Monday, May 28, 2007

Quilt Squares & Wishes 10-12

#12 from Minnasota.

#11 from Iowa.

#10 from Washington.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cloth Diapering Mama

Yep, I LOVE cloth diapers and my Apple is going to have nothing but 100% cotton on her little bottom.

Most of my daycare babies are cloth diapered and four of my cats have worn diapers for 7 years since they have a major spraying problem, so it's not like I'm not used to washing diapers. Besides, I'm the designer of PooPockets, the cornerstone and flagship pattern of New Conceptions, I'll definitely be using my diapers!

Cloth diapering has come a long way in 20 years, even 8 years. With new fabrics and polymers, gone are the days of folding birdseye flats and using pins and rubber pants. Though I'll admit it straight out, I LOVE pinning. Ever since I was a little girl pinning diapers on my dolls, it felt so nurturing and mother-like and it still does. Here is a link to a description and pictures of some of today's diapers. And here is a link to a little newborn getting diapered.

Because the washer and dryer here at my apartment is old and crotchety, I'll be using a modified PooPockets diaper. I will make a PooPockets without a soaker, then leave the back open. I'll insert a folded birdseye flat for the soaker and then pull it out for the wash. I'll also use flushable liners. I have some great diaper covers, Japanese, French, U.S. brands, Canadian brands, wool ones, etc... Basically, this system will fit with all the advantages of PooPockets, but wash super well and dry fast, so they will be eco and energy efficient.

I'm thinking about bringing one PooPockets with me to China and using it the very first time I change Apple's diaper. Then, later, I can tell her the story of it... "Mama made the very first diaper she put on you. It was soft, cozy cotton so you would feel it and know that I would love you and keep you safe and cozy always."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Night Out on Chinese New Year

I completely forgot about these pictures that I took in the shopping center in San Francisco during the Chinese New Year Parade. I was sitting in a chair with my head back, looking up at the dome. I'm not sure what this shopping center is called, but it's attached to Bloomingdale's and City Center Nordstrom. It's amazing!

A Day in the Life

Visions of My Future

More and more often, as I go about my daily life, I start thinking of how it will be once my daughter is here. Today, as I walked into church, I could envision Apple in a little dress and Mary Jane shoes, walking beside me in an uneven baby gait, holding my hand, turning this way and that to look around and point at all the flowers as we make our way down the block from where I parked to the church. The feelings were so vivid!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Quilt Squares & Wishes 5-9

#9 from New Jersey.

#8 from Texas.

#7 from Kentucky.

#6 from North Carolina.

#5 from Illinois.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

1 Month Down and Counting...

As of May 1, 2007...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all moms, especially those facing a wait equal to the gestation of a baby elephant!

Last year, knowing I'd decided to adopt, I had very special, private Mother's Day feelings, celebrating in my heart the surety that motherhood was on my horizon. I can scarcely believe that, one year later, on this Mother's Day, I'm celebrating it with my LID.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Quilt Squares & Wishes 2-4

#2 from Connecticut.

#3 from New Jersey.

#4 from Key West, Florida.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Mobil Playground

I don't have a yard. I live in an apartment complex with five units. My unit is downstairs and in the back. I have a bit of sidewalk outside my front door with dirt on either side that is sandy and shady and doesn't grow much. Out front, there is a small patch of grass and my neighbor is wonderful and lets me set up my daycare play structures any time.

I found these all on Craig's List and even the heavy-duty wagon, which I couldn't live without. I have devised a way to get the large play structure onto the wagon and load almost everything into it. The other play structures I can pick up and move or use the wagon before I load the big stuff onto it.

It still takes a lot of energy to set it up and put it away so I only do it about three times a week. I vary the structures, too. I have two others and yesterday picked up another one that attaches to the large one, shown, to expand it. I love this one, made by Fisher Price, in the late 1990s. The platform and slide can go higher for older kids, and the steps turn to become a ladder. Best of all, the slide bottoms out on the ground so no matter how slow or fast a child slides down, and regardless of the angle of the slide, the child slides right onto the ground without a bump or fall off an edge.

Friday, May 4, 2007

100 Good Wishes Quilt: 1st Square

My first quilt square, from Missouri.

There is a tradition in northern China called the "Bai Jia Bei." In Mandarin, it's 百家被, which literally means Quilt United by 100 Families. 家 is the character for both family and home, very fitting since Apple will be getting both when I adopt her. The following is a story of the origin of the Bai Jia Bei...

"The last Empress of the Qing dynasty was a mere concubine, until she had the good luck to birth the Emperor’s only son. When forced to leave her baby alone for a while, she conceived a plan to protect him from the senior wives and obligate the other powerful Manchu families to back his claim to the throne. "From the head of each of the highest one hundred families in the Empire, she required a bolt of the finest silk. From the silks she commanded the palace tailors to cut one hundred small pieces and from these make a robe for her child. Thus he belonged, by symbol, to one hundred strong and noble families, and under their shelter the gods would fear to harm him."

In the China adoption community the traditional is to make a quilt known as the 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Family and friends are asked to participate by donating a piece of fabric and a wish, typed or written, with a sample of the fabric attached to it. The wish can be a quote, verse, saying, or a simple greeting or wish. Creating a 100 Good Wishes Quilt is like wrapping your child in the good wishes and hopes of family and friends.

Some people join egroups for this quilt and everyone in the group exchanges a square. My DTC egroup has started. Though we don't know one another, we share a common bond: we are all waiting to adopt our children from China. Due to the closeness of our log in dates, many of us will meet up in China, probably at the White Swan Hotel; and some of us may even find our children coming from the same SWI. I believe there are 50 participants already. I received my first square and wish today. It was unexpected and took my breath away when I saw what the envelope contained because these are the things that make my impending motherhood more real and visible since I don't have a growing middle to show for it.


I received the most wonderful letter in the mail today from my agency letting me know that my Log In Date at CCAA is April 15, 2007! I am officially "paper pregnant" and expectant mom, a mom in waiting.

There is a touching story behind receiving my letter, too...

I've never hovered at the mailbox before until this adoption. I hovered in wait for my I-171 form and for this LID letter. Yesterday, I hovered over the mail delivery woman as she sorted the mail into our mailboxes. I told her I was waiting for a letter from Heartsent.

Today, she came to my door with one arm full of packages for me and the other waving the letter. She waved it in front of my eyes and asked, "Is this what you're waiting for?" with a huge grin on her face, knowing I would be more interested in the letter than the packages.

Wasn't that the nicest thing?