Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Interesting facts about Guangxi that I've found, so far:

Wikpedia says that Guangxi China became autonomous 50 years ago on Dec 11, 2008. So, 1958 they became an autonomous region.

Thinkquest says that: Self-government in ethnic group autonomous areas is affected through the local people's congress and people's government at the particular level. There are currently five autonomous regions in China. They are Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region founded on May 1, 1947, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region founded on October 25, 1958, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region founded on October 1, 1955, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region founded on March 5, 1958 and Tibet Autonomous Region founded on September 9, 1965. In addition, China also has 30 autonomous prefectures and 121 autonomous counties (or in some cases, banners). The committee of the People's Congress and the head of the government of an autonomous region, autonomous prefecture or autonomous county belong to the area's designated ethnic group.

Organs of self-government in regional autonomous areas enjoy extensive self-government rights beyond those held by other state organs at the same level. These include enacting regulations for self-government and specialized regulations corresponding to local political, economic and cultural conditions; making independent use of local revenue, and independently arranging and managing construction, education, science, culture, public health and other local undertakings. The Central Government has greatly assisted in the training of ethnic group cadres and technicians through the establishment of institutes and cadre schools for minority ethnic groups to supplement regular colleges and universities. It has, in addition, supplied the ethnic group autonomous areas with large quantities of financial aid and material resources in order to promote their economic and cultural development.

Our guide in Guangxi said he thought Lil M was part of a "minority" group in China.

(this is also from the thinkquest site) - China is a large country noted for its dense population and vast territory. There are 55 minority ethnic groups in addition to the Han who represent 92% of the population. The defining elements of an ethnic group are language, homeland, and social values. 53 minority ethnic groups use spoken languages of their own; 23 minority ethnic groups have their own written languages.

Most of the 7 percent of the minority ethnic groups live in the vast areas of the West, Southwest (Mia is from Southwest China) and Northwest. The largest is the 12 million-strong Zhuang in southwestern China. Although minority ethnic groups account for about 7% of the population, they are distributed over some 50% of Chinese territory, mostly in the border regions. Equality, unity and common prosperity are the fundamental objectives of the government in handling the relations between minority ethnic groups. China exercises a policy of regional autonomy for various minority ethnic groups, allowing ethnic group peoples living in compact communities to establish self-government and direct their own affairs.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This is what I want to Lil M to know

It is OK to be Chinese. It is OK to be who you are. It is OK that you are American... a Chinese American. It is OK that you aren't fluent in Chinese... or maybe you will be! It is OK that you speak English so well. (even at 2 years old!!)

It is OK that you are who you are, and not a cookie cutter replica of Mommy or anyone else. It is OK to be different or the same, or whatever makes you a more comfortable you. I celebrate who you are. I want you to celebrate who you are.

I wish I could tell you more about your biological family. I wish I knew. I wish the world wasn't what it is today. Secrecy and un-openness disgust me. I pray that it is different when you grow up. I can't wait to see your children and your children's children.

You are natural,
You are loved,
You are family,
You are mine,
You are your own person,
You are everything you want to be and more,
You are special,
You are amazing,
You are beautiful,
You are happy and sad and allowed to feel your own feelings,
You are Mommy's "own" child, but I don't own you,
You are my daughter, and I love you.



I added a new group to Facebook today called International Interracial Adoption. Please feel free to join us.

I also added it as a link to the right called **Facebook Adoption Group


Monday, December 29, 2008

What a wonderful Christmas!!!!

The first pic is of Mia on Saturday... she's 28 months old now!!! WOW! :) She looks like a little dancer in this pic, I think it is so cute.

The rest of the pics are from Christmas morning. :) The first couple are of her and her new American Doll, Ruthie (from Scott)!! And then of her new handbag and headband! My little angel loves her accessories!! hehehe

Speaking of Lil M... she's just amazing. I know I say that over and over... but she is one of the happiest little souls I've ever met!!! I'm COMPLETELY and totally in love with her (as any mommy should be).... She makes me smile!!

Have a happy New Year!!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Too much

So, I've been thinking about Christmas all day. And about just how much I've spent... for Christmas and for the year. Yikes. And I have some debt to take care of... so, I'm prayerfully considering how to handle this. Of course, I want to give everyone everything. And I do. I like to give.

I'm considering whether or not to take/send a few things back. Like the stuff I bought *myself* for Christmas!! Actually, it wasn't for Christmas, specifically, but it was definitely due to the good deals during this season. What can I say, I like to shop.

But I don't like the debt I've accrued. It has me stressed. Don't get me wrong, there are some very valid reasons for some of it. And I wouldn't some of the decisions I made this year and last to help Sis. However, I need to get this under control.

So. I'm putting myself back on a budget. And setting some goals. Now, I just need to figure out what to do about what I've already done. Maybe not take things back, but maybe hold them back for another holiday. Yes, I think that would make me feel better. And maybe I'll donate some of it. I have some things to donate, anyway. That would definitely make me feel better.

I encourage others to do the same, if you can.


PS. The Duggers had their 18th child on 12/19. Wow! I don't know how they do it! I love that show.


I'm excited about Christmas. I would say that Christmas is my favorite holiday, even if it has become beyond commercialized and secularized. So, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the real Christmas and say Happy Birthday to Jesus... my Lord and Savior and best friend.

Christmas is a celebration of Life... the life that was born, that is the Word, the Truth and the Life. God incarnate. Our savior. I am forever grateful to God that He made the way for us to be in relationship with Him... not that there wasn't a way before. I believe there was. But us people messed up and got caught up in all the laws, rules and dogma of what we *should* do... and forgot the simplest truth of all. LOVE. Love God, love our neighbors... friends, relatives, enemies... and ourselves. Love, Love, Love.

Most of us feel so unlovable. Don't we? I know I have felt so unlovable so many times in my life. That is here on the horizontal plane. But the vertical line that connects me to God is filled with love. It is something I know. I feel it. And when I am feeling unlovable in other parts of my life, all I have to do is look up and pray.

I watched a show last night about twins. Actually, it was about how twins develop in the womb, and it was awe inspiring. Scientists are unsure why some identical twins aren't so identical... one might have a disease that the other one doesn't... even though they have the 'same genes'. When you see a baby in the womb, you will just be awe struck over the way that they develop. How is that not God? It is... it just is.

Which brings me back to Jesus. Happy Birthday Jesus. There was a time when you were in the womb. I wonder how Mary must have felt. Not only a baby, but God incarnate. Wow. Talk about awe and amazement. What is even better is Easter. When we see the fruition of Jesus' life.

So, I hope you will take a few moments this week to relish in the awe of life, love and God. I am.


Friday, December 19, 2008

How much is too much

So, I love to shop... and I tend to go pretty overboard for Christmas... for Lil M and Nephew, it will look like enough toys and such for probably 4 kids! But, you know, if we didn't do that, it wouldn't feel normal. Is that sad? lol. Actually, I don't usually buy expensive gifts for them, so they have lots to open... but I did get Chase a more expensive present this year. I hope he likes it. I got him a Nintendo DS Lite - with Pokemon on it.

Anyway, how much is too much? Do you have a limit? When it comes to Nephew and Sis... I don't usually have a limit. Maybe that's bad... but I love doing it. Of course, my bank account doesn't love it so much. I try to not just do this type of stuff at Christmas. Christmas is special, for other reasons...

This Christmas is a little tougher, because Sis doesn't have Chase on Christmas Day... only Christmas Eve. But we're going to treat it like Christmas morning, anyway.

Oh, Manna got sick yesterday morning and left an awful stain on the carpet. :( God love her. Now, I used some Resolve pet stain remover on it... and it is still there. Not happy about that. Got to figure out how to get the carpets looking better by the 3rd of Jan, 'cause Mom and Sis are coming over!! Oh, and my range hood (over the stove) has the stupid vent cover thing coming off... looks like a wire mesh thing. I took it off and it looks awful. And here I've been trying to get the house looking better!! NEVER - ENDING.

Another note, Mia hasn't been napping at daycare again. :( She seems so tired in the evenings... I wish I knew how to get her to nap there...


Sunday, December 14, 2008

cabbage soup

I've been cooking again... cabbage, this time. I like cabbage, but had never cooked it before. So, I thought I'd give it a try! Not too hard, and pretty good! :)

1 head cabage - coarsely chopped
1 onion (white)
1 lb turkey sausage
2 carrots (could have used more)
1 can of great northern beans
1 cup of cooked white rice
1.5 chicken bouillon cubes

Cooked the carrot (coarsely chopped) and half the onion first, with bouillon, then added cabbage, cooked turkey sausage and beans. cooked rice separately with the other half bouillon. Let cook until cabbage is translucent. Added spices (salt, pepper, paprika, celery seed and no-salt spice mix). Yum.


Monday, December 8, 2008


...some innermost thoughts from melissa...

So, today I've been thinking about Mia's biological mom. Actually, I've been listening to more adoption stories (who me??), and there were a couple that really struck me. They weren't women from China, so their stories aren't exactly the same, but wow. They cut through my heart. What these women go through to bear a child they don't raise themselves. Holy cow. I, absolutely can NOT imagine it. I mean I absolutely understand why some feel like they can't parent - for whatever reason. But I can't imagine what PAIN they must feel. To suffer, worry, think about... or force yourself not to think about... stuff down... the little piece of your heart that left that day. Unimaginable.

Lil M will never be mine biologically. But, man, I can't imagine not having been touched by this amazing little person. And what her mother must have gone through. Undoubtedly, torture. Even if she pushed the emotions down, or told herself she had to. Or if someone else did it. I just wish she could know the ABSOLUTE and UTTER JOY that Mia is. And I get to raise her. Who is blessed here? I can't even truly express it in words.

Amazing. I mean honest to God, lay prostrate on the ground, THANK YOU GOD. And thank you, Mia's mother for giving her life. She was her first mother. The one who is connected to her through the physical earth. Through centuries of history and duty and tradition, which are amazing. I can only hope and pray that I can be that connected to Lil M in the center our hearts and spirits and lives together...creating a new history for us both.

You know when I started this journey, I was sort of full of myself.. I mean, I *chose* to adopt. I'm a capable woman. I wanted a child. I have a child. But today, I feel so humbled. I have this awesome chance to help another person... become ...whatever she wants to become. I can tear her down or build her up. I absolutely could not love her more if she came from my body....



Lil M can count to 10 with me now!! This came about this weekend. She just kept going! Before, she could count to 2. lol. She says nine (one), two, three... and can count all the way to 10 with me! I'm so excited! She can't do it alone yet, but it's just a matter of time. :)

Her phrase of choice this weekend was "I did it!"


Saturday, December 6, 2008


I had to take Manna back to the vet today (yet another $110) to get her thyroid checked and weight checked. She went from 5lb 11oz last time to 6lb 09 oz today! Very nice. She's definitely been eating more. It would be nice if she gained a little more. They want to keep her on the same dosage for 30 more days, and will let me know Monday how her blood-work looks.

It snowed overnight! Mia didn't like it on her shoes... but maybe after her nap, I might take her out to play. :) We'll see if she likes it then... or maybe I'll wait until there is more snow on the ground.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Keep thinking...

I have been obsessed with adoption sites and stories again, lately. I'm trying to figure out why I think I could possibly handle two children... and how I might move forward... So, I keep praying. These thoughts aren't going away, so now I need to figure out why and what to do. ***as I sat here thinking of it... one of my fellow contractors just got laid off*** OMG. just gonna pray...

Lil M is doing great. We've had a long week. She hasn't been napping well, and I haven't been sleeping well. We've both had some sinus issues, but for the most part are in good moods, as usual. Some interesting little facts recently for Lil M:

She likes beans, any kind! (my girl!!) :)
She doesn't like meat too much (my girl!!) lol she would rather have beans than chicken.
She told me FOR THE FIRST time this week when she pooed her diaper!
She told Aiyee Mimi FOR THE FIRST time - to anyone, I'm so jealous - I love you Mimi!!!
She likes Blues Clues, Oswald, and Diego (he has a cat)
Her favorite stuffed animal right now is "Meow" her cat from Auntie Ellen. :)
She tells the Dog-dogs bye bye every morning when we leave.
She says nigh-nigh to the dog-dogs, cat (manna), moo (stuffed cow), meow (stuffed cat) and mommy.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

English Genius

Or so this quiz says. ;-)

Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test...

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 87% Advanced, and 87% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

Take The Commonly Confused Words Test
at HelloQuizzy

bloody noses

Lil M and I both had bloody noses yesterday... it was very odd. I am sure it is due to the dry air. My sinuses are terribly sore and dry. She was coughing, too. But seems to be OK overall. So, I canceled dinner last night and tonight's play date. I just don't want to take a chance of either of us getting sick. I'd rather take it easy.

I did get some of her clothes better organized and mine, as well, last night. Doesn't that sound like fun? ha.

I'm beginning to fret over bills again, my contract at work, the economy... it's all ok, but if we are really in a recession, what might happen here in april, when my contract is up... work has been going really well, but you never know. ok, that's my whine/vent. God always provides.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poverty and Scripture

Your challenge is to pick one verse or passage that has touched you and changed your thoughts on poverty and how the Lord might see it and respond and blog about it!

Well, one of my favorite verses is Romans 12:12
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer."

I don't feel like I have a very good answer for this topic. But here goes. I would imagine that everyone thinks that poverty sucks. And since I'm not God... and I can't affect all people, I do pray for the suffering and for
those who live in poverty.

I am thankful for what I *do* have, and I try to give as much as I can. I feel like that's what I can do, because I believe in the power of prayer, and in my relationship with God, which gives me hope and patience (a relative term, of course) during my own suffering and for the suffering of others. Does it change things? I'm not sure, because there always seems to be poverty on some level. But I hope when I get to Heaven I will see that it did!

I wish I had a better answer. I think that helping those in need starts at home (in our own families, churches, communities), but that we need to think globally, too.

basketball season

We went to the Women's Crosstown Shootout last year (on December 1), where UC won. Mindy, Chase, Scott, Mia and I went... was sort of a family day, and I just realized it. I wonder how the game will go this year. It was our official first date, too, I guess... poor guy. Had to go with Sis, me and two kids!! lol We went to Skyline afterward to commemorate the day. Technically, we went to a lunch the week before, but that was after I asked him to the game. Yes. I asked him. LOL. No lack of forward women in my family. ;-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving et al

We went to my sister's house for Thanksgiving. It was great! She cooked for Scott, Mia, Brian and I. We ate well. :) I have so much to be thankful for, especially my family.

We had dinner with some friends last night, and did TONS of shopping early yesterday! We had a great Black Friday... and then met my friend Kay today and did a little more. :) I should be about 90% done with my Christmas shopping. I even got a new Christmas tree. It's fake, and it has lights on it already. Mindy's ex kept my old one... oh well. No biggie. So, I think we might put it up tomorrow. I think Lil M will get a BIG kick out of it!!

On the shopping front, we actually went to Wally-world this weekend, and Meijer. Got everything we wanted, even. We also went to Kohl's, but not until today. I had a gift cert for Dick's Sporting Goods, and finally got myself a new running jacket, waterproof... let's see if it really is! We found the vanilla orange spice fragrance at Bath & Body that we used the entire time we were in China. Boy, does that fragrance bring back happy memories!! :) Oh, and the big thing this weekend was a new table and chairs for Sis... it was a fantastic deal at Kmart... that was awesome. It's already up and looks great. She needed a table *so bad*.

Lil M had a great time... she had home-made ice cream last night for the first time, and loved it! It made her completely spazz out, 'cause of the sugar high. It was funny. We don't do a whole lot of sugar... so, it is obvious when she does have it! I couldn't very well let her NOT have home-made ice cream!! :)

Gobble, gobble.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog Buzz question

Q - To Commit your heart or not? There is much debate in the adoption world about when you throw your heart into the mix. . .upon first sight of that referral picture? Or not until the court date? Homecoming Date? Share your thoughts and experience!

A - For me, I think that I gave pieces of my heart during each part of the adoption process. First, as a single mom, I had to put part of my heart and faith out there when I first decided to adopt. Then when the paperwork was sent to China, that was a big moment. I felt like I put a little piece of my heart out there, because I wasn't sure if my daughter was born yet, and if she was, I wanted to lift up prayers for her. Then, when my paperwork was logged in, I felt the same way (albeit, was only 2 weeks later than when it was sent, but it was a landmark date, as everything relied on that date). This didn't change during the wait, because I prayerfully considered her "name"... that was a HUGE decision for me. I didn't realize what it would feel like to name another human being.

When I received my referral, I definitely gave another piece of my heart to this child that would be mine. Same for when we traveled. I think that the rest of my heart has been given to my daughter over the year (plus) we've been home together. The day we arrived home, was pretty monumental, emotionally, for me. To realize it was really official. She is an American Citizen, my Daughter, and will always be with me. But I felt more fear at that time, that I would mess something up... so, it took me a little while to be able to relax and really open my heart all the way... not too long, of course. She's amazing. She didn't always want to be held, which was tough for me, but most of the time she is very willing. When she yells Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!! Or wants to give Mommy kisses *just because*, it just melts my heart... and that's when I realize that at some point she got ALL of my heart, not just the parts I thought I had put out there. :) Kind of sneaky that way!! LOL


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Red Letters Campaign

I found a neat site today called the Red Letter Campaign. It has has quite a few adoption bloggers and other neat sources, out there. I have added their link to my site and I hope you will also consider following my blog, as I've added it to their list of adoption sites. :)

It's also about time for me to update my blogs' "style" lol. I am going to try my very best not to lose anything, i promise!! If I can't figure something out, I'll keep it as is. Please remember my other blog that Sis and I co-author...

Single Mom By Choice or Circumtsance

Nothing else to do, except keep reading and sending me your little tidbits of wisdom!!!


Monday, November 24, 2008

China TV

For your tv viewing pleasure:

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This weekend we went to see Sis and Chase. It was good. Lil M was pretending to play with bubbles last night, and when Sis sends me the little video I'll have to post it. It was too cute. :)

When I was putting Mia to bed, I ran into a hard drive that was sitting next to the couch (from Mindy's old house... that I knew was sitting there, but forgot), and I totally messed up my knee. I mean, I almost fell over I hit the damn thing so hard. My knee swelled up and turned black and blue. Oh great. And we're supposed to do the Turkey Trot thursday. :( It still hurts pretty bad today, and going up and down stairs isn't big fun.

I'm feeling fairly anxious today, too, for some reason. I keep trying to tell myself everything is perfectly fine, but it still comes and goes. It's definitely gotten better since I started my new job.

Oh, and Friday I sent a couple of requests to adoption agencies about a couple different countries. I'm trying to figure out if adopting a 2nd child is an option... or will be at some point? The two countries I'm looking at do very few adoptions a year, but they do accept singles. Regardless, it would take a couple years again, and so I figured I'd better start if that's what I want to do... If it did take 2 years or more, Mia would be 4+ and I think I could handle that. I've really been trying to figure out if finances will work, if I could actually parent 2 children... so, I'm in the prayer / investigation stage right now. Prayers are welcome. :)

Have a great Thanksgiving week... I know I definitely have a lot to be thankful for this year. Thank you God.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008 own!

I made something new tonight... ok, not new, but not from a box! lol

It was chicken/noodles/broccoli... don't judge my using canned chicken... it works when you are single like me!! ;-)

1 bag of egg noodles (cooked 8 min instead of 10, to account for add'l cooking with other ingredients)
1 can canned chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can of evaporated milk
3/4 or so can of hot water
1/2 bag broccoli (steamed in microwave and added at end)
couple dashes of paprika
dash of celery seed
3 dashes of onion flakes
couple dashes of onion powder

Cooked noodles, drained. Added cream of chicken soup and evap milk and water. Added spices. Cooked for a few minutes then added broccoli.

It was very good, if I do say so!!! I also made chocolate pudding for desert.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Potty and other news

So, Lil M is sort of starting to potty train. I put her on the potty every night, and they do at daycare too. This is new territory for us. I'm just taking it slow and getting her used to the idea. She's peed on it several times and poo'ed a couple. She usually does pretty well, and sits there quite willingly. Other times, she cries. That makes me feel bad.

On another note, she likes to put her babies to sleep (nigh nigh)... she does this with the dogs (dog dogs) and even Mommy sometimes. She has gotten quite attached to her stuffed kitty (Meow) and has tried to take it with us in the car a couple of times to daycare now. I haven't let her, because I don't want her to lose Meow. I'm wondering how this attachment is going to progress.

Speaking of attachment... we are at the stage where Lil M likes to make sure Mommy is very near and she checks back with me often. She does show some anxiety when there is a loud noise (TV or otherwise) that startles her. She runs to me and looks anxious. But she seems to calm down almost instantly. When I get to daycare she always yells "My Mommy" if another child comes close to me. She did this at the hair salon the other night, too. She definitely doesn't seem to want to go to others she doesn't know... and I'm actually thankful of that. I've heard where children sometimes aren't picky and will go to anyone, and that me...quite frankly, is scary.

I'm trying to decide when we are going to move to a big-girl (toddler) bed. I don't think she's ready, but will be in the next few months. She's 26 months old, and I think she's progressing quite well. We haven't been working as much yet on numbers and colors, but I'm going to get to that here soon. I periodically check my baby books to see where she should be at a given age, and she seems to be pretty close to what they consider the norm.

Days like today, I'm happy I'm the one who gets to make the decisions of how fast or slow we are going with potty and toddler beds and such. Other days aren't so easy, but it's been an amazing journey. There is always, absolutely more to do than can get done in a given day... especially with chores!! I've been trying to de-clutter, and have not quite conquered that yet. But I'm working on it. One day at a time. :)


Almost 4 years

It's been almost 4 years since I started this journey! WOW. In December of 2004, I submitted my application for a Singles Lottery with CCAI. I got in (obviously)! I found out Jan 4, 2005 (if memory serves). Then I started the paperwork... in September of 2005 I started this blog, WOW.... over 3 years ago! I've have almost 40,000 visitors. Holy cow.

I'm trying to figure out if I should change my blog in any way. I've updated the links. I've added my other blog - I'm not planning to quit writing. I know this is how some of my family and friends keep up with us when we're home-bodies. lol.

I still can't believe it's been so long since I started all this. And, incredibly Lil M has been with me for over a year now. She is amazing as ever. I'm still as imperfect as ever. But we are doing well. I look back at just ONE year ago and marvel at how little she was!! Amazing. I am still considering another child, but am not sure yet, so I'm praying about it.

I've been trying to keep up with all my favorite blogs. It is so neat to see our babies growing up. I hope I'm not the only one who continues to write! :)


Monday, November 10, 2008


Sis, Chase, and Scott all came over this weekend. What a treat!!! ;-) Sis and I took the kids shopping on Saturday and got some great deals at Goodwill for Chase (pants)... it's expensive to clothe the kids sometimes! LOL. They can ruin a new pair of pants in SECONDS!!! ROFL. He really needed some new stuff, and we always balance brand new clothes with gently-used ones. Mindy and I always shared clothes or wore hand-me-downs as kids (of course, we had new ones too!!)... so, we're just following history. :)

I made some rice pudding that turned out pretty good. I also made some chili, but it was missing onion and peppers... so, it's a little more bland than usual. Oh, and Sis made me a great turkey meatloaf!! That'll have us set for a few days this week. :)

It's so cute to see how much Lil M loves her Aiyee Mimi, Chase and Scott. If they leave a room, she asks where did they go. The day after they leave (like this morning), she looks for them and asks where'd "Mimi" go?!

It is Monday now, and of course, I'm tired! But it is a good tired this morning. I really am blessed to have the family and friends that I have.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Tagged answers

7 random and/or weird facts about me... let's see,

1. I think some people think I'm a true extrovert, but I really like my down-time. I can go and go and go for awhile, but then I crash. So, if I don't get adequate alone time, I get cranky.

2. I really do think Marathons are fun. (yes, 26.2 miles)

3. My sister and I go every year to the day after Thanksgiving sales... as soon as we're done, I'm looking forward to the next one! All year, in fact. Maybe it is because it is "our" special day, or because we always find some awesome stuff... not sure, but I'd say it's the former. :)

4. I'm fanatical about using face lotion. I've been using it since I was 18, and when I'm 80, I'll likely go to straight vaseline, like my Grandmother did!!! ROFL

5. I've been thinking about trying to get into Law school for years. And now I'm at a point where I'm trying to decide what the next "goal" of mine should be. (i'm very goal oriented) I feel like I'm eventually supposed to add something else to my life's work, somehow. Not sure if that's an MBA, law, ministry, volunteering...

6. I'm allergic to cats. (At one time I had 4, and now I just have Manna, who is my first-ever pet and who is 14.5 years old.)

7. I like to hang dry my clothes on the line outside in the summer, and use clothe diapers on Lil M as much as I can.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Single Mother by Choice

So, I've been searching for sites about people like me... Single Moms by Choice... or single parents by choice...whatever... boy, is there a bunch of CRAP out there!! I mean, I certainly don't have all the answers (or even some, half the time!!), but some of the stuff out there is just depressing, demotivating and rough. Don't get me wrong, I know there are a lot of people out there who've had a really tough life, through their own actions or as a result of someone elses... but I really was hoping to find others like me out there. Apparently, those are the ones who don't write or have anything realistic to say? The ones I've found just moan and groan and whine!! That sounds terrible, but oh well.

I hope I don't whine all the time. I've definitely made some different decisions in my life than most of the people I know or that seem to be out there. I "chose" not to get married in my 20's because I knew I wasn't ready. I knew I had to figure out how to be in a relationship with a man, and not just pick someone out of convenience or fancy. I also knew that adoption was an option for me. I didn't know that I would end up doing it by myself... but I've been OK with that decision since the moment I made it.

So, what makes our little family all that different? I guess, no Dad for Lil M. Apparently, that's just not the "ideal" situation....but for us it seems pretty ideal. (as an aside, this has NOTHING to do with who I am dating, btw, he is wonderful and I'm not going to speculate about our future here, but suffice to say, if we decide to move to the next level, i have no doubt we will do that together).

Some days are definitely harder than others. My last job was the PITS. I had a horrible boss, one who was a woman, yet seemed to have issue with me from day one. I kept thinking it was either because she kept me to higher standards or it was because she took offense to my single-motherhood-ness... or something. It really stressed me out. I mean, STRESSED. The amazing thing with my new job is that even though I work with a bunch of people who seem to be very traditional, male, conservative, with stay-at-home wives... I am 100 times more relaxed than I have been in months...and this has just been two weeks!! I have more time to spend with Mia because my commute is nil, I can come home for lunch if I want to or even run an errand. I can take a half hour lunch and leave after my 8.5 hours (instead of 9) are done! I know it is a straight contract job, that very well could end next year... but, man, it's crazy how much better I already feel. So much so, that I took the time to clean my home office a little more last night. I'm itching to really run. I'm thinking I can and should get back to my hobbies full-swing. Heck, if this keeps up, I might just have to start thinking of number 2 in the next few months (ok, I've already been thinking, I mean actually start the paperwork)...

So, speaking of number 2, I'm still a little on the fence about that. I want Lil M to have a sibling. But I know how hard this past year has been to get my feet under me again... I'm not sure if I have what it takes to be a parent of multiple children... but I think I've always had this thought somewhere that I am supposed to have more... what a conundrum.

Life didn't end because I became a Single Mom by Choice. It did change (thanks for the "sound" advice, all you men - DAD - out there!! or is that "master(s) of the obvious"???) ROFL. I'm not sure how women do this who are young, don't have educations and such. I can't imagine what they must have to go through. I can understand why someone would end up being with a man just to try to 'save' themselves... because some days the stress is quite great, even for me.

I admire my sister who is picking herself up and moving on from a bad marriage...and who has fought and is still fighting for Chase. We might have different parenting styles, but she is one of the best Moms I know. Watching her with my two nephews gave me the strength to know that *I* could actually parent... that you don't have to be perfect to parent. You just have to keep trying.

I am by no means perfect. We sometimes have cheese, applesauce and crackers for dinner. Just because. Or cereal. Or oatmeal. Other times, I actually cook... and let me tell you... I am not a chef, that's for sure!!! haha. The housework is NEVER-ENDING... and as I sit here and contemplate other children, hobbies...whatever.. I think, I could be doing housework! Yeah, whatever. ;-)

**Added, ok, so I sat here and rambled...and I noticed I'm feeling more stressed tonight than I let on. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I suspect it is because I'm trying to de-stress after the past few months and it is just taking some time. So, even though I'm really happy right now, all things considered!, i'm actually feeling anxious. What a dichotomy. I think I'm going to start writing more.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Closet Democrat....

My sister has told me before (in fun) that I'm a 'closet Democrat'. I am the most liberal conservative you know!! ROFL. Actually, I don't believe in the death penalty, but I do believe in a woman's right to choose (not pro-abortion, that's different).... both of which, are Democratic philosophies....

Voting, however, I revert to my 'other' self... the Republican one... sometimes!!! And this was one such election. I hope no one took offense... I was just sharing my own thoughts.

As it stands, I'm proud to be an American, a Christian and a Mom.

My job is going so much better than the last one... a little slow, and definitely no promise of long-term after the contract has ended, but it is just what I needed for now! Funny how God lets that happen just when we need it sometimes!!!!! :) Praise God.

So, go kiss your kids, hug a friend or family member, and praise God that we've gotten to live another day!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I was tagged, and I forgot to reply... I'll do that!!

Also, I'm excited for the results today of the election. Regardless, history is being made....


Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote tomorrow... McCain!!!

Hi all... I don't normally do this, but I feel like if I can encourage one person to get out and vote tomorrow, then that would be awesome.

Personally, I think Obama is a lot of talk and hype. He keep changing what he says... I'm worried about him taking away military funds and increasing our taxes. He keeps saying that the middle class is $250K... then $200K, ... then $150K... next it'll be $50K or $30K!!

I just believe that John McCain is who we need... he Walks the Walk. Please consider giving him your vote. He's more moderate and Moderate is what we need right now! Otherwise, we're going to be overwhelmingly liberal... don't get me wrong, I'm pretty liberal, but I don't believe that the Congress, House and President should all be Democrat!! OMG. Think of the TAXES alone!!! Yikes.

Regardless of who you vote for, please get out and vote tomorrow!!!!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Oct 31 Happy Halloween

Tonight we went trick-or-treating (yes, again), with our friends Martha-Kelly and Mary-Kelly...

It was a blast! ;-) It happened to also be the anniversary of my login date to China in 2005. What a way to celebrate my very first anniversary of my daughter and me!!

OH, and Mia said "Thank You" tonight for the very first time!! Very cool!

Cinderella and the Itsy-Bitsy Spider:

Lil M had to give Mary-Kelly her candy, 'cause there was too much in the punkin' for her to carry!!!

The twirling Cinderella (action shot)!!!!


Here are some family pics from Halloween!!
Mia was an itsy-bitsy Spider and Chase was a Ghoul!!! :)


Happy Halloween!!!!


Happy Halloween to everyone! Be safe out there....


No man is perfect, but...

Even when we have a disagreement, Scott is one of the best men I've ever met. Boy, was I crabby-emotional last night. Big fun for the trick-or-treating... oh well. Stuff happens. It's been a tough week, what can I say.

The truth of the matter is, life is good and it has gotten markedly better than the past few months. So, if I have a crabby day once in awhile, I"ll take that over being depressed every day going into a place I hate.

OK... onto happier things...

Mia was a spider for trick-or-treat night at Grandma and Grandpa's. She was adorable, of course, as was my nephew who was a Ghoul! I have pics... I'll get them uploaded soon!! My brother was even there, and that was a first. We all took the kids out... Scott's first time... and Mia seemed to enjoy herself. She loves our family, and I could really tell last night. She gave everyone kisses before we left! It was too cute.

Happy Halloween everyone...


Friday, October 24, 2008

No job is perfect, but...

I started a new job this week. People who know me well know why. The funny thing is that I am just too tickled for words over this opportunity. Not the 'future' opportunity of it or anything, but the 'now' advantages...

a) my current boss couldn't possibly be, nor is, the super-bitch that my previous boss was... she's actually pleasant! So is my boss' boss! He's a riot. I don't (yet, and hope to never have to) have to go into work dreading each and every minute of being there every day... Thank you God.

b) i'm so damn close to home it is obscene!!! and i love it. I essentially get about 1.5 hours back a day to spend with Lil M right now!!! WOW.

I get to learn a new testing tool... good for the resume, otherwise, the tool pretty well sucks. oh well. This just means I have to convince them to change to the other one, or deal with it. I can deal with it for now. :)

If I play my cards right, I can make change at this place.... AND get to do work for the 'greater good'... well, a non-profit that helps Veterans.

The downside is a) it is a contract position, not huge posibility for perm and b) it's a bit slower on the draw than the bigger companies i've worked for. But, hey, no job is perfect, right???

Anyway, now it is time for me to start to decompress... start to let go of the crap... FIDO (forget it, drive on)... boy, is it hard. I am TRYING. I really am. But it's almost a constant thought of stress from something or another. I'm getting through it, and Lil M is still the brightest sun in my life. She is such a joy. God, I hope she always has that happiness.

Daycare has been wonderful with me the past few weeks, giving me some leeway bringing Lil M in part-time and all. I thank them for that and know that the good gesture will bring them good as well.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

2nd Bengals Game

Today, we went to Lil M's second Bengals game! It was BIG fun... (yes, we lost... to the *yuck* steelers, no less)... but here are some pics!!!

Oh, and a GREAT one of Lil M in her Halloween PJs!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Have you ever felt like you were weighed down by worry? Fretting over everything? I know I used to worry before having Lil M, but seriously, since becoming a Mom, I've worried more in the past year + than ever in my life. It is disgusting. Believe me when I say that I believe there is something more out there than just me. You could even call me one of those Bible-thumping-Jesus-freaks... in some peoples' minds anyway. Or not. I'm not exactly Bible thumping these days... but I'm really one of those believers.

So, why is trust coming so hard these days? My friend Joe told me to just "trust". And he's dead right. It's not just a pat answer. The thing about him being right is that I feel like I'm drowning. This past year has been SO hard in so many ways. None of which have to do with Mia. It's all work stuff. I've never had such a hard time in my whole life with that. One minute things seem to be going Ok and then the next all hell breaks loose.

Deep breath, Melissa, deep breath.

And the thing is, that God has always been there for me. As my other friend tells me, I also do my part... and I do try. But, boy has God been there for me. You know what this reminds me of? When I first became a Christian 16 years ago. OMG, that makes me feel old! Yikes. But it is true. I went through a lot that year...and I came out the other side. This time it is more than just me, you know? It is Mia too. And that might be why my heart feels like it is going to come out of my chest every time something else happens.

No, you don't need to commit me yet. This is why I haven't been writing on my other blog or here with some of this... because I figure people will think I'm crazy... I do not like being such a worrier. It has gotten out of hand this past year or more.

To you Lord, I commit my spirit. I put my trust in you.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Family visit

Here are a couple pics from a recent family visit -10/08... Elle and Mia, Mia and then Chase and I

Here are a couple pics from a recent family visit... Chase and I, Elle and Mia (of course! L


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Freaked out

So, my little Maggi Moo usually goes outside and barks at the world... I even got a doormat that says This House Protected by Sheltie Alarm System. HA. God, does she bark.

Well... tonight, I thought Maggi was barking at nothing again... or nothing important, anyway (she barks at cars, and the dogs next door especially)... and I went out to get her and Skippy to bring them in. When I looked up, however, there was a large, creepy guy walking in my neighbor's side yard... tall guy, large belly. When he saw that I saw him, he stopped moving and just stood there. I went inside and called the police. When they came, there was no one there... of course. But now, I'm totally freaked out. I guess it could have been my neighbor... but I don't know that. The police said they'd canvas the neighborhood for a couple of days... but ... i'm still nervous. God I hope it was nothing.

Who would have thought I'd find protection in a 19lb tri-colored sheltie dog?


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


so, I have this opportunity to take a short-term contract (to hire) position at the DAV, which is the Disabled American Veterans Headquarters here in KY. Kind of neat, actually. A job that might make me feel like I can make a difference even in the type of work I do... testing software. I'm getting excited about this adventure, and am hoping that if I like it and they like me, that maybe at the 3months they'll hire me on permanently. Wow, to help our men and women who have fought the good fight and come back to tell about it... they need our support. I'm honored to give them that.


PS. I'm looking into my future as an adoptive parent and what might be available to me... I've started seeking out information about Bulgaria, so far. Prayers welcome...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Some Happy, Some Sad

We went to court yesterday for Sis' divorce hearing. Well... bad news... Jake's attorney had a death in the family and they have to postpone the divorce AGAIN. Good Lord. The good news is, though, that the Judge said that she wasn't going to penalize Sis for Jake's Attorney's stuff... SO.... she gets shared parenting from yesterday on!!! That means she will have Chase for full weeks, every other week, starting this Sunday!!! WOOOOHOOOO!

It isn't the divorce. And it isn't full custody (yet), but it was a huge win for her (us). I am so happy for her and doing the happy dance still. It is just great that she will get to see him so much more. (breathing a sigh of relief here)

Had a nice talk with someone about a job today. Not counting my chickens... but definitely praying.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Line Dry

Lest you think I'm truly nuts... I've been doing a lot more line drying of our clothes these past few months. It's been great. Takes me back to when I was a kid. The clothes smell great. :) I also cloth diaper part-time. What does that mean?

Well, before Lil M came home, I bought a bunch of these new-fangled cloth diapers that have buttons and have a different type of outside layer that keeps them from leaking. I've had really great success with them, actually, and I don't feel like I'm putting as much into landfills as we would be otherwise (obviously). Yes, I do a little bit more laundry, but not too much. Maybe it's 6 one have dozen the other... but... it makes me feel better.

This mommyhood thing has been quite an adventure so far... Lil M used the potty for the first time ever last night. It was cool. It took awhile, and I don't think she's got the idea quite yet. We're going to take it slow, like everything else we've done, but we're trying.

So, have you ever thought of "going green"? And what does that mean to you? I do recycle what I can. But the other stuff's been kind of newer to me and fun. Fun because I made the informed choice myself, it wasn't forced on me. I should take a pic of the clothes on the line, so Lil M can see how crazy her mommy was when she was little!! LOL


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thoughts... ramblings...

So, for the past year and a half (actually, year and 8 months), my sister has been going through an awful time with her soon-to-be-ex... It started February 2007 with his 2nd DUI/OVI charge, and will *hopefully* end this Thursday. Finally. That's hoping too much, probably, 'cause it never seems to end.

It's been rough on all of us. Sis, of course, has had it the worst. Her WHOLE life has changed. New house. Not getting to see her son... trying to prove BIL is an absolute, complete liar.... the list goes on.

For me, well, I've been right there in the thick of it. Where else would I be? Well, I guess I never meant to be, but I'm fairly protective of sis. As most know, I'm a twin. I have this overwhelming sense of loyalty to her. Always have. So, this break-up is hard for us all, 'cause it was my family too. We spend days, weeks and months together, all of us. They were my life. Which is kind of sad.... but true. Then comes the 2nd DUI, her moving, the divorce papers... and my new daughter and life. Life has been very stressful.... the good and the bad. I would spend every last dime I have to get Chase back for Mindy. And I practically have. There is no guilt implied or any desire to have a pat on the back. It is just fact. And now that it is almost over... well, the bit "D" part... I'm relieved, to say the least (no offense to Sis in any way).

But here is the thing. there's been a lot of stress here too. Work, mainly. Well, solely even. Never have I had such a tough time with people I work with. It is so odd. I realize I've changed over the past 2 years... especially since Lil M came home. My priorities are different. I don't take as much crap from people. I take more time for myself. I guess I should have realized that might change how I perceive others and how they perceive me. So, time for that realization to sink in and to move on...

Back to where I know I need to be. Regain my sanity. Stop trying to save the world, and start focusing on my own family. Not that I won't still do everything I can for Sis. I will. But part of me has to let go and let her get her feet again, too. God is in control. God has gotten us this far. Right? YES. And so it goes...

I actually thought about running today. Like actually putting on some shoes and going for a run. What a nice thought. I have become the complete couch potato in the past year. It is disgusting. My hip has been bothering me, and it still does from time to time but not nearly as bad as it did. I've been quilting. I finished 2 quilts last week. And even cut out some fabric for a new one! Wow. I haven't done that in well over a year now. I mean, I've finished a couple small pieces, but this was 2 larger ones, and starting something new. There IS hope. :D

I'm trying to get my feet under me, as well. My life is so vastly different from what it was 2 years ago. That is NOT a complaint in the least. Some of it is amazing. Some of it is downright stressful. But you know, life is always stressful. And this time I've let it get to me more than some of the others. Good reason... but...

I'm trying to get my feet under me. Pray that I do soon. (and a new job). Pray that Sis' divorce trial goes well Thursday, too, please.

God is good.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Out for a bit

So, we lost power for a few days last week due to a freak wind storm. Yes, that's right. A wind storm. The whole area was out, and it was just odd. Everyone seemed to band together to help each other in the time of need, and it turned out just fine. No damage to the house or anything. Thank God. I did lose the table outside, but that is minor.

Last night, Scott and I went to see Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town. That was a wonderful show! It was the first time I've had a friend come stay with Lil M for an evening... besides one time having Ellen come stay with her while I went to get my hair done... My friend Heather came over and she and Lil M played for a bit before she went to bed. The crazy thing was that Lil M cried when I left. She doesn't usually do that when we go to daycare (only once, actually)... these things I do remember! LOL. It turned out just fine. It's a good sign she didn't want me to leave. I always watch for those "attachment" things, you know. :)

Things have been a bit up and down here, work-wise. I could use some prayers. I don't really want to talk about it now, but let's just say I need something better. Quickly.

Lil M is amazing, as usual. I did finally get back to some quilting, and finished two projects this week that I hadn't worked on for many a month. Quite refreshing, actually.

Anyway, peace to all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So, my friend H and i took Lil M to get chinese food for dinner tonight. H is a sweetie. We decided to go shoe shopping for Mia. :) I wanted to get her some black patent leather for the winter. We went to Target and got some for $7.99!! woot! After that, we walked past the lady's undergarment section... H was telling us how the cute bras are never for larger busted (boobed) women. Well... first embarassing Mommy moment... Lil M picked up on the "boob" word... she kept point to bras and saying "boob, boob, boob"! ROFL It was hysterical. I was so pleased that we weren't around a lot of people... 'cause it made me and H laugh pretty hard. too cute. ;-)

My little goose. Such a cutie.

I have a little work situation... ugh, will it ever end... can i just throw out a request for "work prayers"... pray pray pray.

Love to all.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Lil M

So, I posted pics from last weekend... Mia's 2nd birthday party, but I didn't write yesterday, on her actual birthday. We had a great dinner last night with Aiyee Mimi, Chase, Scott, Brian, Dustin, Abbi, Joe and Kat! We also celebrated Dustin and Brian's birthdays last night, since they were both in the last week!

Here are a few from her 2 year pic session, plus Chase who is 8, and Sis and I. Here are some, in no particular order.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

What a great bunch!

This about sums it up..... :)

More later..... :)