a hand or two free to take some photos and you can always practice before you leave if you have any friends that have a little one.
Gotcha Day Photos
You’ll definitely need someone to take pictures and video for you on gotcha day. This, I would imagine, would be the hardest. Be pro-active here and try to organize with the other members of your travel group, or people you meet along the way. For me, if I have to travel alone...I’d even be willing to pay someone in the building to come with me and take photos. You do what you have to do. I will have my digital camera, video camera, and a bunch of disposable cameras. I am very protective of my cameras so if you are ever wary of someone handling yours, just give them the disposable one. It’s an option!
Bring the baby with you in the shower, let her play on the bathroom floor with the shower open so you can see her, shower with the door open when she’s asleep, or shower before she wakes. If none of these work, maybe she can even play with one of her China Sisters while you shower.
Buffet Breakfast
How do you attempt the buffet with your little one in tow? Lot of people say this is a hard one too. You could have someone fill your plate for you, but I could never do that especially when you don’t know what some of the items are. I think I would have to check it out for myself. If you’re wearing her on a sling or have her in a stroller, it would make it easier. If you strap her in a highchair, I am sure a travel mate could watch her for a minute or two.
Other Meals
You have room service or if you’re at the White Swan, there is always the famous Danny’s Bagels that delivers and so do a lot of other restaurants on Shamian Island. Some have resorted to stocking up on a few items from breakfast and bringing them along for a snack. Others liked that they brought packets of oatmeal, granola bars and peanut butter for snacking. Some brought enough formula or rice cereal for the same reason. They said stock up just before gotcha day so that first day or two you won’t have to run around for basic needs and spend more time bonding.
Bottled Water
Typically, Room service will deliver water to your room, above and beyond the amount given to you each day if that is inadequate.
Getting Sick
What if you get sick? One mom wrote, “I was blessed to get to travel with another couple and I credit them with making my experience so wonderful.” So, ask for help if you need if from your travel mates, bring LOTS of OTC meds and try your hardest to take care of yourself and stay healthy.
Some babies have colds and the medicine makes them sleepy so they might just sleep for long periods of time. A seat of their own seems like such a lifesaver. I know some like the Baby B’Air. I think it’s awesome in theory and WILL test it out. This way, she can be attached to you and should you dose off, she won’t fall off your lap. I will need someone to hold the baby on the airplane when I want to go to the bathroom. I hear flight attendants will do this, as will other people you are traveling with. Someone said that it is also possible, albeit inconvenient, to take her to the bathroom with you, using a sling. Also, if you can afford it, buy a seat for your newest little one on the flight home. I have found that sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a round trip ticket rather than a one-way and other told me that it’s cheaper to actually purchase that in China. My agency arranges all of this so I might not have a choice in the matter. Anyway, I’m told that the extra seat made ALL the difference on our return trip.
That’s a tricky one. I haven’t figured that one out yet if I travel alone. I will just have to practice at home. I figure, Diaper bag will be a backpack, check in bag and carry on will hook together and be on wheels. Plus Giorgia will have a bag on the way home filled with souvenirs. I will attempt to find a bag that will somehow hook to the others. My little one will be in the stroller that I will purchase from China or the wrap that I plan to bring. My guess it will be the stroller.
So, have a sense of adventure, be flexible, a bit patient and keep a sense of humor no matter what your situation! This will probably be the most intense time of adoption experience but it will pass. Remember that bonding is a process and it will take some longer than others.
So see…it’s DOABLE. No Worries. (Oh and don’t for exercise your arms before you go!)
Anyone that has traveled alone, your input in welcome. Please post a comment!! :)

Smells in China

(this info is dedicated to Hope who has a very sensitive nose. I love ya and just want to give you a heads up on this new info I found)

The air definitely has a very strong odor! I had read somewhere that when a couple got off the plane the wife commented to husband that someone was smoking a very strong cigarette. His response was, "I don' think that is cigarette, it is the air". In some parts of China, it seems that coal is burned as fuel source so the air quality is very poor. Most did not smell the odor in the hotel room with the AC on but once you opened the door, they could. One reported that she had a mild headache for the first several days there and never really got used to it.
They also said that when they made it to Guanzhou, it was much better. They said you could mostly smell the river.

Another posted that she has a sensitive nose and that she didn’t notice a smell about China in general, but there was a lot of smoking everywhere. And some restaurants had a foul odor even when the food was good. So, that is some good news.

Another posted “I did have a raw throat in China, and I thought I was fighting a cold. It seemed reasonable since we were under stress and not sleeping well. Someone else also had a sore throat, and she figured it was the pollution. I think she was right. Take some throat lozenges or hard candies when you go to soothe your throat.”
Another posted “We also noticed that many of the people smelled like moth balls...I'm sure they use them to keep clothing 'wear-able'. Our Japanese students smelled the same, so we were used to it.”

Another posted “The smells rarely bothered me but did bother my teenage daughter when they were strong. I also am an asthmatic and did not have any asthma in China - nor was I bothered by the pollution in Changsha.”

So, I’m anticipating a “different smell, sometimes unidentifiable” when I go to China. Good thing I have a bad sense of smell!!! I’ll practice by hanging out at the Chinatown Underground Market on hot day! (Philly girls) For me, I can deal with smells but like one other poster stated, I too, tend to get a raw throat, so I plan to bring lots of lozenges.

Feb 2007 Update

Twenty one days (21) and Pirate has finally turned the corner and my stomach is finally NOT doing flip-flops. I think this has been the hardest month of my life! With that I mean I spent the whole month seeing my baby in pain and my mind kept wandering to mortality issues. Life and mortality and all of it’s what if’s, what could be’s, and what is. Kinda deep…especially for me. I feel like I was involved in some sort of “parenting” test. I never felt that I wouldn’t pass with flying colors but you know…who likes tests?!!! Are they really necessary?!!
The other day I lost power...NO HEAT! Thank you ICE STORM!!! So Pirate and I had to pack up and stay at Deb's! Thanks Deb for taking us in. Thankfully, power was back on the next day. The worry of frozen bursting pipes was too much for me to even think about!

Anyway, I just heard on the TV this morning that if you have to look at your email every 5 minutes…you are an email addict!! WHAT! Oh no, where would one go to get treatment for this? Sign me up!!

This brings me to the other issues that I need therapy for!! (lol)

Do you ever feel like you are spreading yourself too thin? I do. I officially belong to 34 yahoo groups but have stopped emails on 8 of them and switched to digests on 3.All the remaining groups come to my inbox at full force. My incoming email tops at about 250 a day. (That’s good…it used to be MUCH more) I am a BLOGAHOLIC too. But BLOGLINES saved my life.

You just add all of those site addresses into bloglines and it will highlight those that have new updates!!! Sure beats clicking on all those sites only to find out they haven’t been updated. The down side is that some of my fellow bloggers (that went private) and ALL of my WEBSITE friends cannot participate in this WONDERFUL thing called Bloglines!

I kinda miss their updates. I try to check them separately when I remember. See here’s the thing, just my opinion, Blogs BEAT Websites! This is why…
At a glance, anytime a friend or family clicks on to your site, they can IMMEDIATELY see if you’ve added anything. Websites, you are forced to search around and click multiple links just to see if you’ve updated! Grrr.

I’m also trying to force myself to organize all of my research. I do this by posting the topics to my blog. I try to weed out ALL the info that is not totally necessary and just the interesting facts and tips that I find. It seems to be working. So, like I’ve said before, should anyone want any info on a topic, if you don’t see it on my side bar under GREAT INFO, drop me a comment and I’ll post info or research it! : ) I like to think of requests as a WIN-WIN situation!

Now on to my NEWEST PASSION…

Digital Scrapbooking. I spend every night downloading lots of freebies, then extracting them, then systematically re-organizing them in my files. Some of you know first hand about my crazy files, so you can see how much time this adds up to. My “guys” hooked me up with a 200GB 2nd Harddrive! Yahoo. Now, I plan to fill it all up with my photos and Digital Scrapbooking stuff. Thanks guys! I belong to a Yahoo China Digital Scrapbooking group (anyone surprised?) that is awesome and I am trying to learn as much as I can. I am using it to help me create Giorgi’s Lifebook. I need all the head start I can because I know I’ll have my hands full when I get her home!

The good thing is that I'm all SHOPPED OUT! (can you believe that???) Seriously. I have no interest at all in going shopping for little girl stuff. Maybe it's just the cold weather. Things might change when Spring comes. I can resume my frugal finds blog at Giorgia's Enchanted Garden! I'm sure it too will bloom again in Springtime and my shopping "lady"bug will reappear! :)

So, this is just some of the ways that I am spreading myself too thin. But this is definitely helping me with MY WAIT! I am hoping to get all of this out of my system before Giorgi comes home. (right? Who believes that?) I think I will hopelessly be a BLOGGER forever! Thanks for listening to me. Love you guys!

Oh and by the way, that "notifylist" I have on my blog...I don't think it works! If anyone signed up for it...do you get notified when I post?

Care Seat Safety

Buckle up for Child Safety
How to correct seat installation mistakes

By Charlotte Hale

These are the 7 top mistakes that parents make when buckling up their children that I just read in an article. Please download the article if you want the ways to fix these mistakes. Since it's from newsprint, it will be easier to read once you print out. It's pretty interesting. (Plus, this is a great/safe site to download from) You can download it here.

Mistake #1
Seat is too loose.

Mistake #2
Harness belt system is too loose or positioned incorrectly.

Mistake #3
Rear-Facing seat is too upright.

Mistake #4
Switching to a forward-facing seat too soon.

Mistake #5
Using wrong seat for the child’s age.

Mistake #6
Assuming the LATCH system is the best way to attach a seat.

Mistake #7
Incorrect or inappropriate use of the locking clip.

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm wishing all of you a
Happy Valentine's Day!
And I would like to invite you to my new cafepress store called China Panda Love!
click on the photo below


Lovin' it! I got all new carpet in my office and new color on the walls. It used to be that dingy ugly cream color. Now it's a crisp sage color. It's pretty...but whatta mess. I can't wait to be back in my home away from home and organized again!!! : )

One step forward, One step back

Pirate is still not feeling he's old self again. He's been living in my kitchen. I've hooked him up with a dog den with comfy blankets in it and another spot with my artic sleeping bag. (boy is that warm) Lately he's been favoring my sleeping bag.

He's having some problems walking and was back to the hospital he went. His meds have been changed again and his stitches are now out. The incision in his urethra has closed up nicely. (who would have thought). I am now also weening him to a new special food that I have to purchase at the vets. Cha-ching. They determined the stone was a Calcium Oxalate (the bad kind) and he has a 50% chances of them reoccuring. He's only 8 so that means we could potentionally have lots more surgeries. Ugh! Poor little guy. They even presented me with this photo of the stone that they analyzed. Gosh, couldn't NOT post that!!!

Little Girls

Little girls dance their way into your heart,
Whirling on the tips of angel wings,
Scattering gold dust and kisses in our paths.

Are they just adorable. Today was my "waiting moms & moms" lunch. It was great getting to meet a group of women that all one thing in common, they are adding or have added to their family through adoption. We were at all different stages of the process and it was really great to talk about our up coming journey. What was even better is that some had already brought home their beautiful daughter and could share their experiences with us! And, as you can see, all their daughters were just adorable! I am very much looking forward to the next time we do lunch!!!

I'M Lovin' It

Pirate is FINALLY doing a little better. By day 5 of not eating…I was completely freaking out. I took him in to the vet and had them give him another shot of pain medication and we switched up his antibiotics. The vet said…make him eat by any means necessary. I was at my wits end. So, we went home and I took a finger full of peanut butter, literally pried his mouth open and shoved it down on the back of his tongue. He tried and tried to spit it out but that’s the thing with peanut butter…you can’t…so he swallowed it. I did this three times with peanut butter then once with cheese wiz. I figured maybe I could jumpstart his appetite.
Then I tried the McDonalds Cheeseburger Patty again.
He was a willing participant this time! YIPEE!!! Day two of Pirate eating…this is the ONLY thing he will eat. To top it off, I have to heat up the patty and feed it to him with a fork. NOT A SPOON…a FORK. I can’t just cut it up on a plate or bowl and leave it for him! He will willing eat it if I feed it to him with a FORK. I love my baby so I will do it. Geesh, what do you call a boy DIVA!!!

I’m just so relieved that he is eating now! : )


Today is a GOOD Day! Finally. One drama free day (knock on wood).

Work - Good.
Productive at work - Good.
Pirate ate a McDonalds cheeseburger patty for lunch – GREAT
Invited to my FIRST Waiting Moms Lunch – GREAT
Met a fellow Single Delawarean Adopting – GREAT

Finally… a drama free day!

My Baby Hurts

Thanks to everyone that posted such sweet thoughts. I told Pirate everyone is pulling for him and hoping he feels better soon. I also told him that he better give me a kiss soon. We're still working on that one. :) Like I've said, he's been in the kitchen. I've got lots of blankets, towels and sheets for him to lay on. I also bought a pop-up tent for him a while back and put in the kitchen. He has been hiding out in it. I think it makes him feel safe. Picture below:

**warning: kinda graphic**

Well, Pirate has been home one full day and it's just so sad. He is either sleeping or pacing and straining to urinate. (The stitches from the bladder stones are no problem) Anyway, I would say every 30 minutes he will release urine and blood through the exposed hole. It's actually easier if he goes on the kitchen floor since I have to make sure that urine is actually coming out. It's nearly impossible to tell outside in the freezing cold because it usually just runs down his leg and you can't actually see it. It is very imortant that I visually see it just to make sure there is no blockage which can create a toxic situation. I must say it's quite messy. (but I don't mind) I've scrubbed my kitchen floor so many times and already done laundry twice for all of his sheets and towels. I hate seeing him strain so much and he won't eat at all. I've tried cheese, scrambled eggs, fruit, canned yucky dog food that he flips for...nothing. It makes it hard to give him his pill. I practically forced it down him this morning. Just what I need...cause him more trama. I wish I could just reason with him...medicine = feel better. I think I will make a run for some peanut butter and try that. Does anyone have any suggestions? I do have a mortise and pestal to grind his pill but still need to mix it with something he will eat. This is what I've tried so far. (below) Any suggestions?????

Pirate is HOME!

It's Saturday and I just picked up Pirate. So, he's home although he hates me. I've gotten no kisses yet. It was so sad at the vet, they put him in my arms and he strained his neck so as to NOT look at me. No kisses then, No kisses now. :( He's on his meds but he seems very uncomfortable. Because they had to cut open the urethra-sp and they cannot sew it up, he is currently urinating out of the incision at the base of his prized possession. Not only does he urinate through this but until it closes on it own, it will leak urine and blood. I told the vet I would rather play nursemaid to him at home then have him lonely at the hospital. The first floor of my house is covered in sheets and towels that can be washed easily. Anything for my baby. He is spending most of the day in the kitchen that is blocked off with a baby gate. One of his favorite things to do is sit in the sun by the front door and occasionally the neighbor cat will be by to torture him. Below is a photo of him by the door and one of the neighbor cat that can't figure out why he's walking funny and not barking up a storm at the site of him. Kind of Cute.


Just when I think my life is completely filled with drama...more tragedy strikes.

Central Florida was hit with its worst tornado in a decade. It has claimed the lives of 14 people so far and left many without their homes. Almost my entire family lives in Florida. My mom is in Key West, my father and stepmom live in The Villages and stepsister just outside of The Villages. My father and step mom's house was in the tornados path. Luckily for them, they were on the outskirts. They are ok but they lost part of their new addition. They had just completed the addition not too long ago. They said it was so unbelievably scary but they consider themselves so very lucky. Homes all around them were destroyed. Below are some of the photos of the homes in The Villages. My dad said he is going to take some photos and send me, so I will post more when I get them.


Fancy Nacy. Another MUST-HAVE book. Wanda sent this book to Susan R. and it's just too cute. Thanks to my PRECIOUS PANDAS for another great find!!

And Thanks to Aunt Deb who gifted this to Giorgia!!!


I'm OUTTA the REVIEW ROOM! Do you have any idea how long I've waited to be out of the Review Room?? This is one of those major milestones in the IA process. Anyone whose been there knows what I'm feeling. This is when the CCAA goes over your dossier with a fine tooth comb looking for anything that they see that they feel would not make me a great parent or for discrepancies within the dossier. Even though all of us that submit dossiers go through the pains of making sure that all of our t's are crossed and our i's are dotted...you just never know. During this time, if a mistake is found or there is questionable info, the CCAA will contact your acency for either clarification or more info. During this time is when all of us "in review" are on pins and needles. Not they we feel that we have anything to worry about...we know that we'd make AWESOME parents. We/I worry that this is conveyed to CCAA. Gosh, if only they could meet us in person...it would make it so much easier!
Anyway...Yipee...I've passed through Review. ((exhale)) :)

Surgery Today

Pirate is ok, but not so good news. They got the bladder stones out but some attempted to pass. Usually in pets, they don't expect them to pass, only to remain in the bladder. The biggest fear is that you don't want the stones to block the urethra-sp or it could create a toxic situation. The remaining stones NEED to come out so that we don't have this type of situation, the really bad part is that they have to cut open the urethra-sp and take them out. So, he's a boy dog, so that means they have to cute open his prized possession. So sad. I'm not sure of all of the technicallities but I was told that they cannot sew up this opening for a few days. I guess to avoid infection. This also means that he'll have to stay in the hospital probably at least until Monday. This is very sad. I have to wait til noon to call for an update. Say a little prayer for Pirate.
**UPDATE 2/1/07**
This was our self portrait this morning before we left for surgery. It's sad, my baby is very happy today and ready to go for a ride. He seems unaware that he is going to be very mad at me soon. :( The first photo is out in the parking lot and the second...well, he's not real happy with me right now...

These photos are of Pirate trying to be an escape artist!

He's all by himself now at the vet. Poor Baby. I'll be able to call in at noon for his status. I will update.


Okay, I can breathe! Pirate still has a heart mummur but has the go ahead for surgery. No medicine is needed at this time. $452 was the price for peace and I have to say that it hurt my pocket but was totally worth it. They took his blood pressure with a little doggie arm band thing. It was just too cute. Then he had a cardio-echogram. It took 1 doctor and 1 technician to hold all 8 lbs of him down while the specialist did the cardio-echogram. They wanted me to have my face right by his to calm him. He did pretty well but the doctors definately had to be forceful to hold him down. They spent about 20 minutes doing all of the testing, the visit was about 45 minutes and I was very impressed with the staff and specialist. It really, really helps when you really feel like they took the time with you and your pet. I left feeling very optimistic and I'm breathing again...of course.

**UPDATE 1/29/07**

Today @ 3 is Pirate's consult with the Cardiac Specialist and my stomach is in knots. It doesn't help that I got into a screaming match at our Monday Morning meeting. (We are very non-PC at these meetings) Thankfully my point was finally made and my boss backed me up. I did apologize to him for getting him wound up but not for what I said. Anyway, I have more important things to worry about...my baby Pirate. I will fill you in on his update.

Freaking Out Even More...

**UPDATE 1/26/07**

I've now been to the vet for the 3rd time to fix Pirate's issue. (blood in urine) It's official, he has kidney stones...well, actually they are called "bladder stones" and he needs surgery. Bad news, my vet can't do the surgery but another in the practice can. But I want my vet! :( I guess I will have to settle with another since I cannot prolong this for very long. Surgery is scheduled for Feb 1st....

The reason I am freaking out even more is that it has been discovered that Pirate has a heart mummer with a rating of 3 (3 out of 6, 6 being the worst). They will not do the surgery until I see a cardiac specialist. Just to walk in to this consult...$400. So, I am looking at approx. $1200. Argh. Don't get me wrong, there is NO question that I will do anything for my baby Pirate, it just means taking a hit on my baby fund, and any of the trips I was contemplating. Sorry Savannah an

Related Posts with Thumbnails