Monday, June 30, 2008

To Eat or Not to Eat....Crow that is...

Ok, so the state of North Dakota, I take it back ... I take it all back.

I called the department of vital statistics today to complain about receiving two copies the DaddyO's birth certificate that came un certified. The happy (okay not to happy in fact down right crabby) person on the phone pointed out to me that if I turn the document over and look in the bottom left hand corner of the document I will see a small dime sized seal hidden under the apple mark. Well...whadda ya know.... hidden to the naked eye is a dime sized embossed seal.

I take it back they did do their job albeit hard to see. I stand corrected about your mistake and am here to eat crow. Yep one would think I would have learned by now to jump to judgment but guess I still have a lot to learn.

I sure hope the folks at the state department in DC find the darn mark.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Score Girls 5 Boys 2

The Team & The Players

Team A
* DaddyO - the big guy of the house who likes to think he is in charge but fools no one since we all know there is a female estrogen imbalance in his life.
* MumMum - aka Dawn me the real one in charge around here...or so I think until I am overthrown my younger estrogen leaders

Team B
* Linjit - Obviously not her real name but the one we affectionately call her since Indian food is her favorite. Lins is the older and next successor in the estrogen head of household. Lins is our mellow, compassionate and artistic fish of the family born 3/82.
* KC - This is her name...or at least her initials. KC is our traveling one...we believe she is still on the north American continent at the moment....but she is known to board a plane at a moments notice to only god knows where and is always full of enthusiasm, charisma and great stories. KC is our strong willed ram born 4/84 Team B is living together and staking our family hold in the southern part of our very long state.

Team C * CanNoley - Oldest by two minutes, Noley is the family resident animal lover and loves all things cats, horses, and colorful. Noley is known for her nonstop signing and thinker of "great thoughts and maker of great plans" Noley makes up the part A of our stinging duo being born 11/00.
* Tobbers - Toblerone (and no, I did not name my son after a candy bar - although it is a pretty good one I must say), the worlds most handsome, smart and charming guy....and how can he not be? He is the sole boy in a family of four sisters! Tobbers is powered by knowledge, trains, planes, history and the world. Tobbers part B, is the quiet stinger of the duo born last on 11/00
Team D
* MeiMei - Is the latest addition to this crazy house we call home. MeiMei joins us via Wuzhou, Guangxi China. MeiMei was adopted at 3 years old. She was our fist adoption and we used CCAI (a great agency). We brought MeiMei home in spring of 2007. She is our feisty, outspoken strong willed and stubborn ram charmer...who in many regards shares a lot in common including her sign with big sister KC. She loves to dance, sing and wear all things sparkly. Born 3/04
* HooHaa - Is the little guy waiting in China who we are petitioning to adopt. We are waiting for our Pre Approval and once we have it we can post a little more including a photo of him. He is 8 months older than MeiMei and shares her repaired cleft lip and palate. He is a healthy handsome guy with what appears to have an affinity for snazzy shoes like his soon to be father. HooHaa (the name we affectionately call him) once home will be MeiMeis virtual twin. Born 5/03

I guess you can kinda see a pattern here...two by two by two by two or 2 to the fourth power or is it 4 to the 2nd power? hummm guess I should go ask Tobbers....

(oh yeah and in case you think we are nuts for naming the kids....we are a family based on nicknames...they are all terms of endearment in our household...)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cleft Palate Panel Report

MeiMei meet for the first time with the Kaiser Cleft Palate Panel. The one that Kaiser had been trying to tell me did not exist. I knew it did and it only took me 16 months to find it! Everything seemed to check out online with the Sutter CP Panel recommendations. They will help us get back on to CCS to cover her orthodontia work. Orthodontia would start in about two years with a palate expander to widen her top palate (sound familiar KC and LinJit?) Why DaddyO should be an old hand at it by now. They are not sure if she will need any grafting yet and will reserve their decision until her palate is widen and the orthodontia work is started. The good news is that they are now using a lab grown bone and will most likely not need to do a hip to bone graft for her upper cleft. That is great news.

So for those curious... her expected treatment at this point is such:
5- 6 yrs old - palate expander
7 - 8 yrs - possible cosmetic nose adjustment - start orthodontia
10 - 12 graft to cleft - some orthodontia
13 - orthodontia
15 -16 - final orthodontia touch -ups cosmetic adjustments
17 - great smile.

Yes you are seeing it right. She will have on and off orthodontia for around 11 years. We are happy to report MeiMei has jumped in the past 12 months from the 15% on the US charts to the 50% percentile. That is a HUGE jump. On the southern China charts that makes her a very large girl in the 85% percentile. --- That's a Rowe girl for you.

Leave it to Fargo...

I came home this afternoon to a waiting overnight packet from Fargo North Dakota. Yeah! two days ago we requested DaddyO's (DO) birth certificate and it was here and oh so fast. Well I open the darn thing and what do I find.... a USELESS COPY OF HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Yep! I paid for a certified copy and got two photo copies for the price of two certified copies. It is a good thing I know what I need because if I had not worked on compiling a dossier before I would have tried to use to send to DC and the embassy only to have it rejected. ARughhhh...
It was too late to call North Dakota this afternoon when I got home. I will call on Monday and have it fixed. I paid $16 to have it overnighted (which at the time seemed like a bargain compared to Vital Check which was going to cost me close to $40 for the same thing). I hate to have to pay again for someones clerical error. I will re-request new certified copies on Monday and should have them back to me mid next week. The icky part is I have to have DO call and he is bad at that stuff...or more like he puts it at the end of his list.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Princess O'Rama

I little background...this whole Disney Princess thing kinda snuck up out of nowhere. Noley who is seven, was never into Princesses. I did not introduce them and she never seemed to notice or care. Last year she was invited to a big first grade girl "Princess Party" (45 kids in attendance-yikes) This party had horse drawn carriages, makeup, hair, make your crowns, yada, yada you get the picture. 200% all high caliber princess girly stuff.

So Noley comes home and tells me about the party and shares her invitation. She asks me if I will help her with her costume. Taken aback, I asked what princess costume was she thinking? She proudly proclaimed "why mom of course...I am going as Princess Leia from StarWars and I'm going to borrow Tobbers light saber!" "and you have to make my costume"

Of course being the proud mom that I am of my non traditional girl--not afraid to be herself kinda gal...I antied up to the task. Needless to say out of 45 girls at the party, my Noley was the only warrior Princess Leia. You - Go - Girl!

Now, fast forward to Disneyland...Noley the non princess girl started to get interested in the princess thing. MeiMei is crazed about them since her neighbor friend is 100% Disney princess so we had to do it....that is stand in line for a hour to meet who ever was behind the secret wall.

Noley was quietly hoping for Jasmine and MeiMei was pulling for Mulan and Belle...

We hit the Princess Holy Grail and got photos will all three. Praise to be!

Photos anyone....

I have to offer a HUGE thanks to Linjit for helping us with the yahoos at Disneyland. Without Lins, DaddyO and myself would have either: Divorced, left the children on the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean or snuck them in with the large family wearing the same turquoise color t-shirts as the yahoos were wearing. DaddyO and I still think we missed a great opportunity there....

Linjit! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU- Please come back on vacation with us!!! WE promise it will be better!!!!

- D

Anyone got the number of Nanny 911?

Help! Aliens have abducted my three sweet well behaved children and replaced them with candidates for Nanny 911. Boy, the Disney behavior appears to be continuing. The not so great behavior that is....heavens, I thought it would stop when we left Disney. The kids are at each other constantly. Poking, prodding, pulling, pushing and anything else they can think of... Yowza! I'm ready for my three sweet kids to comeback. I wish the aliens would finish their experiments and return them to their rightful owner.... ME!

I'm starting to recover myself from my Disney hangover and will be posting some photos in the next day or two when my energy and optimism returns---whichever comes first.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happiest Place on Earth? No....don't think so....

Okay so we have only been home five hours and the kids are in bed....but I have to come clean... DISNEYLAND is NOT the happiest place on earth---not for my family. This is a myth and I painfully learned it this past week. In fact, I think I have a new name for the place.... Disneyhell or Demonland. This is a land where typically well behaved children become wild hellions afflicted bad behavior and where parents worst traits come to the forefront. It appears to bring out the worst in children and parents or at least for our family.

I liken the whole experience to is excruciatingly painful to go through and then when you are home and settled in you will forget the awful painful parts and remember the good things. I am waiting for this to happen. Until the good thoughts arrive, I will postpone any details or photos of the trip.

I will post when I get them uploaded and am in a better frame of mind to brief y'all on the trip.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hot Child in the City

Well, in case you did not know, it is summer here in the big Tomato. You know you are in Sac when you cannot decide if it is hotter outside or inside your parked car. Today it was a pseudo pleasant 98 degree accompanied with close to zero humidity as usual.
Yep. It is hot here and dry. The funny thing is when I moved here eons ago after school, I was lead to believe it was actually cooler here than where I was living for College. WRONG. I tried to leave this place twice for better weather (I know yes it is California and I should be grateful of our weather--but I do not like to be hot) but the Universe had other plans for me because each time I left, I found myself back in the Big Tomato. So here I aughhhh 20 years later.

One would think I would be used to it by now. I spent all my childhood summers in killer northern California heat where it is nothing to see temps in the 105 - 120 range for days on end. I can even remember the day it hit the 121 record mark. I thought I was going to die. I remember listening to my neighbors with pools and us with a sprinkler or emptying our family trash cans so we could fill them up with water and stand in them.

I tell me yahoos that they are very lucky. They think I am a whiner. They do not have to survive the nasty hot summers dunking in dirty trash cans and living with swamp coolers. Nope my kids live the "sweet life" as they like to call it.... They have A/C (which funny enough now that I have it I never use it) misters and a pool.

Today MeiMei decided she was going to swim on her own. Now, mind you she is four and does not know how to swim....she stepped in to the pool and took off on her own - swimmy free- and headed for the deep end...and whadda'ya know... She DID IT! The girl can swim! I am so proud of her. I was so nervous I did not get a photo but will when she does it again.

Here are some great pool action shots of the yahoos in action...

LOI - 27 days but who's counting?

Well it has been 27 days since we submitted our LOI (letter of intent) to adopt another yahoo. Since we are going about this differently from our adoption of MeiMei, I have absolutely no clue as to when we will hear anything from China. Could be tomorrow....could be next week or could be September? Who the heck in the interim we sit here and get on with life as we join the many other waiting parents.

Last year we travelled to Guangxi China and added MeiMei to our tribe of Yahoos. Most people we know thought we were crazy. We have two in their 20's (who are officially off the payroll, good job girls), two seven year olds and why would we want to adopt? Are we crazy? Well for those that know us well, know the answer to that question. YES, we are. We are crazy, our home is crazy, our yahoos are crazy (after all how many 7 years olds are do you know are in their rooms blasting Jimmy Buffet, Herb Albert, and KC and the Sunshine Band?) Yep...that's my boy...

This photo is the only photo we have of our "gotcha day" We are the ants holding the little one in purple way in the background. I am thankful to one of our travel mate families who snapped this photo that we happened to be in. (thanks amfam)

This time around we will have a Plan C for gotcha day photos.