Friday, September 29, 2006

let the weekend begin!

Ok, it’s 4 pm on Friday and I’m outta here!!! If I don’t have a chance to blog this weekend, it will be because I am off to Ottawa tomorrow to spend the day with my little brother, Luke. I can’t believe tomorrow is his 30th birthday!!! Geez I feel old … :o)

Don’t forget to watch China Revealed on the discovery channel on Sunday at 9pm!!

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Insights to China – Class #2

Sorry this is a day late but I have been having problems with Blogger!

Language:
Zhu he ni! (congratulations!)
Wo jiao (my name is …)
Ni jiao (what is your name?)
Wo shi jia na da ren (I am Canadian)
May guo (USA)
Quing jin (please come in)
Deng Deng (please wait) sounds more like dung dung
Gay ni (here – as in when you had something over)
Sio pung you (little friend – what you would call a child)
Bou ke ty (you are welcome)
Bo how (not good)
Tio ming (help!)
Ta hen ke ai (she/he is very cute)
Wo – me
Ni – you
Ta – he/she

FYI … some of these are in proper pinyin and some are just my own phonetic spelling …

Ethnic groups:
Han makes up over 90%
Han people are generally in the centre of China along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers
There are 55 minority groups
The minority people are generally located along the border of China – most of them along the southern border
The major minority are the Mongolians

History:
Yuanmou Man – fossils found dating back 1.7 million years ago in Yunnan Province – teeth and tools were found

Peeking Man – human skull found dating back 600,000 years ago in Beijing – tools were also found and thought the scull shows that the face shape was different (extended jaw, forehead back) it has been proven that this “man” could walk upright, used tools, fire, etc)

We also went into the different dynasty’s but other than the names and the dates I do not have very much information on each one.

So that’s it for now …Stay tuned next Wednesday for part 3!

p.s. more updates on Referrals 'n Trips!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Referrals 'n trips

I have created a site to list the blogs of those who are getting referrals and those leaving for China. Check it out at: http://referralsntrips.blogspot.com/.

The Weekend Review

Guess what we did this weekend?

Yup, you guessed right! Apple picking in Rougemont. We have been coming here for many years now and I have pictures of Francis in this orchard for each year since he was 18 months old (not all digital, unfortunately!) Guess who loves to climb the ladder even though there are tons of apples on the lower branches?

I guess I know what I'll be baking this week; apple pie, apple strudel, apple cake, apple sauce, apple crumble ...

YUM!

***UPDATE*** I found the picture of Francis' first time apple picking!! He was 18 months old here!

August 9th

Referral pictures are on their way to all those whose files were registered in China between July 23 and August 9th, 2005. I have to admit that I thought they would get through more than 18 days considering August is supposed to have less waiting files but I guess we can't complain because we have seen months where they sent only 5 days worth. If all stays as is (which it won't) it would mean a January referral for us.
Congratulations to all those who are anxiously awaiting their referral in the next few days!

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Blast from the Past

Ok, in keeping with RQ’s idea, what were your favourite 80's tv shows?

Ok, now I was 10 in 1980 and 19 in 1989 so my tastes “grew-up”

In no particular order:

The Flintstones
Fact of Life - LOVED this one
Little House on the Prairie – good when nothing else was on
The Littlest Hobo – who couldn’t love a show where the dog was the hero!
The Muppet Show – I would actually look forward to this
Knight Rider – Kit was my favourite car
The A team – Mr. T was ahead of his time
The Cosby Show – Sometimes I wished I was part of the Huxtable family!
Different Strokes – What you talkin’ bout willis?
Full house – wasn’t there a hot guy in this one?
Magnum PI – hmmm … no comment
Love boat – I can’t believe my parents let me watch this crap!
Fantasy Island – De Plane! De Plane!
Family Ties – Watched this one for years !
Moonlighting – Can’t remember why
BIZARRE – I loved the Evil Kanevil (sp) bits

Ok, now add your list in the comments and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy First Day of Fall!

One thing I learned in the class on Tuesday night was that the Chinese love autumn. The saying is that the sky is higher in the fall.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Insights to China – summary

A peek into China

Language basics:
Ni hao – how are you – basic greeting
Ni hao ma – greeting to someone you know well – more of a question
Wo jiao (sounds more like Wa tsow – 2 syllables very fast) My name is …
Zhong guo (sounds like jung gwa) China
Zai jian (sounds like tzai tian)
Heng gao xing jian dao ni (sounds like heng gow sing tien dow ni) I am very happy to see you
Quing (sounds like ching) please
Xie xie (sounds like sia sia) Thank you

Misc. notes:
Red is the festive color
Buddhism, Taoism and Confucius – all 3 work together, 2 philosophies and 1 religion all in 1 temple
Symbols and symbolism are very important in China
Beijing is more traditional – Shanghai is more business -like and modern
China is the third largest country after Russia and Canada
18,000 km of coastline
The yellow river is really yellow. It is the birthplace of Chinese civilization. It begins in the Himalayas and empties into the Pacific Ocean
90% of the nationality is han
The major minority are Mongolians (Mongol)
Mongolians used to rule China in the sung dynasty
The climate is tropical in the south and in the North they have 4 seasons – temperature much like in Canada.

Food:
Don’t eat the fruits and vegetables raw unless you want to be very sick!

Well that’s it for this week! I was busy listening and didn’t take very many notes. Stay tuned next Wednesday for part 2!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Good things

I’m so excited – I start my class tonight! Whoohoo … back to being a student … voluntarily this time! :o)

Also, Mister Francis got his cast off yesterday! We celebrated with some pizza last night. He still has to take it easy but it must feel much better to get that thing off! Let’s hope we never have to go through this again!

Stay tuned for my “Insights to China” summary tomorrow!

This just in ...

December is out of the review room!!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Amazing Race

So am I the only one who was glued to the TV last night watching the Amazing Race? I was so excited to see that they were going to Beijing! I didn’t even want to blink and miss a moment of the Beijing sights! Ok, was I the only one gagging watching them eat those fish eyes? Delicacy or not, I am definitely going to learn how to say “no fish eyes please” in Mandarin before I leave!

p.s. Check out Naomi's new lamp in Naomi's Nursery!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A box of goodies from my SP!

On Friday when I got home from work I found a package from my secret pal!!! This month's theme was Travel Essentials. Not an easy one. I am embarassed to say that I have not even sent mine yet because I am not finnished!
Well, my amazing and thoughtful secret pal came up with all sorts of good ideas. Oh, and check out how she makes everything so pretty! She sent a cute little polka-dot travel bag that was filled with travel shower gel, antibacterial hand wash, an emergency kit, mini paper towels, Shout wipes and handy sacs. Then, wrapped individually I found toothbrush holders, toys, bubbles, a book/teether, a lovely scented candle, playdoh, huggies wipes, a beach ball and scented bags for yukky diapers!
Oh, and she sent Francis this great magnetic tic-tac-toe game!
Wow secret pal, you really outdid yourself! It is extra fun to receive items that we don't have here in Quebec such as Gymboree. Thank you so much for the great items I can hardly wait until next month!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday 10

I am feeling much better today – thanks to everyone who “listened” to my whining and posted positive comments. I can be such a baby sometimes!

Well, the weekend starts in about an hour and I can’t seem to wipe the smile off my face. So just because I’m in such a darn good mood … TAG!!

If you are reading this I challenge you to write 10 things that made you happy or thankful today …

Here are my 10:

1) I started my day with a good cup of coffee
2) Daycare programs for school ped days
3) Driving my son to school he said thanks again for taking him to McDo for supper last night – I think this is because my car still smells like fries!
4) Polite people who hold the elevator door open
5) Shish Taouk and Tabouli for lunch
6) Finding out a co-worker is leaving to follow her dream
7) Hubby is coming back from his business trip tonight
8) I found the perfect invitations for a baby shower I am hosting
9) The daily back and forth emails from friends
10) That I’m on this incredible journey

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Only 36 and falling apart

I don’t know what is up with me lately but I feel like I’m falling apart. I know they say it’s all down hill from 35 but common! First, I have had this cold/sinus infection thing that won’t go away and then last week my lower back began to hurt. A quick trip to the chiro told me that I have irritated the fluid in my lower back with my new walking program – walking on concrete in bad shoes is apparently not a good idea. Anywhoo .. the pain from this has traveled down my leg and is making walking quite the ordeal. I have been nicked named limpy by some who will remain unmentioned. Ok, top it off with a nasty set of PMS cramps and a weird stomach thing. I just don’t know what is going on! Note: as I write this I am sipping hot tea with an ice-pack tucked into the back of my pants, strewn Kleenex all around, taking occasional hits of Pepto and trying to get some work done!

I hope all of you in blog-land are having a much better day!

p.s. Why is “blog” not a recognized word under Blogger’s spell check???!! It’s just irritating!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My favorite poem...(get the tissues out)

Were You Born Today?

Were you born today across the ocean deep and blue?
Did someone wrap you warmly? Did they stop and gaze at you?

Did they look upon your almond eyes and touch your silken hair?
Did they stop to kiss each tiny toe, hear your breath upon the air?

Did you hear a soft voice comforting, securely in her arms?
The warmth of two souls bonding, oh, the lure of newborn charms.

Were they charmed by every movement; every yawn and stretch and pout?
Did they celebrate with handshakes and good spirits all about?

(Or were the tears mistaken, as they fell upon your face?
Their eyes were wells of sorrow? Their heads hung in disgrace?

Did they tremble when they realized the thing that would be done?
Did they mourn the new day coming, with the rising of the sun?)

Did they place you, oh so tenderly, in the place where you were found?
Were those blankets wrapped up tightly to deny the cold, hard ground?

Did she whisper words of comfort with a love that was so deep?
Did she recognize the features of this one she could not keep?

Did you feel the night wind blowing as it carried in the morn?
Did you hear your mother weeping on the day that you were born?

And here across the ocean a mother weeps for you.
How long before she travels across that ocean, deep and blue?

How long before she gazes at those dimpled hands?
How long before she travels to that promised, distant land?

Her heart is filled with gladness. Her dreams are coming true.
The secret thrill of motherhood, across that ocean deep and blue.

And she'll gaze upon your almond eyes and touch your silken hair.
She'll stop and kiss each tiny toe...feel your breath upon the air.

And you'll hear a soft voice comforting; the worlds so insecure.
Two fragile souls are bonding as they hold each other near.

She'll be charmed by every movement; every yawn and stretch and pout.
And she'll celebrate with handshakes and good spirits all about.

And you'll hear the night wind blowing as she rocks you off to sleep.
And she'll whisper words of comfort, with a love that is so deep

....And far across the ocean a mother weeps...

~by Mary E. McRae

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Back to school ... for ME!

I just got news that a class I signed up for is a go. I tried to take it last semester but it was can cancelled. So, now every Tuesday night beginning next week I will be at the local college taking the Insights to China course!

Here is the description:
This course provides a window into China and the culture that defines modern China. Chinese social structure, festivals, special events and famous sights will be featured and current economic development discussed. What you will learn:- Chinese traditions- famous philosophers and interesting cities- the scope and magnitude of China's economic development- a few words of greeting in Chinese.

Doesn’t this sound fun, not to mention that some of my favourite bloggy friends will be there such as Doris and Lisa! I already bought myself a cute little notebook and some funky gel pens …It has been a very long time since I took a class!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today's post is brought to you by the number ...

10 long months since LID ...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mid-week updates

Francis update:
I took Francis back to the hospital yesterday afternoon to have his cast removed. It only took about 4 hours in the waiting room – and we had an appointment!!!!! It turned out his elbow IS broken and they put a full plaster cast on. Francis is not happy that it has to stay on for 3 weeks, but he is happy that his friends can sign this one! When they took the first cast off he was freaking out saying his arm felt all “weird”. The nurse told me that grown men pass out from this “weird” feeling of having a cast removed! Strange eh?

Adoption update:
Well, as hard as I try to stay positive the negative news always manages to trickle down through the grapevine. The latest is that they (the CCAA) will not even finish July in September and then there’s talk of the wait creeping to 18 months +. I don’t know if I can live in limbo for another 8+ months!!! When we signed up we told friends and family we would be going to China in the early summer (06), then it was early fall, then fall, then winter and now do I dare say spring or shall I just say summer 07 now? Uggg … summer 07! I don’t even want to think about it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

First day of school pictures

Cheerios - the breakfast of champions
(yes, he's watching TV ...)














Here's mommy making my first school lunch ...
(The first of many, many more...)














I'm ready to go!!!
(Yes, HE chose the camo jacket - oh and we are fixing that walk so don't look at the background!)



















Later mom and dad!!!
(Yup. You guessed it. HE chose the camo backpack too...)















I just can't believe that my baby is going to "big" school ...wanh! I'm not ready for him to grow up yet!! Where DOES the time go??

Friday, September 01, 2006

What a day!

Well, they say that luck comes in threes and it was certainly true for today. First, I got a call from Elisa this morning saying "Have you heard the news???!!!" The news as most of you know by now is that the CCAA has FINALLY finished the review of the November LID files. This means that we have passed and they cannot refuse us. Our file has been approved and is now sitting on a huge shelf in a stack waiting to be matched to Naomi. Elisa, can you tell your file to go hold my file's hand?? :o) Anyways, it's another huge milestone achieved.

Second, it was Francis' first day at school today. He got up so excited this morning. He was so nervous that he couldn't even eat his breakfast. Stephan and I walked him to school this morning and when it was time to go in he gave us each a quick wave and went into the school without looking back. My brave little guy. We just picked him up and he didn't have much to say other than I did not pack enough food and that he would rather have chocolate milk instead of a juice box. Ahhhh ...I knew that was coming! He has 2 teachers, Mrs. Oliver in the morning who does the English half and then Mme. Killingbeck in the afternoon for French. I'm trying to upload pictures but of course it is not working right now. Darn Blogger!!!

Third, we went to the bank today to see about being approved for an adoption loan. I think that it is a real myth that everyone who adopts has a stash of cash to pay for all the adoption related costs. The truth is that most people I know are average Joe's who finance their adoption with loans, credit lines, second mortgages, etc. Anyways, I just got the call saying that our loan is approved!!! One less thing to worry about for now!!!