Tuesday, February 28, 2006

September DTC Secret Pal swap for February

I got a large package today at my front door and inside it was several gifts wrapped in yellow, pink and purple paper. There was a note saying I could only open yellow and pink b/c the purple is for March.

Here are the pink and yellow gifts for the month of February. The ladybug shoes are my favorite. Logan also got some playdooh.

I'm hoping I can open the March gift tomorrow. You can't put something wrapped for me in front of me and say I have to WAIT to open it. Since tomorrow is March 1st, then I think I should get to see what I got. Wonder how long it will take me before I give in and open it?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Update

Today was another referral day. Looks like most of HFS clients that received referrel's all had children born in May of last year. I'm always curious of the ages of the babies and how old they are once they come back to the States. The log-in dates were through May 25th. Interesting that the referrels and birthdates are very close. Makes me wonder if Madelyn will have a birthday around August or September.

We've discussed the possibility of Nate, Andrew and Madelyn being in the same grade in school. If she is born in August or early September (or earlier than August), there's a possibility they may be one year difference in grades in school. If not, it will be like having triplets for sure when school starts for all of them. Did I ever mention we live 5 houses back from a new elementary school? Good thing for us to be so close with all these kids. We'll walk to school on good weather days, and on days it's raining or too cold, I don't even have to leave our development to get on school grounds if I drive them to school.

I've had a kid free day today. Kricket took Logan for me so I could make two appointments without dragging him around. I also was able to get some rest. I've been having lots of back pain lately and a chiropractor told me today there wasn't much more he could do for me at this point in my pregnancy b/c of the way the babies are positioned. I can't even make it up the steps of my house. I'm ready to see these baby faces on the outside instead of only by ultrasound. I feel like I'm failing as a mother to Logan b/c I can not do for him like I normally do. He's having to grow up a lot these past few weeks/months and do more for himself.

Speaking of Logan, tomorrow my precious baby boy is having part of a toenail removed. I know as soon as he cries, I'm going to cry even more. It's going to hurt at first I'm sure. Say a prayer for him. I hate to make him go through something like this but since birth he's had problems with ingrown toenails and the most recent one was really bad and to the point the skin outside of it was turning brown. It hurts me so much to see him hurt.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Scrapbook Exchange for January

If you read my previous post, you'll see we got lots of mail today. Another package received late b/c our mail was being held at the post office was the scrapbook exchange. Lots of goodies were in the package...stickers, paper, beads and other embellishments. One day I'll start Madelyn's lifebook. I received a baby scrapbook from a previous secret pal swap so I have something to start putting her lifestory in already, however; there just doesn't seem to be enough time in a day lately to get everything done that I want to do.

August DTC Secret Pal Gifts for January AND February

Finally for the first time today we received mail at our new house and we had so much the mail carrier had to bring it to the front door. I received two separate packages from my August DTC Secret Pal.

The first one was from the Chinese New Year theme. I got a Chinese Horoscope book with some candies, a few in the shape of ladybugs. Logan was ready to eat the candy and Leia started pawing at the ladybug candy as if they were real bugs. I also had a Chinese New Year card to go along with it.

The second package was all for baby. There was something in there for all the Hooker kids. First, there were finger paints for Logan. The twins got matching sleepers and socks. Madelyn got a sleeper and another packet of three outfits. This pal went all out for this month.
Thanks Secret Pal again for all the great goodies.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Our New Home

We've now owned our home one week as of Today. It's wonderful being able to have a house to live in again even though it looks destroyed in the inside right now. We have boxes all over the place. We've unpacked many boxes and last night I even had a lady come over and get some of the empty boxes. When she saw the stack she said "this is more than I'll need" but she said she was a realtor and would share the boxes after she's done or with what she doesn't use for her clients. I think half of our stuff is all Logan's. When the movers saw the storage buildings they asked Tony how many kids we had. I've saved everything since he was a baby so I guess it looks like we have tons of kids already.
This is the mess in our garage we still have to unpack. Everything in this picture was in storage plus some of the furniture brought inside. Before we moved we had a yard sale, took lots to Salvation Army and Goodwill and gave some things away to friends. How did we ever accumulate all this stuff? I can't figure out how it all fit in our last house. I'm already starting another pile now for charities. Would you believe we still have a few van trips in our apartment? We plan on this weekend trying to get everything out of there.

Unfortunately I can't do as much as I want to do around here. I'm just not physically able to while 33 weeks pregnant. I swelled up really bad over moving weekend and my OB told me to rest as much as possible. That's not easy for me to do right now. I want to get my house in order NOW and make it look fabulous and get rid of all the boxes.

We found out Sunday we were victims of credit card theft. Thankfully it was after we closed on the house. Someone did lots of online shopping with our number. Our card has been canceled and we're waiting on the credit card company to mail us a list of the charges to go through, but as of right now, we have no credit card and have no idea how much was put on there.

Today I'm actually home all day. I think it's the first day of this week I haven't had to run errands or have any appointments so I'm hoping to get some things accomplished around here.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Moving Day

Yesterday was our big moving day. Hiring movers was the best idea ever. Those men worked hard for 12-13 hours straight. Unfortunately we had an underestimate of what we owned so everything didn't get moved but at least all the furniture was moved and the majority of the boxes. I'm back at the apartment now b/c lots still has to be packed and moved. Fortunately we have a couple weeks to finish it all.

We love our new house. There are several things we have to report back to the builders Monday like our missing garage door openers, wet carpet (not sure why), and a few other things they said they would do but never did. We spent the night there last night but I couldn't sleep. We forgot pillows so I attempted the recliner to sleep in and it didn't work. After my 45 minute soak in the bathtub around 2am this morning, I took towels and made my own pillow the best I could. By 5am I gave up and got ready and came back to the apartment to do some more packing and cleaning. Logan slept on the couch b/c his bed was not setup.

Speaking of that bathtub that's I've mentioned on the blog before, it's not the biggest I've ever seen but at least it fits a large pregnant woman like me in it. We didn't have any soap at the house except handsoap but I did enjoy sitting in there middle of the night, no noises from neighbors or interruptions from Logan. Our bathroom is the hotest room in the house. It can turn into a sauna with the heat going and hot water in the tub.

Neither mine nor Tony's clothes made it to the house except underwear and socks so we slept in dirty clothes. I had to bring underwear and socks to the apartment so I could bathe here since the shampoo was here. However, I forgot that my hairdryer did make it to the house as well as makeup and hairbrush so I look a bit rough.

Leia hasn't yet seen the house. She'll remain at the apartment until we get everything moved. She'll probably go nuts with extra space to run around in and might slim up. I like fat cats though.

Off to do more packing and cleaning and then grocery shopping. We're getting our refrigerator sometime today. I'll post photos later. Gotta see how much is packed in our garage. I don't know if we'll park in there anytime in the near future due to all of the boxes. How we ever fit all this stuff in our old house I don't know, let alone 2 storage buildings and a small apartment.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

One More Day

Tomorrow is our day to sign ourselves back into debt with a new home loan. We had our final walk-thru this evening. Everything looks great except they must have the worst housecleaners. There was dirt still in sinks and tubs and dust all over the floors and none of the cabinets had been cleaned out. Light fixtures and windows were very dirty. Our buyers agent complained to the superintendent but he said he couldn't do anything about it so she's going to complain to the person that sold the home to us. Hopefully we'll get some help cleaning it up. It's not nasty but for a new home, it shouldn't be dusty and have dirt and dust from construction debris all over.

As we were walking around the house on the outside, I took a peep through my bathroom window and guess what was using my bathroom?


It was just sitting there walking around on the inside of the window. Maybe this means the next referrels are coming any day now. I know it's not ours but that does mean it's getting closer to our turn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Laukat's are on their way to China

In just a few days, Susan and Will will meet their daughter Olivia. I'm so excited for them. This will be their first child.

Moms Club

Today my Moms Club I joined had a Valentine's Party for the kids. Today I got to meet probably the only other mother in the club that has adopted from China. Her little girl is adorable. We talked a lot about the process and she told me if later on when it gets closer to travel if I have any questions about the trip to let her know. Her daughter was 10 months old when they got to China and is about 3-4 now. I didn't ask her age but she looked Logan's age. Everytime I see a little Chinese girl with American families it makes me want Madelyn even more if that's possible.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

My Valentine's Day didn't start out too well but it ended pretty darn good.

I didn't sleep last night...nothing new. That's been going on for a while now. I also got up with a sore throat and scratchy voice. I was up and out early to physical therapy. Logan's teachers had forgotten that he would be late so they thought I had went into labor. I surprised them showing up 45 minutes late for school. Logan got a bunch of candy from his preschool party today. He at least had a good time if I had a bad morning.

After my OB appointment I discovered I locked my keys in the van. I have a bad habit of doing this. Before going in I remembered I had not checked my blood sugars after breakfast so instead of putting my keys in my purse after I parked, I pulled out my meter and laid the keys in the passenger seat. I have to show my blood sugar numbers to the doctors every visit. I at least remembered that when I went in. I had to call Tony to come rescue me with his set of keys. Unfortunately the distance from his work to my doctor's office is about 35-40 minutes away so he missed getting a lunch break. What a great Valentine I have though to come to my rescue.

After making that call to Tony to come open my van doors, I tried making another call on my cell. I've been having lots of problems with it for a while now (thanks to dropping it a few times) and today it decided to finally give up. I could make calls out but couldn't hear anyone but they could hear me. Since I could pop anyday with babies, Tony's next gift to me for Valentine's day was another phone. He didn't want me out alone without a way to call him or anyone for help. So, I'm the proud owner of the cheapest Alltel phone sold right now (and let me say it wasn't cheap). Later on I did get a cute text message from my Valentine telling me he loved me. I was drivng so I didn't reply.

After leaving the Alltel place, I came close to wrecking. I have no brain cells lately and for some reason when I was trying to get back on the highway to come home, I thought I was taking the wrong exit but it really was the right one. I turned onto the exit ramp and then tried to get back on the road immediately after b/c I was thinking I was going the wrong way and almost hit the curb and didn't even look for cars coming. I felt like I was going to overturn the van. Anyway, I took a few deep breaths and did a U-turn and tried again. I made it home safely thank goodness. Then I spent the rest of the day changing our address and transferring utilities over to our new house.

My doctor today did make my day by prescribing something to help me sleep. I'm hoping tonight to get a few zzzz's. He also wants me going to the hospital twice a week for NST's. Unfortunately they can't make appointments so I have to call every Monday and Thursday morning and ask "when can I come in today?" and it could be at that very moment or much later. I'm so glad I've got some friends to help me out with Logan b/c that's one thing I'd rather not drag him along for. It made me wonder what do working moms do in that situation b/c I'm sure many employers would not allow a person to walk out without warning to go to a doctor's appointment. Good thing I don't work anymore outside the home.

Tony decided after work that we deserved a good meal for Valentine's Day but I didn't feel like going back out. We ordered take-out from one of our favorite restaurants - Carrabba's. When he got there the order was wrong so they offerred him a $45 gift certificate to come back and didn't charge for the corrected meal. It was delicious but they still made one mistake in the order they thought was corrected - they put celery in my salad - YUCK!!!! I don't know how people eat that stuff.

I did get a cute Valentine card that had a picture of a castle on it. He wrote "To My Beautiful Queen. We will be in our New Castle soon enough." Three more days until we hold the keys in our hands for our new house. I was cheap....Logan and Tony both only got 0.99 cent candy from me. I knew Logan would get a lot of candy and other Valentine's from school so I didn't go all out this time. He came home with bags of candy. Logan also doesn't care for stuffed animals (except for one Kricket gave him) nor balloons. He's the only kid I know that doesn't like balloons.

Logan and I are going tomorrow to Valentine's Day (one day late) party with the Moms Club I joined. We're having a pot luck lunch and the kids will be making crafts.

Happy Valentine's Day to Madelyn all the way over in China and all the other orphans waiting on their families.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Homeowner's Again

Late this upcoming Friday afternoon, we will finally be Homeowner's again. We finally got a call that we are closing at the end of the day, probably the last client at the lawyer's office. We have movers booked for Saturday and I don't plan on moving a single box. I'm making sure everything is in a box b/c if it is, it will be moved (besides furniture). However, we will move our computers. I don't think Tony would trust them with his valuable possessions. We'll be offline all weekend until we get internet service connected at the house.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Fedex came knocking at my door today. I received my gift from my cybershower exchange. Aren't these the cutest outfits? It still shocks me to see pink in my home. I'm so used to blues. I was so excited to get the package from Fedex that I opened the door forgetting I didn't have a bra on and had wet hair from my shower. I'm sure they've seen worse though. My exchange partner had originally sent my package to my new address when we thought we were moving in January but then I didn't get the word out to her in time to change shipping addresses. Fortunately it was sent back to the sender so she could resend again to me. Unfortantely I'll have to pack these back up instead of hanging them in Madelyn's closet at least until next weekend. I'm curious how much I will fill up her closet once we start unpacking her belongings after our move.

Lots of Babies

I thought carrying two babies at the same time in utero was rough. What if it was 13?

Kricket has 13 new grandchildren.

One Rotten Cat

Yep, that's our rotten cat all snuggled up with two pillows, sheet, blanket, and a teddy bear.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What I'm NOT Going to Miss About Apartment Living

As I sit here listening to my nieghbor's stereo system through the walls, it reminds me of what I will not miss once we move out. (BTW- we're in the middle of the 3 story apartment building.)

1. Noises from next door....music, seems like they are always hammering on the wall maybe hanging a wallhanging or something like that, and I can always here their washer and dryer.

2. Noises upstairs...They like to vacuum at 11:00pm. They also have a runner above us. (I'm sure the ones below us hear Logan too runing).

3. I will not miss carrying groceries up the stairs or anything else that has to come up.

4. I will not miss carrying things down the stairs either like trash and also having to carry trash up the road to the dumpster. I look forward to having trash pick-up again.

5. I will not miss the clutter. When you don't have space to hide things, you get more clutter.

6. I will not miss the closet size kitchen.

7. I will not miss parking in a parking lot instead of a driveway. There's been a few dents added to our vehicle doors from careless residents parking beside us.

8. I will not miss the slow mail service. The postal carrier doesn't come until about 5pm and has sometimes not arrived until 7pm or later. Then if she has packages for us, she never delivers to us. They go to the apartment office and we have to wait until the next day when the apartment office opens to get our packages.

9. I will not miss the tiny washer and dryer in our apartment. I can't wait to get my own w/d out of storage. Seems like we do twice the laundry b/c the washer and dryer will only hold about 2 days worth for the 3 of us. My extra capacity washer could wash a King size comforter.

10. We will not miss the city traffic around the apartment complex.

This list could go on and on....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Updated Home Photos

We have a driveway and a paved walkway to our front door now. That's the Hooker men checking it out. We were the first to park on the driveway (at least our van was the only prints on it).

We also have our two heating/air units and back patio. For those that saw my last house, LOOK - I have a flat yard this time. It's much smaller but at least it's flat and so is my driveway. We back up to a cow pasture. I hope it always stays that way but some builder will probably come along and offer them a fortune and it will be sold.

We're FINALLY Moving

I just got a call that our walk-thru on our new home will be Monday morning on 2/13 and we're closing on 2/17. YIPPEE!!!! I'm so excited and can't wait to get into a house again. This apartment is one of the nicest apartments we've ever lived in but it's not a house. I'm ready for more space and to have my belongings out of storage. I'm ready to set up nurseries. Logan and Leia both need the extra space. Leia is getting to be a fat cat b/c she doesn't have much room to run around in. Of course, I like fat cats but she is still a kitten and needs to grow in other places too besides the belly. Logan misses all his toys that we have in storage.

Nine more days and we're outta here!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Kisses to China

Logan's bedtime routine keeps getting longer and longer. It started out us reading several books with a few words on each page, kisses goodnight and he was asleep. Now it's progressed to longer books, made up stories, bedtime prayers on our knees, kisses and hugs (10 of them each), some done up-side-down, all around the room and then off to sleep. He's even started adding in kisses to his baby brother's and as of tonight kisses and hugs are being sent to China.

He gave hugs and kisses to China located on this ball. Logan has had this ball for a while now and has had a few geography lessons. He knows where America is and where China is and knows that we have to travel to China to bring Madelyn home. It's so sweet how he talks about his two babies living in Mommy's belly and then he'll have three babies when Madelyn comes home from China. Maybe one day I'll catch him on video talking about all the babies. I have overheard him at a friend's house on a baby monitor telling his new friends without any adults in the room about his new babies. It's so adorable!

Coming Soon....

I haven't talked much lately on our adoption blog about the upcoming births but decided to share a little of what's going on right now. Nate and Andrew are growing and are very healthy. Mom on the other hand feels like crap dealing with the pain of carrying multiple babies and dealing with gestational diabetes.

As of Monday, babies are weighing in at an estimated weight of 4lbs 6ozs and 4lbs 3ozs - only a 3 oz difference. They are bigger than what a typical baby would be at this gestational age but considering I have GD, then this is pretty common.

Today with my OB I discussed again how these babies are coming out. I will not go past 3/27 that's a definite so less than 7 weeks now before they arrive. Since both babies are heads down, I've been given the option to go for a vaginal birth or I can choose a c-section based on my history.

Logan scarred me for life. I have fears of repeating that birth experience again. He's healthy but it wasn't the birth I had hoped for. It was a long hospital stay, 40+ stitches you know where, pain for many, many weeks after, and I never really returned back to normal after that. Then there was Reagan. I couldn't even birth a 19 week gestation deceased baby and ended up in surgery. I'll spare the details of both but let's say it wasn't like the movies in either case where the mom gets to hold the baby immediately and she smiles and cries happy tears and they all go home with no problems.

So, more and likely I'm looking at having a c-section mid March as long as I don't go into labor before then. No, I'm not looking forward to another surgery and being strapped down to a table and having no control over what's going on. I also have fears of laying there awake while they do this even if there is spinal anesthesia.

How do I care for two babies and Logan with stitches in my belly? Well, I cared for Logan (as a first time parent) with more stitches in a very sensitive place than the amount I would have in my belly. I'm going to be relying on lots of prayer I'm sure. I can do this!!! (fingers crossed)

Since we are new to this area and don't know many people, I've recently joined two groups of Moms in hopes of making new friends and developing a support group after these babies come. One group is for moms with multiples. I've already seen upfront the support they give to families in need in just the two weeks I've been a member. Today I joined the local MOMS club. The next club I'll join will be FCC chapter in my area (Families with Children from China), but I'm going to wait until Madelyn is here.

That's the update for now. No news about Madelyn except we're still waiting. We've still got a while to go before we ever see a picture of her sweet face.

Lost Dog

Back in August/September I posted about needing to find new homes for my two dogs since we were moving into a temporary location not suitable for two dogs use to having a yard to run around in. I did find them a good home where both could stay together. The family was very nice and definitely animal lovers and had kids to also play with the dogs.

Well, yesterday, I got a call from Animal Control from the area we moved from. This person told me he had caught my dog and was taking her to the animal shelter. I told them I no longer owned dogs and wasn't even living in that area anymore. At that time I could not remember what the name of the new owner was. Turns out they contacted me b/c my name was still connected to the microchip in the dog even though I had called that company before adopting them out to let them know I was no longer the owner.

I spent a few hours searching for the information on the new owners trying to find their phone number. I just couldn't stand the thought of our old dog being put down b/c we couldn't find the new owner. I couldn't remember their names though. I think I may have tossed out the paper with their information.

Later on I got a bright idea to check caller id back in September. With Vonage, you can track several months back of caller id information online. I remembered he called from a cell phone each time we spoke so I wrote down all the wireless numbers during the time I knew he might have called. I then started calling and fortunately I hit the right one. He called back but we didn't speak and no message was left but I looked on Switchboard to make sure this was the same man and sure enough I recognized the address linked to him. (BTW, if anyone is interested in Vonage, let me know b/c if I refer you I can get two months free and you can get one month free.)

I emailed the Shelter and gave them the information. The new owner ended up calling me back today and told me he tried to pick the dog up. He explained he had moved and had not gotten his fence up yet and she was on a chain and escaped. I'm not a fan of chains but since it was temporary I can handle that since she did get owners that do lover her. The shelter would not release her to him b/c she was not linked to him as being his dog. So, Tony calls the shelter to try to straighten things out and finds out the dog is not there. They claim animal control caught her but couldn't get her in the truck and she escaped.

Now, we have no idea where she is nor does the new owner. We're still hoping she is found and able to get back to her new owner soon. Now I worry that someone will hurt her or she'll get hit by a car. She only escaped from us once and she came back home. One of our neighbors saw her dig a hole from our fence and when she saw him, she went back under I guess scared of him. The other dog we had was the one that always liked to escape but she wasn't the one that got loose.

Animal lovers out there - keep your fingers crossed she finds her way home or we find a way to get her back home.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Our Current Family Photo

My first choice of photographers (Karen) was out of my temporary traveling limit, so I had to go local. Boy, did we chose an expensive one. When I called to make the appt they only quoted me sheets. I didn't realize they were going to try to sell me $2000 worth. Yes, that is three zeros. Needless to say we didn't spend anywhere near that close. We also didn't come home with very many photos.

Here we are!
Here's our little ham!

Karen, when we have all the kids under our roof, we still want to come visit you for our family photos...that is if I can get out of the house with four kids.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Another Tentative Moving Date Set

Today we are being told 2/17 is when we can finally move into our house. The problem now is water connections. There is a slight chance we can move this day up some...I wouldn't mind moving into my house as a Valentine's Day gift.

To my secret pals....send February exchanges to my apartment address to be on the safe side. I'm still missing one secret pal gift which I assume was sent to my new address and is now lost somewhere. I'm also missing a cybershower gift and scrapbook exchange gift. We will not be turning in our keys to the temporary place we're at until 3/14 so we'll still check our mail here until then.

On the bright side, we have carpet in our house, kitchen is only missing the stove now, and we have a driveway, sidewalk and back patio. All that is left is yard work, water connections, touch up inside on the walls, gutters, install the drop down stairs and I think that's it.