Friday, March 28, 2008

Cat Cuddles and Whisker Dreams

This is what I see every day. Sammy and Velvet have their bed in the bathroom. They are adoptive litter-mates. I put them together when they were five weeks old. Althought Sammy is very frisky practical joker and Velvet is a little lady of some refinement, when it's time to sleep, this is what I always find...

You can see that Velvet hugs and holds Sammy as much as he does it to her. After they eat, they also wash each other's faces, usually at the same time, which is very funny, but they eventually get into an alternating licking pattern. I hope you click on these to view them larger because the detail of their expressions is amazing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Things for Apple

Chicco toy, purchased used today.

First pair of jammies I've made for Apple.

Second pair of jammies I've made for Apple, cut from a pair
that were too small for me that I received as a Christmas gift.

I bought a top-of-the-line Elna sewing machine when I was around 20 and it finally started wearing out after sewing a million miles, at least, for me. Last weekend, I replaced it with the Janome Memory Craft 6600 and also purchased the Janome CoverPro 900 so I spent my weekend sewing, getting to know these new machines.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Although this holiday is to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, I must be honest and say that some of the things I'm most looking forward to, once Apple arrives, are Easter egg hunts, coloring eggs, little dresses and Easter bonnets, and baskets of goodies.

I've enjoyed seeing the pictures on other China-mom blogs of their little girls doing all these things. My favorite picture, though, was Mali coloring her eggs with her cat sitting on the chair beside her looking like she was officiating. Mali's blog is My Chinese Dream in the menu on the right.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joshua's Lifesong

This is the video that Joshua's mom made for his memorial service. I'm putting it up to inspire all of us to love one another and as an example of supreme motherly love. Clearly, Joshua was happy and loved his family, too. Again, here is a link to Joshua's blog.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Summer Nationals Here I Come!

I'm in the red jacket.

I am sore in places I forgot I had, but I qualified to compete in USFA 2008 Summer National Championships which will be held in San Jose, CA in July this summer!

I had to fight, fight, fight, but I secured a spot in Div III which is the lowest division. I don't mind. I competed DIV II & III two years ago and competed for Div II yesterday, also, but I was too out of shape and couldn't pull it off. I'm just glad to have qualified at all, because I have only sparred about three times since last December due to all the events surrounding my grandmother's passing and my grieving and catching up on work, etc... Only the top 3 competitors of the 11 competing yesterday got to qualify and I placed 2nd.

So, today I'm limping, nursing bruises (fencers get significant bruises on their non-weapon arm), and sore muscles, even my rib muscles, but I'm super happy. Participating in this year's Nationals was one of my adoption plan goals, sort of my final fling before motherhood. I live about 40 miles from San Jose so I wouldn't have had to spend money to travel to the competition. The best thing about my fencing future is that I will be turning 40 at the end of this year and that means I'll be in the Veteran's Division. To qualify for Nationals in Vets, you just have to show up and fence at the qualifier and you're in, regardless of where you place. This is great if you're a mom because you only have to stay in shape and train hard for half the season instead of the whole year. I don't know what my fencing future holds once Apple is home, I'll just wait and see and enjoy myself in the meantime.

Yep, we're kissing our medals!

Here it is, the front and the back.

Messing around by attacking Capoferro, a fencing master in the city of Siena, Italy who published a rapier fencing manual in Italian in 1610. In the movie The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Inigo Montoya and The Man in Black duel atop the Cliffs of Insanity where they mention various fencing techniques they have studied, including those of Capoferro.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Contemplating My Ladybug Socks

LOL! When I was showing my aunty some of Apple's clothing, I told her about the ladybug thing and she said, "Well, here..." and peeled off her socks and gave them to me for good luck. Today is the first day I've worn them in celebration of my LID anniversary.

Notice the black laptop case to the left of the computer screen? It holds my all my adoption paperwork.

11 Months LID Anniversary

Yes, there really are eleven ladybugs. I'm having fun with Illustrator!

This is a significant post. I've reached a milestone before the next curve in the road. This the last time I can count only in months. Beginning next month, I will be able to count in the number of years that I will be waiting for my daughter.

Am I still happy about the wait? Definitely! I am still savouring this time of anticipation and excitement and preparation.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The "Eliza" Skirt

Eliza's mom made her a couple of adorable skirts so I decided to try and make some, too. I loved the black and white one so I gave it a try. Here it is on my anonymous model.

I don't love mine. I like it, but I don't love it. I wasn't able to find fabrics I really liked and thought went well together, but I was able to work on the pattern proportions more.

Fortunately, my model like it a lot.

Joshua's Journey is Complete

Baby Joshua passed away, peacefully, at home. His life is a tribute to the pure love of his mother for her child, faith in Christ and natural living. I hope you will be inspired to read Susie's blog. I know that I will be a better parent because of it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Please Pray for Joshua

Joshua is a very special little baby. His very existence is what makes him so special. He was not supposed to live, but he has, for two months. He was born with a neural tube defect that caused part of his brain to form outside his skull.

Joshua has been breathing, breastfeeding, getting the hiccups, and going through diapers, just like any other baby, but each day that he lives is a miracle. He has been at home from when he was only a few hours old and without any medical equipment.

His mother is asking for some prayers right now and I know that some of you reading do pray. Please remember Joshua. His blog is Be Strong and Courageous and the link can be found on the right under Blog I Enjoy - Special Blessings.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

CCAA Update

In case you haven't noticed, CCAA is FINALLY sending referrals to families logged in in 2006! It took two years to get through 2005 families. I am updating my "box" in the right side column as I get updated by my agency, who can view the box on CCAA's website and sends me an e-newsletter when it's been updated.

Some, but not all November 2007 families have cleared the Review Room.

"Orphaned" Dolls

I love dolls. I know I've mentioned this before. Even as a child I was personally offended if I saw anyone, adult or child, abusing their doll, especially making it go naked and dirty and with the hair messed up.

As an adult, I can rarely pass up a doll in a thrift shop if I know it's a good one. I recently decluttered a large limited edition naked Lee Middleton doll that I got for $5 by donating it to the yearly indoor flea market type sale to benefit the Oakland Museum called the White Elephant Sale. I had intended to eBay it, but in a year I didn't get around to it, so out it went!

At about the same time, I found a Berenguer doll for a couple bucks at the local thrift shop and "rescued" it. It's for my daycare kids because it is a non-sexed doll and I needed another boy doll. After several weeks, I finally made it some clothes and I'm super happy with the whole outfit, especially the shirt. Shirts are hard to make for dolls because of their weird proportions and Berenguers are particularly difficult because they have a very wide neck and shoulders less than half an inch. It finally occurred to me to make a shirt with raglan sleeves, eliminating a measurable shoulder altogether.

For some reason Baby "B" looks a little jaundiced around the torso.

Spiffy new duds!

    · Diaper: free-handed (diapers are my specialty),
    · Shirt: graded down from my own preemie pattern and made
      several alterations
    · Pants: graded down my preemie pants pattern about 2 1/2 sizes
      (pants are also my specialty)
    · Hat: exact preemie hat from my pattern Baby Essentials
    · Booties: Kwik Sew pattern, graded down and adjusted

Happy Baby!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Prospective of a Biological Dad

The dryer at my apartment is broken so I've been going to the laundromat lately. Tonight I met a man and we started talking about education, which, naturally, led me to mention that I'm adopting and plan to homeschool. He then began telling me about his daughter who was reliquished for a closed adoption as an infant. I can't remember his exact words, but they weren't "gave her up" for adoption, they were actually more straight forward than that and a little stark. I wish I could remember, exactly, because I was a little surprised at how he worded it. However, he clearly loves her and she contacted him 4 years ago when she was 19. He told me how glad he is to have her in his life and how he wishes things could be a little different and that he's the one who had some fantasies he had to let go of. Mostly, he sees himself as his daughter's father, but she sees him as Mac (his name) and her dad her adoptive dad. He has not had any more children but hopes to in the future. It was amazing how this man shared his thoughts with me about this and I'm very grateful that he did. It's not often we here how the dads feel and what they wish for.

Interestingly enough, he currently had a Chinese girlfriend and oversees 6 Chinese social workers at work, so he's very familiar with Chinese culture.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm On a Roll

This is why I had to make a panda skirt. The bodyshirt is from the boy collection of Gymboree but I loved the little pandas on it so I bought it for Apple. I made this second skirt tonight. It's smaller than the first one, to match the size of the bodyshirt, and I made it less full by two squares and made the stripes on the yoke and hem band horizontal. I also left off the top-stitching. Actually, I did it then picked it all out.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I Sewed!

I am making my comeback! I actually sewed in a creative manor tonight vs. work related sewing or mending. Here it is, the Panda Skirt!

The reason I said I'm making my comeback is because I used to sew all the time. In fact, I used to bake my own bread and make my own yogurt regularly, too. I am the original Suzy Homemaker/Martha Stewart type but you wouldn't know it since about 2003. In 2004, New Conceptions had grown to be a more time-consuming business and I quit daycare for over a year to develop patterns and remodel my apartment. The remodelling involved repainting and laying a laminate floor, which I did all by myself, and I really burned out. Meanwhile, without daycare, I didn't have a set schedule and I was becoming a very good fencer quickly because I spent about 20 hours a week fencing. It was like having another job.

At the end of 2004 I was remodelling my apartment. At the end of 2005, I was re-establishing my daycare; at the end of 2006, beginning my warp speed paperchase, and at the end of 2007, I was caring for my grandmother -- All the while working as usual, running my two businesses! Needless to say, I didn't have any free time at all, and no vacations. I've been feeling pretty fried.

Now I am rejuvenating in preparation of motherhood. I want to be in top form when I become a mother to give my daughter my very best. I want to set an example to her of creativity and self-sufficiency. I want to enjoy life with her and step out of the rat-race. I want to raise my daughter at a pace conducive to healthy human living, where there is time for play and sleep, cooking and eating fresh, healthy food, reading, snuggling, going to Ocean Beach during the day, or at night with a warm bonfire. I want to be a "cool" mom that my daughter will be proud of, a solid, dependable mom for her to lean on, and a loving, fun mom so she'll enjoy her life.