Monday, September 30, 2013

Productivity - my motivation is back!

I have had extremely low productivity over the past week. I'm not sure what triggered it but I've barely been keeping up with the minimums - dishes and cleaning the cat boxes.

On Wednesday night, my husband went to bed feeling fine. He woke up Thursday morning in extreme back pain and had no idea what caused it. I've had this happen to me once before and was fairly certain that it was due to the cats causing me to contort in my sleep and thus pinching a nerve or some other such lovely result.

Thursday night - no sleep for either of us
Friday night - very little sleep for both of us
Saturday night - a little bit better
Sunday - hubby finally starts feeling better and we get a half decent night of sleep

I'm still very tired from the lack of sleep but something finally triggered my drive for productivity. I'm not sure why my productivity died and I'm not sure why it has returned. But I have to embrace it while it's here! I've already cleaned off the Leaning Tower of Papers on top of my printer. After hubby gets off this series of work calls, I will catch up on the dishes.

Hmmm... What should I do next?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Creativity in the kitchen

I've already tried two new recipes this week and can recommend both.

Today I made Smoky Roasted Portobello Sushi. We weren't big fans of the heart of palm but really, really liked the mushrooms. I want to try adding the mushrooms to our regular sushi rolls and see how they taste.

Yesterday I made Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. This was my first attempt at baking oatmeal and I will be baking it again! It was incredibly good. Too bad my husband didn't get to eat any. I took it to Bible study and there wasn't any left when I came home.

I'm not trying any other new recipes this week. The rest of our meals are tried and true favorites: green curry, fajitas, garlic sesame soba noodles, and pizza.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A new-to-us holiday


Zhōngqiū kuàilè!

Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. We want to keep our daughter's heritage alive and are making an effort to learn about her birth culture and holidays.

Kiki Bakery, a local Taiwanese bakery

Red bean paste mooncake

Lotus mooncake


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What I'm Reading

This week I'm continuing a couple old books and adding a couple new ones.

40 Most Influential Christians
by Daryl Aaron

Wives and Daughters
by Elizabeth Gaskell

Positive Discipline: The First Three Years
by Jane Nelsen

Parenting Teens With Love And Logic
by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

None of these books are "I can't put it down. Must. Keep. Reading" books but I'm plugging away at them. I think both parenting books are due back at the library on Sunday so I'll finish those up first. I can't add to my 60 cents in fines!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Adoption Update

It's been awhile since I've posted an adoption update, mainly because we have had very little news lately.

The biggest news we received last week is that our home study is complete. Hurray! Our social worker finished it, had us fact check it, and sent it to her agency to get notarized. Our agency now has a copy of the home study and it is being translated.

Once the home study is translated, it will be handed to the orphanage director. He or she will then read the entire thing and decide if we are to be officially matched with the child we want to adopt. This process can take up to six weeks.

Now that the excitement of our home study finalization is over, we wait. And wait. And wait some more. Hopefully the next news we receive is that "she's yours!"

We were surprised today to be notified that we will be allowed to Skype with our daughter once the dossier is submitted. That won't happen for a few months yet, but at some point we'll be able to see our daughter and hear her voice for the first time. I am thrilled about that but also nervous. If we were to "meet" for the first time in person, we could go out to eat or to the zoo or play games. We could do something while getting to know each other. Instead, we'll be sitting in front of a computer, thousands of miles away! I can't wait.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ming Ming has been pruned!

I didn't realize how tall Ming Ming had already grown. He was 8.5 inches tall.

Now he's only 3.5 inches tall!

I really didn't like cutting off all of that growth, especially the leaves at the top. I sure hope that Ming Ming is able to continue growing and sprout some new leaves. Once Ming Ming is six inches tall again, I'll be potting him in soil. I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meet Ming Ming, the newest member of the family

This is Ming Ming.

He's my baby avocado tree. He goes outside for 15 minutes of sun every day.

Unfortunately, Ming Ming is about to get pruned. When he's six inches tall again, he'll be planted in soil! I'm sad about pruning him as he's going to be losing all of his leaves. Poor Ming Ming...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Change of plans

Well, I was going to overhaul my blog design this month but I realized I need to switch projects. My dad's wedding is on October 19th and I have not yet started their wedding present. Oops.

I'm designing a wall hanging/table runner and really need to get the project started.

Neither my father nor his fiancée read my blog so I'll be able to post my progress. I'm excited to get started!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An even bigger challenge

This week, I was going to start learning about blog design. Unfortunately, life threw a bigger challenge at me on Monday afternoon.

My computer died.

After half a day of trial and error, my husband was able to take a back up of my hard drive. Then he moved the hard drive from my Dell Mini into the Dell Inspiron. Then he uploaded most of my hard drive onto the Mini's hard drive.

I love how we stumble along with half working computers. My Dell Mini is now just an empty case. My Inspiron has a Mini's (much smaller) hard drive and no battery.

I am now buried in technological junk mail. I was using Outlook to manage my email, so my gmail was forwarded to Outlook. Unfortunately, I never synced the two and now have 23,000 emails in my Outlook inbox. Hubby synced all of my accounts now so that I can create folders in Outlook, delete or file as necessary, and it will be backed up on Google's servers. If my Inspiron decides to kill my Mini's hard drive, at least I'll have a backed up email account! In the meantime, I have to wade through my 23,000 emails to figure out what should be kept and what needs to be permanently trashed.

The other lovely side effect of the hard drive failure is that I lost my address book, my calendar, and my blog feeds. Now I get to play detective to learn everyone's phone numbers, email addresses, blog addresses, and birthdays!

I am just grateful that I didn't lose everything. All of my photos and home videos still exist. My budgets and e-books and other random documents have all been transferred to the replacement hard drive. Fun times!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Time for a new challenge

It's been quite awhile since my last 30 day challenge. Because we're currently in a Waiting period of the adoption process, now would be a great time to start a new 30 day challenge. It'll give me something constructive to do, rather than refreshing my email every 15 minutes!

This month, I've decided that I'm going to overhaul my blog. The current design, if you can even call it that, is really old and desperately needs redone. So for the next 30 days, my challenge is to learn about blog design and put together something new. I can't wait to see what I learn!