Friday, September 28, 2007

18 Months Ago Today...

On Tuesday March 28th, 2006, I probably woke to my alarm at 4:00am, thinking "Is it Friday yet?". I'm sure I warmed up my car, wondering if the rain would ever end and thought about what he heck to make for dinner. Later that day, after meetings and a splitting headache, I most likely headed to the gym, wondering how long I would make it on the spin bike before heading for the hot tub.

Later, after taking Polli for her evening W-A-L-K, I changed into my PJ's, brushed my teeth for exactly 2 minutes, settled in for some time with Tivo, and was soon out like a light before my head hit the pillow.

While all these things are typical for me and most others on a seemingly ordinary Tuesday in March, there was one major difference that set this day apart from any other... Somewhere in a small coastal town thousands of miles away, our son Ian was coming into the world.

So, today on September 28th, 2007, 18 months later, we wait (not so patiently) for just one more month to board a plane. On our way to being a family of one very unprepared French Bulldog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Our Little Boy’s Growing Up!

New pictures came today of Ian thanks to Adele at Blessed Kids! He doesn't look too terribly different from 14 to 18 months, but he is losing a bit of that baby pudge. It must mean he's up and running around finally!

Take a look at his progression: 18, 14, & 8 months. I'm hoping that's his "going home" outfit… I've become a little attached to it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Saying Goodbye To My Parents...

No, they haven't croaked just yet... They had sprung it on me back in March that they were putting their house on the market and moving to Arizona... selling the house they've lived in since I was 5. My childhood home and pretty much the only snapshot that comes to mind when I think about the backdrop of the memories of my youth.

Several months and a price reduction later, they finally got an offer in this crummy real estate market! At long last, my mom could break the secret to her employers and finally retire. My dad has been retired for some time, so it was an easy transition for him... jump in the truck and go... but my mom had two doctor's families whom she has been a house manager for, for almost 25 years, to say goodbye to...with kids she met as toddlers who are now welcoming their own children into the world. It will probably be a long 12 step process to break her habits of getting up at 4am every day. At least now it can be to have coffee and read a book by the pool instead of to turn on the fireplace and head out to manage someone else's home.

We helped them fill two full sized semi trailers on Friday and they receive payment for their house today. Tonight is spent at an RV park...and then tomorrow they hit the road for Arizona to start their next chapter and a new adventure.

Bye mom & dad! We'll miss having you so close. Please call often and visit as often as you would like (lord knows we'll be coming down there often to enjoy the sun). When you're settled, we'll get you Skype so you can read Ian bedtime stories over the computer.

So, while they're still alive and kicking, I do know one thing now that this adventure is all over: When they do go, my brother, sister, and I will be stuck fighting over A LOT of stuff. I wonder if I can talk them into writing it into their will to leave it all to my sister. She would legally be stuck with it all, right?

The house and yard I grew up in... It's just now hitting me that I won't be driving down that driveway again...

Mom & Dad are staying in this RV park in the middle of the city tonight... poised to head south tomorrow morning. They're in one of the RV's. Is that my dad sipping iced tea at the pool?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Travel Itinerary

Here we are almost a month past receiving our Travel Approval and I'm just now booking our plane tickets! Families with our same TA date are in China now meeting their babies. I thought that would be really hard to take, but I'm too busy trying to tie up loose ends at work and home to obsess too much. I still can't stand that we still have 6 weeks to go, but hopefully the time will fly by.

Thanks to Shawn's travels abroad in the past year or so, he had enough miles to allow us a couple of options... 1) Upgrade to Business Class from Seattle to China, or 2) Pay for a majority of coach tickets. After much thought, we decided to go with the savings on coach. After all, we planned to buy Ian a seat home, afraid of what 15 hours with a 19 month our laps would be like.

We ended up getting our tickets for half price, which is a great thing because Ian's one way ticket was almost as much as an adult round trip ticket. Oy!

Unfortunately, to use our miles, we had to shift our departure dates by one day. So, will a little in-country tweaking still to be done, here's our itinerary:

October 29th: Leave for China
October 30th: Arrive in Beijing
November 3rd: Fly to Hangzhou
November 5th: Family Day! Ian is ours!
November 9th: Fly to Guangzhou
November 16th: Fly home

Friday, September 7, 2007

Where's The Mess?

I mentioned in my last post that Ian's room is a mess... what mess? I guess I cleverly positioned myself to hide that side of the room.

It wasn't until I took this picture that I realized how supportive I've been of Target and REI's profit margins lately. If only you knew what's in that big box... Yes, more Target bags!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ian’s Room…So Far

Ian's room has gotten off to a slow start. We found a loving home for our parrot, Gonzo, who used to call that room home. It also served as my craft room and computer room. Across the hall, our 2nd spare room became…no, not a guest room… but my TV and reading room (since Shawn and I watch TV in separate rooms…sometimes the same show, but separate rooms J ). I used the computer in Gonzo's room maybe twice since buying it new, because I preferred using my laptop in the TV room (Gonzo also had a huge problem if his Spongebob videos where interrupted by web surfing) . My craft gear migrated west to the closet in the TV room and has gone barely touched since. Now that we were able to combine the two rooms, Ian could finally have his space.

I set up his crib by myself in less than an hour. It is great quality furniture and should last. It is a "lifetime crib" that will convert to toddler bed and then full sized headboard. Chances are we'll change to something incorporating a desk or storage when he gets older, but for now it will do just fine.

As for the dresser, Shawn and I planned to carry it upstairs ourselves, but once we realized that the drawers don't come out (for safety reasons), it became apparent that it would be far too heavy for me to help with. We had several 90 degree turns and a standard nightmare stair landing/turn to make…In all, it weighed at least 250 pounds if not more, and was long. I'm glad it's heavy and low. I won't have to worry about it toppling over on Ian if he decides it will make a good jungle gym. They also did a great job of fixing the drawers and shelves so the don't come out without the help of a screwdriver. Headache for dad; piece of mind for mom.

We wound up bribing half of Shawn's family with dinner and margaritas to help us with the dresser. Getting it upstairs only cost us an additional $200 once it was all said and done…When they offered to deliver, why didn't we think about this?

So, unfortunately, these pictures only exemplify the bareness of his room. As of now, he has plenty of clothes (most of which probably won't fit him once he's home) and a few books. That's it! Nothing on the walls, no toys… poor kid (actually no mattress yet either…note to self). His room is also acting as packing central, so please forgive the mess.