Thursday, July 31, 2008

What A Storm

We were woke up a little before 4AM to a major storm. The sirens were going off so I scooped up Hannah and we all headed to the basement. I can't believe my little munchkin slept through the whole thing...she didn't even move when I picker her up. It was very loud with thunder & lightning and I swear the wind was going to rip our house right off the foundation. As you can see in the photo the storm delivered us a trampoline. Hannah looked out our bedroom window this morning and said look mama I have a big girl trampoline. It is actually our neighbors who live nearly a block away and it came from their backyard. I first spotted it in the front of our house when we headed to the did some minor damage. I'm glad no one was hurt and no vehicles were damaged by the flying trampoline. Sorry to say that the trampoline is a complete loss...I feel bad for our neighbor kids as they just recently got the jumping machine (Hannah will also miss it). We had 100+MPH winds during the storm and I believe it because that trampoline is heavy. There were a lot of down trees and other damage throughout the city and we lost power about 6 hours. My husband had to get out the generator to run our sump pumps so our basement wouldn't flood. Good news is the storm passed and it was a beautiful day and yes Hannah and I went to the water park.
This photo is for my friend Nancy that insisted I post a photo of the leather jacket my husband (my personal shopper) found and thought I needed. I talked about it in my previous post. Yes I love it and appreciate my DH for purchasing it for me (he did remind me we were headed into my birthday month) but find it weird to purchase an item of clothing I can't wear for months. But we do live in South can never predict the weather in this crazy state. The photo might look a little goofy as I had to use the self timer (my DH is napping because he is tired from being up during the storm).
So Nancy, what do you can be honest. It's not like I will quit being your friend if you don't like it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Paper Work Paper Work and More Paper Work

I have spent almost every waking moment since late last week working on this latest adoption. I can actually say I am pretty much done with our part. We have our physicals done and paper work back from our physicians. We were finger printed yesterday for our criminal background check. I delivered all the papers our social worker needed this morning. Most of the letters of reference we are having friends and family write on our behalf (some poor folks have to write for our home study and one for Ethiopia) are completed. We now just have to wait for our social worker to complete our home study with the country change (this shouldn't take much time as she has already completed our home study for China and just updated it when our paper work with USCIS expired). Once the home study is complete we send it to USCIS to request a country change on our immigration paper work (I171H). This is the best part of all. This paper work takes quite a while to process and we have a huge head start because we had to renew it (we got one freeby while we were still waiting on the China program) a few months ago so it already being processed. This should really speed up the process of putting our dossier together.

I did take time off from all paper work to take Hannah to the water park the last few days. She is such a little fish. I think she is a natural born swimmer...I think she will be joining the swim team as soon as she is old enough. We have a great swim team (2nd best in the state). I would love it if she wanted to be a swimmer....I was on my home town swim team growing up. Such great exercise for kids.

Just have to share...about my DH. We went out to supper last evening and then he wanted to go to the mall to buy a new pair of shorts for himself. He found a very sharp pair and purchased them. On the way out we passed a section with leather coats. I was way in from of him with Hannah anxious to get out of the store. Ron yells Hey Bliss come here...he found a cute little leather jacket that he made me try on. He said WOW that fits you perfectly go look in the mirror. So being the obedient wife that I am I took a look. I agreed it looked pretty good (kind of funny with shorts). He insisted that I had to have it. Just to let you all know I hate shopping especially for clothes for myself. This is where my DH comes into play. He has become my own little personal shopper. I'm not kidding this guy actually shops for me. He knows what will look good on me and when he finds it...I am so thankful. It is kind of funny because when I first met my man he had no clue about fashion. Do they teach a class in medical school on style?

Monday, July 28, 2008

3 Years Ago

It was three years ago today that we received the call from America World Adoption that we had a daughter in China. We were given a description of her photos (which we received the next day) and some other information like her name (Chen, Wen Hannah Wen Shu), what Province she was from (Hunan) her age nearly 8 mo. (10 mo. when we actually held her in our arms) and a some medical information. I will never forget the day of her referral as I actually left work early so I would be home to get the call...and I ended up missing the call because they called me at work...I had to wait until they had finished calling all the other families before our Family Coordinator was able to call back. I was going crazy waiting. What hear congratulations you have a daughter just blew me away...after 17 years of marriage we were going to have a baby. I remember hanging up the phone, doing a few jumps of joy and then the tears began to flow like a river. I couldn't believe how my emotions just hit me like a Mac Truck. It was unreal to me that finally we were going to be parents.

Fast forward 3 years and we LOVE being Hannah's Mommy & Daddy. We are so in love with this child and so thankful that God designed her just for us (he is brilliant). We actually were hoping to adopt a 2nd daughter from China but after waiting 2 yrs. with our dossier just sitting in China as the process has slowed down so much it might take another five years we have dropped out of the program. We are now pursuing a baby girl from Ethiopia.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Busy Weekend

We had a busy weekend with so many events taking place in our fine little city. We began our weekend early Saturday attending "Oz Fest" at Story Book Park. Then Hannah and I headed to the circus in the afternoon. It was fun as it is rarely that a tent circus comes to town.
Hannah had fun jumping on the inflatables at the circus.

Of course we had to buy a very expensive lighty up, spinny toy. Hannah loves all animals (except snakes and they did have one at the circus that you could have your photo taken with...we opted not to).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Clifford the Big Red Dog

We had so much fun at Story Book Park this evening. It was the kick off to "Oz Fest" (Wizard of Oz) which officially begins tomorrow. Tonight they had Clifford the Big Red Dog for the kids to meet. Hannah is a big fan as she watches him religiously every morning on PBS kids. She was so excited all day long knowing she would meet the big hairy dog. There was also a mini concert with Phil Baker. He is a popular children's entertainer in our state and is on Public TV in the mornings so Hannah was also excited to see him. She danced her little tushy off. The only down side to the evening is that it was extremely hot...Hannah danced until her whole head was wet with sweat.

Hannah also had to have her photo

with Buddy...the SDPTV mascot.
It was so much fun to watch all the children having such a good time. I so respect child musical entertainers...they definitely have a gift. I had to laugh during part of the concert the kids did a conga line with Clifford & Buddy. I knew exactly where I would find Hannah...Yes indeed she had a firm grip on Clifford's tail. This girl thinks all dogs love to have their tails pulled.
Of course we had to take a ride on the carousel and when we got off the ride we saw the peacock.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doogie Howser

This is my husband 14 years ago when he began his Internal Medicine practice in town. Everyone called him Doogie Howser because he looked so young. I don't know how many of you remember the TV show back in 1989 about the young genius Dr. Anyway I write this because my husband has officially lost the title to the doctor I saw for my physical today. Oh my word was he young. But I have to say he was the best doctor I have seen so far. All the other doctors I have seen before in this city have treated my as a DRs wife...I mean they have not been thorough at all. I don't know if they didn't feel the need to or what. This Dr. actually did a full history and physical and talked to me as I was a real patient. He gave me a clean bill of health and was very impressed with my cholesterol levels...he said the only problem was that my HDL was way too high LOL. He said he had never seen such a low LDL and high HDL. My husband agreed and was very jealous.
Having are physicals done puts us one step closer to having our dossier for Ethiopia complete.
We have have spent a lot of time this past week gathering documents, recruiting friends & family to write letters of reference and trying to figure out how to transfer some of our paper work from China to Ethiopia. I thought it would be a breeze with the paper work since this is our 3rd time at is actually a little more tricky because we are dealing with 2 different countries. I can't tell you how frustrated I get as we (I mean I) are trying to complete the whole paper chase at a sprint. I should know better than use the word sprint in any kind of race I am in...I hate sprinting, but find I enjoy going a long distance at a slower speed and enjoying the whole experience (I would much rather do a marathon than a 5k any day). I guess what I am trying to say is that God has tugged at my ear to let me know I just need to try and quit sprinting and let him lead us to the finish line for our forever family.

Blessings to you all,


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Off to the Water Park We Go

I know I talk about our frequent trips to the water park so I thought I should snap a few shots today. It was Hannah's first experience with the new goggles she picked out (these were required after our last trip left her in crying because her eyes hurt so bad...she is such a little fish always under the water with eyes wide open). She had a lot of fun and acted like a pro lifting them off her eyes to empty the water if they leaked (and as you can tell by the looks of the cheap things they did). Who cares the goofy things make me smile.

I think Hannah was a bit tired after all our visits to the WP this past week (not to mention it has been extremely hot & humid) as after 1 1/2 hours she said Mama let's go home. I was like did I hear you right? I usually have to drag her tiny behind out of the pool after 2 plus hours. I was more than happy to comply. Hannah and I have had so much sun this summer it is probably not healthy, but when it is so hot what else do you do...I think I am darker than Hannah.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Adorable Dolls (all four of them)

We opened the mail box today and found a package from little Miss Mia K. Hannah's friend and sister from Chenzhou SWI in the Hunan Province. In it we found 2 little dollies that Mia's very talented & creative mother (Nancy) had sewn. They join Hannah's little Chen doll (also created by this kind friend). One doll is for Hannah to remind her what her new little sister will look like and the other for she will have a doll that looks like her. Isn't that cool.
Love is written on their precious little hearts. I know neat touch.
OK the other great thing that happened today was Hannah actually picked up all her toys and messes...and there were a lot. This child usually gets so distracted cleaning up that she ends up making a bigger mess than what she started with and I have to come along and just do it myself because I can't take it any more. So today I told her she couldn't go see the neighbors puppies until she cleaned everything up. I tell you have never seen her so motivated to complete an activity. She did a great job. Oh man what am I going to do when the puppies are all gone. I better start thinking right now I have about maybe 3 or 4 weeks before the puppies will be ready to go. I am open to suggestions on how to keep her on track when it comes to picking up.
Hope you all have a great evening.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What a Mess!!!!!

Hi friends, hope everyone had a great weekend. I am suffering my annual summer time cold which always makes me lose my voice (I mean completely...nothing there). This really bugged today as I was not able to sing in church. I love the Praise & Worship and they sang some of my favourites today...bummer. There were a couple other reasons I needed my voice today one is documented in photos below and the other is Hannah and I spent a few hours at the water park today and I needed to yell at her to get out of the pool for break. I yelled Hannah and if you have ever lost your voice you know the louder you try to speak the less you can be heard. She did figure it out on her own as all the other kids were getting out of the water. And what a day not to have a voice and a big one at 3 year old did the naughtiest thing ever in her short time on this earth.

I was downstairs and Hannah was upstairs "playing". After I had noticed it had been way too quiet I decided I better check on my little rascal. OH MY WORD CHILD. She had taken a brand new tube of Balmex (which I didn't remember having as we never had to use it, she never had a diaper rash) and slopped all over her body except where it is supposed to go. Oh and yes on the carpet and my dresser. This stuff is not easy to get off one's skin (plus hair). I had to bath her in dawn dish soap to get it off. I was so shocked by this behavior as Hannah never does things like this. From a very young age we could trust her not to get into anything to the point that it was too good to be true. She was the best & happiest baby from the moment they put her in my arms no tears not even a whimper. She was the best sleeper 12 hours at night (never woke up crying). A breeze to potty train. The darned kid didn't even cry when she got shots and when she could speak thanked the nurse for the shot. I just hope this is not the start of PAYBACK time for making our first few years so easy. I'm gonna tell myself she was just copying the way daddy puts on his sunscreen LOL.

Our neighbor's dog recently had 8 puppies and Hannah is having so much fun with them. One of the puppies visited us last night. Hannah loves all animals and has several imaginary ones. Her imaginary dog's name is Curl who is white with green pok-a-dots and a brown tail. The dog also has 8 puppies (wonder where she got the idea from???). There are still some puppies available they labs with a great blood line (5 blacks and 3 blondes). Let me know if you I will hook you up with the owner.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Let's Go Karting

We headed to our favorite park where there is all kinds of great things to do. When I say park I mean PARK. It has a lake with a beach, Story Book Park, Miniature Golf, Go Karts, Bumper Boats, Zoo, 3 play areas with great equipment spread throughout the huge area, skate and fun adventurous type bike rentals, baseball fields, a huge campground with cabins, and a paved path that allows you to walk around the whole entire area. It really is something that makes me proud about our small city. It is a great place to take your family and all will have a very good time.

We didn't plan on Go Karting when we headed to the park. We were actually going to see Dora, Diego, Bob the Builder and Mickey & Minnie and jump on huge inflatables. A local dentist put on the the little carnival for free to thank the community. Once we saw the crowd and lines we had to come up with another plan. And Hannah loves the Go Karts so that was an easy trade. She loves to go as fast as we possibly can and so do we so we go full throttle.

She rode once with me and once with daddy. She will tell you I am the better driver. Anyway we had just as much fun Go Karting not having to stand in line forever to jump or see characters.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


That is the greeting I received today upon completing my International Adoption Training. It is a new requirement by the government for any family adopting internationally. It is titled the Hague-Compliant Training. It is a 8-10 hour course that gets very boring...especially if you have previously adopted internationally. I agree that there is some very usefull information if you are adopting an older child (ages 2 plus). This is just another cost that some families can't afford.

I will be including some of my Ethiopia family friends on my blog who need financial help.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun 4th of July weekend

We had a fun 4th of July weekend in the Twin Cities. We went to Taste of Minnesota Friday and watched Fireworks. It turned into a late night. It was after midnight when we got back to Ron's sister's house where we spent the weekend (even thought they were out of town). Hannah was passed out dizzy with exhaustion.

We bought Hannah some Twins attire as she would be attending her first game on Sunday.

Of course we had to buy a shirt with our favorite player's name on it (I have a jersey with his name also). Joe Mauer didn't actually play on Sunday but we still got to see him since it was announced during the game he would be the starting catcher in the All Star Game. The Twins have three players on the team.

Hannah did OK at the game as long she was feeding her cute little face. I was worried because she is such a wiggle worm and only sits still in her car seat and on an airplane. During the game she consumed nearly a whole bag of popcorn, a little soft pretzel, a snow cone and a lemonade.

The Twins didn't let us down. They trailed until the 7th inning. I told Ron they would break it open in the 7th and that is what they did scoring the go a head run and ended up winning 4-3. Wouldn't you know Hannah had to go potty during the inning but I was able to rush her in and out and not miss too much of the excitement.

Carlos Gomez at bat. He is one of the new players this year and is a load of fun to watch.

The evening found us at the park near Aunt Bonnie's house. Ron's sister and husband arrived home while we were at the game so Hannah got to spend some time with Aunt Bonnie & Uncle Jim. She wasn't able to see her other Aunt & Uncle that live in the area as they were away to welcome their daughter and son-in-law back from Iraq. We are so happy to have them back on US soil and thank them for their service.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Fun

We had fun at the water park again today. Daddy was able to join us as he has Tuesday afternoons off. It got very crowded as the temp was 90 so it was a good place to be. Ron went down the water slides a bunch of times. There is one slide that is like lightning speed (only takes about 9 seconds) that I don't find fun at all but Ron said after you do it a few times it starts to become fun...whatever.

The other exciting thing was we finally received our adoption packet for Ethiopia. So we can now get things rolling. We have to sign our agreement papers and send them back with our initial fee payment we will then be assigned our Family Coordinator and can begin collecting the items for our Dossier. I think this should go fairly fast as we have most of it done from our Dossier for China but I don't know how much will carry over.

We had fun last evening. We went to the castle at story book park to see a magic show. It was very entertaining. He is the son of one Ron's sister's H.S. friends. He is very good and has been doing magic for years even though I think he just graduated from H.S.

She was so cute sitting with all the kids. This girl loves children older than her so she fit right in.

She is raising her hand to be a volunteer for a trick.

Of course we had to have popcorn during the show.

After the show we just spent time enjoying the park.