Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 3 off the Couch

* googled image...that is not me:)*

I forgot to mention two things about day 2. While I was pushing Sophie (the future biggest loser trainer) she kept yelling "faster mommy, faster!!" She redeemed herself when we were almost home, by singing "I'm yours" while listening to the song on my ipod. Good thing she is cute:)

I was not sore after the second day of the plan, so don't give up because you can't move after the first day. Secondly today was by far the easiest day. Things I have learned or changed so far;

  • I had to get rid of the maroon five song " harder to breathe" apparently I am very susceptible to the message in the chorus.
  • I have a hard time pacing myself during the run. I tend to run to fast....getting tired faster.
  • I am paying more attention to my breathing and core which allows me to pay more attention to have fast or slow I am running.
  • I like that I added the sit-ups and push-ups at the end of my run.
  • Running by myself is a gift.
  • I am thinking if I look at it that way I will be less likely to give up.
  • I put my bathing suit on for the first time yesterday and headed to the pool.
  • I admire the ladies out there who are comfortable with their bodies.
  • I am running to get healthier not just thinner....the truth is if I were skinny I would not be running.
  • The last time I committed myself to seriously exercising I didn't like my life/husband much.
  • This time I love my life and can't imagine my life without Chris by my side.
  • I think I like running.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 2 of the couch to 5k running plan

Here is a news sucked. I am still sore from Wednesday's run. Scary how the only shape I am is round. But now that it is done, I feel great:) This is what I have learned on the 2nd day of the "plan"

  • Eye opening how out of shape I truly am. Shameful and unhealthy to say the least.
  • Pushing a 30lb toddler in a stroller adds a entire new level of difficulty to this plan.
  • Jogging strollers suck
  • The "BoB" stroller is supposed to be fantastic.
  • I would like to exercise with no children so I will not be buying the Bob. ( I would also like to pee without any kids bugging me, but if I am forced to choose......I choose running with no children)
  • One minute never seemed as long as it does when that is how long I have to run.
  • Two minutes flies by when that is the amount of time I get to walk.
  • I added jumping jacks (doubles and regular) and sit-ups to the end of the plan.
  • This will be easier to do in the morning once school is out ( I would still like to run when I am in Ohio in a couple weeks)
  • I can do this

WB Listened

This was posted to FB members who joined a protest group.

First off, thank you for adding your name to the “Orphan” protest Group on Facebook. The membership has reached almost 1,000 in the course of just a few short days, which goes to show how very important this issue is to many.

I wanted to share with you that I just got off the phone with Scott Rowe, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Communication at Warner Bros. You will be happy to know that they have changed their marketing materials and have removed the offending statement “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own” has been removed from all future trailers.

A few items of note:

• The current trailer (with the offending statement) will still be used during the previews of the horror film “Drag Me to Hell”, which opens this week-end. Unfortunately, on such short notice, there was nothing that can be done about this.

• The next movie that the trailer will be shown at is “The Hangover”, which comes out June 15th. By this time, the current trailer will be replaced with the new trailer (sans statement).

• They will swap out the trailers for all television advertising. They have not yet begun advertising for this film yet, so there should be no worries of children seeing it.

• The current trailer is still on the Web site, but they are working to rectify that immediately and Scott has spoken with the Warner Bros. Web team about this again this afternoon.

• Because the film is Rated-R, it will only be shown as a trailer for other Rated-R films. The trailer will also only be shown on television after 10 p.m. (i.e. not during times when young children would be expected to watch).

As I am sure many of you have assumed, there is a hook to the film that ultimately removes the child/orphan stigma, which is neither here nor there as it relates to current public positioning of the film -- and that issue is no more.

The producers and distributor took your concerns to heart and have made the changes in the public-facing marketing materials that we had hoped.

I would like to add that Scott mentioned that Warner Bros. employees get death threats for things as trivial as changing the release date of the new Harry Potter film. “Yet, the adoption community, who are protecting their children and who have every right to be angry, has been nothing but respectful.” he said.

Kuddos to all of you! Please do pass this information along so that others can know that their voice was heard.

-Bethann Buddenbaum & Jill Henry (Group moderators)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Moving Along...

Astoria came by and saw my message. Oddly enough she was not compelled to leave a comment. Time to move on......

This is just a total stream of consciousness post........I am sore from my couch to 5k plan. Even with motr*n today my legs ached. I will be back at it tomorrow. Ben has a big lacrosse tournament this weekend. He is one busy guy between school, lacrosse and baseball. Sophie and I leave for Cincinnati in a few weeks. I am excited to be able to visit lots of my Ohio girls and for Sophie to see her doctor. She has not seen him since her surgery almost 2 years ago. I am hoping we leave Cincinnati children's accomplishing what we traveled there to do! Krista and I should have a rockin' good time in the car for 8 hours with Sophie. I am looking forward to meeting Claire and hangin' with Connie, I can't wait to watch Sophie play with Jazzie and Tahlia, I hope that Maddy and Robin are able to catch up with us, it is always fun to catch up with Stacey, (Stacey maybe you can come to the zoo with me and Soph ??) I love that I am able to catch up with so many friends all in one state!! I am totally sick of the rain. I can't wait to sit at the pool. I am going to miss Hannah's first swim meet:( But my Dad will be there to watch her for me. He will be hanging out here while I am in Cincy with Sophie. It will be fun for Ben and Hannah to have some time to hang out with their Papa. I think they are planning on going to grandfather mountain and the mile high (thanks masons mommy:) swinging bridge. Sounds scary to me.


A Post that is sure to tick someone off....

Your trip to China may not be all sunshine and butterflies....really. You are not obligated to looove the province your child comes from. Ben was born in Springfield Massachusetts, which has slowly become the armpit of western mass. Does that statement mean I don't love every inch of my son??? Certainly not and just because your son or daughter was born in China does not mean you have to gush a love song for their province/China. You of course want to share positive statements about your child's birth country as this is in part an extension of who they are. And yes, you may feel some gratitude towards China for allowing you to parent your precious child. But I am going to be honest here and tell you that my gratitude is not to China...but to Sophie's birth parents who chose LIFE for her! Should I thank China for allowing me to ease the burden of their social and political systems???

For those who will be traveling to China sooner or later these are the facts:

  • You are not on vacation. This will be the most stress filled trip of your life and that is if everything goes as planned and your child transitions with little difficulty. You will be exhausted and anxious to get home, only to have your ass kicked by jet lag.
  • China is crowded. People will push you and get closer to you than you would appreciate. You have heard this before.
  • If you are tall, big, white, blonde, have red hair, blue eyes or a lot of body hair and happen to be carrying around a Chinese baby you will be like an exhibit at the zoo and Chinese people will stare at you and talk about you.
  • You may not like your child's provincial capital. It is ok. Sophie's province capital is also the coal capital of China. Some people liked it, I couldn't wait to get moving.
  • Chinese food is not the same as the "Peking House" in the burbs. It is actually better, or at least it was where we traveled. There is no sweet and sour chicken. If all else fails you ask for noodles with black bean sauce.
  • People in China drive crazy. So do people in Rome and on snow days here in NC. The thing with China is that there is a whole lotta people on the roads at the same time, in cars, buses, vans, bikes and motorcycles.
These are my OPINIONS you surely may not share them. Your experience in China will likely be different than ours. I love Chinese culture, this was one of the reasons I was drawn to adopting from China....this does not change my opinion of how people drive in China, how much I loved the food, or how much I wanted to get the heck of Taiyuan and get home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Couch to a 5k Running Plan

I have started to run. This has been a stressful year at school. For me Stress=Multiple handfuls of Chips. I usually get home from work around 4:30, some days earlier some days later. On stress filled days the snacking begins around 4:35:) This year everyday seems to have been a stress filled day!

About 3 years ago I lost around 40lbs, but I have gained 20lbs of it back. The key to me losing the weight was not being in the house during the time I liked to snack, so I scheduled my workouts during my usual pig-outs! So it is back to the old plan.....and hopefully my old shorts!

I am not a real lover of exercise. Can't I just be a size six and not move off the couch???? Anyway in order for me to get moving I need music. This is what I put on my ipod to start my new running plan.

Best of You-Foo Fighters
Boom Boom Pow- Black Eyed Peas
Sexy Back-Justin
Suddenly I see- KT Turstall
Harder To Breathe- Maroon 5 ( that is my sick sense of humor kicking my ass about half way through my run)
Sexy Can I- Ray J ( naughty song- found on Ben's play list. I need to talk to him about this one)
Umbrella- Rihanna
Shine- Collective Soul
I'm Yours- Jason Mraz
Everything -Michael Buble

Pretty eclectic mix-the last 2 songs are part of my warm down.

I found this plan
and did the first day today. It sucked:) No seriously I thought is was a wimpy start...but I was tired and sweaty by the time I walked up the driveway. I did the workout for 20 minutes but wasn't home yet, so I did a brisk walk the rest of the way home. I also found out that my ipod has a stop watch. I used the stop watch to help me follow the plan.

Why don't you join me!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Attention F*cebook users

There is now a FB page to boycott the WB movie "Orphan". Go HERE now and read about the page!! Then head to this FB page!!

Told you WB.....We are a force to reckoned with!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Wahooo! The wait just washes away once they put that beautiful baby in your arms! Congrats to Tracy and Jason!! We love you guys!!

In the Waiting Room.....

I am seriously stalking her blog ! Oh I am not alone in the waiting room. There are lots of Auntie's with me....her, her, her and don't forget about her, and her. Text me or email me as soon as anyone gets news!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Never a Good Idea to Tick Off the Adoption Community

I saw a trailer for this movie and was horrified, offended and just amazed. As if the title was not obnoxious enough...go here to watch the trailer . As soon as I find out where we can send emails protesting this film I will let y'all know. I believe that there will be older children who have been adopted, who will be impacted by this movie. I don't doubt that they will be questioned by their peers possibly to their faces, but likely behind their backs. I believe that people will form opinions about adoption, and adoption of older children that will impact children who wait to be part of loving families.

This pisses me off.

A Little of This and Little of That

I continue to have nothing to blog about. FB has stolen my blogging mojo. I promise to take some pics this week and post. Gaaaw I suck. I got an Ip*one for mothers day. I freakin' love it. I set up my phone so I could blog from my cool phone....but I have yet to figure out how to post something. Lets see.....I hurt my hand at work. I had to restrain a student after she kicked out a window in my classroom. Yep, the governor cuts my pay for two months, and my students have flipped their shit. Not good. The last month of school sucks. I have been testing students for two weeks. We are not even finished yet. Next week is remediation and then we test the students again. Most of my students will not pass the EOG test....cuz they are below grade level...that is why they are in special ed. I used to get all worked up about it, but it is what it is. I am excited to say that most of my students have demonstrated GREAT growth in reading this year. I assessed them in the beginning of the year and assessed them again in April. I was impressed with the growth most of them made. My inclusion students made the least amount of for thought.

The family is doing well. It is still spring here in NC. I am ready for summer. Bring on the heat! I can't wait to go to the pool and hang out there all day with my kiddos.

Thats it. I told you I got nothin'

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nothing New

I got nothin' to blog about, school is crazy. We are all just trying to make it to summer vacation. Ben is playing lacrosse and baseball, Hannah has soccer tryouts and well Sophie is three years old! So I thought I would post something that I had on our other blog. An oldie but goodie so to speak.

My thoughts last year on how best to reply to those statements about China and its one child policy. This post was in response to someone seeing Sophie with me at the hair salon and ranting about "how china just throws their girls away...." You know the drill. You have heard it before and if not, prepare yourself it will happen to you at the grocery store, park or even at a family picnic.

I guess what really bugs me about our fellow countrymen slamming another country, in our case our daughter's birth country, is their egocentric perspectives and need to impose American opinions, politics and culture upon other countries.

Chris and I were discussing China’s one child policy looking for a way for me to handle “those questions” better. We both agree that limiting the number of children a person can have is a major “human rights” offense. Having said that and after reading this paper and other recent articles on China’s population control policy, Chris made some interesting points. One of which is that China’s policy to limit family growth is in part born out of necessity, we do not agree with it, but there is no social structure to support those who cannot support their families. In the paper from Harvard the writer indicates that in China it “pays” not to have more than one or two children, having more than that will cost the family money in the form of a fine and payment for registration and education of the additional child. As we were discussing China’s policy, Chris pointed out that here in the U.S. the government will actually PAY people to have more children than they can afford to support. No you say?? Sure we do…..we provide subsidies for housing, medical care, mental health, dental, childcare, education, food stamps, etc. The more children you have in America that you can’t take care of the more the government will pay you to help take care of them…you don’t even need to leave the house!

People question how China “treats” their children. Really, how well do we treat our children here in the United States?? Even with “supporting” parents, children in one of the wealthiest countries in the world are neglected, unloved and die every day. Our foster care system…please... it fails children daily.

Every year I encounter children at school who require a flow map to explain who lives with them and how they are related to one another. Every year I wake up a parent of one of my students at 11:00 AM in the morning to come get their sick child, and they are not asleep because they worked second shift either. I have parents who do not have jobs, but can’t seem to make it to a meeting at school once a year. There are parents that have 5 or 6 kids and they are not even 30 years old yet. They can’t seem to figure out birth control but they certainly know how to fill out the free and reduced lunch forms.

I don’t disagree that as a society we should support those who are in REAL need. Poverty in America is a vicious cycle. But we have to be honest in saying that the system fails. It fails to instill hope for something better than a hand out, it takes away desire to succeed and care. Here in America it does pay to have more children than you can care for, it just doesn’t in many other countries.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bullets Baby

Some of this and some of that....

  • Went to a purse fundraiser today for education.....women+purses=madness and lots of cash for ACES. The handbags were new and gently used. Some designer labels ( I got Hannah her first coach
  • Rough week at school. Makes me wonder how she is doing as the year winds down. Working with emotionally disabled children is exhausting. Those who are called to work with this population of children should have free drink cards for every Friday night! My student kicked in a window this week, and I think I did something to my hand during the million times she had to be restrained these past few weeks.
  • How cute are these??? Gaaaaw I love etsy!
  • Looks like Friday was a big TA day....and no I am not talking about her running around in a bikini when she got her call!!
  • FB is addicting.
  • I can't wait for summer.
  • I am hoping to have some visitors this summer.
  • Sunday I will be joining the world of texting. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
  • Met up with some girls from our "travel" group...had we stayed NSN. We have fun and chatted.
  • I love IKEA. There kids stuff is so nice and inexpensive. Hannah said " mom, this is what I want my apartment in college to look like....clean and contemporary lines...." Yeah, no more HGTV for Hannah.
  • Sophie is still in our room.
  • Sophie still has ZERO interest in not wearing a diaper.
  • Sophie had a speech screening this week. She is about 6 months behind. We will re-screen her in the fall since she is in the midst of a language "boom".
  • Ben made the all-star lacrosse team. He will be busy busy the entire month of June playing baseball and lacrosse!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Special (ed) Announcement

We had Sophie evaluated by Early Intervention and by our county/state pre-k program. In the past few weeks I have talked with friends about the programs and the procedures. I thought I would share some details with you about EI and the procedures most states follow. I will do the same for pre-k special education services next week. If I mis-inform PLEASE leave a comment and I will make a correction. My hope is to give new parents and parents with children from China the info and tools (secret code:) to navigate EI services.

The program details:

Early Intervention Programs serve children from birth to three years old. They offer educational, speech/language, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Screening and services are free. In some states (NC being one) if you makes lots of $$$$ you may have to pay a small fee. If your child is in daycare service providers will go to your childs daycare, if you are at home with your child they may come to your home or meet at their therapy offices. This might be different depending on your state. In the county that we live in they will go to daycares or see a child in their home. My sister also shared with me that in order to qualify for EI services your child will need to have deficits in a least two different areas (social/edcuational, speech/langauge, OT, or PT). After returning home from China and once everyone is settled in, I believe that it would be worth the time to have a screening completed.

Here is a link to a listing of contact info by state for Early Intervention Services

You do not need your doctor or teacher to refer you to EI. If you have a concern about your childs development you can request a screening/eval.

What usually happens in EI is that a few therapist ( an OT, SLP and an educational consultant) may come out to your home after you complete a form regarding developmental history, any concerns etc. When EI came to our home I was concerned about how sophie was chewing her food, more specifically that she was still "sucking" her food instead of chewing. An OT observed her eating french fries. An educational consultant and SLP asked her questions using visual props. They were at our house for about two hours. Part of the time was spent asking me questions, the other part was working and observing Sophie. At that time Sophie did not qualify for services. We did recieve a report scoring her achievment in each area. If she had qualified a more indepth evaluation would have been conducted in the areas identified in the "screening". After evaluations are completed they are reviewed with the parents and therapist. Next a IFSP ( idividualized family service plan) is developed. The IFSP will state your childs present level and the goal of the IFSP and what the therapist/family will do to reach those goals. IFSP are valid for one year, but can be revisited and changed as the child progresses. A parent may call a meeting to address the IFSP at any time during the life of the IFSP.

The best advice I can give any parent navigating services covered under IDEA is that you are your childs advocate. Start out nice. You can get more with sugar than with vinegar.....but if that doesn't work....You might have to get a little bitchy!

***Susan let me know if I left something out....or screwed something up.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Beautiful!

Sophia June XuCan Born May 4, 2006 in the Shanxi Province, China. We love you Sophie!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I Love Suday Mornings

I love Sunday mornings. I love the ease of Sunday mornings. No games, no appointments, home cooked breakfast and the Sunday paper. Life is good!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Week May 4th-8th

I am posting this because I received a note letting me know that teacher appreciation week was just around the corner ( funny because as a teacher I had no idea:) Anyway they (teachers at Sophie's school or the parent association) are asking for students to bring in certain items each day. Of course participation is voluntary. And I should also note that I L-O-V-E Sophie's teachers and was thinking about what to pick them up as a little thank you. I happen to give gift giving quite a bit of thought. No gift cards from this girl. One of my pet peeves is when (a) people tell me what to buy their kid for their birthday. Just for telling me..... I will not be picking that up. I have never received a "gift list" with a birthday invite but I have seen them and that would pretty much guarantee that I would be making a charitable donation in your kids name. Someone somewhere has lost their mind when they thought that was a good idea. Or (b) when people ask me what to get my kids, husband etc. as a gift. If you don't know us well enough to come up with something that we might enjoy, I for one think you are off the hook for picking up a gift !

For the record I inherited my gift giving "gift" from my mother. You can mention in July that you saw something and just loved and she will remember and it will be under the Christmas tree in December. Gifts should be thoughtful and something that you believe the person receiving the gift would enjoy....not something off some stinkin' list!

( * only exception to the list rule would be a bridal or baby registry*)