Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

We celebrated Chinese New Year with our good friends. They started the tradition last year and this year invited us too! We all made, or attempted to make a Chinese dish. This was the first attempt at cooking Chinese that I've ever made. Too bad our friends had to be my test kitchen! I made Chicken fried rice and Chinese Vegatable soup. They seemed to get a thumbs up! The other delicious dishes we had were Chicken Lo Mein, Peking Pork Chops, Chow Mein casserole, and Shrimp stir fry with Bok Choy. It was a great night, with great friends.

My Baby Girl Turns 4!!!!

On January 23rd my little baby girl turned 4!!! In case you haven't noticed, I am just head over heals in love with this little pip squeek! She is my beautiful, super sensitive, extra girly, incredibly generous, smart, sweet and snuggly little munchin. I can't believe she's four already. In the morning we opened a few presents with Daddy and then got ready for our favorite activity-music class with Miss Mary. After music we went to lunch with Sophia and her mommy. Sophia's mommy and I have been friends since we are 13. It's so nice to watch the girls play together. Later, when B and J came home, we opened more presents and then went to Ella's favorite restaurant for dinner. The next day was birthday party day!! She invited some of her little friends to the most adorable party place for a Princess Pampering Party. All the girls had a great time. Of course we had to invite Mikey too. We couldn't have a birthday party without her best friend--even if he is a boy and it is a girly kind of party! Later on we had some family over for some more celebrating. We opened MORE presents and had birthday cake. A very special birthday weekend for my very special Baby Girl!

A Big Surprise!

Last Sunday I was surprised with a shower for Owen given by the Mommies of his "neighborhood friends". Judging by how I was dressed, you will see that I had NO idea what was going on! We were supposed to be going to my nephew's birthday party, but Ella woke with a little fever. Brian, who now didn't know how he was going to get me out of the house, was trying to convince me to take her to the party anyway. I thought he was NUTS!! Ella kept asking me to go in the basement to play. I was spending a lazy Sunday morning in my PJ's after getting home very late from a party the night before. Finally at about noon I told her that I needed to get dressed and then we'd go down--thank goodness I got out of my PJ's!!! In the meantime Brian and Jason were getting ready to go to the birthday party. Behind the scenes, Brian is calling Meaghan Grace's mommy and telling her that he doesn't know how he's going to get me out of the house! Now, Brian is in the kitchen waiting for J to come down when Brianna comes out of her room and asks if he can drive her to a friend who lives in the neighborhood so she can get a math sheet she left in school. Brian turns around and says "Can you drive her and then when you come back I'll leave?" I'm thinking "is he kidding me?????" and I say to him "you're leaving, why don't you just take her and then be on your way?" Not wanting to argue, I put on my shoes and leave to take B. I get outside to my car, which needs to be cleaned of snow, having a few choice words for my poor hubby who has now very cleverly gotten me out of the house. I look at Brianna and ask for clarification of what we are going to get and ask "doesn't she have a fax machine???". As we drive to B's friend I notice a bunch of people outside the house next to her friend's. I ask B "what are all those people doing outside that house?", as all sorts of possible answers to my question swirl through my head----NONE of which include that they are there for me!! As I get closer I see people waving and start to see familiar faces....and it all comes together! With my hair in a ponytail and barely any makeup on I got out of the car in shock.

It was a wonderful afternoon, filled with special touches, thoughtful gifts, and loving family and friends who were all there to help welcome a very long awaited little boy. He got so many wonderful gifts, but the one that touched me the most was from my mom. She filled a hamper with gifts--one for every holiday he has missed with his family since he was born. Included were all of his "little brother" presents. My mom has always given the other kids a gift on each other's birthdays! There was one for each one of B, J, and El's birthdays that he missed :) Needless to say, the whole room was crying while I explained the gifts! As for me, I could barely speak while explaining. Thank you mom! Thank you everyone! I wish Wen knew how much he is already loved and how much everyone is looking forward to finally meeting him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Consulate Appointment Confirmed

We received word today that our Consulate Appointment is confirmed! I have now purchased our airline tickets. We leave February 12th at 12:15 pm on our non-stop flight to Beijing!!!!!!!! I'd like it if everyone started praying now for a safe and uneventful flight-I HATE to fly!! I do have to say that even with all the delays and aggravation the timing of our trip could not have worked out better. For that I am so very grateful. And just think.....Brian and I will be spending Valentine's Day, alone, on the Great Wall of China. How cool is that??? I won't have my complete itinerary for a few days, but we should have Owen in our arms by 2/16.....that is even cooler!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Well, apparently we DID get TA on Friday! I was told this morning that they came in very late in the afternoon and there just wasn't enough time to inform everyone before they left for the day! All that worrying for nothing! GW has requested a consulate appointment for 2/24. If that appointment is confirmed we will leave on 2/12!! Keeping my fingers crossed that there are NO MORE DELAYS!!!!! If not then Owen will be in our arms four weeks from today :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Test of Patience and Faith

Great Wall got another batch of TA's yesterday, and again ours was not there. I'm am struggling today to find some peace with this. Some of the families that got their TA's yesterday received their LSC's two weeks after us. So I am confused as to why ours isn't here yet. Our signed LSC did get "lost" for a couple of days, but still was mailed back to China before those LSC's were issued. So why has the other family who received LSC on 12/15, and three families who received LSC on 12/29 gotten their TA and not us??? With many offices in China now being closed or closing for Chinese New Year this week, the thought of how long this could delay things is a little unbearable right now. This truely is a test of patience and faith.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Well, so much for worrying that we may be leaving in three short weeks. Great Wall received a bunch of Travel Approvals this week and ours was NOT in the batch!! So leaving on 1/29--out of the question. Now we are hoping that GW will be able to juggle things around and will be able to get us in the 2/12 travel group. The conversation I had with our travel advisor, Rebecca, at Great Wall did not leave me feeling too confident. So hear we are--waiting again---hoping that our TA arrives this week, and hoping that GW can work things out that we leave by the middle of February.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I heard from Great Wall yesterday after submitting my travel information sheets. Originally, we were told that we would probably be traveling the first week of February. So when I sent in the forms I noted that I would indeed like to leave February 5th, or latest February 12th. This would make babysitting arrangement sooooooo much easier because the kids are off the week of the 16th. Well, I got an email from the Rebecca who is handling our travel arrangements at Great Wall. She said that she saw my note, but she had us tentatively scheduled to leave on January 29th and return on February 12th!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH....that's only three weeks away!!!! I did call her to ask if there was any possibility of waiting until 2/5 and she said that she'd have to check on guide availability. Not that I don't want to run there right now and go get the little guy. I just think Ella would do best if my sister, who is a teacher and also off for February break, was able to come to our house to watch her. There's about to be big changes in her world! Knowing that she's as comfortable as she can be in my absence would surely make me feel better. Of course we've had plenty of babysitting offers for the kids, but with Ella's food allergies there are only a few people I trust. So I should hear from Great Wall today, and I'm just going to trust that things will work out the way they are meant to :)

In the meantime, starting today, I think I'd better kick it up a notch in terms of getting ready!! I have been picking things up along the way that we will need for the trip. This week I raided the "travel size section" at Bed, B*th, and Beyond. What fun that was!! Also, Ella and I were in one of the big toy stores this week and picked up a few things for us to bring to China for Wen. But, our favorite shopping trip of the week, was right here in our own attic!!! Before putting the Christmas decorations back up there and I went and took a look around. I was sure I didn't save much of Jason's old toys, but to my surprise there were quite a few things up there. I knew I saved his trains, we brought those down. Also up there was his beloved castle playset, his pirate ship, all of his cars, a big box of dinosaurs, some St*r Wars figures, a bunch of games, some boy appropriate dress up cloths, some trucks, and a remote control motorcycle (still in the box!). Ella also made out pretty well on our shopping trip! Little does she know there is still more up there that will be perfect for her next year! We spent the rest of that afteroon playing with her favorite attic find---Twister!! She was hysterical!

Today my best little helper and I are going to start painting Wen's room. I've waited a while to start, not knowing what I wanted to do in there. Time is a runnin' out now! So we're just going to keep it pretty neutral as far a theme for now---which is soooo hard for me to do, and just fill it with some toys. Once we get to know what he likes we can pick a theme! We picked out a beautiful grayish blue for the walls(called Blue Stream), and a light tan (called Everlasting--liked that name!) for the trim. Hopefully I'll like it on the wall. I have been know to repaint rooms immediately upon finishing them because I didn't like the color! Drives Brian crazy, but I really don't have time for that this time!

Well, it's off to painting I go!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

We Have a Name!

After MONTHS of contemplation we finally have settled on a name. Lian Han Wen will be
Owen Alexander HanWen
I feels so right! I love the fact that "Wen" will always be a part of his first name. I was having major issues with "taking his name away from him". Also, as most of you know, our other kids have always been called by the beginning sound in their names--B, J, and El--so he can be "O"!! I did hesitate for a little while hoping that my bloggy friend Rebecca from China!Baby wouldn't feel like I stole her name(she will be traveling for her Owen very soon!). I did email her, expressing my concern, and got her full blessing! Thank you, Rebecca.
So, Owen it is!