Wednesday, January 13, 2010


There, I said it. Today I turned 36 years old...officially closer to 40 than 30. Yikes! It's hard to believe that I am that old, don't feel it. Probably look it though :(

A year ago today I was happily skiing in Vail/Beaver Creek with no knowledge at how much our lives were going to change in just one short year.

No news on the adoption front, just waiting for some more approvals and our TA. We sent our passports off to our agency to send along with our visa application.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Special Shout-out.... Nolen and Sam Bowerman in Downers Grove, IL (and Lily too...)
They are two special little (or not so little anymore) boys who graciously went though all their old toys from dinosaurs to Duplex Legos to Rescue Heroes and gave what they outgrew to Anderson Xiao Jun! I am SURE he will love all the toys and enjoy playing with them as much as Nolen and Sam did. Thanks! We look forward to seeing you guys again soon...maybe this summer at your cottage. You can see in the pictures I have even put a few of the dinosaurs on display under his bedside table so they are ready and waiting for him when we get home.
We hope you guys will keep following the blog and maybe we can Skype from China?...ask your Mom.
Yes, today I got technical...I am officially a Skyper! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to set up and look forward to using it in China and after since we are not close to family and lots of friends. We also are working on our visa apps and we filled all our "just in case" prescriptions from our travel and IA docs for scabies, traveller's belly, sleep aids and antibiotics for XJ. Hope none of it is needed!

Just Add Boy.

These are some of the cute outfits I got XJ recently. The one on the bottom is my favorite. It's dark denim with a graphic t-shirt with the image of the Washington Square subway stop in NYC. That and his new Converse and he will the cutest hipster in Heifei for sure ;)

Here is his room! My sister kindly pointed out that I forgot to add this picture of his bed etc...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Travel Phase!

Well, based on the fact that I have received several emails from our agency today regarding travel to China, looks like this is really happening! Still no exact dates, but we have been instructed to apply for our visas. It's getting close for sure and I feel like I really have a lot accomplished. The house is toddler-proof, his room is done-ish, I have some clothes for him (don't want to buy too many because while it may be cold in China when we are there, won't be in ATX!), our tenant is moving out and I can start tackling that project next (and it's a whopper.)


XJ's room.

Cutest shoes ever!

Photo album that XJ will get in a few days!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dim Sum...Yum!

Now that we know for sure that we will be traveling to China quite soon, I've gotten serious about preparing for this adventure. We spent the week painting his room, shopping and toddler- proofing the house. I go back to work tomorrow :(

I have also been reading a book called "Lost on Planet China". I do not recommend this as a book to get you excited for your trip. It has done nothing but make me nervous. I consider my self a rather well travelled person, but I think I am in for a BIG surprise in China. It seems just "otherworldly" from this book. The descriptions of the pollution, crowds, food, and just general chaos are not going to be easy. I already looked up the words for "I am a vegetarian" in Chinese just to be on the safe side. I'm not a vegetarian...although I try to be almost every other month. I just think that if I want to avoid inadvertently eating dog, I need to not even eat meat at all. I will make the exception for Peking Duck, and anything I can easily identify.

On the food note, Jason and I have been sampling the various Dim Sum restaurants in Austin...all 2 of them! I have to say that both are quite good. The first one we tried is called Get Sum Dim Sum. It is not your traditional Chinese sit-down restaurant but more of a "fast-food" Dim Sum option, but it is really good and fresh. Also always lots of Chinese people there which I think is a good sign! Today we tried Chinatown's option. This is on Greystone and Mopac. It was delicious! The best selection we had was the Peking Duck, hence my aforementioned statement. I have never been a fan of duck, too gamey and fatty for me, but this was so good. It was made into a sort of duck taco with sauce and that squishy steamed bread and scallions. Yum, I want more for dinner.

I have also been thinking about Mandarin. I realize what a gift knowing Mandarin would be for a child in the future. Just knowing the language could open up a world of opportunities as far as employment goes, so I have been looking into some Chinese schools for XJ. I need to post on some of the YahooGroups I am on to see what other parents have done. Granted, he is only 4 so he isn't exactly an "expert" in the language yet, but I would hate for him to lose it all.

We've also started recording this cute little cartoon called "Ni Hao-Kai Lan". It's about this little Chinese-American girl who lives with her Grandpa, Ye-Ye. I'd say almost half the show is in Mandarin and I think XJ will love it, we do! I've learned a good amount of vocabulary from it so far!

Can't wait to get the little guy home! We sent another "care package" to him. This one is just a photo album with pictures of us, the dogs, our house, his room, the park by our house and his future school. I wanted to keep it simple and make sure he sees lots of pictures of us and the dogs before we get home. I hope it helps his transition and lets him know that we are going to get to him as soon as possible!

Christmas and Pictures

Over Christmas my sister, Jala, Jason and I went to Chinatown to go to our favorite Asian restaurant, Joy Yee. We'd only been to the location in University Village when we lived in the West Loop so we decided it was time to venture to Chinatown. Although I lived in Chicago for 32 years I can count the number of times I've been to Chinatown on one hand. Once is when I ran through it durning the marathon (mile 19...brutal)! The last 2 years we lived in Chicago I couldn't have lived 3 miles away. I'm so glad we went down there last week despite the nasty weather. There are some really cool spots there that Jason and I look forward to bringing XJ to when we visit Chicago. It's pretty authentic. We went into some shops that had things like shark wing, swallow's nests and various other dried animal bits (deer tail?!)
There is also a picture here of Jason and I posing with our LSC! We also took a few pictures of us sitting in front of the tree with presents for him. Even though we weren't together this Christmas, we want him to know that we were thinking of him every minute. I wrapped a bunch of toys for him to open when he is with us soon.