Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular...

...was good, maybe even very good, but I don't know that I'd call it spectacular. They certainly are amazing dancers, but half of the show didn't even feature them. Not bad, but not something I need to see for at least a few more years. Miss E loved it, and as a tap dancer, how could she not? We had tix in the 10th row, and she is now practicing her high kicks. Here she is on the steps inside the theater...

And here she is after we got home - Grandma and Grandpap H bought the kilt when they were in Scotland in the fall. Mamaw S, do you recognize these trees? They're the ones I bought last year in our after-Christmas shopping spree!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What's in a name?

We had enough trouble naming our first born. We were all set with a boy's name - Ethan Bennett - but hadn't finalized the girl's selection to any fewer than two or three. On the way to the hospital, K said to me, "So, about that name conversation we need to finish..." As soon as she popped out, the doctor said, "Congratulations, it's a girl! What's her name?" My response: "Ummm, can we get back to you on that in a few hours?" You'd think that after nine months of pregnancy, you'd have this important decision made.

Now fast forward to present day, where we are in the 20th month of this "pregnancy", and would you believe we still don't have a name for this child?!?! The list of possible candidates keeps getting longer instead of shorter. There are two or three favorites on the list (no, I'm not going to share them - we don't want anyone else to influence this decision!), but we haven't talked about any of them seriously. And we'd like to keep the Chinese name as the middle name, so there is the whole "how will it flow?" factor that can't really be factored in until Referral Day. The Chinese name will most likely have been given to the child by the SWI (orphanage), and the name is usually based on some trait of the baby. The last name is usually the same for all children in the SWI. Sometimes the last name is the orphanage director's name; sometimes they give all children who arrive in the same year one last name and then use a different last name the next year.

All I know, as we wait for the December matches any day now, is that if China matches babies with families at the same pace as the past few months, we could get a match in 8-12 weeks, and I don't feel any closer to this important decision than I did 20 months ago. And, once we get the referral (match), we only have a few days to submit visa applications, etc. that require the baby's name to be declared.

In the meantime, here is a fun website to play with to see the popularity of names over the years: If you see any good ones, please send them along!!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas morning

Well, she must have been good, because the big guy in the red suit apparently visited the house last night. Here's what we awoke to this morning:

EJ had asked for a stuffed beagle and a pet carrier on her list. She named him Snowflake.

She also got a magic set,

Moon shoes (like mini trampolines that you strap onto your feet),

and a High School Musical speaker pillow that you plug into your CD player or iPod. I have a feeling I won't be using my iPod for a while!

E bought Dad some pajamas with penguins on the pants:

Mamaw and Pap-Pap S. bought her the Twister Dance DVD game that she wanted and a math game. Grandma and Grandpap H got her a Guinness Book of World Records that she's had her eye on:

And some of the most excitement we saw was upon the opening of another item on her list - a Furby, and a purple one at that!

Grandma and Grandpap H. also bought her a bag and clothes for her iDog:

Another great gift from Santa - three tickets to the Rockettes Christmas show on Thursday!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More quilt fabric!

Another piece of quilt fabric arrived in yesterday's mail. This cute pink fabric with flowers and butterflies is from my great aunt and uncle (also my godparents), A. and J. B. in PA. She sent a note with instructions to cut two squares from the fabric - one for each of them. And, I think there will even be enough of it left for a small pillow. Thanks!

School party

Yesterday was Mrs. D's class Christmas Party. There was a yummy brunch, stories, 2nd grade bingo, and even a visit by Mr. Claus himself!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New adoption rules in China

There has been all sorts of discussion about this online over the past week or two. The CCAA (the agency in China that controls adoptions) is tightening their adoption rules in May. While this does not affect us, it does affect a whole bunch of people who are in the midst of their six month paperwork process now, as it may make quite a few of them ineligible. Along with more stringent requirements around marriage, health, and income, the biggest change is probably the elimination of the singles program. Here is a link to a story in today's NYTimes that was forwarded to me this morning by a friend.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gingerbread Wizard

Hey, I warned you in the Xmas card note, it's all about Harry this year. Harry who? Harry Potter, of course! As we were decorating a batch of gingerbread men the other day, EJ decided she needed a Harry cookie, which inspired the carving of a lightning bolt scar in his forehead with the cookie spatula (see cookie on left). Then, I looked over a few minutes later and noticed that one of the next cookies had two different colored eyes, and the blue eye was MUCH larger than the purple one. "Who's that?" I asked. Her reply? "Mad-Eye Moody!" Yep, we're about halfway through book 4, The Goblet of Fire (my favorite!)

It's hip to be square!

Today, I received the first square for the 100 wishes quilt. Actually, I received the first THREE squares, all from Dr. and Mrs. P B! Thank you very much for this terrific start to the quilt project. Here are the three fabrics that D sent me. A quote from her note: "These aren't pandas or landybugs, but maybe we'll start a new trend..." I agree, so bumblebees and leopards it is. Thanks a bunch Mrs. B!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

100 Good Wishes Quilt

Some of you will read about this in your Christmas card this year, so I'm cross-posting the info here for reference.

In northern China, there is a tradition of making a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt to welcome and celebrate a new life. These quilts are very popular in the Chinese adoption community, and it is customary to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth as a wish for the baby. The quilt is supposed to bring luck and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

Since I need a project to keep me from going crazy in these last few months before traveling to China for our adoption, I have decided to make a quilt. I hope you can help me! Here’s what I’m hoping you can do:

  • Send me a 6 inch by 6 inch square of fabric to be one of the 100 blocks in the quilt. Only two guidelines:
  1. The fabric should be 100% cotton, and preferably not knit cotton or anything stretchy.
  2. The fabric should be reflective of you, or something that the baby might like. Some examples…if you like gardening, maybe a print with flowers. If you are one of my Florida friends, maybe something more tropical or something Disney-related. Fabric with panda bears or ladybugs (considered lucky in China) are also popular for these quilts. Not too hard, right? Any color and pattern will do, as long as it’s something you like! Be creative!
  • I’m also enclosing a notecard for you to sign to be included in a scrapbook about the quilt. If you feel up to it, you’re welcome to add a message on the card. Just be sure to sign the card and return it with your fabric. If you are not the only person in your household, you can sign for your whole family or have each person (including the kids!) sign the card.
  • It would be great if you could send me the fabric by January 31st. I’d like to piece together the quilt top before I travel.
  • If you have kids in your house, please invite them participate as well. I’m happy to receive multiple squares from your family, and the kids might like picking out their own fabric and signing the notecard.

Here is a link to some pictures of 100 wishes quilts:, and you can find look at one woman’s fabric squares at Please feel free to email or call if you have any questions! I promise to post pictures of the quilt when it's ready!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Piano Debut

So, here are the pics from the pageant today. E did a great job with her piano performance - and she's only had four lessons! They even asked her to play it again so everyone could sing along!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Pageant Dress Rehearsal

The Christmas pageant at Faith isn't until tomorrow, but I always get better photos during dress rehearsal anyway. Miss E gets to be her favorite character, an angel, again this year. I think she enjoys the costume. After the pageant, there will be a big potluck dinner followed by a talent show. For the past few years, she always sang something while I accompanied on the piano, but this year, she doesn't want to be my sidekick. She's doing her own thing, playing Jingle Bells on the piano. I'll be sure to post pictures...

Monday, December 4, 2006

Really, Santa, I've been good this year...

EJ had breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning at school. She didn't have time to tell him everything that she wants. The list, after all, is four double-sided pages. It even has a cover letter: