Saturday, January 26, 2008

Which Candy Heart Are You?







Take this test!


It's not too surprising that "Be Good" is what your candy heart says. You've probably been hearing it all your life. From your third grade teacher, to your last serious relationship, there's just that little bit of mischief about you that keeps people on their toes. Could be the glimmer that your eyes get when you think of doing something you're not exactly supposed to be doing, like sneaking the last cookie from the plate or secretly filling your glass with the final sips of wine?

Were your parents reluctant to leave you at home without a chaperone? But overall, it's that impish sense of good fun that keeps people enamored by your charm.

People can't help but want to be around you. So when loved ones throw their arms around you, they really do mean it — even if their parting words are always, "Be Good".





Ok, this doesn't really apply to me, I think my converstation heart would sooner say "Goodie Two Shoes", but whatever, it seems like a fun quiz to take anyhow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Delivery and Confirmation!



Ok, here it is - the image of the delivery confirmation. I know you must have been wondering where it was. Myke was reformatting my lap top so I wasn't able to edit the image until now. So, here it is. And I received confirmation from our agency that it's there and getting translated now! So exciting!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Whenever you are feeling blue - just watch!

some of my favorite You Tube videos


Now, if you can watch that without laughing, something is seriously wrong!




To see all of my faves bookmarked on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ssmshari

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dossier Stuck?!



Estimated arrival date is still YESTERDAY. I am pretty sure it is just not updated since it is the weekend and that it will show delivered either Sunday night (since that will be Monday in Vietnam) or Monday. The tracking has actually changed, the destination now says Hanoi, instead of Hanoi City.
I know I am obsessing a bit, but you all know how much blood, sweat and tears went into that paperwork!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Its Getting Closer . . .



PARANAQUE PH: Why is it in the Philippines????? I hope that is right.


Ok, 4pm update! I found out that is the right track. Now it is leaving the Philippines and headed to Hanoi!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dossier leaving for Vietnam!


Just Found Free Greeting Card Site

For any special occassion, holiday, birthday, anniversary or just because!

SEND FREE ONLINE GREETING CARDS

You can send online greetings for free. They have cards for any and all occassions!

Pretty cool, huh?

Welcome Ryan!

More catching up from November . . . .

Welcome to the world, Ryan!

On November 26, 2007 our friends celebrated the birth of their son Ryan.



We finally got to see him when he was about 2 weeks old and still seems to tiny!





Proud mama!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Following the dossier on its journey to Vietnam



I checked on the progress this afternoon and see that it has been updated. Estimated delivery in Vietnam is January 10, 2008!

Am I obsessing? You bet I am!

Christmas 2007

We spend Christmas every year at Myke parents' house in Orlando. His family is so warm and loving, I can't thin of a better way or better place to spend Christmas! Christmas morning always begins with the opening of the stockings. We each have two stockings, because Santa fills the stockings at our house and also at mom and dad's house!



Christmas Morning includes: Myke's mom, Myke's dad, my dad, Myke, me, Myke's brother Brian, Nonie and Papa; oh, and don;t forget, Oscar, Aku, and Yogi too. Gifts fill the room, we hardly have room to sit! And imagine, there are not even any little kids around yet!





And the giving and receiving of presents begins! This usually lasts about 2 hours!







Myke got me new fuzzy, soft slippers:



My dad is showing off his gift from Yogi: Scottish Licorice!



(Yes, even the dogs give and get presents on Christmas morning!)

This is a little dark to tell, but Yogi's favorite thing is laying in the crumpled up wrapping paper:





And after the presents are all opened, Myke's mom makes my favorite: sausages wrapped in crescent rolls! Mmmm mmm good!

And shortly after, this is what I found . . . .

A Christmas afternoon siesta!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Special Christmas Delivery

We had a really great Christmas 2007. The most important thing is that it is spent with family. Of course, we were all thinking about Chianna and anticipating what it will be like next Christmas with her here with us! That is so exciting!

Up until Christmas Eve, Myke and I were holding out on telling his parents and Nonie and Papa how far along in the adoption process we already are. They knew we are adopting, they just did not know we had started the process yet. So, on Christmas Eve, Myke finally told me I could "let the cat out of the bag". I was so excited and relieved too! I wanted so badly to share the news and could not. So many times, I almost slipped up and had to cover it pretending "I forgot what I was gonna' say".

Everyone was so excited when I told them that we already had our paper work submitted to the Vietnamese consulate and that we are well on our way in the process to find our little girl! At this point, we don't know how long it will be once we are logged in, but we definitely are expecting to travel this year. Even with all the uncertainty surrounding the VN adoption program at the moment, we are still optimistic and very excited. Everyone is so excited and can't wait to spoil her to pieces! This will by Jim and Alvi's first grandchild and we will make Nonie and Papa Great Grandparents!

And, now I can officially, welcome Jim and Alvi to the blog! YEahhhh!!!!

Christmas is always a special holiday for us and Myke picks out the best gifts for me. I, on the other hand, am not so good and figuring out what to get him and I spend all month petrified that he will figure out what I got him. Myke has this "supernatural" talent of looking at a present and guessing what is inside it. So, I am forced to keep everything of his completely out of site and camouflaged until Christmas morning. And then more often than not, go with him to return some of the gifts so that he can pick out what he really wanted. : (

This Christmas, Myke got me so many wonderful things, namely, a gorgeous diamond ring! I was completely shocked and had no idea about this at all! But, even above diamonds, the most special gift he gave me was labeled:

To: Chianna
c/o: Mommy
From: Daddy w/ Love



It is a fairy blanket for Chianna! It is so soft and fuzzy. It will keep her warm and I just can't wait for the day I can wrap her in it!

He also got her a fairy wall tapestry that is really beautiful!
Here are some close up photos:



Dossier is on the Way!



Our dossier is on its way to Vietnam!

Send Me An Angel - Song Added

I added a song play list to the blog, so please enjoy the music while reading! You can adjust the volume or pause the music altogether by using the controls on the widget - it is on the right side. The other day, I was listening to the one by Real Life and it made me think of Chianna - my angel. Here are the lyrics:

Do you believe in heaven above?
Do you believe in love?
Don't tell a lie,
Don't be false or untrue,
It all comes back to you

Open fire on my burning heart
I've never been lucky in love
My defenses are down,
A kiss or a frown
I can't survive on my own.

If a girl walks in and carves her name in my heart,
I'll turn and run away
Everyday we've all been led astray,
It's hard to be lucky in love.

It gets in your eyes,
It's making you cry
Don't know what to do
Don't know what to do
You're looking for love,
Calling heaven above...

(Chorus)
Send me an angel,
Send me an angel...
Right now,
Right now...
Send me an angel,
Send me an angel...
Right now,
Right now...

Empty dreams can only disappoint,
In a room behind your smile
But don't give up
Don't give up
You can be lucky in love

It gets in your eyes,
It's making you cry
Don't know what to do
Don't know what to do
You're looking for love,
Calling heaven above...

(Chorus)
Send me an angel,
Send me an angel...
Right now,
Right now...
Send me an angel,
Send me an angel...
Right now,
Right now...

Researching how to add the music to the blog, I came across another Send Me An Angel song, originally by The Scorpions. I really like the version that I found, it is quite beautiful. I never imagined dedicating a Scorpions song to my daughter, but the lyrics really do apply:

The wise man said just walk this way
To the dawn of the light
The wind will blow into your face
As the years pass you by
Hear this voice from deep inside
Its the call of your heart
Close your eyes and your will find
The passage out of the dark

Here I am
Will you send me an angel
Here I am
In the land of the morning star

The wise man said just find your place
In the eye of the storm
Seek the roses along the way
Just beware of the thorns

Here I am
Will you send me an angel
Here I am
In the land of the morning star

The wise man said just raise your hand
And reach out for the spell
Find the door to the promised land
Just believe in yourself
Hear this voice from deep inside
Its the call of your heart
Close your eyes and your will find
The way out of the dark

Here I am
Will you send me an angel
Here I am
In the land of the morning star
Here I am
Will you send me an angel
Here I am
In the land of the morning star

FYI, I looked up "land of the morning star" and evidently it is the western half of Papua New Guinea. Not very far from Vietnam????

Our House at Christmas TIme

Since I have started blogging again, I have such a back log of posts to make. I would like to share with you photos of our house all decorated for Christmas.

Here is why I blow a fuse every time I blow dry my hair in December:







There are even lights inside!



And this year, we added a special addition to our wall of stockings:



Daddy bought this for the baby!



Mommy's stocking is on the left, and daddy's is on the right. Chianna's new stocking is nestled right in the middle!


New set up:



Update: Ok, after Vivian's comment sending ME kudos for decorating the house, I realize that I might have been misleading when I originally posted this. Myke did all of the decorating - it is his thing. I helped a tiny bit setting things up inside, but he did almost all of it. I cannot take credit for something I did not do.

Typical though, its like Myke buying a cute gift for his mom or Nonie and they immdiately thank me for it. Ha! Poor Myke, he does deserve the credit though, he decorates both holiday and non holiday, he cooks too and he definitely is the Mr. Fit It Man as well.

So, Viv, if Myke and I do come to Canada to visit, you and I can have coffee and chat while Myke decorates, cooks and fixes. Sound good? ROFL Oh, and I almost forgot, he will spend a lot of time playing with Kerri too, he is very good at playing - he is mentally about the same age.

A Christmas Miracle!

This year, Myke and I had to cancel our annual Holiday Dinner Party when my dad and I decided to fly up to New York to visit my Uncle Len (Dad's brother). Uncle Len had fallen ill and the situation was very grave. We got word of this on Monday, the 17th (the day after Myke and I flew home from NY!). Dad and I planned on leaving Thursday and returning Saturday. Myke and I had planned our dinner party for that Saturday night, so we had to cancel it. While in NY, we visited with Uncle Lenny in the hospital and was doing better than expected but was not able to communicate with us and we were not sure if it was because of his condition or because of the ventilator and feeding tubes. It was a sad situation, but we were optimistic because he was doing better than the doctors expected. We left NY on Saturday a little unsure of Uncle Len's recovery.

Just after Christmas, we got word that they removed the ventilator and he was breathing on his own. Afew days later, they moved him out of intensive care and now, just a couple days ago, Uncle Len, actually called my dad and sounded just like his old self again, cracking jokes and in good spirits.

We are so happy, amazed and thankful that Uncle Len is getting better and better.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Results of the Need for a Better Health Care System

I was just told about a very sad situation that has been going on here in South Florida for several months now. This is the story of Linda and Les Bauman. Linda and Les are husband and wife and they are each experiencing the fight of their life, just in a different ways. Linda, is fighting for her life and Les is fighting for Linda.

What can we each do to help? Money, awareness, and a call for a change in our health care. I do not personally know them, and I wish there were more that I could do, but I have a big mouth and a pretty big online network, so I will speak out for them and fight for better health care. I am also contacting my congressman to see what he thinks can be done and to ask what he thinks can be done to change our health care system.

Contact Your Congressman

Visit: www.myspace.com/lindabauman

Here is the story in Les' words:

On August 26, 2007 my wife Linda Bauman suffered a head injury while water skiing (wakeboarding) at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach Florida. While she was wakeboarding she crashed in the water like we all do when we are learning a new skill. She hit the water with her head and body and then swam to shore and got out of the water. While she was walking back to me, I watched her collapse to her knees. I ran over to her and asked her if she is OK. She said she didn't feel well and started rubbing her head. She became unresponsive in my arms. Those were the last words she spoke to me. She then fell into a coma and has been comatose ever since.

Linda is the strongest person I have ever known. Giving her a chance with the proper care and coma stimulation is her only chance for recovery. After the accident she spent almost 100 days in the hospital in a coma. She needs to be at The Florida Institute for Neurological Rehabilitation (FINR). Here is where she will receive the stimulation and care she needs. Unfortunately BlueCross/BlueShield will not do the right thing and pay for her to go to FINR. They would rather spend as little as possible and put her in a Nursing Home for 60 days and then be done with their responsibility. Of course now it is costing more because while at the Nursing Home she developed pneumonia and a urinary tract infection. So more ER visit charges, hospital room charges and transport fees have occured therefore costing Blue Cross Blue Shield more money than if they were to transfer her to FINR.

Although we have what is considered “good” medical insurance, our medical provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, has declined her transfer to the FINR facilities. Even with letters from her neurologists at the Broward Medical Center stating that it is a necessity that she be treated at the FINR facility, we have not been able get it approved through Blue Cross Blue Shield. I am hoping to raise enough funds from this raffle along with cashing in retirement savings and sick/vacation time, loans and personal savings to send Linda to FINR for their 90 day treatment plan.

Vietnam Adoption Video

Here is a video from my friend Regina. It was a presentation she made for her church for Adoption Awareness month, which is November. No matter what religion you are, this is a touching video that highlights the children. She shows what happens "When Love Takes You In". It is an amazing video!

SURPRISE: New York, New York!

As promised, here are pictures and details on our trip to New York City. I surprised Myke with a tip to NYC. I planned this back in September, when I learned that Jennifer Garner was appearing in Cyrano on Broadway.

Myke is totally infatuated with her and calls her his "tv girlfriend". So, I decided to plan a surprise, rather than tell him. He had never been to NYC before and even though he isn't "a city boy", I think he still had a pretty good time. We arrived on Friday afternoon and left Sunday evening, so it was short, but sweet!

By the time we got into the city and checked into our hotel room, it was time for dinner. We walked around a bit and decided on Pescatore - Italian seafood. It was pretty good, even though the tables are so close that we could hear everything evryone around us was talking about.

Then we headed over to Rockafeller Center to checkout the famed "tree".


It is quite beautiful and occasionally, the led lights start to "sparkle".





The skating rink was completely cleared off. We just missed a wedding proposal! How sweet is that?



We also saw the windows at Saks 5th Avenue. I never had any idea how elaborate these windows were! I thought they were just mannequins with fancy clothes on them!



Snowpeople was the theme and they were all mechanical, moving and animated.



They actually had a line for people to walk through to see the windows! The whole entire block was all lit up with light displays and Christmas music too!







Saturday morning, we slept in (surprise, surprise). And then headed over to the Museum of Science and Natural History.

The front entrance of the museum: President Roosevelt on horseback statue from "A Night at the Museum"




Myke loves archeology, so I knew he would love to see the dinosaurs.











We both really enjoyed the ancient cultures exhibits they had. Guess where we took the most photos? Japan & China, of course!

We would do anything to have this picture hanging on our wall!



Check this out! It is the traditional chair they carry the bride in for a Chinese wedding.



And all these details represent the bride's dowry. It was so amazing to see this.





I wish I wrote down the rest of what it said, because of course, I cannot remember now.

I also wish I had a whole picture of this origami Christmas tree they had, but I guess it did not come out. But these are the little origami ornaments they had on the tree. They were really amazing. They were all mystical animals: unicorns, dragons, fairies, phoenix, and other mythological creatures and such. It was a really beautiful site. The details of the ornaments represent such talent!







After the museum, we took a walk through Central Park. It turned out not to be the greatest idea, because the temperature started dropping quickly!



We made it through the park and decided to start to try and hail a cab to get to our dinner reservations at Tao.



Tao, is obviously an Asian restaurant. And the food is just as beautiful as the atmosphere! It was such a great experience. Being in the restaurant, you forget where or WHEN you are. It is so awesome, if you can imagine, it is exciting yet peaceful at the same time.

Ok, I have to admit, the first picture, is not one that we took, I grabbed it from the web because here is how ours came out:



The ceiling:



The lounge:



And after dinner, we took a cab to a very congested Broadway.



We ended up in a mad dash to find the theater and get there in time for the play. We made it in there just in time to see the beginning and thank goodness . . . . there SHE was! Our seats were great and it was so exciting for me to bring Myke to see Jennifer Garner. Kevin Kline played Cyrano and Jennifer Garner was right, when I saw her interviewed the week before when she said, "he was born to play this role". Myke liked the play so much, he said it would have been worth it even if she wasn't in it! After the play ended, they announced that they were raising funds for charity. They auctioned off Cyrano's nose signed by Kline and it went for $3500!! They were also going to auction off Jennifer Garner's eye lashes in the lobby and said that she would be available to take pictures and sign them for $200. Myke declined to take up the offer. Even if it is for charity, we had already spent so much for this trip, we thought it was best for us to pass on it.

We walked around on Broadway. The temperature was dropping to the low 20's and snow was predicted. It was sort of sprinkling, not really snow, not really rain, but did snow overnight.



Myke could not resist taking a picture of his favorite candy in lights: Reese's peanut butter cups! : )



Sunday morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed to China Town to walk around, maybe do some shopping on Canal Street and try to find a cool place for lunch. While checking out some of the places in China Town, we caught a glimpse of this in the hallway:



Sorry it is a little blurry, we were trying to sneak a pic in case we were not suppose to - it is a Buddha shrine. The incense were strong and it was so much more beautiful than this picture could impart. We were walking around, kind of just wandering looking for some place to get some dim sum lunch and all of the sudden, we ended up in Little Italy by mistake! Ooops - had no idea that China Town and Little Italy were literally right next to each other. We were hungry and it was starting to rain, so we decided to have Italian instead. I wish we had found a good authentic Chinese food place, but an authentic Little Italy Italian joint on Mulberry Street was second best and not a bad move at all. After our lunch, we finished out our NY trip with a subway ride back to the hotel. Couldn't have the full NYC experience without a ride on the subway! We picked up out luggage at our hotel and headed to the airport and back home to hot, humid Florida.