September 28, 2008

We're Getting There

All I can say is I can't move. We've managed to paint our rental...I have paint in places I dare not mention. I can't lift my arms above my shoulders. But...the blasted rental property is about to go back up...and hopefully will be re-rented soon. Dust buffalos galore! And to top it off...we had our first scorpion in the house. I've lived in Arizona for more than 20 years and have never had a live one in the house. and little - the worst kind. Being DEATHLY afraid of them...I put Maddie on her bed just in case it decided to run through the house, put a glass bowl over it...and then got my hairspray. make them move less quickly...better yet...not at all. And there it laid stuck to the floor for 2 hours until George got home and handled the rest. Oh yes...I also put a REALLY heavy book on the bowl for good measure. YUCK!!!!!!!!!

We managed to squeeze in some dress-up time and fun with her pup Angus. And then ended our day like any other lately...playing back to back games of Maddie's "favorite game" Hungry Hippos. She squeels with delight. We play it about 5 times nightly. It's the whole "jungle" business alive and well. Her old "favorite song" Tom Dooley has been put to rest and replaced by "Keep Trying" by Barney. All I can say is that I just didn't want that scorpion to "keep trying".

September 24, 2008

Gotcha Day - AGAIN

Maddy is just nuts about her Daddy

Courtroom #5 - Second Floor
Here Comes the Judge!!
It was nice to go before Commissioner Sinclaire for something other than recommendations to court about my clients regarding substance abuse, domestic violence, probation, truancy, etc. Wednesday Adoption Day is a Celebration for all at Durango Juvenile Court. Congratulations all over place!

It's official...Maddie is a Green...again. We just went to court and completed the re-adoption within the US. A celebration to be sure...of our daughter...and NO MORE PAPERWORK!! We all had to introduce ourselves...and Maddie said "I'm Maddie and this is Cheetah - hi judge!". I think what warms my heart the most is her love of all of us - when I see her tenderly take her Daddy's hand or say to my Dad "Come on Poppa"...I just melt.

Also...our little monkey had her doctor's appointment - now all caught up on vaccinations. She is 27 ginormous pounds and is 34 1/2 inches tall - HUGE huh? She's only in the 10th American percentile - but with Asian girls she's actually at the 57th percentile. Healthy as a horse and placed at the level of a 4 year old with independent living skills...don't we know it! Smarty pants.

George is really liking his new job. Smaller and more intimate which is great. And...we just about have our rental cleaned up - we are paining the whole thing ourselves...but after that it's done and ready to be re-rented.
And then...we'll just poop out :) With our DAUGHTER!!

September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday. This is going to be a bit of a rant. My therapy. We've had quite a couple of weeks but it seems today my guardian angel Mother was watching over us. My husband has been the site administrator for the largest SMI (seriously mentally ill) site in Maricopa County. He's done an amazing job and I am SOOOOO proud of him. His dedication to his staff and clients has been amazing. Due to cutbacks and reorganization, the lay-off game began. We've been living in this shadow and planning for awhile, but when it happens one is never quite ready. I was especially amazed by the manner it happened. Here we are in the business of serving people - and since joining this field I've been amazed at the overall lack of respect and kindness. So...true to happened to us. No severance package at all - just walking papers. No thanks for hard work and long hours - just "give us your keys and phone". Dehumanizing and mean. No other words for it.
And when you love know how it just ache for that person and want to right all wrongs. But...I couldn't. So we were both absolutely dejected. Tough economy here...and an even tougher field to be in here. We both hit the ground running - planning with thoughts of selling things, going through retirement funds and foreclosure haunting us. And add insult to injury - my tooth chipped. And then...the icing on the cake...I called our renter to see where the late payment is and she screamed and yelled at me hysterically - her husband had died and she had to abandon the house. She didn't tell us but waited for us to call and then called us every name in the book...including Maddie. My heart goes out to her...but it was truly cruel the things she was saying. I hung up on her. This was this past Tuesday. We hadn't been sleeping well anyway and this really didn't help. We took Maddie out of school and cut back all expenses. Basically the house was turned upside down.
So on Wednesday night I'm outside star-gazing and sick to my stomach and I realize that day - Sept 17 - was my deceased Newfoundland's birthday (I love(d) that dog)...which meant that my Mom's birthday was 2 days away. As I child I insisted to celebrate them together and give my dog a cake as well. Something told me all would be more manageable starting in 2 days- today.
George had interviewed with an agency the day after he was laid off. He really liked it but wasn't optimistic about getting the jobs since there were so many others in his position. Well...he got it...a smaller company with people he described as gentle and ethical. And...we have 3 folks interested in the rental property. And I had my tooth fixed today - I was so pooped I fell asleep in the chair !
So to celebrate all...including my Mom's birthday - we introduced Maddie to the Jungle Book. I have some special memories of movies my Mom and I saw together and this was one of them. Given Maddie's current preoccupation with The was a hit! So...we're watching goofy movies, eating popcorn and letting down.
Happy Birthday Mom. I wish you were here for dinner and Mexican Train...and to meet Maddie. She would have been over the moon about you. We tell her about you all of the time...and she looks at your picture and says "Hi Grandma". Today we sang happy birthday to you...but it feels like you've given us the gift. Thank you.

September 11, 2008

I'd Like to Thank...

These are the rules for The Smile Award...
1. The recipient must link back the the award's creator
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award...
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

The creator of this great award is

My blogger buddy Missy nomimated me for this reward...and really got me smiling. Thank you Missy at for continuing to be a breath of fresh air at the end of every day!! Her amazing photography of her beautiful sister Paige reflect love, kindness and joy in life. We so enjoy watching the adventures of Paige...the smiling, dancing and love of's how it should be. Thank you Missy for sharing this!!! is my great pleasure to forward this award to others that make my heart smile every day. Drum-roll please....

Jessie @
is a blogger buddy as well as a friend at work. Her wicked laugh always brings a smile, her realistic view about situations "keeps it real" and her love of motherhood has been soooo much fun to see. She has an absolutely adorable baby named Riley...just into crawling, solid foods and all of the adventures of babyhood. Riley wins the "cutest cheeks" award. Thanks Jessie for making me smile everyday at work!!

Shana @ is an inspiration to me on so many levels. First and foremost her dedication to her children. Sophie Lu - the cutie - is from China. Speaking of photogenic!! And Oliver is the most handsome little boy from Guatamala....eyes that will steal your heart and an absolute love of his Daddy. Shana now has the wonder of a 3rd addition - Sasha Lili. As lucky Shana as you think you are to have her as your daughter - she's as blessed to have you as Mom!! And then there's Shana's creativity - just amazing photography. She captures the dearest of moments. And finally her overall warmth and sense of humor. If I need to smile I just go to Sophie Lu's Starbuck's video and laugh until I cry!! Congratulations with all my heart on the new addition Shana!!

Yoho Family @ . The Yoho family were with us in Jiangxi when we met our daughters for the first time. We've been watching the antics of Miranda as she's been growing up...and the latest excitement with her starting school. She has the sweetest little face you've ever seen and the BIGGEST SMILES! And the love of parenthood is just plain obvious. She is definately their 3rd Muskateer. I so appreciate being able to share experiences with families that have traveled to China...a unique and special connection. Thank you Yoho family!

Stacie @ . I have to send a HUGE thank you to Stacie for starting me on this whole blogging thing. Being behind the times with this stuff I really didn't realize what it was...and then I saw her site. I have to say's pretty easy for her to have a blog that brings smiles considering her model - Zoey. Zoey is a gem! She is the most athletic little monkey - full of spunk and energy. We were fortunate enough to have met this family as well in Beijing and go through some of the initial joys and shocks of parenthood - for which I'll ALWAYS remember. I hold no grudges that both Stacie and Kellie were in far better shape than either George or I and bounded up the Great Wall as we crawled!! Thanks for bringing smiles - Maddie loves seeing what "Zozie" is up to every day.

And my final HUGE thank you goes to Danielle @ ...the designer of my blog. I've so enjoyed having a colorful place to go to put my memories and thoughts and to connect with other families. Danielle not only is an artist...but also a philanthropist. She has given back to numerous places including some dear to our heart in China. And she is absolutely creative in what she does. Take a peek if you need a touch-up or complete make-over for your blog. It's a place I go to and smile to see adoptive families waving their flags of being forever families (or on the way) in a beautiful setting! Thank you Danielle for all you do to bring smiles to so many!!

September 05, 2008

H2O Baby

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We are having fun experimenting with an under water camera...actually it's a bit tough not to float to the surface and keep it steady. The pics are uploaded to Picasa...but I have no idea how to post the video. Maybe it's best...the fewer shots of me in a bathing suit the better :)

September 02, 2008

Labor Day in "SeDonut"

Yummy Prickly Pear Ice Cream

Local Art - and I just love the decorated Javelinas!

Great lunch at The Secret Garden made even better by a local -
Yoshi the parrot & Sam - the Kishhound.
Maddie wasn't too sure about the whole bird thing.

Amazing Wind Art

Which one's the Buddha Belly??

Again...Maddie is such a great traveller. She tells us she's been to China, Mexico and now to SaDonut...otherwise known as Sedona. So...we loaded her along with the dogs into the van and went to the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. We spent a couple of days looking at the shops - including the famous Tlaquepaque ( ). We enjoyed hiking, the jacuzzie at King's Ransom Hotel (where Elvis insisted on a pool being built or wouldn't stay there) and seeing the - The Chapel of the Holy Cross ( which was absolutely awe-inspiring.
Maddie serenaded us with her 2 favorite songs: Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley (again a banjo song) and Keep Trying by Barney. So in love is she with Tom Dooley (Kingston Trio version) she's named her Beta Tom Dooley - poor fish is bound to die :) Listen to the song and you'll understand...