Archive for September, 2006

Welcome, Renee!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Renee Casciari, Joe’s big sister, just arrived in Littleton this weekend.  (She actually arrived with a lot of Joe’s help with the moving truck, etc.!)  She is going to take over the role of practice manager at Companion Pet Care.  Her duties will include bookkeeping and payroll, human resources, inventory control, marketing, and anything else I can think of that isn’t getting done right now.  Tomorrow (actually later today) will be her first day on the job, so there will be lots of training!  She has plenty of small business experience, having run her own shop for many years, but the veterinary business will be new to her.  We’re so excited to have her here! 

New Photo – of us!

Monday, September 18th, 2006

Out of a lack of interesting news, I’m posting a photo of Joe and I that I took yesterday after church.  We’re standing in front of our burning bush, which is pretty brilliant right now.  Those of you who know that we’ve been strugging heroically to lose weight this year might be able to tell a difference from the last time you saw us.  I’m down 84 pounds from February, and Joe is down about 50 pounds. I’ve got a couple of pairs of size 12 pants I can actually wear right now.  Can you believe it?  We’re doing our best to be able to chase after that toddler!

Down Jacket

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

I’m so worried about Anna being cold when she gets to Vermont.  She’s from a very southern province in China, where it seems to only get down to the 50’s in the dead of winter.  Vermont will be a complete shock to her little system.  I’ve been shopping for warm clothes for her, and recently got this adorable little down parka for her from Land’s End.  And check out the little “Kitty” fleece cap on the right.  I can actually get it on my head (although I can’t connect the chin flaps), so if she doesn’t like it, I can always wear it!

Now, I have to go on a mission for snow pants.  I keep thinking of new things we’ll need to have, and if it’s the middle of winter when she comes home (as we’re hoping) we’ll have to have those things waiting in the car at the airport for the ride home!

Welcome to the newest member of the family!

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

We have a new friend living on our front lawn:

I think he’s a defensive lineman, but I don’t know the jersey numbering system well enough to be certain of that.  He’s up and ready for the OU-Oregon game this afternoon.  Thanks for the birthday present, Dad!

100 Good Wishes

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

I realize it’s been a whole week since I’ve written anything to my blog; my apologies to those of you who are looking for new and exciting info.  Unfortunately, there’s no news this week, so I’ve decided to put in a little blurb about the 100 Good Wishes quilt.  To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the baby. Part of the patch of cloth goes into the quilt for the baby, and the other part of the cloth can go into a creative memory notebook with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation. 

I belong to several on-line adoption discussion groups, and one of the fun things we do to help pass the interminable wait for our children is participate in quilt square exchanges.  We each choose a fabric, cut it into 8 inch squares, and then compose a good wish, which we put onto a card with a sample of the fabric.  The recipient will use the fabrics to create a quilt, and can place the “good wishes” into a scrapbook so our little girls will be able to look through the book in the future, and match up the squares in her quilt with the good wishes people have sent her.

I’ve participated in one exchange already, with my April 2006 Date-to-China group, and I’ve just gotten my squares ready for the second exchange, which I’ll be mailing out today.  Here’s the good wish card that I’m sending along with the fabric: 

I collected about 40 squares in the first exchange, and there are roughly 20 people in the second exchange.  So, at the end of this one, I’ll have roughly 60 squares, which will leave me about 40 squares short of the titular 100 good wishes.  If anyone would like to participate, I’d love to have a few more squares!  Of course, knowing my schedule, unless I send these squares out for someone else to piece together and quilt, our little Anna will just have a shoe box full of little scraps of fabric to sort through and match up with her good wishes!

Anna’s foster family

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

We got another little update on Anna’s living situation in China from CCAI today.  We had been confused whether she was with a foster family, or in the orphanage.  As you can see, she’s with a foster family, and it sounds like a great situation for her.  Now I’m going to worry that we’re taking her away from her wonderful home with a little old grandmother who absolutely dotes on her, and she’ll be miserable when she has to come with us!  Of course, we know that isn’t true, and we also know that children with albinism have little opportunity for normal education or social interaction in China.  She’ll look so normal in our family, I doubt that people will even notice any differences in her.

Jiang Yi Qin

9/5/2006 Update
Foster Family:
The orphanage told me that she had been in the foster care since 11/2005, her foster father worked in geologic exploration team, foster mother stayed at home to care Jiang Yi Qin and her own two grandchildren (one is 5 years old, another is 6 years old) and their own children were married and lived nearby.

Apples, anyone?

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

After living in our house for over 5 years, we learned, just today, that we have an apple tree!  I knew that little tree had pretty blossoms in the spring, and always assumed it was some sort of non-functional fruit tree, but today, I noticed that it has a few ripening apples on it!  They’re quite small, but I tasted one, and it’s not bad.

Fall is coming rapidly to Vermont this year.  We didn’t have much of a summer; it’s been very cool and rainy this year, so things are still very lush, but the colors are starting to change already.  Our hydrangea is so loaded with flowers it can’t keep its head up, and our burning bush is almost completely red.  I haven’t heard the official predictions yet, but my feeling is that our colors are going to be early and spectacular this year!




New Photos!!!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

When I got home from work today, these two new pictures were waiting for me via e-mail!  Our wonderful agency got them over the weekend and forwarded them to us.  Enjoy!

On-call woes

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

My associate and I ended up with Labor Day weekend call duty this year for our veterinary emergency co-op.  We have 6 participating clinics in the area, and we share call duties on weeknights, and rotate weekends.  There are 6 major holidays that we rotate, as well.  I’ve been on-call since yesterday morning, and my associate takes over at noon today.  At least it’s raining today (naturally, it’s a Sunday, and I might otherwise have been able to get some painting done on the outside of the building!) so hopefully it won’t be so busy.  Yesterday was an absolute nightmare of phone calls.  I received 20 calls yesterday alone!  Not many of them were actual emergencies that needed to be seen, but as you can imagine, having to talk 20 different people through their animal crises can be rather exhausting.

This morning I’ve only had to talk to 3 so far, and I was able to give a good report to the owner of a hospitalized case, so it’s a good day.  I’m looking forward to handing call over to my colleague soon!

New Stats on Anna!

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Today we received an update on Anna from CCAI via e-mail!  I was so surprised – I wasn’t expecting to hear anything this soon.  Her measurements as reported on 8/30/06 are as follows:

  • Weight        9.4 kg       20.7 lbs
  • Height          80 cm       31.5 in
  • Head circ.   44.5 cm       17.5 in
  • Chest circ   45.5 cm       17.9 in
  • Feet             13 cm         5.1 in
  • Teeth           12               12         (You have the same number of teeth in the English system as you do in metric! )

I’m pasting the text of the rest of her report below:

Jiang Yi Qin

9/1/2006 Update
Her current health is good and had no fevers .
The orphanage did not notice that her vision had any problems and felt that she could see normally, did not bump into things.  The orphanage did not feel that she had nystagmus.  She does not wear sunglasses outside.
She started crawling at the age of over 7 months old.
She stands up by herself and walk steadily.
She can pick up objects from a standing position.
She likes riding the tricycle, playing with ball and sand.
She can move to music.
Her daily schedule:
   7:30 am get up and drink milk
   10:00 am eat noodle or bread and congee.
   11:30 am lunch
   12:30~3:00 pm have a nap and then eat congee or fruits
   6:30 pm dinner
   9:30 pm drink milk and then go to sleep.
She eats rice, congee, vegetable, fruits, meat, noodle.  She drinks milk.
She has a bath twice or three times per day in summer.  She has shower.  She likes.

I’m glad she likes baths.  We like those around here. 

According to American infant girls growth charts, for a 16 month old, she is in about the 70th percentile for height, but only about the 15th percentile for weight.  When you look at Chinese infant growth charts, she falls more into the 75th percentile for height and 50th percentile for weight.  Her head circumference, if measured correctly, seems to fall between the 10th and 25th percentiles, depending on which chart you look at, but is definitely within the normal range.  Maybe she’ll be tall and slender, with a small head, like her mother.  Well, at least the tall with a small head part, anyway.