Friday, April 27, 2007

Little Lunches 1

Here are two little lunches I served last week to my daycare kids. They loved it and the lasagna and zuchini went through my babyfood mill like a charm and was a perfect consistancy and texture for my younger guy.

Open face toasted cheddar cheese, cut into pieces, zuchini, cottage cheese&apple sauce mixed.

Apple sauce, zuchini, carrots and lasagna.

Concession To Ladybugs

I've never been interested in following the crowd unless there was a good reason to do so and that includes getting on the whole ladybug kick. Apparently, in the China-Adoption community, ladybugs are considered good luck. Once upon a time a woman saw a ladybug and her referral came that day, or something like that, and it stuck.

During my first excursions into the eBay realm, I spotted this outfit and thought about it for a couple weeks before deciding I needed to have it. I bought size 3T, which will probably fit a tiny Chinese girl at three or four years. It's very, very nice and the picture doesn't do it justice.

eBay Insanity Fashion Show

Yes, I started doing the eBay thing. One of my daycare moms was getting great stuff for peanuts and I tried, but the stuff I liked had tons of bidders after it. Luckily, I learned my lesson just after the $100 mark because it's not much of a deal compared to shopping new, on sale, in stores, so I've stopped.

One lot I got was fantastic and I planned and thought it through and the stuff was new, with tags still on. Another lot was supposed to be in excellent used condition, but, in my opinion, it was far from it and I feel ripped off.

Here's a fashion show of the best of it, size 24 months...


My sister, BZ, and her husband bought a home two years ago and I kept saying I'd come for a visit, but something always came up, usually bad health on the part of one of my cats or not being able to find anyone to take care of them. She's visited me several times, usually flying in on a Friday night and leaving Sunday morning. After her last visit, I realized that we only really had Saturday, so I decided to fly down on to her place on a Saturay morning and come home Saturday night. The flight is only one hour and we both live near the airports.

It was PERFECT! Because the time was short, we didn't over schedule and simply enjoyed our time together. I saw her home and her classroom where she teaches. We looked at the baby things she is beginning to collect. And, I finally ate the famous lasagna made by her husband's family's secret recipe (they are Italian). She gave me the recipe and swore me to secrecy, but here's a picture of it...

And here is the one I made the next day...

Just down the street from my sister's home is a state park with camping areas and three small lakes. One of the lakes is for swimming and there is an amazing water slide that is shallow but long that goes into it with a tiny man-made sandy beach, and a huge playground. I think that one of my first little trips after settling after bringing Apple home will be to my sister's and this park.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LID Vibrations

All day long I've felt like I've gotten my LID. I won't find out for another week or so, though, since my agency won't be requesting to know for a little while yet.

I Killed My Car

Yep, the thermostat said it was hot but I didn't believe it because when I stopped to look under the hood I didn't see steam and the engine didn't feel hot, not at all. Last time this happened, turned out the engine was fine but the thermostat needed replacing. Stupid me drove it to the post office at 10pm last night to mail the taxes (had them done in Feb. as part of the homestudy, but needed to get paid yesterday to send it all to Uncle Sam). I didn't make it. Right off the exit, without any mutterings or drama, the engine simply died.

The verdict is $1,200.00 and this will include a tune-up. Did I mention I spent the same amount in December having the transmission replaced?

Problem, leaking waterpump. My mechanic's exact words, "The waterpump looked like it was urinating."

On the other hand, I think I've gotten used to forking out a couple thousand or so dollars a month. After all, I've been doing it steadily since December!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Greatest Neighbors In the World

Look at what my neighbor made this afternoon and brought me - just because!

My neighbors, who are Vietnamese/American, have shared one wall with me now for 13 years. They are very excited and supportive of my decision to adopt. They have been the best neighbors anyone could wish for. When I'm sick, they bring food. When they hear me moving furniture around, they come over to help. When she needs help, I'm there. Before I started my adoption process, I was looking to buy a home and I was looking for a duplex or something right near where I live now so I can always have them with me.

If I was ever to be stranded with one person, it would be my neighbor! Well, maybe two people since I'd also want my sister there.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

One of the moms in my daycare is so great! Every holiday she puts together something thoughtful and fun for me. This time is was this Easter basket withtout any chocolate (I like chocolate, but not a lot) and the basket is something I can use later for Apple's room and with the ribbon I can make her a hair bow.

When I got home from church this afternoon, this is what I found on my front door!

I feel so well-cared-for by my friends. I don't know who left the chocolate chickie on the door, but I thank whoever it was with all my heart for thinking of me and making me feel special. I'm so blessed with marvelous, kind and loving friends and I look forward to surrounding my daughter with them.

All this love and generosity is so fitting for this day when we celebrate the greatest gift and love for all mankind, the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. I can scarcely comprehend it; it's so enormous.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Recipe 1: Beef Stew on Rice

This is the first installment of my new cooking/recipe posts. I don't know how often I'll do them, but I'm hoping for at least once a week. The recipes will be basic, healthy and resonably quick, for semi-experienced cooks. I don't have time to go through every single detail, but a beginner cook can fill in the gaps by searching online. For example, how to thicken using cornstarch and water.

1 package stew meat
carrots, potatoes, onions, celery
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
corstarch (for thickening)
Serve over cooked rice or noodles

Season to taste, but I encourage you to minimize the use of salt in favor of other spices. I use 21 Season Salute, which I purchase at Trader Joe's. Also, when I simmer it, I put the lid on the pot.

I don't show making the rice, but it's Calrose rice done in a rice cooker.

This stew can also be made in a crock pot. Just throw everything in, turn it on and come home to dinner waiting.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Irresistible Pig

I've been looking for a Year of the Pig (Boar) mascot. I saw a Ty pig and went so far as to pick it up. I put it back on the shelf, though, and told myself I'd think about it. It really was quite cute, but not cute enough to keep. Never having been one for stuffed animals, I didn't find any I thought were truly cute...

Until now.

Then I saw IT. The perfect, irresistable mama pig nursing her three little curly-tailed piglets and I made the, "Aw, how cute!" cry out loud and knew instantly that it was THE ONE. Best of all, it was about 40% off, being the last lowly pig on the shelf.

Notice how Mama Pig has a great look of contentment on her face as she nurses her little babies? That's what got me right away.

Each little teat on the mama has a little magnet in it and each little piglet snout has another one. When I put the piglets remotely close to their mama, they latch right one, nearly jumping right out of my hand. It's very fun to play with!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Special Gift from Tiffany

This is a very special gift to Apple. It's to celebrate being DTC!!! Thank you, Tiffany!

Be sure to click on the picture to see a much larger one and see more details. These shoes are absolutely GORGEOUS, and SO SOFT! I can picture them perfectly with a little black velvet GAP dress I've got for Apple.

I know a lot of waiting moms buy a lot of things during the wait, but I've been buying for the past 15 years. I almost sold/donated my baby things and now I'm so glad I didn't. When I think of all my gorgeous baby clothes finally being used I get so excited and remember how fun it was to buy them, and how much love I felt for my future child. I did sell a few pieces once to a friend and when I saw them on her daughter I cried and felt so sad because it felt like I'd given away part of my dream of motherhood. Little did I realize my dream would come true in the miraculous way that it is.

I will start a couple of new category-type posts every week or so for Show and Tell and Recipes/Instructions of the food I prepare for my daycare babies.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Apple's First Gifts / Dim Sum Friends

I met Wendy and her husband, Joannah and her friend, and Rod, Mary-Mia, Rose and Marie for dim sum this afternoon. They gave Apple her very first gifts!

Marie-Mia gave Apple her first little Easter Bunny, Marie made the crayon drawing, Joannah gave her two tiny, darling hair clips, and Wendy gave me a CD of music to keep me inspired during the wait, with songs like: Walk On, Gotta Get Through This, (I've Been) Searchin' So Long, The Adventure, Gotta Get Through This, Little Star, Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want, and more...

Thank you to all of you! These are memories I'll treasure forever.

Front row: Mary-Mia, Rose, Marie, Rod.
Back row: Joannah, Wendy, Joe, Kimi

Wendy, Mary-Mia, Kimi, Joannah