Thursday, August 30, 2012

Consulate Appointment

We now officially have a consulate appointment!  We take the oath at the consulate in Guangzhou on September 26, and head home the 28th.  Which means we leave.....

September 14!

As in, 15 days from today.  Within a month, we will be home with our son.

Our To-Do list has changed considerably between a few days ago and now, from "Get cars tuned up and animals vetted early" to "Buy L some more underpants and book airline tickets".  And you know what?  That's perfectly fine by us.

This morning I have The Maternity Leave Conversation with my work, which is such a small organization that we don't qualify for FMLA.  I have one month off per the handbook, 2 weeks of which will be in China.  Putting my new child in full time childcare 2 weeks after coming to the US doesn't really work for me, and I think they understand that.  My bosses are very flexible and supportive, so we will see what happens there.  I think they will work with me--at least, I really hope so!

The best part of this timing?  We won't miss his third birthday.  We get to have him in our home, make his first cake, buy him presents and wrap them in Elmo gift paper, light three candles, and sing him a song.  And Cory becomes a father 24 hours before his 40th birthday. 

Pretty awesome.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Travel Approval!

We have travel approval!  It came through yesterday, as did our visas from the consulate in SF.  I'll be happy to have our passports back in hand, which should be Friday. 

This is really happening!

The next step is to request a consulate appointment, which is the last thing we do in China before heading home.  We put in our request yesterday, and the 5 dates we have requested are all in.....September!!!  We thought this was a complete no-go, and were setting our sights much later in the year so are thrilled by the possibility.  We should find out today or tomorrow what the consulate appt (CA) date is, and work backward from there (we need to be there 12 days or so in advance).  There is a huge national holiday the first week of October, so we pretty much need to be in and out by then as everything is closed for celebrations.  Which means that we are likely to have our son within the month.  Hoooooly cow.

Cory turns the big four-oh on September 19, and it has been his dream to meet his son before then.  Fingers and toes crossed that this will be the case.  Here's hoping!

We just had some changes at work in regards to phone/computer systems, and had to re-format our passwords.  Our admin noted that when I was emailing her about the new password formats, I kept typing passport instead of password.  Can I say how out of the game my brain is right now?  :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012


I've got this whole parenting thing licked.

Testing out the new Ergo.  Goose was a trooper.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

True Book Title: "Cooking With Pooh"

As in Pooh Bear, who is shown on the cover making cookiesAnd it's still just...grody.  Recently found that little gem amidst old teaching materials and all I have to say is yikes


We sent our little L a care package this week.  It's really hard to decide what to send to prepare an almost-3-year-old for what's coming.  In the end there really isn't any way to, and we know that....but we tried.  So we included:
*Lil People cars--the few pictures we have of him all show him playing with various vehicles so this seemed logical.
*A recordable book called Under the Same Moon.  It's a lovely book, and at least he'll hear our voices.  And yes, it's in English so this idea may be moot, but it's worth a shot.
*A teddy bear--we really should have sent a black dog and three orange cats, but there's time enough for him to learn that he's moving into a virtual petting zoo.
*A picture album--including his room, toys, us, us holding his picture, Maggie, and the cats (Tripper, Dee, and Goose).  I used an online translator to explain each picture, so hopefully it makes a little sense and doesn't turn "Our dog Maggie is nice and gentle!" into "Our dog Maggie has large, slavering teeth and eats little boys for breakfast!". 
*Some stickers to share with his friends.

In other news:

  • Our Article 5 was picked up today and forwarded to Beijing, so we are now officially waiting on travel approval.  This should take 2-4 weeks, but as of tomorrow I will be back to checking my email roughly every 20 seconds, you know, just in case. 
  • Visa requirements for us to enter China have changed as of August 1.  We are trying to figure out what this means, but it looks like we will need confirmed hotels and flights before we can apply for a visa (no longer available through a rush service), which will push everything out further, as we now need a visa to enter China before applying for a Consulate appointment in China (kind of a major part of the process).  US embassies/consulates seem to have different information, however, so it's all a bit up in the air. There is a chance we can apply for a visa with unconfirmed travel, which is what we are attempting with our travel agent.  One more set of instructions to follow and things to figure out...but it still feels pretty darned awesome to actually be talking about travel.   To China.  To pick up our son.  Holy moly, that feels good. 
  • We celebrated our 5 year anniversary last week.  We went diving for Dungeness crab in the beautiful, hot Seattle weather.  The Pacific Northwest may actually redeem itself this year.  We cooked 'em up right on the beach--very fun.  I got pretty crispy, as my gleaming white skin was touched by the sun for more than 30 seconds, but it was totally worth it. 

Come onnnn, travel approval!!!