Wednesday, September 30, 2009


"Happy" is the word that Halainah said all day on Saturday and Sunday this past weekend.

It truly melted our hearts to hear our almost 2 year old little girl say over and over again, Happy...Happy. Not only did she repeat the word over and over again but she said it with the most gorgeous smile that could light up a room.

It simply melted our hearts. It truly makes you feel like you must be doing something right as a parent if you child is so content, so happy, and so full of life. But truly if only she knew how happy she makes us. She's our world, she's our miracle and she's our life.

Halainah is such a beautiful little girl, inside and out. She's one in a million and simply glows. How blessed we truly are to be her parents.

So yes, my precious little girl, mommy and daddy are "happy" too, so abundantly happy!

Halainah is so loving that she kisses all of her stuffed animals, especially Elmo. In fact, Elmo will be surprising Halainah at her birthday party in November. I'm not sure how she is going to react to a real life Elmo who is 20 times larger than her stuffed animals, but Tony and I couldn't resist.

Dada loves playing with Halainah and Elmo.

Halainah and I decided to go for a little walk in her new wagon today.

She was so excited!
It was very chilly out today!

This wagon is another one of my consignment shop finds. It retails for $120. I picked it up for $20. Every little child needs a wagon!

Halainah had a blast outside today in her wagon. The leaves were falling, the squirrels were gathering nuts and Halainah was mesmerized by it all.

I can't believe how quickly time flies and my beautiful little China doll is going to turn 2 in November. I am trying to savor every moment.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This week's blog hop theme is: 3 things every parent should teach their kids.

1. Family is the foundation of a sturdy home. Friends come and go but family will be there for you until the end. I want my daughter to have the same family ties as I do.

2. Be confident in who you are. Every child should be able to express themselves freely. Every child was created special by God. Prepare a child to be confident in who they are and that will prepare them for success.

3. The Love of all things. Simply by the expression of love from their parents...tons of hugs, kisses, snuggles, one on one time reading a book, going to the park, watching a movie together, going for ice cream, dancing crazy around the living room together...will instill love in a child.

But above all things, all children should know that truly and most certainly there is a Santa Clause. The magic of Christmas is so special.
MckLinky Blog Hop
Special thanks to Hand Sanitizers for sponsoring this blog hop.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Tony and I noticed something very funny with Halainah when she heard a certain song by the Ting Tings. Tony has "That's not my name" in his iPhone which he was playing this evening while we cooked dinner. Halainah would stop what ever she was doing and begin to.....well, watch the video.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Today was an insanely busy day. Halainah and I visited a hall today for her birthday party. I was disappointed because the room was small. It was a beautiful room, brand new decor but just too small for her party. The room only fits 50 and there will be more than 50 people attending. I have a large family. I have to make a decision by Saturday because I need time to order the invitations and get them back in time to mail them out by October 7th. Party planning is so stressful and so exhausting.

Tony and I went to the Consignment sale that was being held locally near us. They have this sale twice a year. This was the first time we attended and we were sadly disappointed. We walked out empty handed.

We did however score some more bargains at our 2 favorite local consignment shops. We decided to stop by them today even though we just discovered them on Saturday and I am glad that we did.

I found this beautiful Old Navy Fur Coat for $9.99...brand new with tags.

I am so in love with these shoes. They are made by Morgan & Milo. I had no idea who they were when I bought these shoes but I knew they had to be some sort of designer by the quality of the shoes. I picked up these super cute shoes which are brand new with tags for $9.99. When I got home I googled the designer and found this exact pair for $46.00. I would say I scored big on these. And they are oh so cute for the fall.

I picked up this Lego play table for $12.50, brand new in the box. It goes for $49.99 at Toys R Us.

This was my major bargain for the day. First of all, let me start by saying, I ran for this teeter totter. When we pulled up to the consignment shop, I spotted this on the lawn. So I parked the car and quickly ran to the front. A woman was there with her daughter looking at it with a few other things. I pulled the tag off of it and ran inside to the cashier. I handed her the ticket, said I wanted it but wanted to look around some more. After the other woman and her daughter paid for their things and left, the cashier told me that she wanted the teeter totter but I beat her to it. That's right! I'm learning that this consignment shopping can be strenuous. So I picked this up for $12.50. When I got home I googled it and it's selling on Amazon for $239.99. Don't believe me, click here. I told you! But I think it's going for that much because it's a discontinued item...crazy.
And best of all, it matches Halainah's sand box that Opa bought for her!

Now I would be so happy if I can find Matilda Jane in the consignment shops. What are my chances? I think pretty nil to none but I can keep hoping and wishing. I am so in love with Matilda Jane. I'm talking so in love! And best part is...I got Tony hooked. We have the bug...the Matilda Jane bug. I think Halainah has 6 maybe 7 pieces. I want everything but it's so expensive. Here's the most recent picture of Halainah sporting one of her Matilda Jane knot dresses.

We ended our hectic day with a nice visit and delicious dinner at Aunt Bonnie's house. My grandmother had surgery yesterday to remove her gall bladder and is staying at Aunt Bonnie's to recoup. Aunt Bonnie takes care of all of us...the whole family. I so love my Aunt Bonnie!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I have been having so much fun finding great deals lately.

So as you know Tony and I set out on a mission last Saturday to find Halainah some outdoor toys for our backyard. So we tried garage sales and consignment shops. The garage sales were disappointing to say the very least. And the consignment shops were a big hit for everything else but the outdoor toys.

Well now I am slightly addicted to Craigslist. I found a few play sets or climbers as some call it that I liked. I contacted a bunch of people, some were nice, some were a little nutty and some were just plain rude. It's amazing how people are looking to sell unwanted items but don't want to take the time to talk to you. Anywho, Tony and I found this one woman who was super sweet. She was selling a Little Tykes outdoor climber that she had for a few short years. She wanted to make room in her backyard for some newer toys.

Tony and I drove up with my father and his trailer on Monday evening to inspect the play set for Halainah. And it was perfect for her. It was in great shape with hardly any sun fading to it. Well Halainah loved it the moment we pulled up. She was playing on it as her Opa and daddy were taking it apart. And she even cried when I had to pull her off of it.

The best part is that we paid $100.00 for it and it retails for $599.99. BARGAIN! $100.00 will buy you a slide and that's about it. These Little Tyke toys are ridiculous in price. I am so loving Craigslist and I am so loving all of these great money saving deals we have been finding. Tomorrow night Tony and I are going to a kids consignment sale that is a once a year event in a hotel near us. I can't wait to see what they have and what other bargains I can find.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today's blog hop theme is: Explain why other's should read your blog.

Simply put: To read and see for certain the power of God and all of the miracles that he has in store for us.

Halainah Grace Qinyang is our miracle. We adopted her from China and traveled to bring her to her forever home in January 2009. From the moment my husband and I decided to adopt we ran into mountain after mountain. And we actually felt the pull of the Devil to stop us from uniting with our daughter. If you read our blog from the beginning, you will be able to witness all of this. This blog is now Halainah's Lifebook that we will eventually have printed for her. I can't give her too many details about the first 8.5 months of her life. But I can certainly show her how powerful our God is and explain to her how loved she was by friends, family and even strangers from the moment we received her picture.

Why read Life After 18 Seconds? To witness the power of God, to inspire someone else who is thinking about adoption that it is the most wonderful gift, to give hope to those that think they can never adopt, and for those that adoption is just not something they can do, this blog may be their little they are embracing Halainah and growing up with her. And simply for some good ol' laughs because having an almost 2 year old has days full of funny happenings, there's always something new going on in our little old house that gives you some really good belly laughs.

Why read Life After 18 Seconds? Because our blog is all about the climb, and we are climbing our way to Halainah's mei mei (little sister) for our next miraculous adoption. Miley Cyrus says it so well in her song, The Climb.

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
MckLinky Blog Hop
Special thanks to Purell Hand Sanitizer for sponsoring this blog hop.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


What an exciting weekend we had! It started off like most of our weekends lately with a trip to Grandma's and Grandpa's for a visit. Halainah knows once we pull up to Grandma's and runs straight for the door. She loves visiting as do we and she loves when Baby Vincent is there to visit as well.

On Saturday, we packed into the car bright and early and headed out to a couple of garage sales. This was actually a first for us as we were never into garage sales. Well the first one that we stopped at was very disappointing so we ventured out to the next. Well Halainah got car sick all over the place so we passed all the rest of the sales and headed home to get cleaned up. Needless to say our garage sale venture ended very poorly.

We packed into the car once again after Halainah was cleaned up and headed to a consignment shop near us. We were on a mission to find outdoor toys for Halainah. Like playhouses and climbers and a wagon...stuff like that. We missed out on a nice Little Tykes wagon as it was already sold. Bummer! And Halainah loved it. Oh well.

Next we headed to a Ho Down that was going on at a beautiful park in our area. It was so much fun. Tons of food, music, hayrides, train rides and some carnival rides. It was huge and there were tons of people. We ran into a couple of old time friends and it was nice that they finally got to meet Halainah. Tony and I had a few more Consignment shops on our list so we left the Ho Down a little early and headed to the next shop.

This is where we struck gold...or at least I think so anyway. Consignment shops are a new thing for Tony and I as well. And if you asked me last year if I would buy used I would have said No. But look, times are tough for everyone. The way I feel is that there are certain things that are so expensive they are not worth buying brand new. This shop was immaculate. The people were so friendly and everything in the store was very clean. You would never think that some of this stuff was used. Besides about 50% of it was brand new with tags on it. We found all of these items at this one particular store. We did go to a bunch more...but they were not what we expected.

So without further are our items of decide...Deal or No Deal!

First choice of the day is a Melissa & Doug wooden sound puzzle. For those of you that are Melissa and Doug fans like me, a puzzle like this goes for around $10.00. I picked this great find up brand new in the original package for $4.25.

I couldn't resist this beautiful summer dress for Halainah for next year. It is brand new with the tags and I picked it up for $9.99. I am not sure what the original price is but I thought that it was a good deal and oh so cute!

Tony couldn't resist these purple Converse high tops. They are brand new with the tags and we picked them up for $9.99. They are a couple of sizes too big but Halainah will grow into them. These sneakers retail for $20.00 - $30.00 and sometimes more depending on the store.

The next item is used but in immaculate shape. The previous owner took great care of it and made sure that we received the instructions and all the extras with it. It is a backpack carrier that holds a child up to 45 pounds. It is perfect for hiking...especially when we go visit my brother in Colorado, perfect for walks in the park and it would have been perfect for the Ho Down that we attended. Brand new this item goes for $225.00 and is selling used on Ebay for about $85.00. We purchased it for $19.99.

Halainah loves it!

She gave daddy a wet willie....ha ha daddy!

The next item for the day is a very rare and no longer available Disney Monster's Inc. Sully costume. I am a huge Disney fan! And this costume is so well made. You can't find costumes made like this any longer. It is used but was used once for trick or treating. It is in perfect condition, no flaws what's so ever. It was made by the Disney store and is a size 2T - 4T but no way will it fit a 2 year old. I hope that Halainah will wear it next year or the year after. It is selling on Ebay for $50 - $80. We purchased it for $19.99.

Sully is the big blue monster above. Here is the costume that I purchased hanging up.

And because I could not resist. Here is Halainah wearing this awesome costume. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself :)

She was acting so goofy!

So that was our day of cool finds. I think we made out well...what do you think? I am liking this consignment store shopping although we did not find any outdoor toys.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The future does not hold a career as a makeup artist for Halainah.

I was on the phone with my brother today having one of our "every other day" check in calls. Halainah was in and out of every room. She was opening draws, I was closing them. She was opening doors, I was closing them. I have no idea how her little hand grabbed a tube of long lasting lipstick (my favorite color may I add) out of a drawer in the bathroom. But she did. I was in a rush with my brother because Halainah and I were meeting a good friend of mine and his two daughters at a nearby park. I hung up with my brother and my dad called. So we chatted for a few and I told him that I had to go but he was in the middle of a sentence. So as he was talking I walked into the TV room and all I said was, "Oh my God....Oh my God." So of course my dad thought something was terribly wrong. I quickly told him that Halainah got into a tube of lipstick and said I had to go. And this is what I saw:

The worst part was that it was the long lasting lipstick. It is so hard to get it off of your lips never mind all over your body. I tried soap and water but that didn't work. Then I remembered that I had my mom's makeup case (for new mom passed away 5 years ago). In the case she had Mary Kay makeup remover. So I tried a little...and it worked well. Thank you so much Mom. So I soaked Halainah in makeup remover and gave her another bath. Why is it that this stuff happens when you have someplace to go. Ughhhh.

Anyway, I have been so busy lately. Searching for a job and ways to make some of our bills lower which is really hard work. It consists of many phone calls. And this weekend at my friends birthday party for her 2 year old son I realized that our China doll is about to turn 2. This will be the very first birthday we celebrate with her. I want to make it special. So I have been busy trying to make plans and find invitations and pick a date. Well the date is picked...November 7th and the guest list is prepared. But I still need to find a place and that's not an easy thing. So wish me luck and hopefully I will be able to update our blog more often soon. I have a ton of pics. from when my brother and our German relatives were here. I'm so sad that summer is almost over!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I have been away from the blog world for the past week. I have a lot going on right now and my German relatives were here for a visit so Halainah and I have been running and running and we are so exhausted.

I was so surprised to come back to my blog and find that I was nominated for the "Kreativ" Blog Award especially since I don't think that I am all that "Kreativ". Thank you so very much Marcy for the award. Marcy is an extraordinary Mommy of 4 with her youngest son Lane being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. She is the creator of her exceptional blog, Lovin Lane which gives superb insight into CF that only a loving Mama can bring. I love laughing with her, crying with her and learning from her. She truly is an inspiration.

So here are the rules for the "Kreativ" Blog award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Check...thank you Marcy)
  2. Copy and paste the logo on your blog. ('s posted)
  3. Link the nominator on your blog. (Check)
  4. Name seven things about yourself. (Oh Boy...check)
  5. Nominate seven "kreativ bloggers". (So hard to pick only 7 but...check)
  6. Post links to the nominated blogs. (Check)
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs. (Check)
Hmmm...List 7 things about myself...this should be fun:

1. I love Christmas...I love everything about the Christmas season. My husband and I start listening to Christmas music late in September all the way to the end of January sometimes February. We go to the extreme in decorating our house. This year will be exceptionally special since it will be the first Christmas with our daughter.

2. I am an animal lover and cry when I see dead animals on the road. In fact my hubby tries to distract me while we are driving in the car so that I don't see what's on the side of the road.

3. I love the Disney Channel...Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly place, ICarly and so on...I'm such a kid!

4. I have been caught up in this horrid economy and lost my job as a manager in a mortgage company over a year ago. It is so horrible out there right now. Picture 5,000 applicants for every job...that is what it seems like. Please say some prayers for me.

5. I HATE Root Beer. I can't even stand the smell of it. My husband loves it. He also thinks it's funny to switch our drinks every time we are out to eat. And stupid me...I always fall for it.

6. For some reason I feel secure at the beach. I can sit for hours watching the waves crash and love the overwhelming feeling that somehow things will always work out.

7. I suck at jokes! I just don't get them. And they always need to be followed by an explanation. I don't know why.

Okay so here are 7 outstanding blogs that I am passing the "Kreative" blog award to. It was really hard to choose 7 because I have a ton of blogs that I just love to follow and are all so special to me. But I had to limit it to 7 so I hope there are no hurt feelings.

1. Boy oh Boy oh Boy!

2. Finally a Family of Five

3. The Love Shack

4. Courtney's Corner

5. My Little Flower

6. She's Going Bananas

7. My Three Sons!