Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hello Beautiful


I’ve been wanting to get Duc outside for some photographs, but the weather has been icky.  Either it is 95* with 80% humidity or it is raining.  We finally an 85* day with NO rain so I grabbed it when I saw it.  Unfortunately it was late in the day and Duc was not in the mood.  He wouldn’t look up, wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t follow any directions.  We were out there for 10 minutes and only got a few photographs I can use, but it was so good to get out.

IMG_6431 It was so bright out and it was 7:30 pm.  Hard to believe in a few months it will be dark at this time of day. 





And from my front door last night…


Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Monday, July 26, 2010

This is me keeping my promise

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Potty time

Duc is obsessed with the toilet lately. His new daycare class potties several times a day and as the youngest in the class (2 to 3 years-old) he sees some that are potty trained.

Several times a day (and every time I race to the toilet after putting it off too long) he races to the big boy potty to use the bathroom. He runs down the hall taking his shorts off and peeling off his diaper as he goes. He has a toddler toilet, but refuses to use it. He insists on being a big boy and using my toilet even though I do not have a toddler seat. IMG_6385

After breakfast he asked to potty and by the time he reached the bathroom he was naked. He was so excited that he pottied that he stood up to look in the toilet and promptly pooped right on the rug. Yeah, he was 10 seconds too fast.

IMG_6386 (He’s not actually asleep on the toilet. I caught him in mid-song, and yes, there is a little upper body dance routine)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I should have known

How can a place that never knew me leave such a longing in my soul? How can a city or a country leave such an indelible impression on me. My life. My home. My heart.IMG_6123

I supposed I should have guessed that it was coming. It has been 18 months since Vietnam. Eighteen months since the suffocating heat of Saigon, the spices in the market, the smell of pho broth first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. In many ways it feels like my life began right there in central Vietnam on a beach next to the sea. There are so many memories of that time. The smells, the people. the texture of the sand and surf against my feet. The smell of that horrible fruit that was forbidden in so many of the hotels. I laughed when I saw the signs until I smelled it for myself.



Last week my mom was teasing me. She told me that someday Duc is going to meet a nice girl and bring her home to meet mama. He’ll brag about my pho (it is seriously as good as what I had in Vietnam) and spring rolls. He’ll tell her about my dipping sauce or any number of recipes I may master between now and then. I wonder how much of a surprise she will have when she sees that Duc’s mama is a white woman that can cook like her mama?IMG_6289

Yeah, I miss Vietnam. I miss my son’s first home.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes adoption weighs heavily on my mind. It’s not something I typically talk to or share with friends and even family. I think my mother and the readers of this blog probably understand it best having either lived it or watched adoption unfold in our lives.

When I decided to adopt a few years I made a conscious decision to adopt a boy. I can’t say why exactly—it just felt right. We don’t have any boys in our family, my dad and the neutered dog were the sole males in our home growing up so I knew there were going to be struggles that I likely would not experience with a daughter. Perhaps it was because there were no boys in the family that I wished to add to ours, but I will admit, as the last person in my family bearing my family name, I really wanted to pass it on. It’s an unusual name and I think of the Irish that came before me and how after thousands of years walking the planet my line lead me here. IMG_6134

At some point I will die and it will fall to my son to tell our family stories. At some point it will be the job of my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren to carry the name (I hope) and to share the stories of our family. At some point years from now someone will do a genealogy study and wonder why a family with an Irish name has Asian heritage. I can’t help but laugh when I think of my father’s father. I wonder what he would think about the sole heir of his family name and how our family is permanently changed a result of this one action. IMG_6144

It makes me smile. I think he would throw his head back and laugh.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

hello stranger


This is straight out of camera because I am trying to back up all my photographs to external drives, discs and an online back-up server also. Nervous much? Yeah. So I am giving Photoshop a rest to night.

I’ve written about this previously, but since Duc entered my life I have really let myself go. Actually I can’t blame it on him—once I started the process to adopt him I began to let myself go. Like every good PAP I was too busy obsessively checking email and internet to go to the gym regularly. And eating? Yeah, I stress ate from Spring until the day I traveled. And I continued to do that even after we returned home. I was complaining to a friend the other day telling her I didn’t feel girly anymore. So, subtle steps. I wore lipstick to work every day for a week. Even bright red. I painted my toenails for the first time since late 2007 (and, as you can see, I can’t color within the lines). I even grew my fingernails out since I am no longer playing the violin. I forgot how hard it was to take my contacts out with long nails or wash dishes. And how the heck does one text with long nails?

The other night when I rolled over I aggravated a groin injury I sustained when Duc suddenly jumped on my knee while I was sitting cross legged. I rolled around in pain and I realized how stupid it all was. It is time for me to improve my health again. Duc and I are finally at a good place again and it is time for mama to venture away and take care of herself. Say a prayer that he feels the same way!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Extra spicy, hold the drama


I’m not a fan of drama. I like watching dramas on the big screen, but I don’t want drama in my life. This week we have had a little of both—Duc drama and mama drama.

As a parent you get mad at your kids. Goodness knows I’ve been mad at Duc a number of times (hello broken nose, hitting said broken nose, giving me a black eye, scratching my car with rocks, you get the picture). I always feel bad when I get that mad. I’ve never hit Duc for something he has done, but we have both gone in our respective time out corners until we both cooled off. I don’t know if it is because I love him so much or because there is some sort of AP voice in the back of my head telling me “you waited this long to be parent; you can’t possibly be angry at your precious little angel”. Anyone else hear that crazy voice? Anger is normal. It’s even healthy and yet I feel bad that I get so upset. Most times I am also bruised or bleeding which probably aggravates the situation.IMG_6064

On Wednesday I got really mad at Duc. I got so mad I cursed in front of my child. Yep, I’m admitting it. I was pissed and I told him so. We left the house at 7:10 AM. I got the car loaded and I got Duc fastened in the car seat with his blankey, his nee-nee (pacifier) and some dry cereal. I slammed his car door shut as I do several times a day. It bounced back. Yep, the door bounced back. The stinker had messed with the latching mechanism yet again only this time it was jammed. I screwed around with that door for 20 minutes before I accepted I was screwed. I called and left a VM for my boss letting her know what had happened. It wasn’t just what he had done, I was feeling stressed over recent changes at work. I used to have a flexible schedule, but now I have to be clocked in no later than 8 am. Failure to do so earns the employee a demerit of some sort. Since I had to leave my shift early one day last week (had a really bad reaction to a new medication) I knew I had yet another mark against me. Two in less than a week—a few more and I get a verbal reprimand. And now I can’t get my son’s car door to close.


I knew I was screwed. After 20-30 minutes I started calling my dad repeatedly until my mom answered. God love her, she was trying to help but I was still pissed. I even flagged down a random stranger walking through the neighborhood with a leash in one hand and a bag of dog poop in the other. Even with using a flathead screwdriver neither of us good get it. I was incredibly stressed. Did I mention it was also really hot and steamy and I HATE hot and steamy?

None of us could fix the door and I ultimately had to take it to the repair shop. It was fixed (free of charge, hallelujah!) and the shop guys taught me how to fix it in the event it occurred again.

Today I added my own drama. thankfully Duc seems to like mama drama…and nothing was damaged in the process! Almost two weeks ago I decided to make a trip to THE camera store in Indiana. It was a last minute decision and I called Michael from the road. Canon was running a nice sale and Amazon was promising buyers 12 months to pay off any camera/lens purchases. I wasn’t planning on buying another lens this year, especially since I had just ordered the external flash, but a girl has to look, right? IMG_6071

We picked up Michael and discovered the store was in the process of moving when we arrived. Literally, there was nothing on the walls and most items were in boxes. I wasn’t too encouraged, but the salesman managed to locate the lens we were both lusting over. It was sweet. It was heavy, but the photographs created were S-W-E-E-T. Again, no intention of buying, but I turned the corner to find Michael to tell him I was ready to leave when I found the salesman handing him a bag. Say what? He bought the lens! He sweated the price, I drooled and begged for a chance to touch it.

Yeah, unfortunately neither of us can handle the other one having better gear so I waited for the price to drop a bit on Amazon and ordered the lens (just an FYI—the prices fluctuate a lot on many of their products. Prices tend to be lower on Tuesday and higher late in the week). I expected it to arrive in typical Amazon fashion….3-5 days later. WRONG! It took several days before it shipped and UPS took it’s sweet time delivering. They kept attempting to deliver while I was at work. I got home at 5:30 tonight. Got Duc started on some food, I changed into my jammies and I explored the UPS website where I learned I could request to pick it up by 6 pm. On the other side of town. During rush hour with road construction. I like a challenge and I don’t mind a little drama like this. We managed to get there 2 minutes before it closed and thank goodness we did!


All the photographs you see in this post were with my sweet new lens and a flash. Yep, I am addicted!

If any of you feel the need to feed your addiction Canon is running a sale on many of their items—I got my flash and the new lens with a nice discount. The sale continues through tomorrow and then you are out of luck. Amazon is also running the 12 month payment deal on many camera brands. If you have been looking for some new gear now might be a good time to check it out.

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Don’t you just want to kiss those cheeks? This picture kills me. It was such an odd, but sweet, expression. I could (and sometimes do) stare at this face all day. I just can’t help myself.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Randomness in Photos

I have a lot to say, but no energy to say it. I’m trying to clean house and get rid of stuff, an endless story, ya know?

I love that some of the things I am teaching my son are actually sinking through. Like taking a few minutes everyday to sit and enjoy living in the moment. For us that usually means sitting on the stoop in front of the house for a few minutes each night no matter how hot (makes us appreciate the a/c more, eh?). Enjoying a glass of lemonade in a frosted glass. Watching the bunnies and listening to the birds and crickets.

And now for a random smattering of photos:

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IMG_5737 copy I recently purchased an external flash for my camera (after this picture was taken, obviously). I’ve been curious about external lighting and portrait lighting for a while. I just received it a few days ago so I haven’t had a chance to really play with it much, but I am hoping to get rid of facial shadows like you see in this picture. I still love the picture though:) It’s just so Duc. He LOVES his Oma and wallors all over her.


IMG_5763 I love this photo. He’s so serious here (which isn’t like him), but I love the expression, the sun, the water dripping down his face. I can almost smell the sun on his skin in this photo. Ahhhhh…..summer.

IMG_5768 A toddler bouquet. Not so bad from a 2 and almost 5 year-old.

IMG_5802 copy And this is the impact my dad has on my son. This is the “Opa face” because this is how they BOTH look when they are around each other. The bad things they teach each other…

And with an external flash….

IMG_5952 I just love how crisp the color is when using the external flash. You will definitely be seeing a few more “flash” photos in the coming posts. A girl has to practice, right?


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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