Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Toys

A few weeks ago Jen and I were having a conversation about potentially purchasing a new video camera for our trip to China. It is extremely important to us to get as much of our trip on video as possible (especially the moment when we first meet Grace) as we will miss the first 6 to 12 months of her life. We have a 10 year old video camera that is kind of a pain to use since you need to recharge the batteries and it is kind of big to be carrying around. We want to try to travel as light as possible. It also uses tapes which we can only play on a VCR and we don't even use a VCR anymore. The new HD camcorders are nice but pretty expensive and with all of the costs for the trip to China we didn't want to purchase a new $1000 camcorder right now. So we were kind of going back and forth about buying a new expensive one or using the one we have. Then as we were watching TV the other night we saw a commercial for the Flip Camcorder.

We read some good reviews for it and decided to give it a try. It came today and this thing is pretty cool. It is about the size of a deck of cards, runs on 2 AA batteries, it records an hour of video and can easily be uploaded to a PC and burned to DVD. You can also just bring it to CVS and they will burn a DVD for you. Some of the lower priced camcorders only work well outside when it is really bright but this seems to work well in low light settings. Best of all, it was only $119 for the 60 minute version or $99.99 for the 30 minute version. We have been playing around with it and the video quality is pretty good even on our 53" TV. It is also very easy to use, no need to read a thick manual, there are just a couple buttons for power, play, delete and zoom. I think this is going to be a great low cost solution for us for the trip to China. I have linked a sample funny video below of Lucy jumping the invisible fence that we took today. This is something she does whenever she walks out of our office, we are not sure why.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


There are a couple rumors floating around now that they are going to get through 3 or 4 days in the next batch. Since we are still at least 2 weeks from referrals arriving it is too early to believe anything but 2 or 3 days is pretty much what we are expecting since November 22nd is thought to be a big day based on online polls. It is hard to believe that Summer is almost over. Jen is going back to school next week and the weather seems to be getting cooler here in New England. We were hoping that the summer would go by fast as that would mean we are closer to going to get Grace but at the same time we are sad to see it go. The end of August also gets us a bit down for other reasons. Four years ago on August 18th we lost a close friend of mine, Randy. Randy died in a tragic accident at a local waterslide park. The night before the accident Randy and I attended a Steely Dan concert, I will never be able to listen to a Steely Dan song again without thinking of Randy. Randy and I were kind of an odd couple, he was about 15 years older than I was and quite a big guy, which I am not, but we really had a good time whatever we did. There is much I miss about Randy. I miss him calling me at 7:00am on a Saturday morning to go fishing. I miss our yearly weekend skiing trips up to Sunday River. I miss how Randy lived each day to the fullest, no matter what we were doing there was always a way to get more and and have more fun. I miss him calling me to go to a concert for some band that I have never heard of and having a great time just the same. I miss seeing the love he had for his daughter and wife and am sad that he never got to see me become a father. I am mostly sad that his daughter will not grow up truly knowing him and what a great guy he was. I know how hard that is as I lost my own father too soon (when I was 12) and oddly my father and Randy were the same age when they died. I can hope that just as Randy toasted Jen and I on our wedding day that "Heaven is giving you many many merry days".

Sunday, August 12, 2007


If you got to this page you must have figured out that I made a couple changes to the layout of the site. Nothing significant, just moved the menu links from the bottom to the top. I think it makes it a bit easier to navigate. I may be making more changes in the future as well. Since we bought our new computer I lost some of the software that I had been using to update this page so I have been trying out different HTML editing software. I haven't found anything I like yet that is cheap and since Microsoft no longer sells Frontpage I may be stuck. I have been tossing around the idea of using a blog for this page of the site but I am not quite ready to do that yet. I may just wait for our trip to China and switch to a blog then. Not a whole lot new in adoption news this week. Jen did stop into the pharmacy to pick up some of the OTC medications that we will be bringing with us to China. The expiration dates are all in 2009 so hopefully they won't expire and we will be traveling before then.

Monday, August 06, 2007

19 Months

Yesterday was 19 months since our Log in Date and just over 2 years since we officially started the process. We have just about 6 more weeks of Log in Dates in front of us. If they were to continue to do 7 days of referrals per month that would mean we would have 6 more months to wait for a referral. Probably a pretty good estimate although we have been thinking we have 6 more months to wait since we started the process. Eventually though we have to start getting closer. The CCAA also updated their website to confirm that November 21st was the cutoff this month.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Comparing The Years - August Edition

Wow, this is my third update of this website this week. A lot going on. Referrals arrived today. Our agency emailed us this morning that they received 7 referrals. Nothing official from the CCAA yet but it looks like they got through November 21st which is 7 days. That is pretty much what we expected. I have been keeping a monthly running chart of the number of days referred this year vs. last year. Earlier in the year the chart was trending extremely close but the last couple months the current year seems to be pretty level at 6-7 days. I think though if we look forward to next month the trend last year dips down again and referrals next month are expected to be down as well because November 22 is a very big day. So I think it will be interesting to continue watching the trend on the chart to see what happens. The good news is last year the October batch of referrals bounced back up to 18 days so there is a little hope that things again may pick up a little once we get into October. See the updated chart below.