Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Give a girl a hand

So, just a little recap of the past week:

Friday, I finally admitted that I have a problem and I decided to see the doctor. Here is what finally prompted my change of heart:

  1. The Spud loves to hold my hands/wrists and LOVES to pat them. It nearly reduced me to tears last week.
  2. I found a very strange, very hard painful pass on the radial part of my wrist. It hurts like mad.
  3. It hurts to put my seat belt on and I have really started wondering if I can set up one of those water-pic bidet units for my toilet like I saw all over Vietnam. I’ll let you figure out on your own why.bidet

The short story is that I will be in bilateral wrist splints for the next 6-8 weeks. I am on OTC anti-inflammatories and when possible, I ice. Do you know how hard it is try and ice down both your wrists with a child running around? Because I let it go to far I developed a very calcified feeling cyst on one tendon. It is extremely painful and it hurts to even have the splint pressing against it. I will probably be seeing a hand specialist soon for injections and hopefully the cyst will resolve on it’s own I’m also getting an MRI on a knee injury I sustained in VN. Or, as my dad and co-workers like to say “you got a knee injury in ‘Nam, dude”. Whatever. Evidently I am falling apart, but I hate to even complain about it because to complain about it feels like I am complaining about Spud and I just can’t do that. He is without a doubt the best thing that as ever happened to me.

Here is a little bit of info about the condition:

What is de Quervain's tendonitis?

First dorsal compartment tendonitis, more commonly known as de Quervain’s tendonitis or tenosynovitis after the Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain, is a condition brought on by irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. The inflammation causes the compartment (a tunnel or a sheath) around the tendon to swell and enlarge, making thumb and wrist movement painful. Making a fist, grasping or holding objects—often infants—are common painful movements with de Quervain’s tendonitis.

What Causes de Quervain's Tendonitis?

The cause of de Quervain’s tendonitis is an irritation of the tendons at the base of the thumb, usually caused by taking up a new, repetitive activity. New mothers are especially prone to this type of tendonitis: caring for an infant often creates awkward hand positioning, and hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy and nursing further contribute to its occurrence.

~ http://nemsi.uchc.edu/clinical_services/orthopaedic/handwrist/dequervains_thumb.html

Friday night we went to the Chris Tomlin concert with Beena and Jai. Spud was a trooper! He LOVED the drum solo during the first set with Israel Houghton (I hope I spelled that correctly) and he totally crapped out during the second song of Tomlin’s set. I don’t understand how the boy can wake up when he hears a squeaky floorboard, but can sleep through a concert? He is so working me.

chris tomlin

On Saturday we spent the day with my sister and I did her pregnancy photo shoot. I won't post photos of the belly without her permission, but I just have to show off her beautiful face.

I've been too tired to do any editing yet so these will change, but I love the way her face just fills the frame. Unfortunately my LiveWriter is a bit fritzy these evening so my photos aren't watermarked. Woops.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The Spud fell asleep in my arms tonight.  Ahhh, is there any sweeter bliss than that?  I never could have guessed that life could be this sweet and I am holding on to each and every second with my son that I have. 

Tomorrow we are going to a concert and I am a bit nervous.  I generally don’t have him out past his bedtime because he gets fussy if not entertained.  On the other hand, he loves music and he may think this is awesome.  It won’t be a rowdy concert or group, but I am still worried about protecting his hearing.  Anyone have ideas?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No braggin’

I have finally reached the age where I am no longer competing with other women for the best haircut, the newest jeans, the sparkliest nail polish (ok, I never did compete but you get the idea).  Now the “competition” has entered an entirely new level—now the questions aren’t about me, they are about my son. 

“Is Duc crawling yet?”

“Is he able to feed himself?”

“Does he sleep through the night yet?”

I’m not the kind of parent that brags about what my son does (but yes to all three of those questions and more!).  I don’t think it is productive—for me or the other mother.  Besides, it really isn’t a fair comparison.  But I will do it here because this is my blog and you guys were crazy enough to check it today!

The boy is smart. I think because I am a first time mom I don’t see this because I don’t have another child to compare him to, but I do know from what other people have said that he is a very bright, advanced child. 

Today the Spud saw the pediatrician and he confirmed that he is in awesome shape.  He told me it isn’t just a matter of comparing him to other institutionalized children—in that arena alone he is amazing.  But even compared to children born in the US he is still off the charts.  Developmentally he is on level with children 4-5 months older. 

When people start worrying about their child’s status and ask me where Spud is developmentally I tell them it would be unfair to compare.  He just doesn’t fit in the same category.  I’m sure they probably think that I say that to feel better about their child’s status.  I don’t bother to correct them.  Of course, in my eyes he will always be exceptional. 

He hasn’t grown much and he hasn’t even gained a full two pounds.  WTH?  The kid is breaking my arm!  I wrenched my wrist when we were in VN, but since coming home and returning to work (where my hands are on a non-ergonomic keyboard for 8+ hours a day) my wrists, especially my right is killing me!  Holding him hurts, but so does any kind of pressure on it.  I can’t even hold my laptop with one hand.  I’ve been wearing a wrist splint at work, but it isn’t feasible at home. 

I’m such a weenie.  Unlike this guy:IMG_2121


I love that it is getting warmer.  The Spud gets to feel the wind on his skin on a lot more these days. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A million bucks

Nothing makes a person feel more like the most important person in the world like a baby.  Yesterday I stopped by the daycare during the day to check on him.  I was talking to the nanny and watching him from about 20 feet away.  he didn’t know I was there.  Until I laughed.  As soon as he heard my giggle he whipped his head around so quickly I’m surprised it didn’t make him dizzy.  He then raced across the floor on all fours squealing and giggling the entire way.  It has been a rare moment that I have ever received that kind of reception when I’ve met people, and wow, to have that at least once a day?  Heady stuff.  I suddenly see why people have so many children—I’m sure it is probably like a drug to see someone that happy to see you!

Daycare is getting better.  No tears yesterday and I have stopped reviewing what he eats at daycare because I don’t want to know that he is eating cheese sandwiches (I’ll find out soon enough without looking at the form) or eating sugary treats.  The problem is that daycare messes with his sleep.  Last night he was up and down every couple of hours which means I also don’t sleep.  He doesn’t sleep much at daycare so he will be zonked all night tonight, but it will repeat again tomorrow and he won’t sleep Wednesday night.  Sigh.  Suck it up, buttercup.

IMG_2133 This is my favorite from today.  This was is untouched, but I had fun messing around with it.

IMG_2133_edited-1 I just love how soft and dreamy this one looks.  It’s not sharp, but I think it works here.  


I introduced him to my old keyboard, as in, 20 years old.  My sister has had it for the last 10 years of so, but Oma returned it this weekend.  He LOVED it.  The boy has some skill.

IMG_2110-3 I took this picture while the camera was resting against my shoulder.  He was trying to get the camera and this was the best I could do.  His face is so serious.  He SO desperately wanted the camera!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I haven’t felt much like writing lately, but sometimes I am just overcome by the little wonderful things that I feel the need to write them down.  Not so much for you or for me now, but for me years from now when I think back about this age. 

The best moment, the absolute best moment, for me as a parent is when Spud falls asleep in the car in the evening and I get to carry him into the house as his little head is nestled into my shoulder and I feel the heat of his breath on my neck.  Ahhh, heaven on earth, I tell you, heaven on earth!  The only thing that even compares is having him fall asleep in my arms as i feed him his bottle.  Since I don’t give him many bottles now, sigh, it is even rarer for this to happen.  I will so miss this as he gets older. 

I’ve always appreciated my weekends, but I appreciate them even more now that I am working.  Honestly, the last two weekends have been just about the most enjoyable weekends I have had in years.  On Sunday morning Spud was dedicated at church and a number of friends and family arrived to share the special moment with us.  This felt like a true celebration of his arrival with all of us gathered together to express our love for him.  They couldn’t all be with me in Vietnam to adopt him, but they got to be a part of this moment.  It was an emotional time for me, not just because of what I was I promising, but because my pastor asked me to briefly share our “Hear & Respond” story.   When I look at how far I have come—from being absolutely against being a single parent, to being frightened of having a boy (I don’t have any brothers, peeps, and the only thing I know about men I have learned from Tony & Fil and a few male friends—and they didn’t always make it seem appealing), to being scared out of my mind as our van bumped up the broken brick road to my son’s orphanage to meet him for the first time.  I have come so far.100_0882 (have you heard the Rascal Flatts song “God Bless the Broken Road?  You really must listen because it is SO appropriate in this situation).

But from the moment I finally met him I have been so head over hills in love that my mom has mocked me on at a couple of occasions saying “Erica has a boyfriend!”.  To think that he ever freaked me out that bad is laughable now. 

Yesterday afternoon after everyone left, the Spud and i spent some time out in the yard.  I love being outside in the spring.  I get so excited about flowers and plants and gardens.  Of course, by July I as so stinkin’ hot you can’t convince me that those plants need more water than me.  We met some new neighbors.  Actually, Spud called them over.  Anytime he would see people walking around the neighborhood he would yell out progressively louder until they would look up and come over and talk.  It was interesting.  I actually met another single adoptive parent in my ‘hood.  She has already offered to sit for him when I just want to run to the store.  It will be nice to have that kind of help close.  I hope that we become friends (as long as she isn’t crazy—that tends to happen to me a lot.  I’m not crazy, but crazy tends to follow me). 

Anyway, I’m starting to do a little yard work.  Planting bulbs, mulching, etc.  I bought some raspberry and blackberry plants that won’t produce fruit until next year or the year following.  Spud LOVES fresh fruit and he will suck down blueberries and raspberries.  Perhaps I need to go back and get a blueberry bush as well…

Ahhhhh, heaven.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mr. Tran has left the building

The Spud has a lot of names.  He has the name the orphanage gave him that is only used when we go to the doctor’s office.  I also call him Babylicious and, of course, Spud.  Spud began when we were in Vietnam.  I have no idea why.  The name I had chosen for him was perfectly fine, but Spud would sometimes slip out.  It has slipped out more and more frequently which I realize confuses people.  Now my family and friends call him Spud or Spudford (I can’t recall if Laura or Jerri started that, but it cracks me up!).  I call him Spudster, Spud-a-roo and any variation on that name. 

Well, today, I am thrilled to announce that the Spud has a new name.   A legal name.  Introducing Liem Khanh Duc:


I wasn’t trying to be secretive or even private about his name .  I’m just kind of funny about details.  Initially when people would ask his name I would say “Duc” and then clarify that it wasn’t yet his legal name.  Who cares?  Obviously me.  See the following conversation that my mom and I had two days ago.

Mom—So the ticket costs $300?

Me—No, it’s $299.20. 

Mom—So, $300.


What’s the big flippin’ deal about accuracy?  I have no idea.  Anyway, I am celebrating this weekend since his name is changed and his dedication is occurring at church tomorrow.  I’m so excited to be able to celebrate this moment with many of my family and friends who have been there for me since the beginning.  Since they couldn’t all travel to VN with me this is the next best thing.

So his name isn’t Haven like I originally planned.  He just isn’t a Haven.  He’s a big, strong boy and from the time of his referral I realized that he is built like a football player and the sound of the crowds chanting “Haven” at ball games just didn’t work for me.  Duc, however, still did so that is what we call him.  He looks like a Duc (pronounced like DUKE).  Honestly, until almost our last day in Vietnam I still didn’t have a name picked out for him with any degree of finality.  For several days or weeks following his referral I wracked my brain trying to come up with a name.  The Western names just didn’t seem to fit him so I started looking at Vietnamese names and after a while I happened across Liem.  It is pronounced slightly different than Liam, but I suspect most Westerners will just pronounce it the same and that is fine with me. 

Spud responds to either Spud or Duc.  I often say to him “Hi, Duc Duc!” and a few days ago after I said that to him he turned to me and said, “Hi Do Do”.  I almost died laughing.   

Today we spent the afternoon playing outside before heading to the mall.

IMG_2059 Ok, there isn’t anything magical about the bay leaves can.  I turned it into a little noise maker by adding pennies and gluing the lid shut.  I did that months ago and it is still one of his favorite toys.  He just loves to shake it, grawing on it and beat it on things.

 IMG_2067He LOVES to eat bark.  Fiber, babe, fiber.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Day Care Part II

The Spud has to be in day care.  This is something I know and something that I can not refute.  If mama wants to make some money for the Spud to live on, I am going to have to work.  After speaking to a number of working moms this week I realize that what I am struggling with isn’t just the fact that my son is in daycare, I am also struggling with their philosophy on child rearing and the aesthetics of their program. 

  1. The cribs are all kind of crammed in a room so that they are several deep from the wall.  Sound like anything else you know of?  That’s right.  It looks and feels like an orphanage.  I can’t stand it.  If I am reacting negatively to it, how must he be feeling? (and yes, I am aware I am inserting a little too much of my own personal experience and he may not have made that connection, but the point is that I have)
  2. He is eating things like cheese pizza (hello?  I wrote on his intake info that he is lactose intolerant and that’s why I have to use ridiculously expensive formula).  They are also giving him things like Teddy Grahams and other sweet things that I did not plan on allowing him to have for a while.  While I realize that many parents allow and encourage (and that is fine, this is just my own personal preference) I really wanted to capitalize on the the fact that he is currently eating anything.  Which means he will eat steamed broccoli or he will eat cookies—it just depends on what is placed in front of him.  He doesn’t really have a preference.  Since he will eat anything I really want him to eat healthy foods. 
  3. I am paying a ridiculous amount of money to have him onsite with me when I never have a chance to see him and I don’t agree with the care they are providing.

I just need to make clear that I have nothing against their program or any of their staff.  I think they are providing the kind of care that most parents demand and I think it works for the majority of children.

About a month ago I happened across a website for a local daycare taught by a couple.  She has a a bachelors and masters degree in education.  She has lived in France for many years and teaches French.  Her husband was born abroad and has lived in eight different countries and speaks four different languages.  They feed the children only food that they have prepared with the majority of it being organic.  Their focus is on globally preparing children—language, arts, culture, etc.  Anyone that knows me would recognize why this is attractive to me.  I know the Spud is very bright and I want a daycare that will engage him both in play, but in language and other areas.  I’ve always said, regardless of whether my children were IA or bio I wanted my children to have a more global view and to be able to see beyond their own arm and enjoy those that are different from them. 

To say that I want the Spud to there is an understatement.  There are no cribs (thank you, Jesus!).  They sleep on cots or very large pillow-looking things.  It is bright and sunny with those of color.  They have international art and language plainly visible and it is run out of their home.  I LOVE it.  They have a French program and are planning on starting a Spanish program this year followed by a Mandarin program next.

They also have a wait list and ALL of the kids that are presently attending are planning on staying through the end of the year.  Please say a prayer that something work out—an opening or that they will get a bigger space (evidently they will expand, but only if they get a bigger location). 

Ideally I would be able to stay home and love on my son, but I know that’s not possible.  I think Spud would like this place—plus, he already knows one of the other kids (in a weird sort of 7* of Kevin Bacon I figured out that I know the owner’s dad and her dad has been a lifelong friend to the ER medical director that I work with and that he was one of the big reasons they came back to the US.  With any luck I can try and make this work for me). 


The Spud is a Dud.  He’s sick.  Three days of daycare and he gets sick.  He hasn’t slept for two nights and is NOT napping.  Snot, snot everywhere.  When I walked in to the daycare this morning I saw a very red eyed child with snot on his face and I pointed my finger at him “It was you!  You made him sick!”  The nanny tried to make it better by saying they have all been sick.  Ick. At 9 am the daycare called me and asked if I had a pacifier.  Hmmm…didn’t like the sound of that.  Evidently the other two pacifiers have been lost. 

No pics today.  His eyes are all red and icky and bright light hurts him even more than it previously did.  Hopefully tomorrow he will feel better and we will go to the park.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Every morning when I get up I am fully aware that I am the luckiest woman in the world.  I have a beautiful son and he brings a level of joy and happiness that I can not express with words alone.  He’s amazing.  Seeing his little face makes getting through the work day a little easier.  Once 2 pm arrives I try to race through the rest of the day so I can see him. Because he is such an amazing gift and brings me so much joy I feel hypocritical to complain.  About anything. 

But I have a major stressor right now that is of great concern (Spud’s fine) so I hope you will keep us in your prayers.  I can’t go into it right now, but I’ll just say I’m under a lot of unnecessary stress. 

I know I’m not the only one that suffers through the daycare issue.  I was fine when Spud was with my dad last week.  He was happy, I was happy (as happy as a mama can be away from her babe).  Yesterday when I took him to daycare for his first day he started playing with the other boys immediately and when I told him I was leaving he crawled back to me and reached up to hug me.  He then crawled back and began playing.  I thought I was in the clear.  But it was a different story when I returned in the afternoon.  He was standing up and holding on to the nanny’s knee (what exactly do you call daycare workers??) and he was doing this little whine/cry thing.  it was heartbreaking.  I haven’t heard him do that since we were in the orphanage.  Maybe he does it when I am not around, but it really bothered me.  When he first noticed me he gave me a really flat look.  I wonder if he thought I was leaving him.  It was probably a little too orphanage like for him.  Today I dropped him off, he began playing with Nate, when I said goodbye he crawled back and hugged me.  And he watched me leave.  When I turned back around he was still watching me.  When I looked through the window outside the nursery he was still watching me with those big, brown, puppy dog eyes.  Killed me.  I had to rush out of there before I started crying. 

I am thankful for little things.  A dear colleague gave birth to a baby girl just two days after my G&R.  I finally had a chance to see her yesterday and she is all squishy and warm.  Seriously, she is like a little warm snuggle bunny.  Ahhh, I wish I had had those moments with my son when he was that age, but honestly, I don’t think he would have been nearly that soft and squishy.  My photos of him even at that age showed a big baby with a big smile who was proud to show that he could hold his head up on his own.  Perfection comes in all sorts of sizes and shapes. 

I didn’t get any photos today despite the awesome weather.  I did, however, get a rockin’ new haircut. I haven’t had a haircut since October/November and it was LONG.  Like longer than I have worn in about six years.  Down past my shoulders long.  Now I am sort of short and sassy.  I like it!  It also prevents the Spud from pulling my hair.  He loves to grab a hold of the hair just behind my ears and pull my face close to his—I love it when he does that, but darn does my head hurt.  I’m also tired of pulling my hair out of his poop.  I’m sure you can figure that out for yourself. 

And if you have read this far I have one last question…I have only a few hours with my Spud before bedtime in the evening, but I would really like to get in shape and return to the gym (especially since I am paying for a membership).  Any ideas?  I’m wondering if I should go around 7 pm when it is close to his bedtime.  Hopefully he would just sleep through it and not realize that I was gone once again. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

The brown one in the middle

That’s the best way to describe how my son looks at his daycare. He is the only brunette boy in a sea of blonde. I shouldn’t complain because at least daycare is on site and should I get into shape I can walk up the hill and around the block to where he is. Kidding! Sort of. There is a shortcut that I can take.

Today I am so thankful for sunshine. We spent a couple of hours at the park yesterday with Spud’s Auntie Jerri. I’m trying to get him used to being outdoors because I think it is a foreign concept for him. He’d rather eat grass and he is very subtle in the way he tries to sneak it in his diet.


Jerri said I couldn’t post on FB, but she didn’t say anything about my blog! Ok, Jerri, if you don’t like it I will take it down but this is the sweetest photo I took yesterday.




And today…

IMG_1985 He has a goofy sense of humor!




Spud loves his bottles! Daycare may want to start him on sippy cups, but he hit the bottle just as soon as we were home.


This is my favorite photo. I love the expression of his face on the cherry table.

With the exception of the first photo I haven’t done any editing beyond some minor color corrections. I would do more, but I am too tired to care tonight.

I worked entirely in AV mode this evening which is why my photos are a little too soft. I had the f stop as far south as it would go, but until I get 50mm lens I am kind of stuck. I have grand plans for a lower end 50mm or a good used one. I’d also like a telephoto lens at some point, but I am not rushing on that end.

If people have some feedback on ways I can improve I would love to hear from you. I’m not doing this to make money. I simply wanted to document my son’s life to the best of my ability and enjoy a hobby (hard to believe that “adoption” has been hobby for the last few years).

Saturday, March 14, 2009


After getting Spud to bed tonight I was so looking forward to the rocky road ice cream in the freezer.  Hey, it was a long week and I wanted a little treat.  Unfortunately someone else beat me to it. Opa?  Oma? Auntie Lou?  Not sure since no one is fessing up.  No alcohol in the house either.  And, no, I am not trying to eat/drink my stress away.  I just felt like having a little treat.

Spud and I had a wonderful day.  It was too cold to go out and do anything so we stayed in and played.  I am so thankful that he plays so nicely by himself.  It was apparent after we first met that he had never had any toys before.  He wasn’t sure what to do with them.  Even after getting home he would sometimes play with them, but mostly he preferred to interact with me or with the furniture (he has eaten the corners off my cherry wood end table).  Today I noticed that he really spent some time playing with his toys.  Not just one or two, but considerably more.  Thank goodness!  It allows me a chance to play with my own toys, or, at the least shop for some new toys.  That’s right, I’m still shopping or preparing a shop.  I’m not going crazy, but after saving my butt off for the last few years I would like to finally spend my tax return on something I can play with (my house and son don’t really count).  Ninety per cent will be placed in savings so that I will have money to put towards my daughter’s adoption.  Check this website if you want to find out when to expect your check:


After getting the Spud bathed tonight we spent the evening playing.  I tried to take photos of him, but he does not make it easy.  As soon as he sees me pull the camera out he starts racing towards me and grabbing at my camera.



Walking and giggling like a goon.


Holding on to my shirt and trying to grab my camera.  I think we have another photography buff.  While I was reviewing the day’s photos, he stood behind my left shoulder and leaned over me to see the pictures.  He only does that when I am reviewing my photos.


Always smiling.

IMG_1932 Still reviewing the photos.  Although he has eight teeth already, I suspect he is teething again.  Actually, it was my dad that said that.  He’s been munching on his fingers which he normally doesn’t do.  He is putting those fingers all the way to the back of his mouth and he is drooling.  Yum.


IMG_1938 Watching a little TV.  IMG_1940 Seriously, the boy is always smiling.  I am so blessed:)

IMG_1946 This is actually the first photo that I posted.  I’ve been playing around with the PSE5 software I bought a few years ago and used infrequently.  The top photo isn’t the one I wanted to show you, but for some reason I couldn’t change it from a .psd to a .jpeg.  Technology is weird like that sometimes. 

I’m hoping the weather is warmer than the 55* predicted tomorrow.  The problem with weather here is that we will literally have two weeks of spring like weather and then it is going to be hotter than hades.  We go from 60* to 90* in a heart beat.  Ugh.  I hate the heat.

Friday, March 13, 2009

One down…

Today I am thankful to have this week over with. It wasn’t a bad week. In some ways it was good to have my brain back. I feel like I have put it on a shelf for a few months. Considering I was only in that role 14 months, 3 months off was a huge risk. I’ve certainly been slower and I don’t recall all the passwords or back doors into some applications, but I also figured out how to do something that my boss insisted couldn’t be done and that 4 other previous staff members weren’t able to figure out after 6 months of work on it. So there---pfffttt!

I am also thankful that my dad was here all week. As my dad mentioned it was the longest time we had been under the same roof since I was 18. Boy, does that seem like a lifetime ago! I wish my family lived closer, but even though we are not physically close they have certainly made the effort to spend time with Spud.

For the record, I am terribly jealous of all of you moms that get to work at home or stay home with your children. I can’t even put him down once I get home—I don’t care how heavy he gets! Duc edit

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yeah, kind of like that

A friend sent me this link:

That's the Spud, but walking.  The boy rarely sits.  He has to stand, jump, fall over, and start over.  It's nice that my dad is able to confirm everything that I have said.  He's ridiculously strong, athletic, and putting a diaper on him is like wrestling a greased pig. 

Day 2

I’m not the kind of parent who assumes that every little grunt is a word which is why when Spud started saying “mwa mwa” when he woke up or when he hurt himself, I dismissed it.  Today when I got home he was still taking a nap, but when he woke up he distinctly called out “mama mama!”.  Ahhh, that did my heart good.  When I picked him up he was still saying it until he realized mama was actually holding him.

It amazes me to watch him grow.  His little legs are no longer so little.  They look longer and leaner.  He spends a lot of time standing, squatting and does circles around people and furniture for hours.  I was happy to see him take a few steps for Opa yesterday. 

His appetite astounds me.  Opa fed him dinner and then I served Opa and I a healthy beef stroganoff.  Spud stopped doing laps around us under the table and started begging from the level of my knee.  I finally picked him up and that little turkey started reaching for my fork!  He ended up eating a good portion of my dinner.  Yes, the Spud eats hamburger at 9 months of age. IMG_1755

Hanging with the Opa.


I love the eye contact between them in this photo.  Evidently Opa bribed him with pretzels. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Big Day

Sunday I woke up several time during the night with the same burning thought “oh my goodness, I am going back to work in (fill in the blank) hours!”  To say I was dreading it would be stating it mildly.  It’s not just leaving the Spud all day, it was concerns about returning to the job—hours and other things.  Things that I am not going to delve into on a public blog. 

I woke up early and snuck in the back door at 6:40 AM.  I had a performance review first thing (I know, scary right?).  I knew I really needed to hit the ground running.  Hard to do when the work I do is so technical and I had received a lot of training immediately BEFORE leaving on maternity.  Maybe my brain is backwards, but I need a LOT of repetition to remember things and I certainly did not have that.  There is a lot of pressure on me to perform and perform early and accurately. 

So you are all probably gasping, but I didn’t cry before I left for work or while I was at work.  And I didn’t even have a moment to call home (my dad is home with the Spud this week) until noon.  I have to admit, despite not wanting to go back it really wasn’t bad at all.  They even threw a “welcome back” surprise party.  I’m sure tomorrow will be more difficult and next week when I have to leave him at daycare will be harder for me. 

My dad said when Spud woke up he looked around for me.  I felt both relieved and saddened to hear that.  I was so happy to come home and see him again.  I was the most impatient driver trying to get home.  If it wouldn’t have been over-the-top rude I would have honked at people to get out of the way. When I got home my Dad had two things to tell me:

  1. The boy knows how to clear a room.
  2. Not much of a cuddler, is he?

Evidently he left a pretty toxic butt biscuit in a diaper today and my dad finally got a chance to see just how busy the little guy is.  He also got to see him take a few steps.  It sounds like such a small thing, but I was so excited!  Even tonight it made me tear up when he walked right into my arms.  Tonight he fell asleep in my arms while I rocked him to sleep with a bottle.  I held him long after my arm fell asleep.  Ah, I am going to miss these moments.  He is growing so much every day.  It makes me crazy to think about all the changes he has had over the last few months. 





Saturday, March 7, 2009

Best day ever

At 2 pm I realized that today was the best day that Spud and I have shared together since coming home.  It wasn’t that the other days were wrong or that we didn’t have good times, but today felt exceptional for a lot of external reasons.

Firstly, I hung a dark bed sheet over Spud’s east facing bedroom window and he slept until 8 AM!  Thank goodness.  I was tired of waking up at 6:30 am. 

Secondly, today was the warmest, most beautiful day since we have come home.  It was warm enough that I was in my capris and Tees and Spud was sweating while wearing his bib overalls.  I had the windows open and aired out the house. 

For lunch we met some of my friends who haven’t met Spud yet and he was, of course, the little performer.  He is just a little love bug he has a way of making everyone smile. 

In the afternoon I took him out in the yard and we pushed a ball around.  Unfortunately he was more interested in eating dead grass and twigs.  IMG_1662


If that wasn’t enough of a great day, guess what Spud did?  He took his first steps!!!!  Nine months (and two weeks) old and he took his first steps.  Believe me, I have not been pushing him towards this, but I was so relieved that he took the steps before I return to work.  I thought the first step was a fluke, but half an hour later he took another three consecutive steps.  I’ll be honest, I started crying a bit.  I was so excited to see him reach a milestone and I was even more excited that I didn’t miss it.  He was in such great shape when I met him—he was already sitting up, crawling, and could pull himself up to a stand.  I didn’t want to miss this. 

I am so thankful for such a wonderful day—perfect weather, a big milestone for the Spud, a good meal with good friends (the Spud ate my eggs and home fries.  He’s eating off a fork now also). 

Last night I was working on my taxes and I finally totaled up all my adoption expenses.  Honestly, I have no idea where I was able to find all the money, but I am so glad I did.  All the penny pinching and going without was worth it, but I will admit I am looking forward to getting my tax return this year.  I really hope they don’t do away with the adoption credit in 2010 because I would love to use it to help bring my daughter home..whenever that might be.

I actually hated to put him down for bed tonight.  Generally, I can’t read him a book at night because he is just so busy.  He’d rather eat the book than look at it.  But tonight my little love bug let me hold him tight and read him a book.  He tolerated it so well I read the book two more times.  I am so thankful that I have these precious moments with my son.  I remember reading someone’s blog while I waited and the mom said she loved her daughter more today than she did yesterday and she will love her even more tomorrow.  I understand that now.  It’s not that I don’t love him, but I find that with each passing day I find yet another thing about him that makes me fall even deeper in love with him.     

Only one more day until I return to work. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

T minus 3 days

Today I am so thankful that I have such a good eater.  Honestly, the boy eats anything I put in front of him and is known to grab food right out of my hand.  I started him on table food from our very first day together.  Not too much in the beginning—congee and mushed up fruits.  He hasn’t had too much baby food.  I usually only rely on that when I am feeling lazy.  If I am getting a Lean Cuisine, he’s getting baby food.  Last night I made salisbury steaks and gave him the cooked hamburger before adding the sauce.  He also ate steamed broccoli and cajun fries (baked fries with cayenne pepper and paprika).  The Spud will eat anything and I am so fortunate.  And for anyone gasping in horror, it does not bother his stomach.  An Indian friend of mine confronted me over the weekend about his diet.  He told me Vietnamese babies eat spicy food and he needs to be started on spicy foods early or he wouldn’t like much food.  He told me Indian parents come here and start their babies on bland American diets and they grow up only eating hamburgers.  No worries, this boy sucks it down and begs for more.

IMG_1464 IMG_1473

IMG_1558 I LOVE this photo and the look on his face. 



IMG_1591-3 IMG_1598 His face is nothing but joy the entire time he is in the bath tub.  I will need to get him started on swim classes soon because he LOVES the water. 

IMG_1603 This would be his face as Oma is dragging him out of the tub.

T-3 days.  I go back to work on Monday.  I’m pretending it’s just a figment of my imagination.


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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