Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Word About The WAIT

I've been waiting just over 37 months now to be matched to my child. That's 3 years and 6 weeks, actually. If I start counting time from the moment I first realized my daughter would be coming from China, then the entire wait has been 51 months, or, 4 years and 3 months long.

Honestly, it doesn't feel that long at all. Not at all. Really.

In retrospect, I loved doing the paperwork (not really, at the time I was VERY stressed because of the deadline for singles) and loved taking all the classes at my agency (for real). I loved meeting with my social worker and I can't wait for my update in a few months so she can see my new house for the first time.

What feels long to me is the amount of time it's taking me to get my daycare business to the level I need to financially secure myself in my new house. I'm still living on the edge, month-to-month. It's starting to change and I'm implementing new advertising methods, including a very expensive sign that will grace my front lawn as soon as it arrives from New York, and a website, but money matters are putting a strain on me that I would be happy to do without. (Please forget that I just dropped a hefty nickel at Gymboree, I taught a semi-private serger/sewing machine class yesterday that paid for it.)

Having more money will also solve another nagging problem: serious house projects that need a professional. After these are complete, I will be able to firmly settle in, once and for all, with everything in a proper place.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am aiming for a "smooth running machine" by the time Apple comes home and one of my favorite commenters chided me on that, but it's very true for me. I can handle all that can and will come up around Apple as long as my home and businesses are running smoothly. I define this as having everything neatly organized so no thought has to go into the daily maintenance of my routine.

Think about it... Do you have to remember where the turn signal lever is on your car or does your hand automatically go to it when you need it? When you bathe, do you wash yourself in the same pattern each time? Do you vacume in the same pattern each time? Most of us do. After so many times at a task, we automatically tend to find the most efficient way of doing things, or just a way we prefer and stick to.

When I first moved into my new house, I had to learn where all the electrical outlets were and where to plug in the vacume to reach the most floor. I had to devise a pattern of vacuming that was the fastest and most thorough. The same goes for cleaning everything else. Heck, the first few times I loaded the dishwasher, it took me longer that if I'd simply washed the dishes by hand. Happily, I'm very speedy at it now, but that's because I know where each item needs to go. Every time I load the dishwasher, I do it the same way and I don't have to give it much thought any more. I am so thankful to have a dishwasher now but at first it seemed more a hassle that just washing those blasted dishes myself!

Getting my other life routines down look much longer in this new house that I ever expected so the fact that I've not added Apple to the mix yet is a blessing.

If I had received my referral and gotten Apple during this last year, I would have done the very best I could and we would managed very well, but her room would not have gotten done, that's for sure!

Fresh Organic Orange Juice

Remember my orange tree back in December here? Let there now be JUICE. Tons and tons of juice. It's frothy in the pitchers because I put it through the Vitamix blender to liquify all the pulp. I'm a no-pulp girl.

Fashion Friday #23: Gymboree Binge

Hello, I'm K, and I'm a Gymboreeholic and I LOVE it!!!

It was time to take advantage of the great weekend sale and earn those Gymbucks. I looked online first and then went to the store. I was sad, at first, because I thought I'd missed the sale of a line I liked a lot, but I was talking to myself out loud about missing it and the saleswoman heard me and said, "Oh, I think there is some left in the back," which was music to my ears. What remained was only in size 5 so I've now officially bought waaay into Apple's future. I won't remove any tags in case they don't suit her and I need to eBay them later.

I bought 13 pieces for $114.69 and $10.21 of that is sales tax. If you average that (including the tax) it comes to $8.82 per item. Anyone who has ever been to Gymboree knows what a steal this is.

Now the good part...

Everything from left to right, top to bottom:
Purple top w/ tucks & embroidered flowers (sz3): $6.39 (Reg. $22.75)
Striped Leggings (sz3): $4.79 (Reg. $22.75)
Sun Hat (sz3): $5.59 (Reg. $12.75)
Corker Hair Bow: Reg. $5.00, I paid full price
Stacking Animals Top (sz3): $7.19 (Reg. $19.75)
Flower Capris (sz3): $12.79 (Reg. $29.75)
Shirred Peasant Top w/ embroidery & bling (sz5): $9.59 (Reg. $22.75)
Flower Pants (sz5): $7.19 (Reg. $29.75)
Flower zip hoodie (sz5): $7.19 (Reg. $28.75)
Green Capris w/ pocket embroidery (sz5): $13.59 (Reg. $29.75)
Floral Top w/ embroidery (sz5): $7.99 (Reg. $19.75)
Giraffe Top w/ applique & bling (sz5): $12.39 (Reg. $19.75)
Striped Leggings (sz 5): Reg. $4.79 ($19.75)
And I earned $50 in Gymbucks!

All the size threes mix & match.

Add a t-shirt or turtleneck under these to use them all year long.

I'm really getting into elephants, giraffes and monkeys!

All the size fives mix & match, too!

The floral prints remind me of Monet paintings.

This giraffe has appliqued flowers with a little sparkle in each center.

This is a big girl top, nothing baby about it.
I can imagine Apple at 5 yrs. old wearing this.

This SUPER soft top also has a little sequins in the embroidery.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Rocking Chair

I bought a sofa at a thrift shop last Saturday. My livingroom has only one wall and the piano is against it, so there's no really good place for a sofa against the bay windows (back of the sofa to the windows). I hate it there, but it's the only place for now until I get my computer moved down to the office and turn my formal dining area into a sitting room. Or, come into some money and get a used baby grand piano and put it in the diningroom and the sofa where the piano is now.

I've always disliked sofas placed with the back to the windows, especially right up against the windows. I love looking out of windows, not sitting with my back to them. People sitting on the sofa with the sun behind them are back-lit so one cannot really see their faces either. My windows are very pretty and I have a tree right outside to look at, and the sunset, so why block a good view with a sofa?

The good side, however, is that my rocking chair, which I've had for years and years and years, and was in the livingroom, is now where it is supposed to be - in Apple's room! I've even sat in it while feeding a baby and I truly love it there. I was so worried that there wasn't going to be room for it, but there is. Unfortunately, there is only one power outlet in the entire room and it's on the opposite wall so I can't have a little lamp on a little table unless it's battery-powered. I might be able to run an extension cord under the rug or something later.

Little-by-little, this house is becoming home and one day, sometime in the future, I'll bring my little daughter here and tell her she's home.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Apple's Room

I've been spending more time in Apple's room lately and it's starting to feel like a real part of my house for the first time. When I first moved in, remember, I had a friend living with me and she used Apple's room. So, from the start, I didn't go in there and the bathroom doors were always closed. The bathroom is between my room and Apple's room. A couple weeks ago, I actually slept in there for the first time because my aunty was visiting and I gave her my room. During the day, I put two of my daycare babies in there for naps.

The same weekend my aunty came, the day she left, one of my daycare babies, 14 months old, stayed overnight for two nights while her parents were out-of-town. I kept the bathroom doors open and I went in and out of the room and through the bathroom to my room just as it will be when Apple is here.

I've been thinking a lot about how Apple's furniture will fit. The dresser I bought to refinish for her is wider and lower so that she can get into the drawers herself and look at herself in the mirror I'll hang above it, but a narrower, taller dresser would give her a lot more space. I suppose I'll be able to change it when she's about 10 years old and taller. I'd also hoped to get my rocking chair in there, but it doesn't look like it will fit. There is also only one outlet in the entire room and it's behind where the dresser will probably have to be.

I'm really looking forward to the time when it's right to start getting everything ready!

My Friend Dreamed of Apple

My best friend, E, just called and told me that she dreamed of my daughter. In her dream, I'd just returned from China with Apple and wanted E to come and see her. E came over and I had Apple in the backyard and it was a sunny day. Apple was running around, swinging and jumping like a well-adjusted child and looked about 2 years old. She had her hair cut in a short bob with bangs. I told E to be careful that Apple was shy and scared and not used to things yet, but E saw Apple running around and playing like any happy child would.

That's it.

I asked my friend if I told her Apple's name in the dream and she said that I didn't. I honestly don't even try thinking of naming her until I at least see her picture or even in real life, or, unless I hear her name in my head.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

From my garden...

Apple's Apple Tree..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Man-Chore Day

Today was full of doing things that my husband would do, if I had a husband - a good husband. Fortunately, well, may not, I can do them myself. Things such as...

Paint the play structure...

Order the part to fix the broken brake release cable (I'll fix it, too)...

Buy half an oak barrel, fasten it on top of my car (gave some cute guys something funny to look at when I was in the store's parking lot, on top of my car stretching the bungee over this thing), get home and get it off my car (myself)...

I believe I'm ready for single-motherhood. Bring It On!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Babies - The Movie

I saw Babies tonight and I highly recommend it because it really makes one think about one's own beliefs about raising a child.

I've been fortunate enough to have lived in Asia and to have friends from Africa and to get a glimpse of the contrasts in parenting methods, but I found that seeing it in this movie was incredible - mostly the contrasts.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead...

What first struck me as very interesting is that of the three families that used diapers, it was the American family who used cloth diapers. The Mongolian family living on the prairie in a yurt used disposable diapers (later, no diapers) as did the Japanese family. It was also the American baby who began life in a neonatal intensive care unit.

The dirt didn't bother me, the African baby mouthing dirt, rocks, and bones didn't bother me, but the flies did. Flies have been on dung and/or rotten carcasses.

I cracked up when the American baby was at a mommy & me singing some kind of wanna be primitive Indian song about the earth and the baby wanted to leave, then the scene switches to a baby living in a truly primitive fashion. It was hilarious!

The Mongolian family living in the yurt may have seemed primitive, but the baby, surprisingly, was not born at home, and they had a cell phone and satilite dish and either TV or a computer.

The Japanese family was very mod. In what looked like the daycare for the infant, I recoiled a lot because of the sound of so many crying babies. I run my daycare in a manner that exudes calmness around the babies as much as possible, with the appropriate stimulation, of course, but there is always an underlying calmness that gives the babies security so they don't cry in the manner the movie babies in the daycare did. It seems that McClaren strollers win the popularity contest. Of all the strollers shown, this brand made up over half of them. I can understand it easily; they are GREAT strollers. I have three of them! One for Apple and a single and double for my daycare.

Side note: I currently have 11 strollers! Add four or five more if you count doll strollers, too.

I was impressed with the care that other children gave the African babies, even young children. As a child, I was always asking to hold and take care of people's babies at church and spent many Saturdays voluntarily babysitting until I was 9 years old and started getting paid, so this seemed very normal to me, but impressive because they seemed so caring and tender with them.

Fashion Friday #22

I'm still shopping at my friend's second-hand store a few times a week. New things come in every day and I've been scoring some nice things lately as all the rich mamas in town bring their stuff in. I'm buying mostly size 3, but some of these are size 2. The dresses with the pants are a European brand, from Copenhagen, the others are Tea (stripe shirt), Zutano (short jacket), Sonoma (white top) and generic.

Touching Home - Ed Harris

I saw Ed Harris. I stood within inches of Ed Harris. I had my photo with Ed Harris (though it turned out pretty bad because he turned to speak to someone). I could have touched Ed Harris, but what an intrusion that would have been for him, and his fire-breathing dragon-lady PR person/bodyguard was aiming at me.

What happens when you pass your camera off to a stranger
who can't take good pictures! I was telling him to wait.

See, he wasn't ignoring me, just listening to The Twins.

I went to the opening of Touching Home and I really loved the movie. I'd seen The Twins two years ago at the premier at the San Francisco Film Festival. I didn't see the movie at that time, but I shook hands with Noah and Logan. Now, I've got their autographs in the book they wrote, whatever significance that may have, but, best of all, I got to see Ed Harris in person and see Touching Home.

It was extraordinarily emotional for me to witness the movie, knowing it was their true story and knowing they were acting in it and they were there, in the room. I didn't sit there bawling in my seat, but felt privileged to witness two men, laying their hearts open, honoring their father and the love they have for him, despite his alcoholism. It was seeing two men pull out and remember the best of a broken man, when they could have ended up walking in his footsteps and no one would have blamed them.

Logan and Noah Miller signing my book, "Take 1". I guess since they are twins you can put the two partial faces together and see what they look like! And this stranger's girlfriend bragged what a good photographer he was. Not!

Take 2 is a little better!